Sunday, April 25, 2010

San Francisco's only Latino-owned gay bar vandalized

Disturbing news from KTVU in San Francisco this week:

One of the managers of what is described as the only Latino owned and operated gay bar in the Mission District of the city woke up Friday morning to see a number of swastikas spray-painted on the club's facade.

Edgar López, manager of the gay bar Esta Noche, said that there had been other times when he'd awoken to find spray-painting on the bar's walls but never something implying hateful sentiment.

Nevertheless, instead of calling the police to report it as a possible hate crime, López decided to quickly paint over the swastikas in an apparent attempt not to raise too much attention and to avoid a police visit.

“It's a lot of problems with police," López said to the KTVU reporter, "they have many paperwork and everything".

Armando Hernandez, of the Instituto Familiar de La Raza, indicated another reason why the manager might have thought twice about drawing police attention to the bar in these days of increasing xenophobic sentiment in this country.  "That it happened in a place that attracts Latino immigrants, gay identified individuals, transgender individuals should be a big concern," he said.

The article doesn't mention how KTVU got wind of the graffiti so I assume a viewer called it in.  Facing the media attention, the two co-owners of the bar say that they might file a report after all after sitting down with the manager and discussing the incident.  They also say they will definitely report any follow-up incidents if they happen.

Police tell the channel that the incident should have been reported but that there might be a problem investigating the case since the actual offensive symbols were painted over.

[h/t for this post: Towleroad, Rod2.0]

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