Vandals attack truck

Editorial: After some thought, I decided that the title was poorly chosen. So I changed it. In looking at this posting and asking if there is anything else that needs changing, the answer is no. I was writing about my gut feelings, thought processes and opinions and they are what they are. And I’d be almost lying if I changed it and if it didn’t reflect my complex and contradicting personality.

Originally uploaded by In Shaw

When I saw this a week or more ago I was angry. The truck belongs to the neighborhood handyman, a nice fellow, good AfrAm businessman, and great neighbor. So some punks coming in and defacing the property of this all around good guy is just wrong. Letting the incident stew in my mind for a while I have come up with two thoughts on the matter:
Thought 1- Stupid White Kids
Okay kids, when you go around in transitional neighborhoods, randomly attacking property you stand a good chance attacking the property of minorities. Of course, you really shouldn’t be attacking any one’s property but your own. Since the most famous of you vandals is some suburban white kid from Potomac, when I see a certain type of graffiti, I immediately think that it’s another self-hating angry white young man who wants to take out his frustrations with life out on a city with no representation in Congress. Instead of attacking the city, where you don’t live, to strike back at the white middle class or upper class establishment from which you sprang from, go to the established white mid-class neighborhood and launch a less destructive protest there. Unless it is that you hate diversity, small businesses, and a disfranchised citizenry’s efforts to make one’s neighborhood a better place.
Thought 2- Stupid Kids, can’t stand to see someone else succeed
There is the possibility that the perps were Black.
There are those of us who can’t stand to see someone else get ahead and succeed. Shame, shame, shame. What you should be doing is spending more time trying to improve yourself than running around marking up stuff.

14 thoughts on “Vandals attack truck”

  1. normally i love your blog but the assumption that the perpetrators of this were white is pretty unreasonable Mari. Unwarranted racial profiling is never helpful; why not just be angry at *people* who would do this regardless of race.

    And by the way whoever did it almost certainly had no idea of the race of this businessman, because I’ve seen those stupid tags all over the city on a wide variety of businesses and homes.

    -2nd st

  2. Note thought #2. Of course I didn’t think of other minority groups.
    The neighborhood has had a spike in graffiti as of late, gang and non-gang. The problem is the city is a little slower on dealing with the non-gang stuff.

    And lastly, although I don’t express it a lot, race does play a part in how I see somethings. Many times I can set it aside, and many times it is a non-issue, but in this case I viewed it and reacted to it as a racial and class issue, and I am expressing it as such. Letting it stew for a while I did entertain that it might have been done by my own people, thus Thought #2.
    Also agreement with me is not a requirement.

  3. I was at a CORE meeting this past week with Fenty’s men, Joe Martin and Sean Howard, and a bunch of other City officials at the Kennedy Rec Center and there is some effort being talked about that would give every day citizens vouchers to go to their nearest paint store and buy the paint to cover up graffiti instead of sitting on our back ends complaining about it or staring at it everyday with our thumbs up our noses praying it will go away.

    The City is very slow. Let’s not beat that horse: It’s been dead for a long time and we shouldn’t harm the maggots. The taggers are very busy and fast, but there are more far more residents who care about getting rid of the tags than there are taggers. Call Sean and Joe and tell them to push this initiative forward to give us the upper hand that we need.

    Joe: 2/442-9509
    Sean: 2/442-8151

  4. hey mari– could you please post the contact number for the handyman? I didn’t knpwo about this guy and I’d love to hire him for some jobs this summer.

  5. I think it’s great that you’re honest in expressing your thoughts here, Mari. I don’t think taggers put much thought into who owns what when they’re leaving their marks, though.

    FSG – Most (all?) paint stores, and Home Depot, will sell paint that they’ve mixed but that customers didn’t accept for a huge discount (usually $5). I keep a few colors in an attempt to match the surfaces on which the taggers usually leave their mark: maroon/brown, green and gray. Home Depot usually has a pretty good aray of unwanted colors at their paint counter.

  6. I have to agree with Mari in that I jump to the same conclusion when I see these tags, except that I’d add “well-off” to the descriptor. And I’m white. And we have Borf to thank for that assumption. Funny how he didn’t practice his hobby in his own backyard (McLean/Great Falls)….

    Bloomingdale chick

  7. Email me (mari at inshaw dot com)for handyman’s contact info and I can tell what kinds of jobs are his best range. However, a lot of contractors already have their plates full in the Spring and Summer months, but he can better tell you what the deal is.
    As far as painting over the tags is that I’ve seen walls that have been painted over only to get tagged again a week or two later. I don’t blame the City for repeat attack, the city didn’t tag my hood. But golly, when a wall gets attacked over and over, it just makes me angry.

  8. I’ve seen this magic/tragic graffiti all over, I don’t think they’re targeting anything other than everything.

    Also, if you see it, please report it to the city’s service request center!

  9. Must be infuriating when you know the property owner (businessman) while the taggers just dart and run away. There was a long article on [the spoiled rich white tagger from the suburb] in the Dupont Current this week.

    Thought: does anyone really need to buy spray paint and markers except vandals?

  10. No matter what the background is of the vandal/litterer/illegal dumper/public urinater or worse, they’re all assholes.

    Thanks for the rant. I needed that.

  11. this brings up something that i’ve talked about with a few people…treating spray paint like sudafed.

    now, 99% of the people who go to a drugstore to buy sudafed do so for legitimate reasons. but, since it’s used in meth production, stores have put it under lock-and-key now so that you have to go to extra lengths to get your hands on it.

    should we be asking to have the same done with spray paint? would it be reasonable to ask that no one under the age of 18 be able to buy spray paint without a guardian present? what are people’s thoughts on this?

  12. I would prefer that the government limit itself to life and death restrictions. The problem with Crystal Meth is it can make your house super-flammable, and there are some other health risks.
    I’m thinking of some cool things to make the basement nice when I renovate that and those plans include spray paint. It seems to dry quicker than latex, and is less droopy.

  13. because of my age i wasnt able to buy spray paint in the 70s and early 80’s in my hometown in New Jersey.

    even then i understood why……

    also marie, dont use spray paint in your house…….

    call me/ email me.. if you have questions. i know paint.


  14. i agree that meth is a bigger health threat than graffiti up front, but isn’t there something you can say about graffiti leading to a lot of other societal ills? (i realize i’m sliding down that slippery slope pretty quickly here!) the whole broken windows theory and all. anyway, i just remember that when i was under 18, i remember thinking that life was unfair when there were things i couldn’t do that i just wanted to, but i came to realize that when you’re a minor, you just don’t have the rights of an adult, and to expect them is to just disappoint yourself all the more.

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