The newly-constructed One World Trade Center stands as a beacon of historical significance and remembrance for those affected by the September 11th terrorist attacks more than a decade ago.
But inside the unfinished $3.8 billion construction project a glimpse of an uglier side of humanity is revealed. The New York Daily News reported on Monday that the plywood walls of the bathrooms, used by the hundreds of construction workers, were vandalized with racist and sexist slurs.
Photographs of the vandalism posted yesterday include scrawled words that read: “Theme: People who annoy the gov, N*****S”, “Hey Local 46, way to stand strong you Porch Monkeys!” “Where’s Obama’s birth certificate!!!” and “Lame n**** be Queit” (sic).
In a statement emailed to theGrio from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the entity that oversees the construction of some of the World Trade Center construction condemns the crude vandalism.
“Such slurs are offensive and have no place at the World Trade Center site or elsewhere. The Port Authority has zero tolerance for those who demonstrate intolerance,” said spokesperson Lisa MacSpadden. “Those discovered participating in such hateful behavior will be permanently banned from the site.”
Groups that were targeted from the graffiti included women, African-Americans, Jews, the Irish, Democrats, and Republicans. From the photos, the hate speech appears to be written with black ink markers, but with different handwriting suggesting multiple vandals.
One construction worker who spoke to the New York Daily News is appalled at the pejoratives, but says that he cannot bring it up to his bosses:
“You ask any black person on the job, and they’ll say, ‘What can you do about it?’” he said. “You talk and you get fired…I have to be political and pretend it doesn’t bother me.”
Tishman Construction, the company contracted by the Port Authority to construct the 3-million square foot building, says they are cooperating with the police department in their investigation of the graffiti, according to NJ.com. Crews have already visited the site to paint over the defiled walls.
“We will not allow a few nameless individuals to tarnish the reputation of the thousands of men and women who have toiled since 9/11 to rebuild America’s symbol of resiliency,” says MacSpadden.
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