Employees at two Oklahoma City offices — one housing the state’s Democratic Party, the other the home of the Chickasaw Nation — arrived at work Thursday morning to racist, anti-gay and anti-Semitic graffiti covering the entrances to their buildings.
Remarks like “Gas the Jews” and “White planet only” were scrawled in front of the Democratic headquarters, along with a derogatory word for transgender people and the n-word. Bright blue swastikas were also painted on the glass doors to the building and on the sidewalk in front of the entrance. There were also multiple references to “1488,” a Nazi symbol and an endorsement of white supremacy.
Similar language and iconography was found at the city’s Chickasaw Nation office — in the same blue paint.
Police say the incidents are connected and being investigated as hate crimes. On Thursday evening, the department released surveillance camera images of a suspect, whom authorities described as a white woman driving a gray sedan.
Speaking outside the defaced headquarters of her political rivals, the chair of Oklahoma’s Republican Party, Pam Pollard, gave a tearful rebuke of what she called “disgusting behavior" and said she wanted to be clear that the GOP has repudiated it.
“I want the Oklahomans to know, and I want the world to know, we stand against this," Pollard said. "This has got to stop. This is not what our country is about. … It should never happen again.”
Responding to Pollard’s comments, the Democratic Party tweeted: “Hatred is not partisan.”
Oklahoma City’s mayor, Republican David Holt, also condemned the vandalism.
“One bigot with a spray paint can or even a group of bigots do not speak for the hundreds of thousands in this city who stand strongly together against hate & bigotry,” he wrote on Twitter. “Let’s love each other just a little bit more today, OKC.”
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, also a Republican, called the graffiti “abhorrent,” while Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby said the derogatory defacement was saddening but appeared to be a one-off.
“It is very disheartening to see our building defaced by this type of hateful message which is so out of place for Oklahoma,” Anoatubby said in a statement. “We believe it is important to move past this isolated incident and focus our attention on the important work we do.”
Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), who is a member of the Chickasaw Nation, said he was “appalled by these destructive acts of hate.”
“There is no place in our communities for such despicable symbols and language so clearly meant to threaten other human beings and those with differing points of view,” he said in a statement.
The vandalism occurred overnight, just two weeks after a white-supremacist gunman killed 50 people and injured 50 others in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand.
The director of Oklahoma Black Lives Matter, the Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson, said it was vital that residents and observers across the country see firsthand the rhetoric of a hateful ideology. Broadcasting on Facebook Live, she toured the exterior of the Democratic Party headquarters.
“It’s important that we be aware, informed and part of the process in continuing to help dismantle the hate that spews in Oklahoma," Dickerson said. "White supremacy and white nationalism is, again, surging.”
A second video shows a group of volunteers, on hands and knees, scrubbing the paint off the sidewalk, reducing the racist language to blurry, illegible stains.