Walking her six-year-old son to school on Wednesday, Sandra Sandoval stopped, alarmed, by the graffiti on a mural outside La Gallinita market on 24th street. Vandalism is common, but this was different, she said. The tag read: “White Power.”
“I cried and was so angry to wake up to this!” Sandoval wrote in an email adding that she was born and raised here, but had never seen anything like that and it was the second time this week she saw the tag. The first was near the McDonald’s on 24th Street – only that one also included a swastika.
Cindy De Losa, a store manager at Precita Eyes Mural Arts Center on 24th Street, said the new mural at 24th and South Van Ness of a beloved radio hostess Chata Gutierrez who died of cancer was also tagged with the supremacist message.
“The scaffold isn’t even down, and they tagged it,” she said.
“I’ve been here since 1975. Everything has happened,” said Salvador Vasquez, the owner of La Gallinita, referring to the constant stream of graffiti on his building. “But to put it directly on a mural – it’s the first time I’ve seen that.”
The mural showing Juan Diego receiving a miracle from the Virgin of Guadalupe has evaded vandalism because of its religious nature, he said.
After they noticed it this morning, Vasquez said a Precita Eyes volunteer came and washed off the graffiti, although some black marks remain.
“I hope that it was only once,” said Vasquez. If it happens again, he said, he might have to install a camera — although for many businesses, said De Losa, that solution is too costly.
Fred Alvarado, who also works at Precita Eyes, said that the tags appeared amateurish.
“It could be a juvenile attempt to voice out identity and deal with whatever non-privilege or privilege they have,” he said.