Workers Disgusted By Intolerance, Especially Considering Tower's Symbolism

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Hate-filled, racist and sexist messages have been scrawled on the bathroom walls at the One World Trade Center site.

The graffiti at the 104-story building appears to target several groups, including Muslims, Irish, Jews and women, 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reported.

“I won’t even repeat it because it’s stupid,” a worker at the site said. “It needs to be left in the bathroom. It should be flushed down the toilet.”

CBS 2’s Don Dahler obtained photos of scrawled messages left on unfinished walls and temporary bathrooms. For instance, one slur said, “theme: people who annoy you,” and someone answered with the N-word.  In fact, that racial epithet appears in numerous other writings/ In addition, someone made a list of offensive racial nicknames, including one for Arabs that also features the N-word.

But the authors were at least equal-opportunity offenders.

“Woman don’t belong in construction,” argues one. “Maybe painting, that’s it.”

Then who’s gonna [perform a sexual act] on us?” asks someone else.

More examples include: “Irish take a bath ya smelly [expletive]” and “white trash stash.”

Many hardhats at the site said the vandalism highlights a sad culture of intolerance.

“It’s terrible,” one construction worker said. “If anybody gets caught doing it they should be fired.”

“There’s no excuse for it, especially at this site,” another worker said.

Passersby were equally disgusted.

“Considering the loss of life here, for someone to do that is appalling,” said Ruth Richards of Jersey City.

“I’m shocked because I think the best of everyone, so I’m surprised that that would happen,” added Bill Connelly of Philadelphia.

Dermott Barber, who is in charge of cleaning up the graffiti, said these types of messages are a common sight at construction sites.

“This is construction, I’ve seen this on many jobs that I go to. I’ve seen comments about black people, the N-word,” Barber said. “We spray paint it, spray paint right over it and clean it up as best as we can.”

Many are shocked that such offensive remarks would appear at the building, formerly known as the Freedom Tower, that is seen  as a symbol of strength and resolve.

“The new World Trade Center is more than just a skyscraper: it is a symbol of the enduring spirit of the City and State of New York, representing our commitment to rebuilding stronger than before,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said last year.

In a statement to CBS 2, a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spokesperson said, “Such slurs are offensive and have no place at the World Trade Center site or elsewhere. Those discovered participating in such hateful behavior will be permanently banned from the site.”

The building is already the tallest in New York City and once completed, will become the tallest building in the Western hemisphere and the third tallest in the world.

One World Trade Center has been under construction since 2006. It is slated to open in 2014.

Please offer your thoughts in the comments section below …


Leave a Reply