On the morning of Sept. 11, 2021, while Americans across the country woke to the 20-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on our country, I was on my knees scrubbing off a bright yellow swastika stenciled onto a fire hydrant adjacent to my home.
That morning, while America mourned the deaths of 3,000 people by the hands of terrorists, I was reminded of the 6 million people exterminated under the banner of Nazi Germany’s swastika.
Some might dismiss a 5-inch-square stencil of a swastika as an attention-getting prank, something done in bad taste and easily overlooked, but I see it differently. Hate begins with a seed and when we ignore it, that seed swells. Soon it becomes the norm, accepted and emboldened by silent complicity.
The stenciled swastikas showing up around town are the seeds of hate, a taunt that the hateful ideology of white supremacy lurks in the corners of our community. Please stand with me in denouncing these vile displays of white supremacy/neo-Nazism in Corvallis. Our community is better than this.