Is Donald Trump emboldening hate in this Liberal County
Marin County is a liberal enclave – often considered one of the most liberal counties in the U.S.A. When I see a Trump sticker on a vehicle – and there have been very few – I think that the car cannot be from Marin: “Surely a drive through!” Surely not a soul in this conscious and loving county could even be contemplating the likes of that racist bigot, anti immigrant, homophobe, Trump – not MY town! And suddenly a swastika and racist, antisemitic graffiti, reminiscent of Trump supporters, appears on the walls of a San Anselmo high school a mere two blocks from where I live.
Here is the Marin IJ report:
Central Marin police are investigating a spate of graffiti at Sir Francis Drake High School as a hate crime.
The graffiti at the San Anselmo school included a swastika and references to so-called “white power” painted on a building, said Central Marin police Cpl. Ryan Suhrke.
“We don’t have any definitive suspects at this point, so we are really looking for the public’s help on this one,” Suhrke said.
He said the vandalism occurred overnight between May 17 and 18 and was reported by the school staff last Wednesday morning.
The graffiti were painted on the side of a building on school grounds away from the main section of the school near the creek bed, Suhrke said.
“There were Nazi swastikas and the words, ‘white power,’” Suhrke said. “There was white supremacist rhetoric.”
Superintendent David Yoshihara said the markings were painted over immediately.
Suhrke said, “We don’t have any specific safety concerns with the school at this point, but we are investigating it as a hate crime.”
Although the graffiti contained no specific threats, the Central Marin Police Authority, as a precaution, has assigned its school resource officer and juvenile detective to spend longer hours on campus.
In an email sent to the Drake High community on Friday, Principal Liz Seabury said administrators are “treating this incident as hate-motivated behavior and if a student from Drake is involved, we will consider discipline options to the full extent possible, up to and including expulsion.”
Seabury added, “Behavior motivated by hate and prejudice that targets even one student on our campus or in our community wounds us all and is an affront to what we stand for …
“This incident caused our community to be the target of a hateful barrage of symbols and words intended to intimidate and cause fear. We will not stand for that.”
Anyone with potential information about the source of the graffiti is asked to call the Central Marin Police Authority at 415-927-5150.
It is absolutely horrific for me to think that someone with “white supremacy” or Nazi symbols on their mind could be in such close proximity – is this an out-of-towner or a miscreant wayward local?
And so we cannot forget this – Marin County, albeit liberal, is not without its problems. The most noticeable of which is the lack of diversity. This was clearly evidenced by the excuse Principle Seabury put out when another incident occurred at the school back last October:
In October, a student-created haunted house at Drake High was closed after complaints that part of the display — a doll with a black head and a white body hanging from a rope — was racially offensive. At the time, Seabury characterized the incident as an issue “not one of malicious intent but rather a lack of cultural awareness and understanding of historical context.”
Perhaps it is time for Marin to take a good hard look at itself. Is this the TRUMP AFFECT hitting our neighborhoods? Emboldening the hidden racists and bigots? Is this a failure to nurture diversity? Are parents and teachers failing our kids? Is there more to it?
Surely, to counter this, we must invite diversity into our community so we dont need to make excuses about “lack of cultural awareness”. What we say is not enough – it is also what we do that creates the lasting impact. How can we be seen to be liberals and not live accordingly? How can you make a difference to the lack of cultural awareness? As a parent? As a teacher, and as a member of this community? Let us not turn our backs and rather open our eyes wide to thwarting the ignorance and the hate in our midst, no matter how remote it may seem. We cannot tolerate even one seemingly tiny incident without taking a productive stand against it.