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Why this Facebook post of New Yorkers removing anti-Semitic graffiti went viral.

It's easy to feel let down by the world, but don't give up all hope.

Why this Facebook post of New Yorkers removing anti-Semitic graffiti went viral.

Onboard a subway car, New York-based lawyer Gregory Locke and his fellow passengers stood in uncomfortable silence as they took in their surroundings.

Swastikas and hateful messages were scrawled on the car's windows and advertisements in every direction. Messages like "Jews belong in the oven," "Destroy Islam," and "Heil Hitler" covered the walls. As Locke and his fellow passengers contemplated what to do next, a local chef named Jared Nied offered a suggestion.

"Hand sanitizer gets rid of Sharpie," Nied announced. "We need alcohol."


Immediately, the car's passengers rifled through their bags in search of hand sanitizer and tissues. Recounting the incident on Facebook post, Locke estimated that within just two minutes, the hateful symbols and words had been erased from existence.

I got on the subway in Manhattan tonight and found a Swastika on every advertisement and every window. The train was...

Posted by Gregory Locke on Saturday, February 4, 2017

The post has since gone viral, accruing over 500,000 Likes and over 400,000 shares.

In the wake of a contentious election season that saw the rise of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and other members of the so-called "alt-right," it's easy to lose faith in the overall goodness of people.

In another incident reported in November, a New York subway car was defaced with racist and homophobic slurs. "White power," read one of the messages on the 1 train. According to the NYPD, instances of vandalism that included swastikas jumped by more than 500% in 2016 over the previous year. Additionally, hate crimes have seen a recent boost since Election Day.

Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz speaks at a anti-hate rally at a Brooklyn park after it was defaced with swastikas in November 2016. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

To make matters worse, just last week Reuters reported that sources said the White House was considering a proposal that would refocus the Department of Homeland Security's Countering Violent Extremism task force solely on "Islamic extremism," and no longer put resources into fighting violent white supremacists. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman called the proposed changes "profoundly misguided."

But incidents like the one Locke posted to his Facebook page show that while the world has its share of bad people with hateful ideologies — there are always good people who are willing to set things right.

It's a sentiment echoed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, who Tweeted, "This is what New Yorkers do — we turn hate into love. And we won't back down — not now, not ever," along with a photo of a swastika that had been turned into a message of love.

"'I guess this is Trump's America,' said one passenger," wrote Locke in his Facebook post. "No sir, it's not. Not tonight and not ever. Not as long as stubborn New Yorkers have anything to say about it."

All over the world, there are people making a positive impact by snuffing out hate. Democrat, Republican, Independent, or other, it's crucial that we stand together against hate, no matter where it comes from or in whose name it's being done.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less