The normalization of fascism under the Trump regime has been one of the most disturbing aspects of his presidency. From a resurgent Ku Klux Klan to the rise of the neo-Nazi alt-right, fascism is rising like a long-dead zombie from the grave we all thought it had been buried in for good.
A horrifying example of this trend manifested itself in Glen Carbon, Illinois about 19 miles east of St. Louis this weekend when over 200 gravestones at the Sunset Hill Memorial Estates Cemetery were vandalized with spray-painted swastikas last night.
The vandalism was discovered by groundskeepers this morning and seemed timed to have maximum impact over the busy Memorial Day weekend. The cemetery which contains the remains of over 1,300 veterans is usually filled with people paying their respects to departed loved ones over the holiday.
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Mark Johnson, grounds superintendent at the non-denominational cemetery, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the perpetrator of the vandalism timed their action intentionally.
“I think they probably knew what they were doing,” he said of whoever committed the vandalism.
A photographer for the newspaper posted a video of the defaced graves on Twitter to show the damage to the headstones.
Hundred headstones were painted with swastikas at a Sunset Hill Memorial Estates Cemetery in Glen Carbon https://t.co/9BegwFUU3Z
— Laurie Skrivan (@LaurieSkrivan) May 26, 2018
Besides the cemetery, the vandal is also believed to be responsible for swastikas also painted on homes and garages in the nearby town of Edwardsville.
Luckily, a home surveillance system managed to capture an image of the person painting the hateful images and led police to a 34-year-old man who has been arrested and is currently being held in custody until charges can be filed against him. No further details about the suspect are expected to be available until after his arraignment.
Meanwhile Mr. Johnson and his team of groundskeepers will be working overtime to power wash the headstones to remove the offensive graffiti before Memorial Day events on Monday.
The question to ask ourselves at this point can only be: what has Trump wrought with his fascist-friendly enabling of a hate-filled environment?
Follow Vinnie Longobardo on Twitter.