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September 08, 2010

Graphic Imagery of White River Junction Hate Speech

This week's print version of the Local Matters story, "White River Junction Neighbors Exchange Hate-Crime Accusations," didn't have space to run a cartoon by Brandon Elston. The 2009 graduate of WRJ's Center for Cartoon Studies lives in an apartment above the Main Street Museum, next door to a used bike shop owned by Bob Pickering, the subject of the article. Elston is also someone who's experienced this story firsthand, and chose to illustrate it graphic terms:

Bikeman-cartoon

Elston has been a tenant of the museum's owner, David Fairbanks Ford, for about two-and-a-half years, and says that, like Ford, he's had repeated run-ins with his neighbor. The most unsettling ones, he claims, involved Elston's friends of color, who've had racial epithets shouted at them by Pickering.

"I'm in a position now where my friends don't want to come over," Elston says. "[Pickering] even sabotaged a date I was on... We were parked out back and he chased us down and said a bunch of shit to us.

"I guess it's not violent, but it seems like there's the possibility for it to be," Elston adds.

Elston said he "cringed" when he saw the swastika graffiti painted on Pickering's store last week. "Is this going to re-inflame my on-again, off-again relationship with Bob?"

Click the comic to enlarge it.

Is the bike man still there?

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