A billboard that went up Tuesday on Pacific Avenue in Tacoma doesn’t mince words.
“There are NAZIS in our neighborhood,” it reads against a black background.
Tacoma Against Nazis paid for the sign, which hovers over a bank just north of South 72nd Street.
The same group held a protest outside a tattoo parlor in the 1100 block of East 72nd Street on June 22. The group contends the parlor’s owners and staff are white supremacists. The parlor is less than a mile from the billboard.
“We wanted something close to the tattoo parlor but we also wanted something in a highly visible location,” said Hope Teague-Bowling on Wednesday.
The parlor’s owners have declined to speak with The News Tribune but have denied being Nazis. Reached by phone Wednesday, one of them called the billboard a “joke.”
“We wanted to say sorry to our loyal clientelle that have been harassed by ignorant, pathetic people,” the parlor posted on its Facebook page July 2. It added that business has increased since the June 22 protest.
Tacoma Against Nazis paid for the billboard as part of its campaign to bring awareness about the parlor.
“The whole thing is to promote critical thinking about white supremacy in the area,” Teague-Bowling said. The effort is directed at white people who might think staying silent and ignoring the problem is the best action, she said.
“We haven’t seen (white supremacy) go away and it continues to rise,” she said.