Vandal spray-paints graffiti on local Obama headquarters
Supporters of Barack Obama in Longview, TX were proud when actor Samuel L. Jackson skipped the Oscars last Sunday to stump for Obama in their East Texas town. According to KETK News, some 400 people showed up at Eddie Towles Telephone Repair Service, the local Obama headquarters, to hear Jackson speak.
But on Monday morning, Longview police called Eddie Towles to alert him that his business had been vandalized. When Towles showed up, he found the misspelled word "racits" scrawled on the front of his building and "racist" spray-painted on both his vans.
"Now I cannot take my vans out with my technicians and service the good people of Longview with that 'racist' painted on the side of my vans," Towles told local tv news. "I am not a racist," said Towles, who is black. "I take this personally. They can destroy my vans but they'll never be able to destroy my spirit."
In a follow-up segment, Towles and his wife Patti reported that since the story first broke, "the phone has been ringing non-stop" with calls from concerned local residents. "My heart has been so touched by so many good people here in Longview," Towles stated. "Several offered to pay for the damage to my vans."
"Initially, it made me angry," stated Terry Barrett, one of many people who sent supportive emails to Towles. "He's worked hard to get where he is ... I just wanted him to know I was sorry for his loss," added Barrett, who is white.
The vandal was caught on video by a security camera but a suspect has not yet been identified. However, Towles states that "we've already forgiven them and we're pressing forward." According to KLTV News, "With so much support, the Towles say the act that was meant for bad has now been turned into something good."
NBC affiliate KETK reported initial details of the story here. ABC affiliate KLTV filed a follow up report here.
This video is from KETK and KLTV, broadcast February 26, 2008.