Beastie Boys’ Ad-Rock Challenges New Yorkers & The World To Stand Up Against Hate (Video)
Since the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States, there has been a spike in hate crimes against various groups, including Muslims, Blacks, Jews, members of the LGBTQ community and more. In fact, more than 800 incidents have taken place across the country, and no region has been spared.
On Friday (November 18), a children’s playground in Brooklyn, NY, named after Beastie Boys’ Adam “MCA” Yauch, was vandalized by someone who painted a swastika and “Go Trump” on a jungle gym. In response to the act, organizers held a “Stand Up Against Hate” protest in the park today (November 20). Fellow Beastie Boy Adam “Ad-Rock” Horovitz was in attendance and he spoke matter-of-factly and powerfully about the despicable acts that have taken place since the election.
“I’m assuming that we’re all here today because we’re thinking the same thing: spray painting swastikas in a children’s playground is a messed up thing to do,” he began. “And, for many of us, it has special meaning because this park is named for Adam Yauch, who was my friend and band mate for over 30 years. But, he was also someone who taught non-violence, in his music and his life, to all of us and to me.”
Horovitz then went on to address the specific matter at hand, as well as a number of other heinous acts that have taken place since November 8. “This is more about someone in New York City linking Nazi Germany to Donald Trump in a ‘Hell yeah!’ kind of way…in a park where children play. This is about the woman at a Brooklyn restaurant who was talking with her friend about how upset she was that Trump won, and a man overheard her, left the restaurant ran back in and punched her in the face and ran back out. This is about the KKK putting up fliers on Long Island. This is about Neo-Nazis targeting synagogues in Jacksonville and Missoula. This is about hate crimes agains Muslims soaring to their highest levels since post-911.”
After citing a few more incidents, Ad-Rock spoke about how he believes the country got to this place, saying “these incidents and this type of graffiti has been popping up all over our country because we’ve elected a president that’s given our children the message that it’s okay to write ‘White Power’ in their high school hallway, that it’s okay to attack women and girls, that Latinos and Muslims and Jews are bad people, and that you can electro-shock the gay out of somebody. C’mon! This is real. It’s happening at a rapid rate. We gotta stand up against hate.”
Horovitz also made a call to action. “If you’re able to protest, protest. If you’re able to give money, give to Black Lives Matter. Give to Planned Parenthood. Give to the United Way of Flint, Michigan. Give what you can. If you’re able to volunteer, volunteer…If you’re a musician, write that anthem. If you’re a writer, write. Take what you’re good at, and what you truly enjoy, and lend your services to the causes you care most about, because we can’t and we won’t and we don’t stop.”
Ad-Rock ended with a Beastie Boys lyric that seemed tailor-made for the occasion. Citing the song “An Open Letter To NYC,” from their To The 5 Burroughs album, he said “Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten. From the Battery to the top of Manhattan. Asian, Middle-Eastern and Latin. Black, White, New York, you make it happen.”