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Swastikas Drawn on Family's Car at Juneteenth Festival

The family had to ride home from the festival celebrating freedom of black slaves with the symbols of the Holocaust on their car.

Rich Pellegrino, an outspoken activist for immigrants' rights and an Austell resident, and his family saw something drawn on their car as they left the annual Juneteenth festival in Marietta on Saturday.

Pellegrino, founder of the Cobb Immigrant Alliance, knew immediately what the swastikas were and what they meant. However, his wife and 11-year-old granddaughter did not.

The swastikas were the symbols of the German Nazi Party, which murdered 6 million Jews and 6 million other people from other targeted groups. The swastikas have since become a core symbol of the Neo-Nazi and other white supremacist groups.

Juneteenth is a day celebrated by Americans on June 19 to commemorate the day the black slaves in Texas learned of their emancipation in 1865, three years after President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.

"It is what it is," Pellegrino told South Cobb Patch.

Pellegrino tells others who are fighting for the rights of immigrants, those who are here legally and illegally, to "be prepared."

"We need unity more than ever, not only to win the next battle, but for our own protection and solidarity."

Pellegrino has filed a police report, and police are sending extra neighborhood patrols through his area for his family's safety.

He is not sure if he was targeted for being an outspoken advocate for immigrants' rights, especially after being quoted in two recent Marietta Daily Journal articles, regarding President Barack Obama's recent deportation policy change.

The swastikas could have been painted on his car because of all the bumper stickers he has, Pellegrino explained.

On his car, he has a faded 2008 Obama magnet. There's a picture of a Native American with the phrase, "Where's your papers?" In Spanish, the phrase, "We're here to stay. We're not going anywhere." is sprawled across one of the stickers. Another one asks, "Who would Jesus deport?" Still another has hands of different races with the words, "Help America bridge the racial divide."

Lastly, he has a bumper sticker with "bahai.org" on the bumper. The website is for his own religion, Baha'i.

Since the swastikas were painted on his car, Pellegrino has not removed them.

He and his family went out for Father's Day with the symbols painted on the car. They went to play tennis Monday night with them on the car.

"To me, I don't know if I'll take them off right away," Pellegrino said.

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Kenny Whetstone June 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM
Those aren't swastikas
Cindy June 21, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I have to agree. I do think, however, that it was, maybe, intended to be a swastika by someone who did not know how to draw one. Probably some teenager.
Rodney Poole June 21, 2012 at 01:45 PM
whoever did them did not know what they were doing. I think this speaks to the ignorance of those that contimnue to hate for no real reason
GaPatriot June 21, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Rich, your car is a mess. Looks like mine after getting hit by an illegal alien who then took off and ran, leaving his wife and baby in the car. Except the interior of my car was clean.
Wayne Hanson June 21, 2012 at 11:53 PM
Boy he's really asking for it with those stickers on his car.
Jeff S June 22, 2012 at 01:39 AM
This is worthy of a "news" story??? If Rich thinks an "X" drawn on his car with a marker is upsetting, he should see what happens to one's car if you park in downtown Atlanta with any sort of Christian symbol displayed. That kind of vandalism would never be reported as "news" however.
Darren Wheeler June 22, 2012 at 01:24 PM
A common occurrence within these "activist" communities are hate crime hoaxes. As soon as I read that this guy is a self-proclaimed "outspoken activist," (for illegal immigrants, no less) a hate crime hoax was the first thing which came to my mind. Countless cases are documented where people of special interest groups deface their own property and sometimes even injure themselves and claim it was done to them by someone else. It is done as a method of trying to gain sympathy for their cause. It is too convenient for an "outspoken activist" of a minority group to find a poorly/incorrectly-drawn swastika drawn on his wreck of a car. Lastly, his being an "outspoken activist" for people who are, literally, criminals... people who knowingly entered the country illegally and who remain in the country illegally and are working in the country illegally, speaks for his character and credibility and makes me yet even more suspicious that this is a hoax.
Becky June 22, 2012 at 05:42 PM
What happens to your car in Atlanta if you have Christian symbols? I have not experienced it, but don't get into Atlanta often.

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