Shocked. Appalled. Outraged. Dismayed. This is how we feel, and we hope all of our readers feel the same way after seeing the photo on today's front page.
Sometime early Monday morning, some astonishingly ignorant individuals spray-painted graffiti on a wall at Fountain Square Park in downtown Lewistown, as well as on a number of cars parked in the East End Neighborhood. The graffiti at the park included hate-filled obscenities, a swastika and racial slurs aimed at Hispanics and African-Americans.
The use of graffiti to deface public or private property is not unheard of in Mifflin County, but this is beyond a shadow of a doubt an all-time low. Not only did community members of these ethnic backgrounds have to suffer the indignity of this very public offense, but so did everyone else who walked, rode or drove through the Five Points on Monday. Can you imagine a mother, father or grandparent having to try to explain to a school-aged child what those words were, and why someone would do such a thing? It's beyond despicable.
We are glad that local law enforcement has been able to proceed quickly with its investigation of the incident, and that community officials also worked very quickly to remove the offensive graffiti from the park wall. We certainly hope and expect that the individuals responsible will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, and that the courts will include a heavy dose of anti-graffiti community clean-up in their future.