What happened?Last week there was some Nazi and racist graffiti put up around in various locations in my county in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. Here is one example. Another had a big swastika and the words “I kill n***ers.” Fortunately we have a lot of great people here, and a go-fund-me collection was taken up to offer a $5000 reward to find out who the guilty party is. I don’t think they’ve arrested anyone yet and I don’t even know if the police have any suspects. Sadly, the police are treating this as a “unlawful mischief” case. WTF? This is a hate crime. Vermont state statute specifies a crime is considered a hate crime if “conduct is maliciously motivated by the victim’s actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, ancestry, age, service in the U.S. Armed Forces, disability as defined by 21 V.S.A. § 495d(5), sexual orientation, or gender identity.” I contacted the ACLU in Vermont and they said it would be a waste of time trying to contact anyone about having this declared a hate crime because it wasn’t painted on a synagogue or mosque. WTF2? So instead, I am making my own anti-racist street art all over town.
What you can do nextI’m working on a big anti-racist yarn bombing project for my county. I went around my town and hung up anti-racist posters on all of the public bulletin boards. I also ordered sidewalk chalk and I am going to do some of my own (non-permanent and non-illegal?) anti-racist graffiti. But my big project is this yarn banner. I have found several local knitters to help out with it. Now I need to get the yarn.
If you want to help, you can chip in for the yarn by sending a PayPal payment to me here: https://www.paypal.me/SheeptoShawl If I need any more knitters, I’ll let you know soon. I’m hoping I can get enough local helpers but if that doesn’t happen, I will be recruiting helpers from amongst my friends, followers, and fans! (My BFFFFs.) If you want to hang up anti-racist signs in your own town, here’s a PDF of some that I made up. Thanks!