Trump Graffiti Incident Inspires Community Forum

Nov 11, 2016

On the morning after the election, a woman in East Haddam, Connecticut, put up a homemade sign calling for love and unity. That night, someone painted over it with the words “Trump 2016.” 

Theresa Govert put the sign up at the corner of a well-trafficked intersection in town. She says she wanted to make sure her friends in the area felt safe.

“Some of them are immigrants, some of them are Muslims, some of them are LGBT, and I just wanted to make sure that was what they saw on Wednesday when they went out into our community.”

The next morning, Govert got a few calls from parents in the community who were disturbed that their children had seen the defaced sign on their way to school.

“I can’t say I was surprised.”

Govert says the community was supportive. A friend and her daughter dropped by to paint over the graffiti, and Govert left a new sign underneath saying “Still We Rise.” She says she’s not angry at the person who defaced the sign.

“I’m just worried for that person. I feel like they’ve lived life feeling very threatened, is what I’m assuming, and they potentially haven’t been exposed what real strengths diversity brings to our nation, and sees it more as a threat.”

On Sunday East Haddam residents held a community forum to discuss the vandalism.

Govert said the town shouldn’t tolerate racism and bigotry.

“What we need to do, all of us, regardless of where we come from, what our political beliefs are, is to stand up against that small minority of people who felt emboldened by this and say no, that’s not acceptable in our community.”

Dozens of people spoke to a crowd of about 200 people at a local church.

In an interview with CBS’s 60 Minutes Sunday, Trump told his supporters to stop harassing people and destroying property.

Over the weekend, two men in Meriden, Connecticut, were arrested after they attacked a man holding a Trump sign in a traffic island.