When barber shop owner James Price saw the spray-painted slurs, he was disappointed and afraid.
“I don’t feel welcome anymore,” said Price, who is black.
The Blue Springs, MO barber went to his shop on Wednesday morning to find his shop windows defaced with racial slurs. The same wicked phrase appeared on three separate windows in black paint: “Die N***er.”
Price has owned Turn-N-Headz Barber Shop, off U.S. 40, for eight years. He said he’s never experienced anything like what he did Wednesday, reported The Kansas City Star.
“When you say die, that’s a threat on my life,” Price said. “Should I take it lightly or should I bear arms for my safety? I don’t even own a gun. … I never owned a gun.”
Jennifer Dachenhausen, a spokeswoman with Blue Springs police, said the incident is being investigated as property damage, but not a hate crime.
Dachenhausen said no other racially charged crimes like this had been reported in her 3 1/2 -year career until Wednesday.
Price speculated that the incident was fueled in part by Donald Trump’s election, which seems to have emboldened racists and other bigots.
“I think there’s a lot of tension, especially since Trump’s been in office,” Price said. “A lot of people think he’s racist, and people are being more bold in their racism.”
People think “consequences will be less because of who’s in office,” he added. “That’s not a fact, but that’s what comes to mind.”
Price also noted that since Trump’s election, more Confederate flags are flying on trucks in the city.
“People are really starting to show their true colors,” Price said.
“Ignorance is everywhere,” Price said. “People that do that are ignorant and have no love in their hearts, just hate. … But I’m going to continue doing what I’m doing — loving on people.”
While Price isn’t sure if the graffiti was supposed to be a death threat, he intends to continue to live, and to keep running his barber shop.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)