Anti-Semitic notes were recently found at homes and a Jewish center in Southern California, of all places.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office has developed a task force to investigate the hateful act, The Root reports.
The notes included swastikas drawn on them and other offensive messages. One in particular reportedly read, “You’re gonna burn.” Messages of this nature were found outside seven homes and the Chabad of Oak Park by local residents, according to the sheriff’s office.
“With the exception of the Chabad of Oak Park, it appears the notes were randomly placed and did not specifically target Jewish residents,” Police Detective Tim Lohman reportedly said in a statement.
It is suspected that this despicable act was carried out by at least four teenagers who authorities suspect live in the area. Four males were caught on surveillance footage posting notes to the front of one home and a vehicle.
This incident is reminiscent of a case in Virginia in which five teens defaced a historic black church and school with swastikas and the words “white power” back in October.
After pleading guilty to unlawful entry and destruction of property, the group was sentenced to visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; read books from Jewish, black, and Afghan authors; and write a research paper on hate speech.
It was determined that the boys’ actions were most likely motivated by ignorance and not racial hatred, which prompted the judge to “punish” them with education.
With that in mind, these four California teens may very well have done this as a sick joke, but don’t actually uphold these anti-Semitic values. Young minds are being influenced by the political climate, which, unfortunately, is riddled with hate and bigotry.
Similar to the argument that violent video games desensitize kids to violence and negatively affect their psyche, the same rings true about the current normalization of hate.
While ignorance knows no boundaries, it’s always shocking when this type of ordeal happens in a predominantly progressive, liberal state like California.
Banner/Thumbnail Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Highway Patrol Images