Group condemns anti-Semitic, hate-filled graffiti found at Pacheco Park in North Smithfield

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Editor’s note: The images below contain language that many will find offensive.

NORTH SMITHFIELD – Members of the North Smithfield Democratic Town Committee are speaking out to condemn intolerance following the discovery of bigoted vandalism – including swastikas – on property in a public park in town.

Vandals reportedly defaced a bench by the baseball field and a table by the volleyball court at Pacheco Park on or around Tuesday, April 11, with drawings of Nazi swastikas, and words described as anti-Semitic, racist and homophobic slurs.

“As a community, we must face an underlying sense of intolerance and disrespect – to whatever, and hopefully small degree – that exists in North Smithfield,” said Meghan Mello, chairperson of the committee. “With ever-widening schisms dividing us as citizens, these acts of vandalism can be seen also as acts of terror against those who are targeted by hateful messaging.”

Mello noted the vandalism follows the appearance of signs from the Proud Boys, a national organization described as a hate group, on roadsides in North Smithfield a few months ago. She also referenced recent controversies over inclusion of certain books in school curriculum.

“Instead of finding ways to create understanding and bonds amongst us, there are those who wish to ignore history, limit the gaining of knowledge and ban books that otherwise might allow us to embrace all members of our community,” Mello said. “If understanding, acceptance and justice is not taught, it appears hate will fill the vacuum.”

Local police have reportedly been notified of the vandalism, which is expected to be removed by staff from the Department of Public Works.

Mello noted that all members of the NSDTC are condemning the acts of vandalism and hate, and are calling on elected and public officials to do the same.

“Let us show our children and the world that we are better than this,” she said.  

The organization, to which Mello was elected chairperson earlier this year, advocates for fair and equal opportunity in representation, housing, education and a safe and welcoming community for all residents. Those interested in joining the group can contact northsmithfielddtc@gmail.com. 

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15 COMMENTS

  1. That is horrible. We cannot tolerate such hateful acts, yet my only assumption is that the left is rushing to judgment as usual as they are truly the intolerant ones. Their propaganda, hate mongering and intolerance permeates through everything they claim to stand for. From what I heard about some vandalism and scattering of hateful brochures on Warwick lawns last summer, Proud Boys is a Neo-Nazi organization and affiliates themselves with the Progressive left. Whomever is responsible, parents wanting to remove pornography from schools or to be made aware of their child’s curriculum has nothing to do with it; it only has to do with them being a wonderful parent. Meghan Mello doesn’t know what she is talking about. In fact, what parents are advocating for is good. What is described above is not at all good or safe. I wish the Democrats would get their facts straight.

  2. This is disgusting and part of a much larger problem of punk kids in this town. The park has become a terrible place to bring kids over the last couple years.

    Large groups of teens blasting ridiculously inappropriate music and being morons in general. This town is becoming Woonsocket. Has nothing to do with the proud boys or any other political group. This has nothing to do with parents wanting porn out of schools.

    What a way to take a terrible situation and grand stand for moral outrage as usual. It’s so predictable at this point, it’s nauseating. You are not hero’s or martyrs for condemning Nazis or swastikas. Clearly 99% of the world holds the same point of view on Nazis…. My God.

    The ridiculous idea that that would be contrary to the values of every family in this town is ridiculous and inflammatory by design.

    A couple moron kids did this to get a rise out of a hyper sensitive populace. All the grand standing in the world will not stop teens from performing horrendous acts. Making it bigger then it is and pretending this is some systemic issue in town is only giving the adulation that the perpetrators sought.

    Thank you to the Democratic committee for never missing the opportunity to jump on a juicy headline. Your ability to state the obvious is unparalleled.

    • I would like to disagree with what you said, as the facts don’t line up. According to the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), in 2022 alone antisemitism crime rose 36% to an all time high since they’ve been collecting data since 1979. That number is also on an upward trend over the course of the last three years, which have all been record highs as well. Over this past weekend, I saw video of someone in New York City trying to incite antisemitism through indoctrination. It’s stemming from somewhere, just don’t understand why and continues to grow. It just goes to show that this isn’t just an isolated issue, and needs to be stomped out of their behavior. So as you say, teens being teens, should not be the acceptable answer, and as a town rise up against such acts. It should deter such acts, if done correctly. If they are stating the obvious, why does the problem come up at all, as it should be gone already. Same goes for other such acts, such as but not limited to domestic violence, substance abuse, sexual harassment/assault. Do 99% of the people here agree that it should not happen, but yet we allow the current administrator who’s being investigated for sexual harassment/assault continue to work in the same building as his accuser. Not speaking out about it/not doing anything about it, shows the people that it’s no big deal and is allowable behavior, which is the opposite of what we as a community should be doing. Same goes for companies that pollute our water and ground. This concept goes to more than just what we started talking about, and is applied to just about everything, if not everything. Also to point out, I’m not part of the democratic committee or the democratic party, as this issue and others should be an outage to all sides of the political spectrum.

  3. Evaluating why and how this happened in our community is vital. We must stand together and lead the change that will build a stronger more unified community. I condemn the graffiti and all other hate crimes. Dehumanizing people by intimation and hate has no place in our town or any other community.

  4. I agree with folks who have stated that we must stand up to publicly decry this unacceptable behavior that makes Pacheco Park unsafe for kids and families. The graffiti is hateful and should not be tolerated or thought of as “kids being kids”. Building a better NS can include serving our community on boards and commissions, volunteering at events, becoming friends with fellow residents and neighbors, teaching our kids what’s right and wrong, *and* speaking out when people do acts such as this, that deny the humanity of others. I’m here in solidarity with those of us who want to build a more inclusive and just community. Thank you to the NSDTC, of which I am a part, for this statement. Let’s keep showing up with love. Peace.

  5. I was just at that park during break, and we ended up leaving and will not be returning. There were mostly middle school aged kids swearing and climbing on top of the play house.

    • There should be cameras at the park. The police should have known immediately who this was. Also the police should be making regular passes through the park. Anyone loitering should be told to leave. This should be a safe space for children and families.

  6. You might be the biggest narcissist on here. You somehow manage to make every article or post about you …..”hey look at me”

    99% of people agree that this is awful and should not be tolerated. Unfortunately there is evil among us ….i really really don’t think it’s the Proud Boys chapter of NS

    I’m willing to wager this was done by some ignorant middle school punks who roam around at night unsupervised while
    Mommy and daddy sit on the couch scrolling on their phones.

    Is it the kids fault or the parents ????

    • I would really love to know who you are Richard B. Your every response to me is highly insulting, but everyone expects that from you.

      Yes, I would agree, most people condemn the behavior. But very few in the community have the courage to tackle the issue. Note the silence by the vast majority of our elected officials. I applaud the NSDTC for taking a stand.

      Rather than trying to work for the common good and community awareness and resolution, just keep insulting. You are very good at it.

      • First, it’s Roland. Not Richard. Please don’t take me correcting you as an insult.

        Secondly, you’re complaining about me insulting you while you sit here and insult our elected officials for whatever it is you want them to do regarding this situation….

        Do you want the town Council to have the first 15 minutes of every meeting being the weekly “what we condemn from the police reports this week? “. Come on, really?

        You’re trying to create someone’s stupidity and ignorance and make it political. You know exactly what you’re doing. Clickbait.

        When you get back from Vero beach and hanging out with Sandy Koufax, why don’t you come down to the park and maybe help scrub this stuff off like some of the community is doing …..the community that does nothing in your opinion.

      • I believe that is both the kids and parents are at fault here. This happened at a public space, I can only imagine where else this may have happened that we don’t know of yet. Where did the children learn that this behavior is acceptable? Why did the parents not try to stomp this behavior from spreading? How would parents not know what their children are doing? Why did another child say this isn’t right? This is where they become passive bystanders and quite possibly just as guilty as the perpetrators. Unless of course there were active bystanders and nothing was actually done, which is even worse.
        It may not be easy fighting against possible friends or wanting to fit in with a certain group by needing to go against a belief of yours. It also doesn’t help with certain lies that certain entertainment companies and some certain representatives and/or congressionals continue to spread said lies.
        Proud boys, 3%s, patriot front, nsc-131 and the list continues to grow unfortunately. There’s a fine line of free speech and hate speech. I try to stand up against all bullies when possible, showing others that it can be done and don’t give up hope just yet.
        I hope more people from both sides of the aisle become active bystanders or stand up against this act and others, to show this will not be tolerated anywhere.

        • “I try to stand up against all bullies when possible, showing others that it can be done and don’t give up hope just yet.” Seriously? From everything I have seen on your Facebook posts you ARE the bully, you are an online bully. You take cheap shots at people that you never back up and cry when they hit you back. Just look at your previous post on this page. You take a cheap shot at the Town Administrator, like it’s his fault some idiots carved swastika’s into the bench. That’s bullying. You are a bully.

          • I did not say it was the town administrator’s fault that the graffiti showed up, I’m saying it was his fault for the sexual harassment/assault since 2021. Notice the words you said, “Everything I have seen on your Facebook posts”. Why did I speak out? Why did I say those things on Facebook? Why have I publicly come out recently? It’s because I’m tired of the lies and the version of things they said happen, when in reality it’s quite different and I’m tired of the reasons for our taxes going up.
            For example, Beauregard said we haven’t met, yet we’ve shaken hands probably twice and met only a handful of times, three of those times at the same house, the other place includes town hall. Another example, was when he (Beauregard) was being escorted away from a polling place for violating election laws in 2020. The Nike ban, which incited racism in our town and showed it was okay for hate because of the council passing it, which quite possibly showed it was okay for other hate to show up in town. Or how about the example of O’Hara, also breaking election laws in the most recent election. Another few examples, our roads around town are failing, losing businesses (still in a net loss since end of 2021), the special projects that get funded that have no direction or had direction and went against the will of the many. Obviously there are many other issues, but I have only chosen a select few.
            I have no reason to lie, as I live by a core value of integrity first, and zero tolerance of items that I think others should follow. For example, sexual harassment, calling peoples jobs to try and have them get fired, election tampering, no plan for roads being fixed, and bullying. I enjoy people in town not knowing who I am or what I look like,
            as people tend to say more things around me. I’ll paraphrase one person who commented on another article, “I’m not even sure I would even know who he was if he were walking past/next to me”.
            I’m just an everyday normal resident of the town, trying to live peacefully, and unbothered, yet certain people try and ruin that from myself, my family, and my friends. I’m sure that would upset you, or anyone else in town for that matter, if it happened to you.

  7. Am I the only reader that feels condemnation of this behavior is necessary? I would hope not.

    I sit in Vero Beach, Fl., where I am fortunate to own a condo. Tomorrow marks Jackie Robinson Day, who broke so many barriers as a member of The Dodgers. Jackie played right up the road from us in Dodgertown, the Dodgers spring training camp. And Sandy Koufax, another member of the Dodgers, a Jewish player who also played for the Dodgers, lives across the street from our condominium. Sandy also faced discrimination during his playing days because he was Jewish.

    I ask, where are we as a community that none speak out? Personally, we need a community conversation to ask, what will it take? I ask every member of the town to take a stand. This cannot be tolerated.

    Speak out!

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