National media outlets have picked up the story and several photos have been shared showing the subway riders cleaning up the offensive messages with napkins.
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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited a separate incident on a different subway in which someone turned a spray-painted swastika into a message of love.
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Cuomo released a statement: "This is what New Yorkers do: We turn hate into love. That is our message to the nation and to the world. And we won't back down – not now, not ever."