A white male in Washington state is being searched for by police for dropping off a Ku Klux Klan robe and hood at a black-owned thrift shop.
The bold, offensive act is viewed by owner Leona Coakley-Spring as a threat, according to Fox13.
She recently opened her Rags to Riches Consignment shop in Redmond, an affluent Seattle suburb.
“You can’t be a black business owner in downtown Redmond, you can’t be here,'” she said. “I didn’t know what to do or what to say. It was just so horrifying.”
The robe and hood were likely left as a message and symbol of intimidation expressing the man's disapproval of Coakley-Spring's presence in the area.
After taking photos of the robe and hood, Coakley-Spring’s son, Shane, called police.
The local authorities said they are taking the case seriously. They’ve increased patrols near the store and released a composite sketch of the suspect.
“I can’t change the way I look,” Coakley-Spring reportedly told Fox13. “But it makes me feel like I’m not good enough. And that’s a bad feeling to have, that you’re not good enough.”
She said she has considered closing the store after the harassment, but she doesn’t want those trying to push her out to have the upper hand.
“We close the store, and they would win,” she said. “And I don’t want to give them any satisfaction.”
Race relations in America are in a disheartening state. It's almost as if the progress of the Civil Rights movement has been totally reversed.
Various forms of harassment have been lodged against virtually anyone who strives to improve the quality of life for African-Americans and/or promote inclusion.
A white contractor's luxury car was recently torched to rubble in New Orleans because he was hired to remove racist statues throughout the city. A white man in Virginia who didn't like his black neighbors hung a noose outside of his home along with derogatory signs.
The list of incidents like this happening nationwide is alarmingly lengthy, further proving the need for social movements such as Black Lives Matter.
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Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Johnny Milano