It's horrible enough to be the victim of hate-crime-induced graffiti and epithets, but to have to endure it after a violent crime as well?!
A Schodack, New York family had to endure just that when, after narrowly surviving a fire, they found a swastika and racial slur spray-painted on their charred garage.
According to the Atlanta Black Star, the fire appears to have a connection with the racial epithets, and looks to be an arson commitment with a racist agenda.
Father of the household Laquan Madison woke up to take his usual bathroom run pre-midnight on May 14, when he said he noticed “an orange glow.” He quickly realized that his house was on fire and rushed to get his wife and kids to safety.
“I screamed my wife’s name,” Madison told the Albany Times Union. “We all got out.”
Soon after arriving at the scene, investigators found a swastika and a racial slur spray-painted on the family’s home. The huge blaze took five volunteer fire departments to subdue, and left little but rubble.
The exterior of the Albany area home, not too far from the hugely damaged garage, also suffered some damage, according to a local police chief.
Fortunately, the Madisons, their children and their animals escaped without injury, but of course, there is some emotional damage. The incident is now being investigated as a hate crime.
Schodack police Chief Joseph Belardo told the press, “Whoever did this will be facing some very serious charges.” He also noted that incidents like this aren't common in the quiet rural neighborhood.
The traumatic incident won't scare the family away, however. “It’s not going to force me to move,” Madison, 31, told reporters on Monday afternoon.
“This is our home. This is where we live,” his wife Jennifer Madison added with agreement. And unfortunately, hate crimes aren't a new concept to Mrs. Madison, who experienced a similar incident while living in Nassau, New York, in which someone spray-painted the n-word on her door. “We’re OK. This is just something I accept,” she said. “This is the world that we’re living in."
Laquan Madison confirmed with the Albany Times Union that while he doesn’t forgive the arsonist for what he or she did, he's concluded, “People are going to be who they are."
That may be true, but there's no need to harm others to be who you are. We wish for peace and for justice to be served for this family as they attempt to move forward through this ordeal.