LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock Democratic Party Chairman Kenny Ketner held a press conference Sunday to launch a campaign against yard sign vandalism.
"Hundreds of Obama yard signs have been stolen from neighborhoods all across Lubbock," Ketner said. "We have had over half a dozen of our large 4x4 and 4x8 signs stolen, vandalized, or shot. And as of about 1 a.m. this morning, we can add hate crime to the list, as two of our 4x4 signs at 26th and University Ave. were vandalized with the n-word written multiple times and mustard sprayed all over the signs."
"We have replaced and will continue to replace those signs. We will not be silenced," Ketner said. "Some people may not like what our signs say, but that does not give anyone the right to steal, damage, or vandalize them."
Ketner said, "Please don't misunderstand me: I don't mean to say that every Republican is racist. But we are not going to sweep this problem under the rug like we always do in Lubbock. Racist words scribbled on a political sign are a community problem, and I call on the entire community of Lubbock to discuss this problem openly and come up with a solution."
"The vandalism is not just one individual or one group of people either. Eyewitness accounts told to us indicate a variety of ages involved, male and female both," Ketner said.
Ketner said that this was not "just kids."
"If there are kids out there doing this stuff, then there must be adults teaching them how to hate. The problem is therefore not a little problem, but a big one spanning multiple generations," he said.
Ketner encouraged sign owners to report theft and vandalism and file a police report. He also encouraged neighbors to watch out for each other and keep an eye on each other's property.
"Don't encourage hate," Ketner said, "even if you think someone is joking. Hate anywhere is a threat to good people everywhere."
NOTE: The images of these signs have been blurred to avoid the publication of offensive words. The uncensored photos, and the full text of Ketner's remarks, can be seen in the Lubbock Democrats Facebook group.