Photo: Brian Hickey (Philly Voice)

Now, I know nothing here is close to the sorts of discrimination people suffer every day based on their race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or whatever, but this is still absolutely maddening and completely inane. Here’s the deal: there’s a man with an orange 2007 Volkswagen GTI (a coveted factory Fahrenheit edition) , and he’s being harassed and had his car vandalized about parking on a street he has a permit for because his car is orange. That seems to be the sum total of the issue. That’s just insane.

The story was first published in the Philly Voice, who spoke with the car’s owner, a 25-year-old medical student named Korey—he’d prefer his last name kept anonymous.

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Korey lives in the East Falls neighborhood of Philadelphia, and has a Zone 8 parking permit, which, on the off chance that you’re not intimately aware of Philadelphia’s zoned parking system, means he absolutely has the right to street park his car in his neighborhood, no question.

Photo: Brian Hickey (Philly Voice)

Well, one neighbor does seem to have a question, as they’d left a handwritten note on his car that read

“MOVE YOUR CAR!” it read. “No one wants to see your bright orange car every time they look out their window. Park on another street. You have no right to park here.”

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Again, just so we’re clear, Korey has the Zone 8-given right to park his car there. He lives around the corner where street parking isn’t available, but that’s okay, since he paid for a parking permit to park on any of the streets in Zone 8, which includes Ainslie Street, the street around the corner.

The fact that the note specified “bright orange car” seems to be important, as the writer of the note did not bother to place a note on every other non-orange car on the street.

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In May, Korey found that his license plate had been spray-painted white, obscuring the letters and numbers, and this past Sunday, his car was keyed. And, after that, an envelope that read VIOLATION was found on his car, and inside was a cranky little note that read

“Parking on a street you don’t live on!!”

Again, it’s worth mentioning that parking on a street you don’t live on is not a crime, especially if you have a permit to park on that street.

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There is someone in the neighborhood that Korey suspects is behind the notes and vandalism based on interactions he’s had with the person about where he parks his car, and the implication that the person wasn’t fond of his car’s color. Even so, he has no actual evidence that this person may be behind the vandalism, so there’s not much he can do.

What I can do, though, is to remind everyone that if you have a problem with the color of someone else’s car on a public street, you’re the one with the problem, fucko. The idea that a car painted in an actual vivid color—not some anonymous silver or black or white—can make someone uncomfortable is patently absurd.

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I can’t wrap my head around the problem. Do these people seethe at the glory of nature when flowers bloom, thrusting their offensive, vivid colors in their sight? Do they gasp in pain and horror when a traffic light dares to blare its bold yellow, or ostentatious green light at them?

We’ve seen this manner of prissy chromatic dipshittery before, and I’m guessing there’s enough of these joyless cretins in the world that we’ll hear about it again.

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Color is a wonderful thing. Orange cars are fantastic. You don’t have to like a brightly hued car, but you absolutely can’t vandalize the car or harass the owner just because your own aesthetic sensibilities are so stunted you can’t deal with a bit of color on your street.

I can’t believe this even needs to be said at all, but there it is. No one cares if you can’t handle the color of their car legally parked on a public street, or for that matter, legally parked on their own property, even if it’s within sight off the property.

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So, to recap, whoever is bothering this man and his orange car, pound sand. And, if you’re a person who somehow, improbably, manages to be offended by the color of a car parked on a public street, you can pound sand as well.

The rest of us will still be here, enjoying the sight of colorful cars on the road.