San Francisco man sparks outrage by landscaping a giant swastika in his front yard – but he insists it represents Tibetan spirituality and has nothing to do with Nazis
- Steven Johnson sparked outrage after landscaping a giant swastika in front of his home in San Francisco
- He claimed it was a Tibetan sign where the arms which face counter-clockwise
- Johnson’s sign faces clockwise which is the same as the Third Reich symbol
- He has no plans to get rid of it despite objections from neighbors, telling critics, ‘It ain’t none of your guys’ business’
A San Francisco man who landscaped a giant swastika into his front yard pavement claims is not a tribute to Nazism even though it is the exact symbol adopted by Adolf Hitler’s regime.
Steven Johnson, from El Sobrante, sparked outrage after placing the swastika in front of his home on Lindell Drive, with neighbors claiming it represents all that is wrong in American modern society.
Johnson insists the swastika, which is large enough to be visible from aerial views, is not the same symbol adopted by Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime and some white supremacist groups.
Steven Johnson, (pictured), from El Sobrante, sparked outrage after placing the swastika in front of his home on Lindell Drive
Johnson insists the swastika, which is large enough to be visible from aerial views, is not the same symbol adopted by Adolf Hitler’s fascist regime and some white supremacist groups
‘It’s a Tibetan sign that’s way back before swastikas were invented,’ he told ABC7 reporters.
He was then asked if he was Tibetan, to which Johnson reportedly answered, ‘I could be.’
Johnson then claimed: ‘I own this house I’ll put what I want. It ain’t none of your guys’ business.’
The Tibetan symbol of spirituality is known as a sauwastika in Buddhist traditions. It faces the left rather than right-facing Hindu swastika, which was later used as a symbol by the Nazis.
Johnson’s swastika faces right and is a replica of the Nazi symbol. In Buddhism, the swastika is considered to symbolize the footprints of the Buddha.
The signs are also on Johnson’s handrail and around his doorbell too. He added: ‘I like those signs I think they look cool. I like them.
The yard also has a peace sign not far from other swastika-looking symbols around the doorbell at the home where Johnson has lived for over 20 years
Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia claimed that the county doesn’t have the ability to force Johnson to remove the symbol
‘It’s a Tibetan sign that’s way back before swastikas were invented.’
Renee Schultz, who is Jewish and has been Johnson‘s neighbor for 27 years, is shocked at his actions and claimed that he has never done anything so extreme before.
She told NBC Bay Area: ‘I was very clear with him about my feelings. I don’t agree with it; I think it’s wrong. I don’t like it, but it is his yard.’
Renee Schultz, (pictured), who is Jewish and has been Johnson‘s neighbor for 27 years, is shocked at his actions
Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia claimed that the county does not have the power to force Johnson to remove the symbol.
However he called on the public to renounce all forms and symbols of hatred and discrimination.
‘This is an unacceptable thing because of what this stands for and how people perceive the symbol,’ Gioia added.
Another neighbor, Vince Poehnelt, who has known Johnson since childhood, said a lot of people are fearful, offended and afraid.
He said: ‘I consider the guy harmless. Maybe he’s a little too lazy to be a full-blown neo-Nazi.
‘It’s stupid. It kills the retail value of the house, kills the value of everyone on the street.’
Law enforcement agencies said they are currently not investigating the incident.
The swastika is an ancient symbol used in many cultures that was adopted by Adolf Hitler and turned into a symbol of hatred.
Since then, the swastika has become the most notorious hate symbol in Western culture and is also used by white supremacy groups.
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