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In El Sobrante, a town apparently free of HOA covenants, a homeowner has redecorated his front yard in what appears to be early Third Reich.
The neighbors are not pleased.
Johnson insists the swastika, which is large enough to be visible from a low-altitude airliner, is not the same symbol embraced by Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime and some white supremacist groups.
A landscaping design in the East Bay has neighbors in an uproar as an El Sobrante man carves what appears to be a massive swastika into his front yard. https://t.co/FlQ77ZtJh5 pic.twitter.com/F32N30rs81
— NBC Bay Area (@nbcbayarea) June 5, 2019
“It’s a Tibetan sign that’s way back before swastikas were invented,” he told ABC7 reporters, who then asked him, “Are you Tibetan?”
Johnson reportedly answered, “I could be.”
About that Tibetan swastika, a symbol of spirituality known as a sauwastika in Buddhist traditions — it faces the left rather than right-facing Hindu swastika, which was appropriated by the Nazis. Johnson’s swastika faces right.
Maybe he just got his swastikas crossed up.
Regardless of his intentions, most of Johnson’s neighbors reportedly find the symbol, which replaced a dirt yard, offensive and provocative.
Not to mention a disaster for real estate values.
“It’s stupid. It kills the retail value of the house, kills the value of everyone on the street,” neighbor Vince Poehnelt told ABC7 on Tuesday.