One of the houses tagged is right across the street from us. Two women in their 80's live there. Their house is modest, but always well cared for, with a neat lawn, carefully-groomed rose bushes, and small pots of geraniums on the porch.
It broke our hearts when one of the women said that she was worried she had been targeted for her race. She and her housemate are black - and while the neighborhood as a whole is a historically black section of Seattle, our block is sometimes called "the white block" by people passing by. We reassured her that their house was not targeted for any reason at all, that there were at least two other houses tagged on the block at random, and that it was a good thing Scott hadn't seen who it was or he woulda knocked their blocks off. She smiled at that.
We ran down to Lowe's and got some GoofOff and rags and a wire brush drill attachment. Then, with our neighbor George, we got to work. We scrubbed and sprayed and buffed for an hour or two. George's kids and some other of the neighbor kids came out and scrubbed with us. Finally, it was looking a little better.
While I was cleaning the reflectors at the traffic circle, a thuggish-looking guy drove by and said "That won't last, man". I said I guess I'd just come out and clean it every time it happened. But as we were all scrubbing our neighbor's garage, a young black woman (I only mention her race because of our neighbor's fear that the graffiti may have been racially motivated) walked by and mentioned how horrible it was that this house had been tagged, but how great it was that we were helping out by cleaning it up.
And that's what we told our neighbor. We need to watch out for each other. They aren't capable of getting out there and scrubbing graffiti off of their walls, but we are. You do what you can to take care of the people around you. Not because we expect them to do something for us, but because we're all in this together. When someone shows disrespect for our neighbors, they show disrespect for us, and we stand together and do what needs to be done.
After we were done, and had hosed down the driveway and promised to come back to re-paint the garage door if it needed it, our neighbor thanked us and wished us a blessed day. We knew that had already happened.