Ballantyne neighborhood spreading messages of love instead of hate

Updated: Jul. 9, 2017 at 8:04 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A south Charlotte neighborhood is speaking out against a vandal who spray-painted a racist message on a Ballantyne couple's driveway on Friday.

The Nigerian-born couple woke up to find the words "Trump! Get out N******!" written in black on their driveway. They've lived in the neighborhood for 18 years.

RELATED: 'Trump! Get out N------,' couple wakes up to racist graffiti at south Charlotte home

"For this to happen is just outrageous, it's a hate crime," Bonnie Wallsh said, who is a neighbor.

"I don't know why this still happens this day and age," Jennifer Hall said, who is a another neighbor.

The couple's neighbors say they would not stand by and let their friends be attacked. On Saturday, the neighborhood decorated the pavement with sidewalk chalk to spread a much different message in their community. Due to evening storms Saturday, the group reassembled Sunday morning to finish chalking the sidewalks.

"We're going driveway to driveway, whoever wants to participate and we are spreading the love instead," Hall said.

They rounded up dozens of people in the neighborhood, from adults to children, writing messages of love on sidewalks and driveways. One message read "#CLTSpreadLove."

"I thought it would be great if our neighbor next door woke up and saw messages of love instead of messages of hate," Hall said.

Many of those who helped spread the love were children who are too innocent to understand the racial bias that started the movement initially. But still, the children hope their drawings will teach others, even people well beyond their age, right from wrong.

"I mostly want to do this so the people that have been given the bad note now know that everybody cares about them," Riley Hall, 8, said. "That everybody cares about them and they know that everybody like them."

"Be positive and if there's someone that being mean to you just try to work it out with them and just spread the love," Erice Suster said.

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.