This morning the Crossing the River team was notified about a cross burning in North Carolina’s Haywood County late Saturday evening. Monroe Gilmour, Coordinator of Western North Carolina Citizens Ending Institutional Bigotry, forwarded a link to a segment about the incident produced by local ABC news affiliate, WLOS. According to the sheriff, a group of 4-5 juvenile boys placed a small burning cross on the lawn of a biracial family, purportedly targeting a young man in the family. He explained that this incident is being investigated as a hate crime, but the motivation is still unclear.
Wendy Lang, a local resident interviewed for the story, emphasized the environmental factors that influence the values and actions of young people. Confused about how these local youth could instigate a hate crime, Lang asked, “What are you teaching your young kids? Because I certainly don’t teach that at home.”
KatyAnna Johnson is Communications and Curriculum Specialist for Crossing the River.