On Friday, a Nigerian-American couple awoke to find graffiti that invoked both a racial slur and the name of the president in the driveway of the house they’ve lived in for 18 years.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Toks and Ayotunde Ayodele, two Nigerian immigrants who share a physician’s practice in Rock Hill, South Carolina, had never experienced racial hatred like they woke up to on Friday morning.
“In 2017, you don’t expect that,” Toks, the 64-year-old wife of the couple, told the Observer. “We’re a couple that minds our business. We help people in the neighborhood any way we can. It makes you wonder and doubt if people are really true and genuine with us.”
“In 18 years, I’ve never felt not wanted,” Toks told local news channel WCNC.
“TRUMP! GET OUT N*****S!” the graffiti in their driveway read. The Ayodele’s said that although they’d been the recipients of racism before, nothing compared to that graffiti — and that the use of the president’s name was telling.
“When people think that they can use the president to pass bigotry to you, it says a lot about where we are. That people are counting on that to show hatred to their neighbor,” Toks said.
The couple reported the incident to the police, who advised them to install a camera to catch the person responsible if they come back. They also told them that beyond filing a report, there wasn’t much they could do.
After the incident, the couples’ neighbors helped them document the graffiti and offered emotional support.
“If we remain silent and do nothing, we are as guilty as the hateful person who wrote this message,” neighbor Bonnie Wallsh wrote in a post on the social network Nextdoor documenting the racist vandalism. “We must actively resist hatred towards our neighbors.”
Watch the Ayodeles explain the racist graffiti incident below, via WCNC.