A Black Delano, Minn. family has opted to sell the home they purchased just a couple of months after receiving a series of threats from racists, The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
“Get out” was spray-painted on the exterior wall of the home and vandals also posted swastikas and racial slurs.
Latanza Douglas moved into the home with her husband and three foster children in December. Now, the African-American family is packing up their multilevel home to move to a community where they feel more accepted.
In addition to the vandalism, the intruders took gaming systems and left a note for the family saying, “Next time it’s going to be fire.”
Chief Sheriff’s Deputy Todd Hoffman said the slurs included racially charged symbols he opted not to describe. The case could possibly be investigated by federal authorities and classified as a hate crime.
“They are packing right now,” said Naresh Uppal, whose company built and sold the home to the Douglas family. “They’re having to move and basically start all over again. Which is very, very sad.”
Uppal’s company will buy back the home from the family so they can have a fresh start. The family has requested privacy, so he is acting as a spokesman on their behalf.
According to Uppal, the family of five moved into the home with foster children who he described as being “at risk.” Two of them are Black and one is White. They range in age from 9 to 12.
“These kids don’t cause any trouble in school or anything like that,” Uppal said. “The kids are shocked. It’s unfortunate that this is the world we live in.”
He also noted that by buying the home back, it will cost him tens of thousands of dollars. Uppal will move the Douglas family into another property built by his company.
Mayor Dale Graunke has lived in Delano for 63 years. He reportedly emotionally requested for the family not to leave and the local Lions Club dropped off a new Xbox for the children. The local pizza place has been delivering dinner to them, Uppal said.
Graunke told the Star Tribune that he met with Douglas at her home Wednesday and “let her know this is not Delano. This is a welcoming community.”