BAKERSFIELD (KRON/CNN) — A Bakersfield woman didn’t think anybody would mind when she put a “Black Lives Matter” sign in her yard.
That’s why LaToya Johnson was shocked to receive an anonymous letter, containing racial slurs and threats, asking her to take it down.
“Dear neighbor could you please remove you Black Lives Matter sign from you front yard,” the letter began.
It went on to say, “This is not Cottonwood, Compton or Watts and your Black Lives Matter sign is reducing the property value of this area and making it look very bad.”
The writer said they would say this “one time and one time only.”
As a homeowner in this neighborhood for two years and a daycare owner, Johnson says she was hurt to know someone could write and send her something like this.
Johnson read some more of the letter during an interview with local media:
“There are black people and there are (bleep). Just like there are white people and white (bleep), Mexican and Mexican (bleep). If you want to be equal and respected than be a neighbor not a (bleep).”
The letter was allegedly written by one of her neighbors who did not identify themselves.
Johnson says after she read it she felt threatened.
“I was scared because I took it as a threat and I was also shocked because I wasn’t aware that anyone felt this way about me in this neighborhood,” she said.
Johnson says she’s never had any issues with her neighbors.
She says the reason why she decided to hang this in her front yard is because what she says is happening around the world involving black men and violence.
“I have three boys. We live in a very very tough society especially with this social media stuff going on and I want my boys to know that hey your lives matter. When they come into their place of residence, hey, my life matters,” she said.
Johnson explains how believes all lives do matter and she says her sign is not suggesting that it doesn’t.
“All lives have always mattered,” she said. “Our lives have really never mattered. And by our I mean black people. Why is my freedom of speech making you upset?”
Johnson filed a police report and she says she’s hoping by speaking out, this will never happen again.
“This is not just about just being black. It’s about a movement of equality and justice,” she said.
Johnson has no plans to take the sign down.
She also says she is praying for the person who wrote the letter.WHAT OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON:
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