We must condemn racism, whether invisible or overt, before it becomes normalized in our communities
You would like to think that these reports of racial-based graffiti can’t happen in your town. When they do, it’s terrifying.
In my hometown of Monona, Wisconsin, incidents of graffiti came to the attention of some residents who went to a small playground in the community of under 8,000.
From the social media site Nextdoor, an eyewitness account:
Someone has tagged a bunch of swastika's and "Trump" signs with a sharpie in multiple locations on the nice playground gear in Oneida Park. Pretty sad seeing our children play here. When my son told me about it, I went and tried to clean it off but the product I was using wasn't the right tool for the job. Might go back later with a stronger cleaner. Please keep an eye out. Anybody know who you'd report this to for proper cleanup?I myself, living not far from where the incidents in question happened, had to see it with my own eyes to believe it. By the time I had arrived, some of the images had been removed by the City of Monona. But some remained in place…
It is disturbing to see this imagery, especially in light of the election this past week. White supremacy, whether the pundits will acknowledge it or not, played a big role in the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. And it’s not just something that’s apparent in certain areas -- it’s in local communities, even in liberal Dane County.
This type of blatant hate speech troubles me. It also redoubles my belief that a true and honest discussion on race needs to happen in this country, as well as locally. We cannot continue to ignore the signs of racial strife, and these visible examples of racial hatred, that keep making themselves seen. But we also cannot ignore the invisible parts of society where this hatred is also happening.
Let us not close our eyes and look the other way. Let’s engage each other, and find solutions to problem of institutional racism. And let’s condemn behavior that normalizes bias and racial discrimination.
UPDATE: Several reports indicate that some of the graffiti may have been anti-Trump as well. That is equally disturbing. The swastika emblem shouldn't be used in either event; it is an image of hate that shouldn't be tolerated in this community or elsewhere.