Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump now has a swastika — painted over his star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, no less — to add to the growing number of labels and descriptors being heaped upon the billionaire-turned-politician as he campaigns for the highest political office in the land. However, whoever painted the swastika, possibly meant to associate the businessman with the reviled symbol of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialist Party and his subsequent German dictatorship, applied it backwards. And that gives the swastika an entirely different meaning…
The Wrap reported January 30 that an image of the swastika defacing Donald Trump’s Walk of Fame star surfaced on the internet after an anonymous tagger decided Trump’s star needed a bit more decoration. The image first appeared on Reddit Friday, noting that Trump’s star had been vandalized. But the defacement was short-lived as the swastika was gone come Saturday.
Actor Austin Franklin, who dresses as Batman and daily walks up and downs Hollywood Boulevard, told The Wrap people can be seen stomping or pretending to defecate on Trump’s star regularly. Franklin was among those who actually saw the swastika on Friday prior to its removal. “I’ve never seen this kind of hate put on a star before, not even Bill Cosby,” he told TheWrap.
Disgraced actor and comedian Bill Cosby’s star was defaced with the word “Rapist” in December. Still, in addition to the abuse witnessed by Franklin, Trump’s star has been tagged before. Back in September, someone painted a yellow “X” over his name.
Since announcing his run for the presidency, Donald Trump, who made billions in real estate and became a popular television personality via his reality show “The Apprentice” (hence, the star), has come under fire for his political positions and his rhetoric, which have provided foundation for accusations of racism and ethnocentrism. He came under fire on Day One of his presidential campaign when, during his announcement of his bid for the 2016 Republican nomination for president, he talked about building a wall on the US-Mexican border and stated that Mexicans were rapists and drug mules, undesirables that needed to be kept out. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman flat-out called Trump a “loudmouth racist” early on and the Huffington Post just announced that it will append a disclaimer to all Trump-related articles, letting readers know that the Republican presidential candidate is a “serial liar” and a “racist.” Throughout his campaign, he has also stereotyped Jews at a Jewish convention and called for a national registry of Muslims in the US and the banning of all Muslims entering the US.
As for the defaced Walk of Fame star, some have noted that the swastika is backwards and have suggested that it isn’t the Nazi swastika at all. Rather, they have suggested, it is the Buddhist symbol that means “all is well.” According to ReligionFacts.com, the word “swastika” comes from the Sanskrit word “svastika” and stands for plurality, eternity, abundance, prosperity and long life. The swastika symbol itself is archetypal and found all over the world, including among the Navajo tribe of North America, where it is the symbol of the “Whirling Log,” denoting abundance, prosperity, healing, and luck.
What the anonymous tagger’s intention was when they painted the swastika may never be known. But given the backlash to Donald Trump’s continued racially- and ethnically-charged (not to mention religion-biased) statements and positions, it likely wasn’t done to convey a peaceful or prosperous message. But a backward swastika? There’s irony in there somewhere…