Notice at Houston apartment warns against 'adolescents of Afro-American race'

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A notice warning residents about black youth was posted at a southwest Houston apartment complex yesterday to the outrage of some of the city’s community members.

The Houston Chronicle reported that the notice, which was posted in the Rock Springs Apartments laundry room, read, “We ask you to please contact the office immediately every time you see teenagers or adolescents of Afro-American race or any other suspicious people in the property.”

It was posted in English and Spanish, since the majority of the complex’s tenants are Hispanic.

DeLoyd Parker, of S.H.A.P.E. Community Center, called on the Houston Housing Department and the Department of Housing and Urban Development to investigate the incident.

“It’s typical of racist views constantly perpetuated by people who just don’t want people of color to be a part of their experience,” Parker said.

According to the apartment complex, the notice is fake. When shown a photo of the sign, the apartment leasing employee said she had no knowledge of the notice and that “someone must have put it there.”

K.K. Singh, a person who identifies as the complex’s property manager, wrote in an e-mail, “We are always careful what kind of notices we put out. Our notices are always dated and signed. You should be assured that this notice was never posted by our office. It appears someone has successfully fabricated it and been able to attract the attention of the media and take away their precious time from other momentous issues.”

Deric C. Muhammad, of the Houston  Ministry of Justice, said the notice is “indicative of a mindset that causes black teens to be racially profiled, not only by apartment complexes, but by convenience store owners and others.”

He urged African-American families living in the apartments to “get the hell out of there as soon as possible.”

Shelby Stewart, the chairman of the Coalition to Defend Civil Rights and Human Dignity, called the notice “tragic.”

“It’s just depressing whenever I see racism rear its ugly head,” she said. “It’s tragic because crimes are committed by blacks, whites, Hispanics and Asians, but they have singled out a race of people.”

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