SPOKANE, Wash. --- Someone spray painted a slur on the side of the Martin Luther King Jr. Family Outreach Center in Spokane on Monday night or Tuesday morning.
The center said the N-word was painted in front of the early childhood education playground.
Officials held a press conference at noon on Tuesday to “Rally to Erase the Hate.”
“This type of hatred will not be tolerated,” explained Freda Gandy, the executive director, at the rally. “The hatred that you’ve attempted to unleash on this community will not be tolerated by us.”
Dozens of residents turned out to the rally to show their support for the center.
“This is not okay. If we stand against it now, we can stop it before it continues to spread,” said Gandy. “We just want to do good work, that’s it. We just want to be here for families. We didn’t ask for this. Our kids didn’t ask for this.”
The community took turns helping to paint over the slur on the wall.
Community members are taking turns painting over the hate. pic.twitter.com/teAzJ7qYt5— Lindsay Nadrich (@KREMLindsay) November 15, 2016
“The outpouring of community support for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Family Outreach Center today was remarkable, humbling and exemplified everything that is right about Spokane," wrote Mayor David Condon and the Spokane City Council in a joint release on Tuesday afternoon. "To see more than one hundred people assemble with very short notice to stand with the Martin Luther King Jr. Center staff and the families they serve sent a strong, clear and undeniable message that hate will not be tolerated in our community. Not today. Not ever."
Today’s incident in Spokane is just one attempt to divide us with fear and intolerance, something that has no place in Washington.— Governor Jay Inslee (@GovInslee) November 16, 2016
“We seek to expand tolerance and understanding. As leaders, we want everyone to feel free and safe in their community. Actions like this hateful vandalism only set us back," wrote State Senator Andy Billig and Representatives Timm Ormsby and Marcus Riccelli in a joint press release. "We cannot allow hate to continue to spread, further alienating and dividing this great nation."
KREM 2 has chosen to blur the image with the racial slur.
(© 2016 KREM)