Anti-Immigrant Graffiti Found At San Diego Museum Entrance
New Americans Museum staff isn't backing down after finding two anti-immigrant messages scrawled near the entrance over this weekend.
Patrons found the messages Saturday morning on both walls of the entrance to the museum in Liberty Station.
One message read, "Too much immigration! Go back to your country. This one is ours!" The other message read, "Over population & crowding by immigration!"
Museum Executive Director Linda Sotelo said she was concerned about who would see the messages.
“We have young children coming through these exhibitions — children who are diverse. We have over six schools at Liberty Station," Sotelo said. "Many of our children are children of color. They’re all very diverse. For them to feel unwelcome in their own country, it’s unacceptable.”
Sotelo said a well-meaning custodian cleaned the posters, but museum officials took photos of the graffiti for police. The posters advertised an art exhibit on Mexican immigration, which has been on display since October.
The Southern Poverty Law Center reports more than 700 instances of hateful harassment nationwide since the election. Sotelo said that reflects what she’s seen among some patrons in San Diego, who have been more confrontational in recent weeks.
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“I’ve noticed a change in some of the visitors," she said.
The museum is looking at installing cameras at its entrance. Sotelo considers the vandalism a hate crime. Despite the crime, the museum intends to be a place where people can discuss even controversial views on immigration.
Museum staff were already in the process of training to manage confrontation, Sotelo said.