Graffiti Isn’t Violence

Well, that’s it. Must every problem or dilemma be connected to so-called gang violence? Ralph Vartabedian’s “Anarchy in a Can” (March 13) is a perfect example of taking a meaningful and truly artistic form of expression--graffiti art--and connecting it to destruction and/or gang violence.

Firstly, there is a difference between “tagging” (putting the name of a gang affiliation on a wall) and “piecing” (doing a piece of art on a wall), the former being what Vartabedian’s article seemed to be about.

Secondly, if we, as adults, can stop shutting down and shutting out the natural and wonderful talents in our youth and encourage them, we could help them find appropriate spaces for their expression, perhaps even teach them to market their talents (and learn the process of gaining financial responsibility and maturity).

Gang violence is not graffiti, it is a reaction to our adult failure to provide outlets for (or even acknowledge in most cases) the frustration of dealing with the severe power and resource divisions in this country. This is something a can of spray paint cannot change.


We adults have the power to change the situation by our responsible thinking and actions and our votes.


Santa Monica