Joseph Tanios is my friend and 18-year City of Oakland employee who’s running for the District Four City Council Seat currently held by Annie Campbell Washington.
Joe Tanios has been victimized by racist acts during much of his run for the office. But, today, he just couldn’t take the abuse anymore. Indeed, he should have never had to sustain it.
This is what he wrote on his Facebook page:
Dear Friends, Family and Supporters,
As you may have heard, our campaign lawn signs have been stolen, defaced and placed in different areas throughout Montclair and Oakland hills at night.Swastikas and other messages of hate have been painted on my campaign signs. It is disgusting. I was saddened and outraged, particularly in the wake of the Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. My heart goes out to everyone who lost loved ones in the horrible massacre.
I do not know why I am being targeted. I have not received any communications explaining why I was targeted.
I will not be held hostage to HATE, BIGOTRY and RACISM. I am proud to be Lebanese American citizen. We must not allow these faceless, cowardly vandals to degrade the election process and our Democratic principles.
For each sign they steal, I will put up new signs. I will not bow down to these cowards.
This does not represent the values of Oakland or District 4. Nothing could be further from the truth. Oakland is one of the most diverse cities in the nation. This is a city that celebrates all different races, beliefs, religions and cultures. This is a city you can freely discuss ideas and different opinions. This is a city that welcomed me as a new immigrant. This is the city I have chosen to live for 24 years and raise my two daughters. This is the reason I chose to run for council member. I wanted to give back to the city that has given me so much.
I ask your viewers that if they see defaced signs, to please take a picture of it in its location, remove it and contact me at Josephtaniosforoakland@gmail.com so that I can report it to the police.
Please join me in rising as a community, to condemn hate and protect our beautiful city from the hateful acts of these faceless, cowardly vandals.
The Oakland Hate Crime Hotline is at 911, and here’s the guide: http://www2.oaklandnet.com/oakca1/groups/police/documents/webcontent/oak031566.pdf
Zennie Abraham is the CEO of Zennie62Media