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Mayor condemns hate graffiti

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GRAFFITI

Danny Demers, 12, paints the back of a garage Sunday to help clean up graffiti that had been sprayed earlier in the week.

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler has condemned recent incidents of hate graffiti and thanked the community members who helped clean it up this weekend.

“I am proud to be Lincoln’s mayor. In our community, we respect each other. We welcome all people. We stand up for one another," Beutler said in a news release.

“That’s why I condemn the recent incidents of hate graffiti including swastikas, lewd language, racial slurs and anti-LGBT messages."

Particularly troubling, Beutler said, was the neo-Nazi graffiti painted at the Veterans Memorial Garden in Antelope Park one day before the dedicating of a monument honoring Gold Star families, who lost loved ones in the military.

“These neo-Nazi symbols were found on the monument to those who fought in World War II against the racial and ethnic terror represented by the Nazis. It is as if the perpetrators didn’t understand that the Nazis exterminated 6 million Jewish people, or that 40 million others died during World War II as a result of their twisted dreams of a master race dominating the world," Beutler said.

Beutler also thanked citizens who helped clean up targeted properties in the East Campus neighborhood. "And I know my fellow residents join me in declaring that this community has no tolerance for any form of hate speech," he said.

Among the graffiti was an anti-gay message painted on the garage of a woman and her wife, who is transgender.

“It is unacceptable that some would use these symbols today to send messages of hate to our fellow residents," Beutler said. "They tell our immigrant families that they aren’t welcome. They intimidate our gay, lesbian, and transgender neighbors. They say to our people of color that they aren’t equal.

“Our fellow citizens need to know that we stand with them, and that the America we believe in values justice, brotherhood and unity, not hate, racism and division."

In signing the Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry, Beutler said he pledged to do all he can to rebuke hate and promote peace in our City.

The City Council recently passed a resolution rejecting racism, bigotry or hate toward any group in the community.

"Please join us in standing up for the very values for which many valiant men and women fought and died by condemning these expressions of hate and bigotry,” Beutler said.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com

On Twitter @LJSNancyHicks.

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Nancy Hicks reports on Lincoln city government, but she’s been following the leaders of local and state government for more than 40 years.

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