A black family has been driven out of their home in Friendship, Tennessee, by vandalism and racist graffiti painted on their home, but the town’s mayor insists the town is not racist.
The renter of the home told WBBJ what his family has been through over the past year:
It’s always been a message that we were not wanted here in Friendship, Tennessee. From vandalizing my car, garage, breaking in, stealing things, beating on the door late at night.
Mayor Casey Burnett didn’t seem too concerned about the racism and denied the town was racist:
That’s a pretty building, and it’s right on the corner there in the downtown area, and I was just more concerned with getting the paint off the building than I was anything else.
It did have a little bit of a racial slur to it, but we’re not a racial community at all, and things like that are not at all reflective of our community.
The renter of the home feels otherwise:
If they’re bold enough to walk up on a lit; I’m saying this is a well lit house, at night and do this, there’s no telling what they’ll do next.
Burnett still played down the hate crime:
If we had a problem, we won’t put up with it. We’ll put a stop to it, but I think this will blow over in a day or two.
Police Chief Bill Garrett said there is an investigation underway.