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Thursday, October 2, 2008

Racists Deface Yards Signs

The Obama campaign has had problems with yards signs -- mainly getting them in the first place. Who lives in a more rural area had her long time neighbor ask her why she had the sign of that n------ in her yard. In my neighborhood, the racists took a different tact -- defacing the signs. A neighbor discovered hers and later I saw that my yard sign had been similarly defaced. RGN
Obama yard signs defaced in M.P.

Thursday, October 2, 2008 5:40 AM EDT
Sun Staff Writer

The discovery of hate messages attached to "Obama for President" signs has angered some Mt. Pleasant residents.

One of the notes posted to the yard signage states "Do you really want a Muslim in the White House?"

"I was stunned by it," Bamber Woods resident Robert Newby said.

Newby was one of the residents who discovered the hand-written message taped to the front of his sign this past Tuesday.

"Obama is not even a Muslim," he said. "It shows the ignorance of the person who did it."

He said his neighbor also had a similar message taped to one of her Obama signs too.

"Late Friday afternoon a fellow Obama supporter knocked on my door and she was really upset that someone had put an anti-Muslim note on her sign," he said.

Then one appeared on his property.

"It's a level of hatred that makes no sense," he said.

In response, the Mt. Pleasant Area Diversity Group has informed the Michigan Department of Civil Rights in order to have the incidents logged.

"Though this incident doesn't rise to the level of a crime, it is an incident about which the community needs to be informed and as a community organization that affirms diversity, we think it is important to respond," Chair of the MPADG Laura Gonzales said.

Although the messages do not constitute a crime, it is classified as a "bias-motivated incident," she said.

Newby said there are probably others who have found similar messages on their signs as well.

Gonzales said the sign perpetuates stereotypes of Muslims.

"This incident clearly was intended to feed on the mistaken stereotypes of Muslims as perpetrators of hate. In reality, the majority of our Muslim brothers and sisters are peaceful people," Gonzales said.

Secretary for the MPADG, Will Westerfield, said whoever wrote the notes are trying to create fear into those reading it.

"The writer of the notes has an obvious bias towards all Muslims with their attempt at instilling fear into those who see the notes," he said.

Newby said he is not a Muslim.

"I'm African American, but I'm not a Muslim," he said of possibly being targeted.

Gonzales pointed out that the group's response to the incidents are not about party politics.

"If a McCain-Palin sign were vandalized in a similar way, for example making derogatory remarks about persons with disabilities or women, we would be equally disturbed -- and our response would be identical to our response to this incident," she said.

"Discrimination and hatred have no place in a community that desires to be unified," she said.

Gonzales said if anyone else has experienced similar incidents that they can call the MPADG. The group is trying to track the number of incidents in order to report them to the MDCR.

Call Gonzales at 772-8927 or visit

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