Anti-Semitic graffiti was reported early Saturday morning on a utility box at the east end of Railroad Park on A Street, the latest in a string of hate speech incidents in Ashland.
The spray paint on the box by the railroad tracks referenced Anne Frank’s death in the Holocaust.
Ashland police painted over it in white paint. An unknown person later added a red heart with the words “STOP HATE” at its center.
“One of our sergeants took the initiative to start clean up as soon as he could,” Ashland Police Department Chief Tighe O’Meara posted on Facebook on Monday. “The sergeant … applied a coat of white spray paint.
When he went back to do a 2nd coat the words had been more thoroughly, and artistically, covered up with a red heart and a stop hate message. The PD will work with the rail road company to see this through.”
The graffiti was about 500 feet from the Havurah Shir Hadash Synagogue on North Mountain Avenue.
“Some say, ‘it’s just graffiti,'” the synagogue’s rabbi, David Zaslow, wrote in a post to Facebook.
“But it is a symptom of an underlying infection that blames the ‘other.’
America needs the antibiotic of careful speech on all our parts, and activism informed by compassion and prayer, not by hatred.”
Flyers with pro-white, anti-immigrant, Nazi-themed messages were posted Jan. 23 on private property in downtown Ashland.
A Medford man was arrested the following day on charges of criminal mischief.
The next day, Jan. 24, a Springfield man parked his box truck painted with Nazi swastikas and pro-Trump, racist and anti-Semitic messages on the Plaza, upsetting many who saw it but not breaking any laws.
A rise in hate-related incidents in the Rogue Valley is cited by a group called Rogue Valley Resistance as the reason it is organizing demonstrations on five Interstate 5 overpasses on Tuesday morning.