Actions Speak Louder Than Words | Not in Our Town

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

A Grandmother Reflects on the Needs and Recovery of her Victimized Granddaughter

By Mae Lois Turner, Shasta County Citizens Against Racism   Editor's Note: When an African-American resident of the small Northern California town of Anderson woke one winter morning to an 8-foot-tall burning cross on her lawn, the flames were within feet of the victim's house. If the burning cross had fallen, it would have very likely set her house afire. Mae Lois Turner, the…

A Grandmother Reflects on the Needs and Recovery of her Victimized Granddaughter

 

By Mae Lois Turner, Shasta County Citizens Against Racism
 
Editor's Note: When an African-American resident of the small Northern California town of Anderson woke one winter morning to an 8-foot-tall burning cross on her lawn, the flames were within feet of the victim's house. If the burning cross had fallen, it would have very likely set her house afire. Mae Lois Turner, the grandmother of the victim and retired nurse, shares her experiencing supporting her loved one, from turning to the police to relating with the media.

 

 

I remember the day it happened. My granddaughter called me and told me what had happened, that a cross was burning in front of her house. She was really frightened and kept asking, “What did I do?” I told her she didn’t do anything. This was about the color of her skin. I also knew whoever did this probably didn’t live far from her, and as it turned out, he lived just down the street.
 
I was born in Mississippi and spent the first eleven years of my life there. I saw a lot of things in the South. I was always very observant; I’m a watcher, and as a nurse, you’re also taught to closely scan things. I told my granddaughter that what happened needed to be reported to the police, because if we didn’t, this wouldn’t stop here. And when she did, the Anderson Police Department was wonderful. They made us feel like they cared. Retired Police Chief Neil Purcell, he was dedicated, kind and really good with my granddaughter. I think she felt safer.
 
My granddaughter, she needed not to feel more exposed than she already did and didn’t know what kind of retaliation she might experience. So we were careful not to publicize her name and asked the media not to expose her identity. In the Not In Our Town Northern California documentary, she told what happened to her, but without showing her face.
 
She needed love and support from me, but she needed it from a lot of people. And when 600 people turned out on a rainy day to march for her through town, it showed her that people were taking a stand. Actions speak louder than words. People acted that day and sent a message to the person who did this and people like him that we are not going to let you get away with this. Numbers mean a lot. I think my granddaughter realized that this could happen to anybody. She saw that she was not alone and when you have that support, you do stand taller. She grew a lot from that experience – we all grew a lot.

 

Comments

 that is wrong . yes it defently had to dael with her race . why would they do such a thing? she didn't do anything to that person? 

Please, keep up the awesome work and continue to post topics like this. I am really fan of your blog!

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