06 Feb

Swastika on Beacon Hill

In my neighborhood, within sight of my home, a woman went to dinner last weekend, then came outside to find her car spray-painted with a swastika. And worse still, it was the second similar incident in four days. On Beacon Hill, one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Seattle, how could this be happening? Stupid kids who think it’s funny? Hateful outsiders coming into the neighborhood because they know it’s full of minorities? Or members of one local group full of hate for another? It’s insanity.

I’ve always felt pretty safe in this neighborhood, but in the last year or two it seems to have taken a giant leap backward. The South Seattle Star listed our area as one of the Central and Southeast Seattle neighborhood crime hot spots last issue — “Get your bread, milk and weapons here” — and, despite the folks on the neighborhood e-mail list who want us to shut up about this in order to keep their property values up, I don’t believe we should just watch in silence as the place falls apart. But I don’t know what to do. Some folks are doing a neighborhood watch walk occasionally, which is a start. But I guess I want instant answers, and there certainly aren’t any.

I suppose it’s no coincidence that the crime rate on the Hill went up when the economy in Seattle went down.

3 thoughts on “Swastika on Beacon Hill

  1. Truly shocking. But I wonder, when things polarize, are the diverse communities the first to split? For example, when the Chinese were run out of town, over a century ago, were their non-Chinese neighbors at the head of the mob? Were they hiding? Or were they trying to help out their neighbors? Let’s hope enough of us make the latter choice when crap like this happens.

  2. For what it’s worth, I doubt the vandals were targeting the car’s owner specifically. I bet it was just random. But the problem with something like this is that you don’t know that for sure. It’s frightening.

  3. I also live on Beacon Hill near the “former” South China Sea. You are correct we have crime, but I don’t think BH is any more dangerous. Look at the jewelry store robbery in West Seattle and the recent home invasion in Green Lake. From Ballard to Madrona there is crime. I am white and my spouse is Asian. We personally feel that BH and most all of So. Seattle gets a bad wrap because there are more minorities. I think it’s subtle or unconscious racism but others in Seattle often link crime with race. One of the common questions I get when I tell people I live on BH is “IS the neighborhood safe?” We bought our home in 1999 and I think the area has actually gotten better compared to back then.

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