Graffti

Submitted photo

A billboard sprayed with racist and anti-Semitic graffiti (some of which is not shown) was taken down off Route 101 in Temple.

TEMPLE — A Fenton Family Dealerships billboard in Temple has been taken down after it was spray-painted with racist words and anti-Semitic imagery.

The sign, which was posted on the westbound lane of Route 101, had been spray-painted with a swastika, the words “white power” and the n-word.

Donovan Fenton of Fenton Family Dealerships said the business was made aware of the graffiti Friday and the billboard was down by Saturday morning.

“It’s disgusting,” Fenton, who is also a N.H. representative, said Saturday afternoon. “It’s really unfortunate that someone wants to propagate hate like this.”

Temple-Greenville Police Chief James McTague said a roughly one-mile stretch of Route 101 roadway was sprayed with racist graffiti. The billboard was the only piece of private property damaged in the incident, he said.

McTague said citizens took it upon themselves to cover the graffiti.

Meanwhile, in national news, President Donald Trump promoted a video Sunday that includes a Trump supporter at The Villages in Florida shouting “white power” at counterprotesters June 14. Trump’s tweet called his supporters at the central Florida retirement community where the demonstration occurred “great people.”

The tweet of the video has since been removed, according to The Washington Post, and a White House spokesman said Trump had not heard the racist language when he sent the morning tweet.

The defaced billboard in Temple stands in stark contrast to recent Black Lives Matter rallies held locally and nationally in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minnesota police.

On Saturday, activists from local Black Lives Matter chapters and other social justice groups from across the state gathered outside the New Hampshire State House, calling for an end to systemic racism, white supremacy and police brutality, according to news reports.

Mia Summerson can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1435, or msummerson@keenesentinel.com. Follow her on Twitter

@MiaSummerson