An Indiana golf course is recovering from a disturbing vandalization after a Vietnam War vet came across a swastika and other racial slurs carved into Smock Golf Course in Indianapolis this past weekend.
“I guess I was a bit shocked to see it in the middle of a golf course,” Phil Rossman told local news station WPMT. “But not surprised to see it in society in general.
“It’s not the physical damage that was done, it’s the psychological damage. Anybody that’s willing to do such a thing directed at people who may be different than they are, it just bubbles up nothing more, nothing less really, than disgust.”
Rossman took a few pictures of the damage, which has now made statewide and national news.
Ronetta Spalding, a spokesperson for Indy Parks, released a statement that admonished the act while reiterating that the state’s parks are committed to inclusive participation.
“As Indy Parks welcomes 8.3 million people annually, our team is committed to keeping our parks and park spaces open to everyone,” the release read. “We work every day to ensure our customers feel comfortable in our parks and take pride in knowing our staff values the people we serve. We will not accept any action or activity that goes against welcoming people into our parks and will continue working closely with our park rangers and partners at IMPD to ensure the safety and security of all of our guests.”
The golf course maintenance staff has attempted to recover from the vandalism, but Rossman warned that the cosmetic damages to the greens are only a small part of the problem.
“There’s a cause and effect relationship to all this stuff,” Rossman said. “If we have people out there doing this, what’s the next step they go to? If they found out it was a few kids just dinkin’ around because of stuff they saw on TV, it doesn’t take away from the fact that it’s still wrong.”