This short video, “The Hate Destroyer,” got my day off to a very good start. By filmmakers Vincenzo Caruso and Fabrizio Mario Lussu, it’s about Irmela Mensah-Schramm, a 66-year-old woman in Germany who spends her days painting over hateful graffiti and removing stickers that promote neo-Nazism, racism, and homophobia.
She describes how one day, she saw a Nazi sticker in a public place on her day to work and was “haunted” by it all day long. When she returned home 10 hours later, she scraped it off with her keys. “It was such a gratification, I can still feel it now.”
Now she spends her days documenting and then obliterating hate speech in public spaces. “If you don’t do it yourself, who will do it?” she says. “And if you don’t do anything, you won’t obtain anything.”
Take it as a challenge. What have you done to make a public space better today?