An election day swastika tagging event

I certainly hope this isn’t becoming some sort of new election day tradition. There’s been another incident of tagging swastikas in a public place, this time at the high school in Binghamton, a city in upstate New York. Students and faculty arrived on Tuesday morning to find white spray paint adorning the streets, sidewalk and one window of the school. The artwork leaves a lot to be desired but people were having no trouble interpreting the message. (

Election Day is off to a disturbing start in Upstate New York after swastikas were found painted Tuesday morning in the Southern Tier.

Binghamton residents have shared photos of the Nazi symbols found painted on Oak Street and the sidewalk of Main Street. Another swastika was painted on a window at Binghamton High School on Main Street.

“I just dropped [my child] off to see that the whole front area of BHS is tagged with white supremacy symbolism. They even hit the trees on the perimeter. Smh. Keepin’ it classy Binghamton. What a shame. This is seriously awful,” one parent wrote on the school’s Facebook page. “Racism is a LEARNED behavior, people. Tolerance and respect starts with each and every one of you.”

The Binghamton Police Department told WBNG that the graffiti is “currently under investigation.” A representative for Binghamton High School told the TV station it had no comment.

First of all, the rocket scientist(s) who painted these tags weren’t exactly up on their Nazi research. They managed to spray paint all of the graffiti in the form of the Buddhist Omote Manji, where the trailing edges of the four legs point counterclockwise. (The Nazi swastika goes clockwise.) Here are a couple examples of their “artwork” posted on Facebook by area residents. (Click on images for full size picture.)

The cops are already working on this one and we may be able to identify the culprits in the near future. One of the parents of a student at the school indicated that exterior surveillance cameras had previously been installed at the campus. How much coverage is available and if they would have recorded the spots where the graffiti appeared isn’t known yet, but we might get lucky.

Then comes the question of the motivation of the vandals. Will they turn out to be legitimate antisemites trying to instill fear in the Jewish population at the school? Or will it wind up being another case like the one in New York City recently? Either way, showing up on election day seems like either a very determined effort at intimidation or a political stunt timed for the best effect. It’s too soon to say at this point.

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Jazz Shaw 10:01 AM on June 04, 2023