Idaho Legislative leaders condemn vandalism at Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial

Posted at 6:21 PM, May 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 00:16:09-04

More hateful graffiti discovered near the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial is prompting state leaders to speak out condemning the racist attacks. The memorial was defaced by similar racist graffiti on two separate occasions earlier in the week.  

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights, home of the Idaho Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial, says racist and anti-Semitic graffiti was discovered inside a nearby tunnel on the Boise Greenbelt Friday morning. Boise Parks and Rec. crews quickly painted over the hateful graffiti and a police report was filed. The Boise Police Department is treating the vandalism as a potential hate crime.

"Whatever the attempt, whatever the act and in the most vile of words, the counter will be the embrace of a community to say that is not us," said Dan Prinzing director of the Wassmuth Center for Human Rights. "This is not our community this is not our state. Hate has no place here."

Now, leaders on both sides of the aisle in the Idaho legislature are condemning the attacks. Saying the defacement of the memorial is a strike against all Idahoans and that Idahoans must show they are good at heart by rejecting these actions completely. State Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb of Boise issued the call to action.

"What we have to do is sustainable work to make this state what we want it to be. I mean stand up, speak up, show up all those things, we have to do that," said Democrat Senator Cherie Buckner-Webb of Boise.

The vandalism is leaving a profound impact on holocaust survivor, State Representative Hy Kloc. He was born in a German labor camp at the close of World War II. He says this isn't a Republican or Democrat issue, but a human one.

"The thing that encourages me more than anything is the people in the community stood up and said we won't tolerate it," said Democrat Representative Hy Kloc of Boise and Garden City.

The Wassmuth Center for Human Rights says they will not be silenced by the attacks and have received thousands of dollars in donations since the vandalism was first reported. They also hope to expand the memorial in the near future.

The legislative leaders who signed the letter condemning the racist attacks are:

Sen. Michelle Stennett, Senate Minority Leader
Sen. Cherie Buckner-Webb, Asst. Senate Minority Leader
Sen. Maryanne Jordan, Senate Minority Caucus Chair
Sen. Brent Hill, Senate President Pro Tempore
Sen. Bart Davis, Senate Majority Leader
Sen. Chuck Winder, Asst. Senate Majority Leader
Sen. Todd Lakey, Senate Majority Caucus Chair
Rep. Scott Bedke, House Speaker
Rep. Mike Moyle, House Majority Leader
Rep. Brent Crane, Asst. House Majority Leader
Rep. John Vander Woude, House Majority Caucus Chair
Rep. Mat Erpelding, House Minority Leader
Rep. Ilana Rubel, Asst. House Minority Leader
Rep. Elaine Smith, House Minority Caucus Chair