Swastika spray painted on toy store

Offensive graffiti and vandalism on the rise

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On Jan. 4, multiple reports were made concerning a red swastika spray painted on the side of Toys ‘R’ Us, located near Valley River Center. On Jan. 8, only hours after the Trump administration made known their plans to end temporary protection status for citizens of El Salvador, reports concerning graffiti representing anti-immigration sentiments were received by University of Oregon Police Department.

These incidents come only weeks after The Oregonian ran a front page news story detailing an underbelly of white supremacist groups in Lane County. The article states that over 60 hate crimes were reported within the county in 2017, 20 percent of these crimes were either vandalism or graffiti.

The 2016 Clery report, which requires schools to provide up-to-date crime statistics, makes no mention of hate crimes. Mary Meier, resource director for Lane Community College’s student government, says that they are aware of any formal reports of hate crimes taking place on any LCC campus.

“There’s been hearsay, but no official reports made,” Meier said. “There’s tons of reasons people stay silent in cases like this. People are afraid they won’t be taken seriously.”

Lane’s Public Safety Office refused to comment.