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Virginia bill introduced to remove hate speech from public spaces

Officials say this bill proposal is in response to anti-semitic graffiti being drawn in Loudoun County in November 2022.

RICHMOND, Va. — In response to antisemitic graffiti being drawn in Virginia, a bill was proposed by Del. Suhas Subramanyam (D- 87th District) to require local governments to remove hate speech from public places. The bill also proposes that local governments remove the hate speech if a private owner does not do so. 

Although it is noted that this is in response to multiple antisemitic incidents throughout the commonwealth, it is also most particularly in response to the vandalization of the South Riding Town Center in Loudoun Co., according to officials. 

“It’s been bad enough that we had to endure these incidents of racist and antisemitic graffiti, but it’s made worse when no one takes responsibility for the clean up and they remain in the public’s eye," Subramanyam said. "This bill would address that. Hate has no place in Virginia, and our diversity and unity is what makes us strong."

Virginia is not the only area grappling with a rise in antisemitic hate speech being used. Over the weekend in Maryland, neighbors in a Montgomery County community found antisemitic flyers on their property. On a nearby home surveillance video, a person who appears to be the suspect was captured going up to multiple homes. Police have not yet identified the person responsible for this incident.

Montgomery County Public Schools are also struggling to address antisemitism, and one school is bringing in a Holocaust survivor to try and educate students on the dangers of hate speech

WATCH NEXT: Maryland neighborhood targeted with Anti-Semitic flyers

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