Sunday, January 20, 2019
‘Crushing Hate’ with Spray Paint
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Hallie Star captured this picture of her brother Beau Stuart painting over the swastika that someone painted on the cistern partway up Carbonate Mountain.
 
Thursday, December 13, 2018
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

When Hallie Star spotted an unmistakable sign of anti-Semitism on a wall in Hailey, she didn’t just shake her head.

She grabbed her brother Beau Stuart and the two marched back up Carbonate Mountain with a couple cans of spray paint and transformed the image of the swastika into a heart--the universal sign of love.

Then Star, the director of the College of Southern Idaho-Blaine Campus, posted a message on her Facebook page:

 
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Beau Stuart said the heart “just kind of came out.”
 

“I hope that parents and teachers will take the time to explain to their children and students why the image of the swastika is a symbol of hate, terror and white supremacy and why we must all fight back and take a stand in the presence of hate,” she wrote. “Being neutral or not acting in the presence of hate sustains hate. Show up. Stop hate.”

Stuart, who owns Crystal Clear Window Cleaning, said it was unclear if the person who painted the  swastika was making a statement against Jewish people or whether the swastika was just the work of a teenager copying a controversial symbol without any understanding of what it meant.

“But seeing it was sad,” he said. “I have plenty of Jewish friends and, beyond that, any symbol of hate is just unacceptable to me. I practice a spirituality where the symbol of belief is basic goodness. And that’s something I hope that every human would have.”

Stuart said a swastika appeared on the crumbling cistern earlier and was painted over by a friend of his sister. The one he and Hallie tackled this past week emerged a few weeks later.

 
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And, just like that, the swastika is gone.
 

“I would think as far as the FBI would be concerned it is a hate crime,” he said. “I don’t know if it’s an adult doing it or just some funky teenagers being teenagers. But, if it’s teenagers, why are they not being more educated by their parents or the schools about why the swastika is a symbol of hate and why it is wrong?!”

“You have to stand up and do something about it, tell the world that this kind of stuff is unacceptable,” he added. “When the Nazis used this symbol, they gave it a connotation of hate, of intolerance. Six million people died because of that message, and we shouldn’t take it lightly.”

Stuart called what he did a “quick fix.”

“We went up there with spray paint and we didn’t really have an idea in mind. But the heart just kind of came out—you know, why not cover hate with something beautiful or something lovely!?”

If he could, he would do something big and beautiful, Stuart said.

“I have a friend named Phil Haleen, who grew up here. And when he heard about this, he reached out from Portland where he does amazing graffiti art with good messages. I think it would be amazing to talk to the city about bringing a team here to do a big mural out there. I would rather see something beautiful up there with a beautiful message.

 

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