Miami Gardens community, religious leaders praise good Samaritan for painting over anti-Semitic graffiti – WSVN 7News | Miami News, Weather, Sports

MIAMI GARDENS, FLA. (WSVN) – Anti-Semitic and racist graffiti has become a worrying trend across South Florida. Now religious and community leaders are addressing the problem.

Anthony Barroso was commended Tuesday by his alma mater, St. Thomas University, as well as local leaders for speaking out against anti-Semitism last week.

“When we see our students and alumni exemplifying ethical leadership, we want to celebrate because it makes our world a better place,” said David Armstrong, president of St. Thomas University.

In Southwest Miami-Dade last week, Barroso noticed a hateful message that was sprayed on a fence on his way to work. Instead of just driving past it, he decided to do something about it. He went back to lunch with some paint.

“Not only was he a good Samaritan, but his act fought against an act of hatred,” said Rodney Harris, mayor of Miami Gardens.

At that moment last week, Barroso would never have thought that a simple act of painting through hateful language would get so much attention and recognition. He said he followed his upbringing and belief in doing something that he knew was right for his neighborhood.

“It should be ordinary. I don’t think it should be anything out of the ordinary, and while it’s very much appreciated, it definitely wasn’t something I set out to do. At the end of the day, about a week ago, I saw graffiti at my house that I couldn’t take to know what was going to be there. “

There have been several incidents over the past month where vandals marked several locations in South Florida with hateful speech to various groups.

“Hatred and bigotry cannot be tolerated. Not here in Miami Gardens, not here in Miami-Dade County, and not here in the US, ”Harris said.

“We have to be able to share our community, we have to be able to coexist with one another and enable each other to keep getting better,” said Barroso.

A community that often feels divided but can be reunited with a small act of kindness and compassion.

“We should be the examples we want to see in our own community. I think we should all strive for that, ”said Barroso.

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