An African-American family in Lake City, Florida lost their home in a blaze on New Year’s Eve and then discovered racist graffiti spray-painted on the remains Monday, WJAX-TV reported.
Joanne Perkins, an Army veteran, told the news outlet that her 6-year-old stepson in the hospital battling cancer is devastated. Ivory, who is at Wolfson Medical Center in Jacksonville, Florida, has been longing to return home after his bone marrow transplant.
“How do I explain that to a 6-year-old whose only wish is he wants to come home? How do I explain that to him?” a dispirited but determined Perkins asked WJAX.
Perkin’s eldest son accidentally started the fire that consumed their home on Saturday. She returned on Monday to salvage items that survived the blaze and found racist graffiti spray-painted on the back of the house and the words “Trump 17” painted on the side.
“This is 2017. It doesn’t make any sense. I don’t understand it,” she told WJAX.
The Red Cross is providing shelter for the six-member family at a hotel for a week. After that, Perkins said the family will be homeless.
In one bright note, members of the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team visited Ivory in the hospital to lift his spirits.
Meanwhile, a fundraising campaign is underway on YouCaring to raise $10,000 for the family to get a permanent place to live.