A Tampa, Fla., woman had a rude awakening last week after she says she was the target of workplace racism in a threatening incident that now has local law enforcement investigating.
Terri Silar posted pictures of the scene that she says greeted her as she walked into her office Feb. 21. In those pictures, one can clearly see a monkey hanging from her chair by a noose, along with two notes.
“You are getting deported back to Africa nigger & that will make America great again,” read one note that was signed “Whites 4 Trump” and was taped to the monkey.
“Nigger bitch,” added another note that was stuck to her computer.
“I had 18 emotions going through my mind. I was shocked, but most of all I was hurt,” Silar told WTSP-TV.
Silar said that she immediately asked her co-workers if they knew anything about the incident, asking, “Is this a joke? If so, it isn’t funny.”
She then reported the incident to her boss, who contacted the general manager.
“They were just as appalled as I was,” she said, adding that her boss said that they would scan every key code to try to determine who was in the building overnight and question those employees.
According to Silar, she and several co-workers had been discussing the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., when they got into a debate about gun control and the decisions made by President Donald Trump and former President Barack Obama.
Silar said she ended up walking out of the room after the conversation escalated. The very next day, she says, she walked into her office to find the monkey and notes.
“I felt threatened. I didn’t feel safe. For someone to be that bold. That is a blatant boldness and a hate crime. It is a monkey with a noose around its neck. What message do you think I’m going to take from that?” she added.
Silar declined to tell WTSP what company she works for, as she said she didn’t want the incident to impact business. She said that overall, the company has been very helpful and backed her 100 percent.
“In 2018, I’d like to say we’ve come so far, but then when this happened, I’m like, ‘Did we move? Are we standing still?’ I don’t know. I just don’t feel progression after something like this,” Silar said.