Like many, I was angered and outraged to read that Frank Wastradowski’s 1993 Plymouth Sundance was vandalized with the words “White Power” etched into the paint. Mr. Wastradowski is an Obama supporter and proudly displays his choice in his yard.
Vandalism is a crime and no one should be vandalized because they exercise their freedom of speech and support the candidate of their choice.
Mr. Wastradowski and some others see this is a “Hate Crime,” which I feel is going a little too far. It appears more like kids to me who think this type of misconduct is “kicks.” That doesn’t excuse this crime or justify it, not by any means. But really, a “Hate Crime?”
Merriam Webster’s Dictionary defines Hate Crime as,
“any of various crimes (as assault or defacement of property) when motivated by hostility to the victim as a member of a group (as one based on color, creed, gender, or sexual orientation)”
It is unknown so far just who did this wanton act of vandalism, but it has all the marks of stupid kids who think damaging others property is “fun and kicks.” I really can’t see Supremacist groups, who try to maintain a low profile, vandalizing one White person over their support for Obama and leaving hundreds of others alone.
During the 2004 campaign season, I supported President Bush and also exercised my free speech by placing signs in my yard. They were stolen a few times, as all Bush signs were on my street one night. Paint balls were shot at my house. My American Flag was stolen. Kerry signs were placed in my yard to replace my Bush signs. One Halloween, two adult “trick or treaters,” with a child, drove up in front of my home and came to the door. I thought it a bit strange for adults to be in costume with a child and also asking for candy, but the world is strange today. As I gave the trio some candy, one of the adults thrust Kerry campaign literature into my hand and ran off.
Once, when I proudly displayed my Bush ’04 sticker on the back of my truck, as I was stopped at a stop light, a motorist pulled alongside in the right turn lane, rolled down the window of is car and spat on my truck, then hurriedly turned right.
Every time I complained about any of the incidents above, I was told it was just kids, don’t worry about it. No one cried it was a “Hate Crime” because I supported Bush, no matter how much it upset me.
This past April, the Columbian reported on the case of Christopher Reinhold, the son of a Battle Grounds Deputy Mayor, charged with sending racist e-mail messages about city councilman Paul Zandamela, a Black Man.
No one seemed to cry “Hate Crime” in this incident, which I feel would be closer to the definition than the despicable act of vandalism done to Mr. Wastradowski’s car.
I can’t blame him for being angry and upset. I was too when what I listed above happened to me. I even wrote a letter to the editors at the Columbian about the acts, which did not get printed, for whatever reason. No big deal, though, it got it off my chest.
No one cried “hate crime” when American flags were burned on top of Veterans graves last Memorial Day on Orcas Island last year. No one cried “hate crime” as Veterans Memorials were being vandalized across the country in the past years. No one has cried “hate crime” as President Bush has been belittled and defamed in all imagineable ways. Only when some disagreeable act happens to an Obama supporter do we hear the cry now.
Tim Probst, Democrat running for the representative of the 17th District says,
“If someone scratches ‘white power’ on a car, it’s important that we send a message as a whole that our community doesn’t accept racism.”
Mr. Probst, our community doesn’t accept racism, or wanton vandalism. Democrat or Republican, it is unacceptable. Playing the race card for political points should be just as unacceptable, but it doesn’t appear to be so today.
Since Barack Obama has become the Democrat Parties presumptuous nominee, we have seen an increase in cries of racism, just for opposing or questioning his stance on the issues. Now, do the cries of racism extend to supporters if some kids pull bonehead stunts as keying their car?
Blowing it further out of proportion, Chris Bassett said,
“Obviously, there is an element in Clark County that feels it’s OK to do these things. [The Wastradowski’s] were just expressing themselves and the vandals were trying to intimidate them into silence. And that’s very troubling.”
As said earlier, this act of vandalism deserves to be punished, if they hopefully find out who did it. I sincerely hope they do find them and make them atone to Mr. Wastradowski for the damage to his car, even if already repaired.
Bassett, a Clark County Democrat, has in the meantime, issued a call for donations to help the Wastradowski’s have their car repaired through emails to other Democrats. So far, according to the Columbian, $200 of the expected $2,000 has been raised.
I sympathize with the Wastradowski’s and sincerely hope their car gets repaired. But please, don’t we have enough problems coming together as people without crying “Hate Crime” and “racism” every time something unpleasant will happen to an Obama supporter or someone questions Obama’s values or stand on the issues?