More swastikas and slurs spray painted across South Bend
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The South Bend graffiti problem continues. On Monday, ABC57 News reported the increase of hate symbols, spray painted across South Bend
But Tuesday, another victim is coming forward, after seeing continuing coverage on ABC57 News.
"We were about to head out to the beach on the Fourth of July, [and we saw] a racial slur, painted in bright, coral paint on the side of our car and over the windshield," says Danielle Haley.
For Haley and her 12-year-old son, Jacob, Independence Day was supposed to be a day to celebrate America's freedoms.
But instead, they woke up to the n-word slashed across the car.
"I felt some victory that the person who was intending that racial slur made a mistake and put it on a car of a Caucasian," she explains. "I felt like it was a laugh in their face that they wouldn't be able to wound people with their words."
"It's just a way of harming people and there's no reason too," adds Jacob.
The words are still mostly there six days later.
Because of the amount of spray paint, Haley told ABC57 News they can't afford the expense of completely cleaning the words from their car.
But that wasn't the end of it.
"I saw a swastika," says Jacob.
Just steps away from their apartment, swastikas and more slurs are seen spray painted on garages.
But instead of getting angry, Haley is using this situation as an opportunity to educate her children.
"It's a great way to start a conversation on race and standing up against wrongdoing and to have a sense of justice," she says. "It's a rallying cry to me, that in our own lives and our own relationships, to demonstrate a spirit of love and a spirit of acceptance.
Because, she says, it clearly can happen anywhere.
"I'm frankly shocked. South Bend is a diverse place. Where we live is a diverse place and we all get along," adds Haley.
But she wants to make sure her children known, it's never okay.
"I guess some people still have those ideals," explains Jacob. "And it just surprises me because it's so wrong."
ABC57 News did reach out to the South Bend Police Department for an updated count on the vandalism. As of air time, there was no response.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the police department.