CRESTONE — Baca Grande residents found stickers with anti-Semitic language stuck to the back of a road sign at Alder and Silver in Crestone this weekend and have reported the find to the Saguache Sheriff’s Office as a hate crime.
Moshe Roston and Meryl Ennis discovered the stickers. Bumper stickers similar to the ones on the sign were also attached to signs late last summer after curbs and sidewalks were installed in Crestone, but Ennis says she and Roston covered them up. Ennis speculated that the person placing the signs each time may have been someone who just happened to be passing through the town both times.
The present stickers are hard to see because those coming up on the sign from the opposite side of the street can see them but cannot read them. And those in their vehicles who are able to see the sign cannot see the stickers on the back. Only those on foot or looking closely can actually read them, Ennis observed.
Ennis notified the town of Crestone to come inspect the signs to see whether the county or the town owns them.
Ennis has lived in the Crestone area for 20 years. For the past 15 years she has organized high-holiday celebrations there for the Jewish community. The nearest synagogue is in Denver, she said.
Anti-Semitic sentiment has risen in the past year or so concurrent with the presidential election in November, Ennis feels. She has notified the Anti-Defamation League of the incident as well as Hadassa, a national Jewish women’s organization.
Roston thinks an individual in Crestone is probably responsible for the stickers. “I do believe these views are not only held by one person in Crestone, but are widespread,” he says.
He attributes these views to certain widely circulated conspiracy theories regarding Jewish banking families and says such theories are at the bottom of most of the anti-Semitic feeling today. “Pointing fingers is not helping,” Roston added.
Ennis is saddened, and communicated the following to her friends.
“It’s amazing to see such bigotry and anti-Semitism right here in Crestone,” she said in an email Monday. “I pray for someone this misguided (and for the many others in this world). In the meantime, we should be aware.”