Missouri: Kansas City Public Library Investigates Swastika Graffiti Found Inside Central Library
From KCUR Radio:
Kansas City Public Library officials say they plan on pressing charges after several marks of racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic graffiti were found inside the Central Library location downtown Sunday.
“Something of this magnitude has never happened at our library, and all of us our shaking our heads because we are so surprised,” says Carrie Coogan, the Deputy Director of Kansas City Public Library.
The library says the graffiti around the library contained several swastikas as well as a variety of “racist, derogatory, and sexist statements.” Coogan says the “most disappointing and discouraging” graffiti was in the men’s bathroom. Scrawled on a stall in permanent marker, she says, were swastikas, racist phrases, and the words: “Hail President Trump!”
A 2-foot portrait on the first floor of Taylor S. Abernathy, an executive of the bank, was covered with a black swastika. Library officials do not know why the portrait was a target. Abernathy was not Jewish.
The vandalism of the portrait occurred in front of a surveillance camera, which captured the image shortly after 4 p.m.
The graffiti and the portrait have been removed. The men’s restroom will be closed during the investigation.
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UPDATE: Full Text of Statement from the Kansas City Public Library
“On Sunday, December 11, there were four separate incidents of vandalism and graffiti at the Central Library. A patron drew swastikas on a library portrait, a glass window in the library’s main entrance, the stairwell to the vault level, and also scrawled racist, derogatory, and hateful messages inside a men’s bathroom stall, as well as the phrase ‘Hail President Trump.’ The patron was caught on surveillance video, and library staffers contacted police. An investigation is underway.
The Kansas City Public Library condemns both the vandalism to a public institution, and the sentiment behind the graffiti. While we respect an individual’s right to free speech, we are strongly against the manner in which it was expressed.”
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com. Gary is also the co-founder of infoDJ an innovation research consultancy supporting corporate product and business model teams with just-in-time fact and insight finding.