Even though it is the holidays, hate still finds its way into the festive season. A mural of Tina Turner was defaced the week of Christmas in North Carolina.
According to the Citizen Times, a mural of the legendary singer that is hanging in front of the Static Age Records store in downtown Asheville was vandalized with a red swastika on December 23rd. Though it was drawn incorrectly, with three of the four arms going counterclockwise, the message of hate still resonates. The owner, Jesse McSwain, said the ruined art was covered with a black sheet by someone who is not connected to his store. The apparent hate crime is being addressed by the Asheville police and the Southern Law Poverty Center.
McSwain was shocked that such a crime would happen at his store, which he describes as a “widely inclusive, safe space.”
“Occasionally some weird supremacist will rear their head around here,” he told the Times. “Not sure how organized this act was. Perhaps more organized than I’d like to think about.”
McSwain later covered the swastika in black paint. He said in his 16 years of owning his store, he has never experienced any hateful actions or threats towards the store.
The Static Records’ pulldown storefront to honor legendary singers. The mural of Turner was based on her character in the movie Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
Since the mural of the “What’s Love Got To Do With It?” singer has been destroyed, McSwain is now thinking about now rotating a mural of Israeli artist Charlie Megira.
Throughout this year, white supremacists have been making their presence felt by leaving swastikas all over downtown and attacking marginalized communities. A swastika was carved into the door of a chocolate shop over the summer according to the Twitter account Asheville AntiRacism. There have also been hate mail sent to members of the LGBTQ and nonbinary communities as well.