Vandals have reportedly defaced a mural of singer Tina Turner in North Carolina with graffiti that appears to be intended as a swastika.
The mural, whose face was covered by the apparent but incorrectly drawn swastika, had been painted on the pulldown storefront of a record shop in the city of Asheville called Static Age Records. It is said to depict Turner’s performance in the film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome.
When the incident happened exactly is unclear at the moment. But it occurred sometime after the store closed for the Christmas holiday on December 23 and before it was discovered on the day after Christmas.
Jesse McSwain, who is the owner of the store, notified both the local police and the Southern Poverty Law Center as soon as he discovered the act. He further painted over the swastika and issued a statement, in which he said that his shop is “a widely inclusive, safe space.” He added that, “hate speech will get you out the door.”
McSwain went on to say that, in the 16 years that he has owned the business, he has never experienced anything like this or had received any types of threats.
Though he did say, “Occasionally some weird supremacist will rear their head around here. Not sure how organized this act was. Perhaps more organized than I’d like to think about.”
McSwain says that he is thinking of replacing the mural with one painted by Charlie Megira. As Megira is an Israeli, this probably will not make the vandals too happy. Though this may just be what McSwain is hoping for.
The Asheville Police Department are currently investigating the incident. They have further opened a hotline for anyone who may have information about it.
Turner was born in Tennessee, which Asheville borders, and this year she was inducted into the Memphis Hall of Fame.