Read a Pacific Northwest, liberal perspective on world, national, and local politics. From majestic Redmond, Washington - the Northwest Progressive Institute Advocate.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Racist graffiti story too close to home

A friend recently sent me a news clipping about something that happened not in the deep south of the United States, but in Vancouver, the largest city in southwest Washington (and the seat of Clark County), home to nearly 160,000 people.

I lived in this town for some time and part of me is not surprised - but it's shameful. I have a friend who lives there now who often tells me about the people with barely-drivable cars that are festooned with right wing bumper stickers.

Here's a sketch of what happened from The Columbian:
Someone scratched the words "White Power" on a car belonging to a Vancouver family who recently posted an "Elect Obama" sign in their front yard. On Sunday, Frank Wastradowski, who lives northeast of Southwest Washington Medical Center, noticed the vandalism on the side of his wife’s 1993 Plymouth. The letters, likely scratched with a key, were about 8 inches tall.

"It’s a hate crime and it’s time we get past racism," he said. Wastradowski said he won’t take the sign down, adding, "That’s my freedom of speech." Since he doesn’t like the idea of driving around with a white supremacist slogan on the car, he plans to speak with his insurance agent about having the damage repaired.
My husband also heard about this on AM 1090, our local Air America station.

This story reminds us that we need to pick up and continue where we left off with the civil rights movement decades ago.

That work may never be finished.

As Martin Luther King, Jr. famously said in his Letter from Birmingham Jail (PDF), "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere."


Blogger Phil said...

OK, DiAnne, I'll supply the Bush bumperstickers, you supply the car.

We'll park it on Broadway, or just off NE 45th St in the U, or even an arterial in Wallingford or Fremont and see how long the paint stays unscratched, the tires stay inflated and the windows unbroken.

Sound like a deal? You want to put your money where your victimhood is or are you just whining to hear yourself?

July 29, 2008 9:13 AM  

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