Whom It May Concern,
I have been visiting Redding for the past 15 years with my family to see the natural beauty of Mt. Shasta, the Sundial Bridge and visit the Turtle Bay Museum. I’ve always found the people of Shasta County to be warm and friendly.
While visiting a few weeks ago, my wife and I took our children to Kids Kingdom. We had heard of what a great playground it was and we were looking forward to the morning. While there, I saw a man very prominently displaying large swastika tattoos on his leg and neck. He wore dark sunglasses and looked as though he might be trained for a militia of some sort. He looked straight ahead while his daughter played near my children. My wife and I were both angry.
For those unfamiliar, the swastika is a symbol of Nazi Germany, Hitler, and white supremacy. A swastika is not a political view-it’s a symbol of the millions killed in the past, and the desire to kill more.
I was shocked that no one else at the playground seemed to notice or be bothered by this man. While it is not illegal to display a swastika, it is offensive and morally reprehensible. Even if it’s legal, is it morally acceptable to wear a Ku Klux Klan robe to a children’s playground?
My family is Jewish. My father narrowly escaped death as a child on the very last boat departing Europe to the United States. He was saved by compassionate Americans that recognized a swastika as a symbol of millions of humans starved, tortured, and killed. My father in turned proudly served in the U.S. Army when he became an adult. I wonder how the few remaining WW2 veterans of Redding would feel about this man so publicly displaying the hate they risked their lives to end?
Since we no longer feel welcome, We will not be visiting Redding again or spending money in Shasta County. I plan to broadcast my experience on social media. People should be aware that the culture of Redding is such that all are not welcome. It is a place where neo-nazis are free to roam. My friends and family will be taking our winter snow ski trips, summer houseboat rental trips, river rafting trips and all other vacation activities elsewhere.
Perhaps you think this is not your problem and doesn’t affect you. Maybe you’re right, unless of course you own/operate or work in a:
Tourist Destination (Sundial Bridge, Bethel Church, Mystic Theater, etc.)
Mt. Shasta Ski Area
House Boat Rentals
Please tell your police officers to ask the names of people like the man we saw and forward them to the State Terrorism center. Please make sure your public school teachers are educating children on the history of the Holocaust and the meaning of a swastika. Please tell the white supremacist members of Redding that they are not welcomed. Their morals are bad; their tattoos are bad for business.
Former Redding Visitors
Editor’s note: Although we know the author’s identity, A News Cafe is complying with the writer’s name to withhold his identity.