Two California high school teens have been arrested and charged with felony vandalism and committing a hate crime after allegedly writing racial slurs on the car of a Yosemite high school coach.
The teen girls, reportedly aged 15 and 16, contacted Victor Salazar — a junior varsity boys’ soccer coach — to apologize after media coverage of the incident frightened them.
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“Initial media coverage of the incident may have scared the suspects into contacting the victim to try and apologize for their actions in the hope that they wouldn't get in trouble,” Sheriff's Lt. Bill Ward said.
Three cars belonging to Salazar and his family were vandalized with homophobic and racial slurs, phallic symbols and smeared feces.
The vandals painted, “Go back to Mexico” and the infamous name “Trump” on the vehicles.
"I've been living here 10 years — I play soccer here, never thought about this happening," said Salazar.
Salazar is an alumnus of the school where he now coaches, and couldn’t recall making any enemies who would want to hurt him or his family.
“I was very loved by teachers and students,” Salazar said. “And now that I started coaching at the high school, I was even more. And the more I think about it, I cannot picture who would have done this.”
Salazar reportedly did not know the two girls responsible prior to this incident.
Hate has been so normalized by public figures like Donald Trump that it’s no wonder these girls didn’t even think twice about harassing Salazar’s family. They probably thought it was just a “funny prank,” not realizing the seriousness of their actions.
Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric has been the source for several attacks on Latinos throughout the country. Two brothers beat and spat on a homeless Latino man because of Trump and high school students in Iowa and Indiana used Trump-inspired racist chants to taunt rival schools with predominantly Latino students during sports games.
Trump’s rhetoric is undeniably diminishing the quality of life for Latinos in the United States and what’s worse is that he is infecting the minds of our youth.
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