Graffiti: art or crime?

I love graffiti.  I love it in the way I love tattoos.  Its colors.  Its placement.  Its voice.  Its randomness.  Reading Jonathan Lethem made me love it more.  He made me want to be a graffiti artist.

The stars must have aligned or something because it's a series of odd coincidences that have me blogging about this. Yesterday I stumbled across a site called Graffiti Archaeology, and the flame was lit again. Then I noticed the cover story of the style section of today's Post was
on the arrest of the infamous DC graffiti artist, Borf.  I'd seen Borf's
work...who could miss the giant tag over the Roosevelt Bridge?  I was never a Borf tracker (though I've found myself inspired to seek out DC's graffiti marvels for a shoot), but I found myself saddened by his arrest.  Don't get me wrong, I understand the sanctity of private property, but most of the stuff graffiti artists tag is abandoned, ugly, what I would call public, etc.  Is it fear that drives people to despise
graffiti?  Do they associate it with gangs?  Fear a 'the wrong element' is hanging around her neighborhood?  Fear the message delivered?

I see graffiti as art.  Yes, some may just be someone's initials or some curse words, but look at the slope of the line, the color chosen.  Look time you might be seeing my tag.