LAKE OSWEGO, OR (KPTV) – A young artist was asked to remove artwork in support of the Black Lives Matter movement from her home. She painted ‘Silence supports police violence’ on the window.
The request to remove it came in an anonymous letter from a neighbor.
Now, the letter is going viral on Twitter after the artist’s sister posted what happened.
“Dear Neighbor,” the anonymous sender wrote. “We want to come home to a beautiful street where neighbors care and support one another. We have three homes on our street that are trying to sell for the best price possible. Your sign is driving down interest to live on this street, hence our property values suffer (including yours).”
It goes on to say, “We feel you’ve made your statement and respectfully request you remove it and save your political viewpoint for inside your home.”
“We say a lot when we are anonymous,“ said Julie Newton, who lives nearby. “I think people need to be able to express their opinions in whatever way they can.”
The letter is one of several like it posted in response to the tweet, showing the Black Lives Matter movement remains a controversial and divisive one, even if it was never meant to be.
“It just feels so insensitive over house prices, come on,” said Julián Jaramillo, who lives close to where the sign was painted and says it’s that house which encouraged him to put BLM signs up at his own house. “I hate that they got the letter, and I hate that we live in a community… that feels they’re entitled to ask for somebody to remove and change their point of view just because the house up the street is for sale. I mean, that doesn’t make any sense to me.”
The city of Lake Oswego responded in a Twitter thread, saying in part: “We stand in solidarity with this family… Everyone should be able to thrive in Lake Oswego without worrying about how the color of their skin affects their opportunities. No one should have to live with suspicion and fear of one’s neighbors.”
It goes on to say, “Please join us in stamping out racism, intolerance, and fear in Lake Oswego.”
“I do not think that a sign in a window bespeaks the safety, or the peace, or the concern of a neighborhood for each other that would drive down house values,” said Newton.
Jaramillo said, “I would ask them to leave it on. Hopefully that will encourage people, non-racist people, to move into the neighborhood.”
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