Friday, March 20, 2009

When the American dream becomes a nightmare.

I live in what can be called a typical American suburb. Middle-class, working families. Couples with no kids, couples with kids, people who work in car dealerships, HVAC repair people, a true cross-section of typical workaday folks. There is rarely any trouble on my block or the surrounding streets near my house. Oh, there were the times when the former next door neighbors got into a big argument, a domestic dispute, and the Sheriff was called out to quell it. Of course, there was the fire that destroyed the home two doors down from me the night before Election Day, but they are rebuilding. So, I gave no thought to the Sheriff's car that passed by my house this morning, taking only a passing mental note of it as it cruised by my home office window.

I went about my morning routine, then got dressed to go out and run some errands. I took my usual route out of my garage, turning up on to the adjacent street, when I glanced off to the left and saw something that made me bring the car to a screeching halt. What prompted this, I have no idea, but its intent was loud and clear:
I don't know these neighbors, though I pass their house almost every day. They live just far enough off my street that we simply don't socialize. It doesn't matter. What happened here was horrific, whether I know them or not. There are however, two interesting things about this "tag."

When I first read it, I thought the word in pink was 'Gay." As I took a second look however, it is very clear that the word that was painted is 'goy," a Yiddish slang word meaning "non-Jew." This is not something that I would have expected, as the town where I live has very few Jews living in it. While Rochester has a decent sized Jewish population, they are mostly in two other different suburban towns, as well as those that live directly in the city. Either the spray painter does not know how to spell correctly, or, they're Jewish, or, they somehow were familiar with the connotation of the word, trying to give the image that it's someone that is Jewish who wrote it.

The other thing is the proper use of hyphenation on the "N" word. They may be racists, but it seems they're educated.

I was shaking with rage after seeing this, and I can only hope that the cops catch the pricks that did this. I am assuming that, for the time being, it was kids being incredibly stupid, looking for some sort of thrill or an initiation rite of some sort. If it turns out that it is adults that did this, then someone is in need of a serious beating. Yes, taking the law into one's own hands and all that, but, there are times when some Bronx-style street justice has its place. These are bullies, and as I learned growing up, reason does not always work with a bully. There are times that you need to punch them in a sensitive spot so they'll think twice about trying something like this again.

I am hoping that the local constabulary does its job and find these pricks. Aside from what civil justice demands, they'll get a good going over both law enforcement and those inside the joint. Sadly, odds are they'll just get a misdemeanor fine or some other slap on the wrist.


Peter said...

I can imagine the sight of this graffiti made you hit the breaks Mr Nighttime.

I'm totally surprised and feel quite uneasy seeing real suburban graffiti, especially since it clearly has a racist intend.

Vandalism-style graffiti is sadly very common in my street, but then again, I live in an historic downtown area where vandalism has become rampant lately.

I frowned when a former friend, blogger and photographer recently posted how she "loved graffiti", obviously unless it ended up on her own door.

I hope the perpetrators somehow get caught soon.

A.D. Sisson said...

This is just wrong. Plain and simple. I, too, hope that the vandals are caught.

Jay said...

That's just nasty. At least round here the racist graffiti is at least decorative - not to make light of the sinister reality, but that is just ugly, in more than one sense of the word.

Those poor people must have felt physically ill, seeing that. I hope they catch the bastards, too.

Bina said...

That makes me so freaking angry. I don't even know what else to say.

I hope to God they catch these people, too. If I lived near there, I would get some neighbors together and make a party out of painting the garage door for them. I mean, they must feel awful about this and what better way to show them not all people feel that way, ya know?

Guyana-Gyal said...

In my high school, when I was about 12 or 13, a little girl was caught writing racist things about the white nuns. Every day she'd leave something scrawled on the black board or on a classroom wall. Made us realise then that racism comes in all colour, against all colour of people. The nuns at my school were so nice, they were really the best.