vandalism thegrio.com

When Hubert Roberts woke up on Tuesday morning in his home 20 minutes north of Flint, MI, he was planning to take two boys he mentors to the barbershop for haircuts. But those plans came to an abrupt end when Roberts walked out of his house to an “unbelievable” sight.

The N-word, “WITE PRIDE” and multiple swastikas had been painted onto his 2011 Chevrolet Silverado. Red shoelaces hung from both rearview mirrors, a symbol Roberts said is used by the Ku Klux Klan for intimidation and initiation into the organization.

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Hubert Roberts, an activist for Black Lives Matter and other rights groups, said he felt a mixture of disbelief, anger and disappointment as he looked at his vehicle.

He couldn’t think of any recent incidents that could have provoked this response other than the normal interactions he has had while protesting, which includes people spitting on him and calling him names. But while he tried to make sense of things, he got out his phone and took pictures of his truck, which he had bought just two years ago, and sent them to his family.

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Roberts’ stepdaughter, Jiquanda Johnson, founder and publisher of the online publication Flint Beat, said she was angry and frustrated by the pictures because anyone who knows her dad, knows he’s always out in the community, boots on the ground, mentoring youth.

A Target for Hate

Johnson now speculates that since the truck has activist symbols on it for the Black Lives Matter movement and the film Black Panther, that might have been what made her stepfather a target.

“Now I get it. People get upset about other people’s views and how they feel,” Johnson said in a Facebook Live video showing the truck’s vandalism. “But that gives no one the right to damage someone else’s property or come on anyone’s property.”

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It is also worth mentioning this hateful incident happened on June 19th, also known as Juneteenth, a holiday that commemorates the end of slavery in the United States.

Genesee County Sheriff’s Office was contacted about the vandalism and they are investigating. In addition, the Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) offered $1,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.

Racism is real.

Posted by Jiquanda Johnson on Tuesday, June 19, 2018