Disabled man and his advocate target of racist, anti-gay vandalism

Jason A. Michael
By | 2018-01-15T19:35:06-05:00 July 26th, 2007|Uncategorized|

WATERFORD –
A handicap parking sign belonging to residents in a federally subsidized housing unit was vandalized over the weekend with homophobic and ethic slurs. Anthony Williams, who lives in the Whispering Woods housing complex, awoke Saturday morning to find that one of his handicap parking signs had been completely removed. The other, meanwhile, had been turned to face his unit. A basecoat of white paint completely covered the sign and on top in blue spray paint were written such slurs as “dick sucker,” “fudge packer,” “faggot” and “nigger lover.”
“They turned that sign around to face our apartment unit so that when we looked out we would immediately see it,” said Williams. “Our first response was to call the police. I told them that I had seen a group of men outside around 4 a.m. when I stepped out to have a cigarette. There were people standing outside of another unit and a lady pointed a finger at me.”
Waterford Police officials arrested a man in the complex on an outstanding warrant and confiscated the sign for fingerprint analysis. But no arrest in this case has been made. The following morning, Williams’ was on his way to church when he found his car had been egged.
Though residents in the complex have apparently mistaken Williams and his roommate for a couple, Williams, in fact, is not gay. Williams, who is black, is the medical advocate for his roommate who is mildly retarded. Williams’ roommate is white and openly gay.
“He’s really suffered a lot from this,” said Williams of his roommate. “He’s not been able to process this effectively.”
Williams has spoken with representatives from the Triangle Foundation and the NAACP. He also plans to speak with an attorney from the Rainbow Law Center. The management of Whispering Woods has sent out a letter to residents, but Williams said he is not completely satisfied with the complex’s response.
“There could be a lot more being done,” he said. “As these incidents seem to be occurring in the middle of the night and early morning, they need to either hire some security here or monitor the parking lot with some sort of detection device.”
Williams said that as the housing unit is federally subsidized and as the slurs were painted on a handicap parking sign, the incident qualifies as a hate crime. He is also following up with the FBI.

About the Author:

Jason A. Michael
Jason A. Michael earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Wayne State University before joining Between The Lines as a contributing writer in 1999. Jason has received both the Spirit of Detroit Award (presented by the Detroit City Council) and the Media Award from the Community Pride Banquet & Awards Ceremony for his writing and activism. Jason is also an Essence magazine bestselling author having written the authorized biography "Strength Of A Woman: The Phyllis Hyman Story," which he released on his own JAM Books imprint.