Forget the Smithsonian or Library of Congress. The latest news from D.C. libraries stems from a neighborhood Little Free Library that opened in early 2017 — just after the inauguration — and was dedicated to the former first lady Michelle Obama. Now, The Washington Post reports the Little Free Library honoring Obama was vandalized with Trump's name.
Education and literacy have long been important to the former first lady, and she was honored with a plaque on the front of the Little Free Library, which was painted white and located in Dupont Circle, not far from the White House. "In Honor of Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama," the plaque read. "Lawyer, writer, and First Lady of the United States."
About a year after it's creation, the library was vandalized. The most recent attack was earlier in November, The Post reported, when Obama's name was crossed out and Trump's was written in using black marker.
"Who would do that?" Maureen Dolan-Galaviz, who put up the library, told The Post for a local feature on the library and what it had suffered. "If there is one thing that should be off limits it’s the idea that we all deserve access to books," she said.
This is just the latest of many attacks by vandals. The plaque was removed, the window in the door to the library was broken, and a photo of Obama that was added was also removed. Decorations for Election Day were also taken off. The library is among the 6 percent of Little Free Libraries that are seriously vandalized, the non-profit behind the library movement told The Post.
This is one example of pro-Trump vandalism that has been reported elsewhere in the country. Some of the first examples occurred during the 2016 election, like when a predominantly black church in Mississippi was set on fire and "Vote Trump" was spray painted on the wall.
During the midterm elections, pro-Democrat signs in Montana were vandalized with the name Trump and "vulgar graffiti" — misogynistic phrases that "assault the limits of human decency." The sign was denounced by representatives of the local Republican party.
More recently a mural in San Francisco was vandalized, with someone painting red Trump "Make America Great Again" hats onto figures that appeared to be protesting family separation and ICE. Another mural dedicated to honoring black and Latino men killed by the police was defaced with Trump's mantra of "#FakeNews" being sprawled onto it.
The Little Free Library's dedication to Obama was not necessarily meant as a political act in the same way that the San Francisco murals were, but Trump's win did play a role in the decision to name the library after the former first lady, The Post reported.
"I think the whole city was reeling from the realization that the Obamas were going to be out," Dolan-Galaviz, who put up the free book exchange, told The Post. "This was a way of saying, ‘We are still here.’ It was a little act of, not rebellion, but standing our ground."
Even in a city like D.C., where the Trump vote was minuscule, there's still the possibility that such moves will be met with vandalism and other reprisals.