Its often said that graffiti is a form of drawing and writing done on a surface for public view. For others is a form of art, which is expressive through a skill that needs to be appreciated for its beauty, but for someone like Heather Mac Donald is not. For her graffiti is simply vandalism, or what others called a destructive act done intentionally, willfully, and maliciously on a public or private property.
Her article "Graffiti Is Always Vandalism" is about hitting graffiti admirers. For her, these admirers are artists, museums like the ones in Los Angeles, and the ones in New York, which both celebrate graffiti. In other words she is not in favor of people and places who see graffiti as a form of art. As evidence of such dislike can be seen when Heather Mac Donald references John Lindsay as a former governor of New York that declared war on graffiti. For John Lindsay graffiti was outlined to be a disorderly conduct that could lead to other contagious criminal acts.
Maybe the problem is people connecting graffiti to gangs. Is graffiti really vandalism, or should it be called street art? If after obtaining consent someone was to obey imagination, and express it through many forms of art down a street would its meaning change? If someone is granted a consent to draw or to write not only it signifies no form of ownership, but the artist willingness to convey a message to the people. Graffiti artist focus on the meaning behind their paintings. Maybe what is needed is a more proper and better terminology for graffiti and vandalism; both do not go hand to hand. Persons doing negative art should be called "taggers" instead of graffiti artist. Taggers are the ones whose focus is on writing names, and rude things on someones property without their consent. That is vandalism! Taggers write on walls just for their own gain. They want to feel the thrill, and pleasure of doing the illegal act.