Posted Dec. 27, 2007- Somebody was so intent on letting Tim Ross, an African American, and his White wife, Robyn, know that they aren’t welcome in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, that he/she stood in mounds of snow on an ice-cold Sunday morning to spray-paint a hate message on their wall.
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Neighbors let the Rosses know that there was racist graffiti on the side of their brick house, the Cedar Rapids Gazette reports.
When they went outside, the stark letters – "White power," “LEAVE NOW” and “NIGGER” were accompanied by a picture of a hangman's platform with a stick figure hanging from it.
"They painted a swastika on my bedroom window, right by my head where I was sleeping," said Tim, 35, one of very few people of color in the neighborhood.
He believes it was personal. "Whoever it was had to get out and stand in piles of snow to do this," he said. "It's disheartening, especially in Cedar Rapids. It's easy to forget I'm African-American here." He grew up in Burlington, in southeast Iowa, the Gazette reports.
During his early years, he says his family felt the brunt of racism, but this was special.
"It was like a wake-up call," he said. "It's really frustrating to think people still think this way." The Cedar Rapids Police Department is investigating the incident as a hate crime.
Said Robyn Ross, 25, "We'll be interviewing neighbors."
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