Oklahoma City Democratic Party's Headquarters Vandalized with Swastikas, Hateful Messages

Police in Oklahoma City are investigating after the Oklahoma Democratic Party's headquarters was vandalized with hateful and racist graffiti.

Employees of the building in Oklahoma City reported there were drawings of Swastikas, neo-Nazi messages, and death threats spray-painted in the parking lot and on the main entrance, KFOR reported.

The Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of Texoma told Newsweek the incident was "an attack on the entire community."

"We are extremely disturbed by this act of anti-Semitic hate in Oklahoma City. The vandalism with spray-painted swastikas, a universal symbol of hate, and horrific messages targeting Jews and other groups was meant to instill fear and intimidation. It represents an attack on the entire community," Cheryl Drazin, Director of ADL's Texoma Region, said. "We are grateful for the immediate investigation and response by the Oklahoma City Police Department, which sends a clear message to the public that Oklahoma City rejects hate and bigotry."

Brian Levine, the Director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, told Newsweek that these are some of the attacks the center, unfortunately, expects to keep happening.

"This is reflective of a trend we are seeing," said Levine. "We are in a polarized and splintered society and we are now seeing acts of hate crime and political violence weaved together."

Following the incident, the Oklahoma Democratic Party tweeted out a picture of the graffiti along with a statement thanking the community for their support. The headquarters invited members of the community to help clean up the earlier this afternoon.

"The Oklahoma Democratic Party is devastated by the recent hate crime attack at our Headquarters this morning. We appreciate the outpouring of support for this cowardly act as the community comes together to denounce hate and bigotry," said in a statement on Twitter.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Oklahoma released a statement on Facebook about the incident thanking the Oklahoma City Police Department for their response to the incident.

"Hateful rhetoric has no place in our community or country. When individuals or groups are targeted because of their immutable characteristics the impact of those words and actions are felt by entire communities," the statement read. "There is no place for hate in Oklahoma City - that is not our Oklahoma Standard."

On Friday, a 21-year-old man from New York was arrested for allegedly telling a Jewish co-worker "you're in the gas chamber now" and shutting the lights off in a cooler she was in with another co-worker. New York State Police said William Sullivan, 21, was arrested and charged with aggravated harassment in the second degree. The 18-year-old woman, Sarah Shabanowitz, quit her job following the attack.

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The Democratic Party headquarters in Oklahoma City. The office building was vandalized with hateful messages and swastikas on Thursday. Screenshot/Google Maps
Oklahoma City Democratic Party's Headquarters Vandalized with Swastikas, Hateful Messages | U.S.