“I had to do it,” said Robert Dixon after tearing down symbols of hate from the home of one of his Sacramento neighbors. “As an American, I just had to do it.”
Breitbart News reported in late February that a man living in Sacramento’s River Park neighborhood flew an American flag displaying swastikas instead of stars, and Israeli flags with swastikas instead of Stars of David, outside of his home. Although neighbors protested, the man refused to remove them.
Things changed on Tuesday. Since the neighbor wouldn’t remove the flags, Dixon, a successful contractor, took it upon himself to tear them off the house.
“It’s time for us as Americans to not be so complacent,” Dixon exhorted. “To stand up and say, ‘Hey, we’re not going to put up with it.’ I’m not Jewish. I’m not military. I’m not a student. But I’m an American and I love my country. And I respect the Jewish people and they are our allies and I just had to do it.”
Jerry Sprague, one of Dixon’s other neighbors, pointed out to KCRA 3 that Dixon’s actions were not a felony and doesn’t think authorities will give Dixon a hard time. “It’s just a misdemeanor, so he doesn’t have anything to worry about being prosecuted,” he said.
Dixon explained to KCRA3, “I knew I was willing to deal with the consequences for my beliefs — and my belief was that needed to come down that day for that neighborhood.”
Ryan Pessah, chairman of the Jewish Community Relations Council in Sacramento offered his take on the incident, which may come as a surprise to those repulsed by the actions of the anti-Semitic neighbor:
The rally organizers don’t condone this type of activity or this behavior… Ripping down signs on private property — no matter how hateful the speech — is contrary to what the Constitution allows. And although they are offensive, and the example of hate speech, it is protected under the First Amendment. Those displays are hateful, but we wouldn’t want him to feel the way his speech makes us feel.