The black and white "ribbons" displayed at several homes in a Lower Macungie neighborhood express the reaction of residents to an ugly racial aspersion cast late last week:
They don't like it.
A week ago, an African-American family who lives on Sequoia Drive woke to find that "KKK" had been spray-painted across the garage door of their home and reported it to state police at Fogelsville.
The act has been classified criminal mischief and occurred between 10:30 p.m. Dec. 6 and 7:30 a.m. Dec. 7, police said.
The garage door has since been painted over.
How would your neighborhood react to an incident like this? Tell us in the comments section below.
More than 190,000 such hate incidents and crimes occur each year in the United States, according to a 2005 report.
A day or two after the Lower Macungie incident, residents found a "ribbon" made of black and white construction paper had been anonymously delivered to each home, according to a neighbor who declined to give her name.
On the back of each "ribbon" was an anti-racist statement, she said.
Several homes on the street displayed them as a show of support. Some were attached to doors or trees, others were displayed through windows from the inside. At least one was affixed to a garage door.
"We're usually very close-knit and friendly," said the neighbor who has lived on Sequoia Drive for the past eight years.
"Nothing like this has ever happened before," she said.
Anyone with information is asked to call police at 610-395-1438.
An online database of hate incidents includes eight reports from Pennsylvania this year including these:
- Racial slurs and graffiti spray painted on more than 20 vehicles in a Philadelphia neighborhood.
- Five people allegedly yelled racial epithets, destroyed property and shot paintballs at campers at a Jewish summer camp in the Poconos.
- Fliers from the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were left at mobile home parks in Butler County north of Pittsburgh.