Graffiti found on Jewish cemetery in Henrico

Richmond, VA - Stewards of historic Jewish and African American cemeteries in Richmond’s East End who discovered graffiti Monday on gravesites, including that of Maggie L. Walker, suspect that hatred could have motivated the vandalism.

While trespassing at the East End and Evergreen cemeteries is not uncommon, the neon green spray-painting of “777” around Walker’s grave in Evergreen and in the Sir Moses Montefiore Cemetery appalled caretakers and descendants. At East End, which is adjacent to Evergreen, vandals spray-painted stones and a pathway.

There are multiple interpretations for “777,” but the Anti-Defamation League recognizes it as a potential hate symbol because of its ties to ancient European iconography that was adopted by the Nazi regime and a South African white supremacist group in the 1970s.

All three cemeteries were founded in the late 19th century to serve marginalized communities.

Both Evergreen and East End are the final resting place of prominent African American leaders from the post-Reconstruction and civil rights eras, such as Walker, the first African American woman to charter a bank in the United States; John Mitchell, the crusading editor and publisher of the Richmond Planet; and Dr. Richard F. Tancil, who rose from enslavement to become a successful doctor and founder of the Nickel Savings Bank.

The Sir Moses Montefiore Cemetery, founded in 1886 by the local Orthodox Jewish community, served a large wave of Jewish immigrants who escaped religious persecution in the former Russian Empire.

Liza Mickens, Walker’s great-great-granddaughter, rushed to the Walker gravesite with her father Monday after learning about the vandalism. She said she thinks it may have been an act of retaliation for the recent removal of Confederate monuments in Richmond following nationwide protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

Photo: newsbreak
Source: richmond