Apparently, white people around the country just felt like being their truest, most racist selves on Wednesday. A café in the Illinois neighborhood of Oak Park had a brick with racial slurs on it thrown at the window.
According to CBS Chicago, the Live Café and Creative Space on Oak Park Avenue serves as the campaign headquarters for Chibuike Enyia and Anthony Clark, both of whom are Black and currently running to be on the Oak Park board of trustees. The brick—which failed to break through the café’s double paned windows—had a note wrapped around it that said “No no (racial slur) on the ballot.”
The brick was handed over to Oak Park police as evidence, and a hate crime investigation has been launched, with police currently reviewing security footage from the area to see who was responsible. So far, it doesn’t appear as though any other businesses in the area were targeted.
Reesheda Graham Washington, the Black woman who owns the café, told CBS Chicago that she wanted her business to be a safe space for underrepresented groups and non-white people. She chose a building with double paned glass because she knew that simply trying to build an equitable space could potentially make it a target.
“I knew the race and equity and diversity and inclusion work I was coming here to do,” Washington said. The cafe has been closed in recent months as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
Clark and Enyia’s eligibility for the trustees race is currently being contested in Oak Park, and obviously they felt targeted by the attack. “We represent people who aren’t represented at the table in the Oak Park trustee race,” Enyia told the news outlet. “We’re not going to cower,” Clark added. “We’re not going to be afraid.”
Despite her business being attacked, Washington extended an olive branch to the potential assailant. “What if [you] came into the space, sat down and had a cup of coffee, and had the hard conversation about why we aren’t seeing eye-to-eye?” she told CBS Chicago.