News

Hate-crime vandal wanted by Palo Alto police

Building, vehicle vandalized in early May

Palo Alto police are seeking the perpetrator of a pair of hate crimes after a dental office and a car were spray painted with racial and ethnic slurs on May 2 or 3.

The two incidents occurred in the 900 block of High Street between Channing and Homer avenues. An employee at the dental building called police after discovering a racial slur and a cuss word on a window and an outside wall, Sgt. Sal Madrigal said. The incident is believed to have occurred between May 2 at 11 p.m. and May 3 at 6:45 a.m. No one who works at or owns the business is of the targeted race, he said.

An officer investigating the crime discovered that a white Dodge van parked in a lot in the same block had been sprayed with an orange swastika and an upside-down question mark. That incident is believed to have occurred between May 2 at 6 p.m. and May 3 at 6:45 a.m., Madrigal said.

In the first incident, damage is estimated at $100; the vehicle sustained about $300 in damages, he said.

Anyone with information about the crimes is asked to call the 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413, leave an anonymous tip at paloalto@tipnow.org, or by text message or voice mail at 650-383-8984.

Sue Dremann

Comments

Posted by Tea Party rhymes with bigorty, a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on May 8, 2012 at 2:04 pm

Really unfortunate that these "social conservative" groups seem to be growing stronger


Posted by MultiDawg Place, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 8, 2012 at 2:49 pm

from the other thread

Your post indicting the Tea Baggers in this graffiti is without merit, and falsely using association. Just because a couple 'morans' in the South like to paint Hitler mustaches on posters of Obama doesn't mean a swastika graffiti here has anything to do with the few local Tea Baggers.

There is no Tea Party in PA. There's a couple TP sympathizers posting on PA Online, you know who they are ....

They are neither social, nor conservative.


Posted by daniel, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 8, 2012 at 4:45 pm

There may not be a Tea Party in Palo Alto but there are plenty of teabaggers here. In other parts of the state and the country they consistently express racial hatred so why not in Palo Alto. There more than a couple of the GOP extreme right wing sympathizers who post right here so there's no reason to think that Palo Alto is immune from hate crimes.


Posted by Hmmm, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 8, 2012 at 5:27 pm

daniel - this is interesting to me that the graffiti's being treated as a hate crime. I understand why, but it seems over the top in some ways, because I suspect it's deliberately dramatic, nasty & attention-seeking graffiti. I also have to say that some of the most racist people in your town that I've met through the years identify, as I do, as liberal. Of course, they don't also identify as racist, but I've witnessed their racially based biased behavior. I think it's another indication of the increased elitism as well as increased disparities in lifestyle, culture & income that I've seen come about in this area.

I'm betting, in typical PA fashion, that this was the work of obnoxious young people. They did the same when I was in high school & I've seen it throughout the years. I hope it's young people, as well, because then the behavior is more likely to be correctable.


Posted by Mark, a resident of University South
on May 8, 2012 at 11:41 pm

Isn't the Jewish Family & Children's Services office right on that block too?


Posted by This Guy, a resident of Downtown North
on May 9, 2012 at 8:57 am

It is probably just some punk kid laughing at the attention he is getting for doing something stupid, leave it to the media and old coots to project their politics into every little story


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2012 at 9:07 am

@ MultiDawg Place, Daniel...

Why do you feel the need to slur those people who join in those Tea Party protests and insinuate that they are "racists?" Why do you feel to resort to calling them "teabaggers" (a sexual reference) or "right wing extremists?"

It is absolutely ridiculous to slur a group or describe them as "extremists" when there is just nothing to substantiate claims that they are "racist" or even "extreme" simply because they don't embrace your own political or social views.

You don't have to agree with their beliefs or goals, but you should refrain from making incredibly incendiary comments about them. And, of course, you shouldn't "make up" a list of their beliefs and hope that others believe that it is true.

Disclaimer: I am not a member of any "Tea Party" nor have I ever attended a Tea Party protest/rally. Still, it isn't wise to mock, ridicule or vilify a group that someone knows so little about except from what they gather from groups that spread anti-Tea Party rhetoric.

That said...

This is a nasty crime. I hope that they catch the thugs who did this and force them to make emotional and monetary reparations as part of a prison sentence.


Posted by MultiDawg Place, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2012 at 9:32 am

Nayali asked "Why do you feel to resort to calling them "teabaggers"?

The tea baggers brought it on themselves by calling themselves tea baggers.

Apparently, they didn't get out much.

You can use google for photos of the protests where they wore tea bags on their heads, hanging from their ears, etc.. More chronology:

*** Feb. 27, 2009
At the first anti-stimulus "New American Tea Party" rally in Washington D.C., a protestor carries a sign reading "Tea Bag the Liberal Dems before they Tea Bag You!!" The Washington Independent's David Weigel calls it "the best sign I saw."

*** March 2
Americans for Prosperity, an anti-tax group, is one of the first Tea Party organizations to advocate sending tea bags to elected officials to protest the stimulus package. Several other lobby groups follow suit.

*** April 1
Several Tea Party protest sites encourage readers to "Tea bag the fools in DC." Jay Nordlinger at National Review Online later admits: "Conservatives started [using the term]... but others ran and ran with it."

And on and on, until someone came up to them, whispered something into their ear, they finally Googled the slang term "teabag", turned beet red, paused and reconsidered with a broad sexy grin on their faces, finally shook their heads no, and...... then, Freedomworks and AFP and all the big oil backed groups took over the tea party, brought in marketing consultants and subverted most of the 'movement' into an astroturf operation. Want links to the Koch Brothers money trail?

re: "but you should refrain from making incredibly incendiary comments "

Whaaaaa....?!?!? I didn't. All I referred to was refer to the incendiary things the tea baggers do Web Link or you can google Obama Hitler moustache and click image.

As far as morons within the tea party go, this tea bagger has been a long time hero to the normal folks Web Link

Besides, Nayali, you treat the phrase as a NEGATIVE sexual reference.

Why? maybe in stuck-up Midtown, but over here, among certain folk.... nah, there's someone in midtown doing it too, I'm sure of that.




Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2012 at 9:50 am

@ MultiDawg Place:

There is a difference from using "tea bags" as a reference to the Boston Tea Party (1773) and using it as a slur as many people have been doing. They call themselves the TEA PARTY and not "teabaggers" (which invokes sexual innuendo).

As for the incendiary comments: You are incorrectly linking the members of the Tea Party (or their supporters) with the hate speech that you mention. You have no evidence that those individuals are responsible for hate speech, Hitler moustaches, etc...

And, of course, you are demonstrating a great amount of audacious condescending behavior by calling referring to them as "morons."

I couldn't care less about whether the imagery is "positive" or "negative." I just oppose the fact that you and others are using it as a slur/smear and invoke the sexual imagery that such a word produces.

Please don't call me or stereotype others as "stuck up" either. Since you don't know me, the size of our bank account, or how we treat those around us, you shouldn't make such a bold, inflammatory claim.

You don't have to agree with those people. However, you shouldn't stereotype, demonize or vilify them either. It is almost as supercilious as those who stereotype racial and ethnic minorities based upon the actions of a few thugs.


Posted by Jared Bernstein, a resident of Professorville
on May 9, 2012 at 10:24 am

"a cuss word"? Who writes this stuff?


Posted by MultiDawg Place, a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 9, 2012 at 10:57 am

Nayali:

I offered you the history of the tea bag protests, complete with specifics such as "Tea bag the fools in DC." Bummer that you are offended at the facts. Want more facts?

I offered you a classic example of the morons within the tea bag community (don't worry, there are morons within every community, even in Midtown and here in the hood) it's just that this tea bagger MORAN is a well known internet legend: Web Link

As for your condescending, supercilious argument that we neither know about the tea bag party (one of the most documented and overreported parts of the conservative movement in the last 3 year) or that they haven't gone overboard on the racial or hate speech, you are living in a fantasy world (aided by Fox.)

Just google: tea party hate speech

But we know you won't.

As far as 'stuck up' and bagging, I wasn't referring to your size.

Of your bank account or house. I've found that bank account size has less to do with the frequency or enjoyment of the act.


Posted by Silly, a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on May 9, 2012 at 11:01 am

The teabaggers should be called worse for the way they conducted themselves at the health care town halls. They acted like thugs, screaming other people down.

Ignorant thugs who can't reason logically, discuss issues rationally or tolerate differences of opinion.

Now they're forcing the GOP to march in lockstep with them. Such a shame.

And unAmerican.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2012 at 11:12 am

Nayeli, you are exactly right. The people who speak about the Tea Party and refer to them as bigots, racists and extremists are usually the same people who call for tolerance. They are simply hoping to incite others by their words. I am quite Liberal in most of my views, but I can't stand it when someone acts like this. It gives the rest of us a bad reputation. As far as I can tell, the Tea Party is just a socio-economic movement that calls for greater accountability in government. Even as a Liberal, I can appreciate that even if I disagree with many of their views.


Posted by Jack, a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

By the way, I see more shout downs and disruption at Occupy Wall Street rallies than in Tea Party rallies. Oddly enough, I support many of the goals of the Occupy movement.


Posted by TeaDrinker, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2012 at 11:14 am

If I remember the time-sequence right, the Tea Party group started off by calling themselves Tea Baggers. Then they found out the other meaning / urban slang, associated with it and that their opposition was making fun of this aspect of their name. So, they changed their name. Despite the symbolism that they want to depict, of being associated with the Boston Tea Party and the catchy term, Tea Baggers, they want to be associated even less with the relatively recent association of that name with the sexual meaning.


Posted by Nayeli, a resident of Midtown
on May 9, 2012 at 11:52 am

@ TeaDrinker:

You are incorrect.

These people simply called themselves the "Tea Party" and sent tea bags to Congress as a statement of protest about poor representation in regard to taxation and spending.

According to the Washington Post, one individual who was interviewed inadvertently and unwittingly describing the "tea bag" as a verb. However, some pundits knew the street meaning of the verb (and the sexual innuendo associated with it) and turned it into a slur.

Still, this has NOTHING to do with this topic. Members of the Tea Party was not involved in this crime and it is ridiculous to bring them up in such an article.

Unfortunately, there is a push by some to suggest that the Tea Party is racially motivated. This stereotype is as ridiculous as it is misguided.

It is sad that individuals have to resort to silly name-calling or slurs in their attempt to paint anyone who disagrees with their views as "extremists." Since 42% of Americans refer to themselves as ideological Conservatives (versus 20% who refer to themselves as ideological Liberals), this is quite a stretch and may only serve to strengthen the "unction" of their cause.

You can disagree with someone politically or ideologically without resorting to name-calling, "straw man" generalizations or false stereotypes.

This article is about a group of THUGS who committed a crime. It has nothing to do with Liberals, Conservatives or any other political persuasion.


Posted by Sarah, a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 9, 2012 at 11:58 am

I say it's just kids.


Posted by litebug, a resident of another community
on May 9, 2012 at 12:18 pm

It is true that originally they called themselves "tea baggers" then changed once they learned there was another definition for that phrase.

When those on the right stop calling it the "Democrat Party" instead of the "Democratic Party" I will stop calling them "Rethugs" and "Tea Baggers".


Posted by Diogenes, a resident of Addison School
on May 9, 2012 at 12:23 pm

The original commenter did not mention or hint at "the Tea Party". The comment spoke only of "social conservatives" and that is how the Nazis, the real ones, and some today describe themselves. A swastika, the Nazi symbol, was used. The original comment was historically accurate.
It was the follow up commenters, not the original one, who associated the original comment with the Tea Party. Who, then, is biased? It appears to me to be the follow up commenters.
This is parallel to the episode during Bush I where Calvin Trillin wrote an article proposing a Constitutional Amendment making it a requirement that the President and Vice President show that they had achieved an academic average of B- or better during college. Conservatives were outraged and protested that it was an attack on Vice President Dan Quayle. But Trillin had never mentioned or hinted at Quayle in his article. Trillin could not have made the point better.


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