destruction of flagpole classified as hate crime

In Quincy, Massachussetts, the recent destruction of a flagpole that used to fly the Chinese national flag is being classified by police as a hate crime: Flagpole vandalism may spark dialogue. The American Chinese Federation flew the flag over its headquarters building, a decision that was met with protests a year ago by local Vietnam veterans. They said the flag symbolized a Communist regime that backed America's enemies during the war. The destruction of the flagpole was initially seen as a simple act of vandalism, but because of the history of protest, police later classified it as a hate crime (the American flag, which flew alongside the Chinese flag, was untouched). While you could look at this incident as a simple matter of flags and poles and vandals, I think it's indicative of the racial tensions and attitudes in the community. Quincy has a large and growing Asian population, and as this incident and previous altercations have shown, there is indeed some prejudice against the city's Asian immigrants. That's racist!

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