More than four weeks after someone burned the letters KKK and the shapes of three crosses in the front yard of an African-American family’s Metairie home, the grass still refuses to grow. And the family has not rushed to remove the symbols.
“We left it out there because we want people in the neighborhood to know that there are people in their own backyards that believe in this garbage,” said the family’s patriarch, who asked not to be named when a reporter stopped by Monday. He said he doesn’t want any publicity for himself, just public awareness that “racism is still alive and it is well.”
The property, in a predominantly white section of northeast Metairie, is home to a 35-year-old chef and a 34-year-old cosmetologist and their three children. They had lived in the house only five days when the symbols were discovered.
Perhaps the hardest part for the couple was explaining to their 9-year-old son why there were so many police cars in the yard last month, the meaning of burned crosses and the Ku Klux Klan, and why someone might not like the boy because of his skin color. It was a painful conversation the father said he never imagined having to have in this day and age.
But the family is determined to stay put, said the father, recalling that they have moved three times since Hurricane Katrina. “After my wife made me pack up all that stuff and move, I’m not going anywhere,” he said with a laugh.
He called the vandalism a cowardly act born of ignorance, and a similar reaction on his part would amount to stooping to the culprit’s level. As a father, he said, he must be a better model for his son.
This is disgusting…..someone please tell these people that it is the 21st century and there is NO room for such stupidity.