A black D.C. school official found racist epithets painted across the front door of her house in an integrated neighborhood of Silver Spring yesterday.
"You think it doesn't happen still," said Frances Watts, who has lived for six years in the predominantly white Kemp Mill Estates subdivision "But it does happen."
When her son Robert arrived home early yesterday morning, he discovered the words "nigger" and "KKK," among others, written in yellow paint on the door, the front walk and two nearby cars, one belonging to his mother and one to a houseguest. Tires on both cars had been slashed, too
"My front door was dripping with it," said Watts, who administers federal money for the D.C. school system's compensatory education program.
Similar incidents, including several cross-burnings attributed to members of the Ku Klux Kluan, have been reported sporadically in Prince Georges' County the last few years. But a Montgomery County police spokesman said yesterday he could not recall any such acts in the Silver Spring aera recently. Neither police nor the Watts family could suggest who might be responisible.
"It was done very quietly too," said Robert Watts, explaning that the family's two dogs, normally light sleepers and loud barkers, had apparently slept in a back room while the epithets were being painted.
The Watts family reported the incident to police while the paint was still wet, and then set to work cleaning off their front walk and front door with gasoline. It took Watts, her three sons and their guest about an hour to complete the job, she said.
Neighbors in the quiet community of $85,000 and $90,000 homes seemed just as astonished as the Watts family by what had had happened.
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