Sunday, April 16, 2017

Graves of Arizona farm workers vandalized with swastika, racist slurs (gabe Ortiz) · Tuesday, April 11, 2017, 7:34 pm

A historically Latino cemetery that has served as a final resting place for migrant farm workers and military veterans in Avondale, Arizona, was vandalized with a swastika and racist slurs last week, said police and city leaders. One Latino man’s grave was defaced with “wetback,” according to a Spanish-language report from Univision, which has been translated to English below:

The historic Goodyear Farms cemetery, also known as Pioneer Cemetery, was vandalized Friday with anti-immigrant racial slurs and a swastika, according to police. The grave of one Hispanic man appeared to be graffitied with “wetback.”

According to cemetery visitors, this is not the first time it has been vandalized, but never before with racist graffiti. The community said the cemetery serves as a memorial to the agricultural history of Avondale and the sacrifices of the men and women who worked there for generations.

“It just hurt, just like a knife stabbed me,” said one woman who has family buried in the cemetery. Avondale Mayor Kenn Weise called the vandalism “an outrageous incident,” and said that as police continue to investigate the hate crime, “our hearts go out to the families and the descendants of those buried at the Goodyear Farms Cemetery. The city of Avondale stands by you.”

This desecration follows a rash of anti-Semitic vandalism targeting Jewish cemeteries earlier this year, incidents that Donald Trump has pitifully tried to disavow despite the fact that his campaign emboldened white supremacists from the start. Following the earlier attacks on cemeteries, it’s clear not even the most sacred spaces are off-limits to his cloud of racism and xenophobia.


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