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There is a movement to paint over the hate-fueled election graffiti, and it's fantastic.

'We have so many people who are devastated and feel hopeless. This is a way for them to do something.'

There is a movement to paint over the hate-fueled election graffiti, and it's fantastic.

When Olivia Trimble heard that a hate message had been spray-painted on a wall across from her town's public library, she grabbed her paint, jumped in her car, and headed over.

According to Trimble, the hateful message — a sign that read "F**ck N**gers" — had already been reported to the Fayetteville, Arkansas, police but had yet to be covered up.

“I felt moved to take it down," Trimble said. "I didn’t want my kids or any other person to see that hatred in our city.”


But she didn't just take it down...

She covered it up with a message of love.  

Image from Repaint Hate/Facebook, used with permission.

And Trimble didn't stop there.

When she got home, Trimble wrote a message on social media asking members of her community to let her know of other hateful messages that might appear.

If she could get to them, she'd cover them with uplifting messages in a matter of hours.

Soon after, Trimble began reaching out to other sign-painters, artists, and activists to ask if they would offer similar services in their own neighborhoods. Within a day, she was overwhelmed by a flood of messages from fellow painters — from Chicago to Copenhagen — pledging to do the same.

Just like that, the #RepaintHate movement was born.

Image from Jakob Engelberg/Copenhagen Signs, used with permission.

In the Repaint Hate Facebook group (which has over 3,000 members as of this writing), people can report hateful graffiti that needs covering and share pictures of the messages of love painted over them.

Earlier this week, the owners of Smoke and Barrel Tavern in Fayetteville donated a wall to Trimble, so she could continue spreading positive messages in the face of these hate crimes.

She is still also the on-call painter for any new hate graffiti that might appear in her city, but she believes there can never be too many positive messages, especially during a time where hate crimes are on the rise.

Photo via Olivia Trimble, used with permission.

Repaint Hate is far from the only group with the idea to cover up hateful messages with positive ones.

When a church in Maryland was vandalized with “Trump Nation, Whites Only” graffiti, community members got together and hung “Love Wins" posters all around the church. Students at Michigan State covered up a message painted on their school's boulder that read "Kill 'em all" with "Love 'em all." Three days after the election, Laura Molina, together with her husband Robert, covered up the hate-filled graffiti they found on the sidewalk outside the HRC headquarters in New York City:

“We have so many people who are devastated and feel hopeless," said Trimble. "This is a way for them to do something.”

Painting over these hateful messages is just one way people are taking an active stance against the recent uptick in hate crimes in this country.

A movement called "Yes, I'll accompany my neighbor" was started to accompany minorities who feel threatened on their daily commute and is picking up steam nationwide. Community members and students at Baylor University literally stood and walked with student Natasha Nkhama after she was harassed on campus by a racist. The Anti-Defamation League has taken to fighting hate crimes on a legal and governmental level.  

There are plenty of little things each and every one of us can do to make a difference. You just have to keep your eyes open, and when you see something you can make better, follow Trimble's lead — get out on the street with whatever tools you need and do something about it.

Of course, you should always report a hate crime to the SPLC and your local police department before taking action. They may also have some helpful advice on the best course of action to take.

Lainey and baby goat Annie. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse
True

Oftentimes, the journey to our true calling is winding and unexpected. Take Lainey Morse, who went from office manager to creator of the viral trend, Goat Yoga, thanks to her natural affinity for goats and throwing parties.

Back in 2015, Lainey bought a farm in Oregon and got her first goats who she named Ansel and Adams. "Once I got them, I was obsessed," says Lainey. "It was hard to get me off the farm to go do anything else."

Right away, she noticed what a calming presence they had. "Even the way they chew their cud is relaxing to be around because it's very methodical," she says. Lainey was going through a divorce and dealing with a rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis at the time, but even when things got particularly hard, the goats provided relief.

"I found it impossible to be stressed or depressed when I was with them."

She started inviting friends up to the farm for what she called "Goat Happy Hour." Soon, the word spread about Lainey's delightful, stress-relieving furry friends. At one point, she auctioned off a child's birthday party at her farm, and the mom asked if they could do yoga with the goats. And lo, the idea for goat yoga was born.

A baby goat on a yoga student. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Goat yoga went viral so much so that by fall of 2016, Lainey was able to quit her office manager job at a remodeling company to manage her burgeoning goat yoga business full-time. Now she has 10 locations nationwide.

Lainey handles the backend management for all of her locations, and loves that side of the business too, even though it's less goat-related. "I still have my own personal Goat Happy Hour every single day so I still get to spend a lot of time with my goats," says Lainey. "I get the best of both worlds."

Lainey with her goat Fabio. Photo courtesy of Lainey Morse

Since COVID-19 hit, her locations have had to close temporarily. She hopes her yoga locations will be able to resume classes in the spring when the vaccine is more widely available. "I think people will need goat yoga more than ever before, because everyone has been through so much stress in 2020," says Lainey.

Major life changes like Lainey's can come around for any number of reasons. Even if they seem out of left field to some, it doesn't mean they're not the right moves for you. The new FOX series "Call Me Kat", which premieres Sunday, January 3rd after NFL and will continue on Thursday nights beginning January 7th, exemplifies that. The show is centered around Kat, a 39-year old single woman played by Mayim Bialik, who quit her math professor job and spent her life's savings to pursue her dreams to open a Cat Café in Louisville, Kentucky.

Jeff Harry started making similar moves when he was just 10-years-old, and kept making them throughout his life. After seeing the movie "Big,"Jeff knew he wanted to play with toys for a living, so he started writing toy companies asking for next steps. He finally got a response when he was a sophomore in high school — the company told him he needed to become a mechanical engineer first.

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