This was supposed to be a review of the fourth night of Ilana Glazer’s talk series for The Generator: a movement inspiring people who live in the U.S. to humanize policy through storytelling. Andy Kim and Amy Goodman were supposed to be interviewed by the Broad City creator and the audience were supposed to leave the event fired-up for a final weekend of campaigning ahead of the mid-term elections.

But that’s not what this review is because that’s not what happened.

What happened was that at some point before the event started, the synagogue in which the theatre is situated was broken into and anti-semitic slurs were written on the walls. As Ilana stood on a chair informing the crowd that she didn’t feel safe bringing us into an enclosed space given the circumstances the lights cut out and there was a palpable ripple of fear that passed through the room until the bulbs flickered back on.

Earlier this week, the national news reported a swastika that appeared on a Brooklyn Heights brownstone. A few days before that, international news covered the mass murder at a Pittsburgh synagogue. It was a sickening experience to come to a political event like this and be confronted with the newly dried ink of this hateful rhetoric.

This time the violence wasn’t ‘on the news’ — it was on the wall and it was truly chilling.

Follow the Generator Collective here.

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