Target: Mr. David Martin, Mayor of Stamford, CT
Goal: Support interracial couple pushing for an investigation into a hate crime, who are now at risk of losing their house.
An interracial couple living in Stamford, CT had their garage door vandalized by a widely sprayed anti-black slur. Mr. Lexene Charles, who is black, and Ms. Heather Lindsay, who is white, have long heard racist insults and obscenities. When the offenses escalated and their property got damaged, the couple decided to put the everyday racism they suffer in the spotlight and push the police to find the person responsible for this hate crime. Instead of removing the spray paint, they left it on the door to draw attention to the problem of racism. Unfortunately the city has charged them with accumulating fines per day because of the graffiti, ironically punishing the couple for being victims of a crime.
Though segregation is formally over, interracial couples still face discrimination and intolerance. Since the election of Donald Trump, there has been a significant surge in hate crimes in the United States. Those who have masked their prejudice are feeling increasingly confident to voice it out loud. In the case of the Stamford couple, there is an additional challenge, since Mr. Charles is a Haitian national. The couple claims that the garage door incident is not the first hate-inspired attack in the neighborhood since they allegedly have been yelled racist and xenophobic slurs since moving into their house, in 1999.
The decision to leave up the anti-black slur and see it every day is not an easy one. The couple reported being in fear in their home, wondering if other aggressions might happen. With nearby residents in discomfort, the couple argues that the remaining sprayed slur helped expedite the investigation conducted by the Stamford Police Department. Nevertheless, the city’s decision to charge fines daily can destroy this momentum. Mr. Charles and Ms. Lindsay are currently receiving a $100-a-day fine that accumulates with an old penalty for blight. Therefore, they might lose their home in an upcoming foreclosure trial. Sign the petition below to guarantee that this hate crime case continues to be investigated and the couple does not lose their home.
Dear Mr. Martin,
Two Stamford citizens were the target of a hate crime. Mr. Lexene Charles and Ms. Heather Lindsay, an interracial couple, had their garage door sprayed with an anti-black slur. The couple bravely decided to leave up the offensive word written on their property to call attention to the incident and denounce racism. Public discomfort and residents’ complaints, along with a rally set up by the NAACP, helped mobilize the Stamford Police Department to pursue the person responsible with more determination. However, the couple has been charged with a daily amount of fines because of the racist graffiti, and that might lead to their eviction in a few weeks. In other words, rather than being treated as victims, they are being punished for this outrageous incident.
It is unacceptable that Mr. Charles and Ms. Lindsay might be harmed in this process when the responsible for a hate crime might walk away. I urge you to cancel any fines imposed to Mr. Charles and Ms. Lindsay due to their defiant decision and turn all your office’s resources to solve this investigation.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Romel