Community rally held for refugees targeted with graffiti in Concord
Posted by Christopher Coen on August 9, 2012
A couple of hundred community residents and leaders gathered on Thursday to show support for the refugee family victimized with racist and xenophobic graffiti. An article in the Union Leader covers the rally:
CONCORD — Residents upset with an act of racist graffiti aimed at a family of Somali immigrants gathered at the scene Thursday to show support for their neighbors and condemnation for the hate crime.
Organized by New American Africans, a support group founded and led by immigrants, the rally drew a couple of hundred community leaders and residents to the street outside the family’s Thompson Street home…
Participants sang traditional songs and a handful of speakers told the family that the incident does not reflect the larger community.
The targeted family, a married couple and seven children aged 2-15, asked that their names not be used. The mother said the expressions of support have changed fear to hope.
“I was thinking about the people, they don’t know me, they don’t like me or some thing like that,” she said. “But today after I saw a lot of people in here and they say they are so sorry, I feel happy for now.”
Gov. John Lynch was direct in his words, directed to the victims, telling them he was disgusted, appalled and angry.
“I want your family to know this was an isolated incident, it does not reflect who we are,” Lynch said. “You are part of our family and you will get all the love and support we give all our neighbors in New Hampshire.”
Lynch called for prosecution of the responsible parties “to the fullest extent of the law.”
Rally participants said they hoped their presence would counter feelings of people who had been targets… Read more here