The Philips family went camping last week to enjoy time outdoors together in the last few weeks of summer. When the family returned home to Tenino, WA, they found out that their house had been vandalized and neighbors had come together to clean it up for them. According to Marvin Philips,
“I was told it was graffiti and nobody wanted to say what it really was. They finally said, ‘Marvin, it was the n-word and KKK, stuff like that.’”
Philips was shocked and hurt to learn that his family had been targeted by racists. His neighbors had organized over fifty volunteers to scrub the family home and truck and repaint them, removing almost all visible traces of the hate crime before the family returned. The mayor and the neighborhood police officer joined the neighbors in offering their time and hard work.
Heidi Russell, the chief organizer, told reporters,
“It was like I had to fix it. We had to make sure that truck did not look like that, because that’s the truck that takes his son to practice three nights a week. I would say love conquered this hate and we need a little bit more in this world.”
Philips was most grateful that his neighbors protected his children from seeing racial hate targeting them, and says his faith in the Tenino community has been strengthened:
“I don’t think what happened to me exemplified what’s going on in Tenino, I think the outcome of it shows what’s happening in Tenino.”
In this particularly turbulent election season it is heartening to see true American values shine through. America’s greatness is built by communities coming together and making the world a better place for their neighbors and their fellow citizens.
Marisa completed her undergraduate degree in 2013 at the University of Wisconsin with a double major in creative writing and media studies. She is an advocate of progressive policies and focuses her interests on gender equality and preventing sexual and domestic violence.