We live in the bluest part of a blue state. We don’t even see many Confederate flags here, unless we drive 20 miles west or south. So we were very surprised today as we drove by a local church to see vandalism on every display facing the street.
Another photographer was there, and we stopped also to capture this vandalism. Here are some close-ups.
The photographer was accompanied by a reporter from a local TV station, who told us that the Jewish Community Center a few miles west was also vandalized. Here, the hateful messaging was covered but not completely invisible.
Here, almost every wall was defaced, even the wall protecting the children’s play yard.
The vandalism was covered this evening by the local TV news station.
I tried to make sense of this. The church’s website says that it celebrates “diversity, independent thought, and faithful action.” The community center’s website says “We welcome individuals of all ages, abilities, ethnicities, faiths, and backgrounds.” How do the spray-painted judgments relate to those strongly-held beliefs?
Was this an act of cowardice covered by darkness? No, because last night was illuminated by a full moon. Was this insanity caused by a full moon? No, that myth has been disproven. This was a hate crime, pure and simple. In this bluest-of-blue places, intolerant hate has shown its evil face.
And if this is happening in this bluest-of-blue places, what is happening in the rest of the country?
Addendum: This crime happened early Tuesday morning, on the first night of Passover. On Wednesday, the community came together to clean away the graffiti. On Thursday, the police announced that they had arrested a 20-year-old white male, who is a self-proclaimed member of the Aryan Underground, based on surveillance video, his Twitter account, and evidence found at his residence.