Midland home is the target of sign vandalism, racist graffiti

Sign theft and vandalism started during 2020 campaign season
Signs vandalized in Midland
Signs vandalized in Midland(Jennifer Austin)
Published: May. 4, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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MIDLAND, Mich. (WJRT) - A Midland woman’s signs have been damaged over the last several months, but racist graffiti is the last straw, and she wants it to stop.

Jennifer Austin put up a new set of signs last week, but just days later, they were vandalized again.

She say this all started during the 2020 election cycle.

“Which was frustrating and it was widespread throughout Midland on both sides, I saw Democratic candidate’s signs damaged for the most part, but there were also some Republican signs damaged too,” says Austin.

Then in the spring, she put up three more signs on her family’s west side Midland lawn, one promoting mask wearing, but on April 16th, they too were vandalized with red paint, with Trump painted on one, and Black Lives Matter painted over.

“They also spray painted phallic imagery on the sidewalk,” she says.

Austin got new signs last week, but one promoting Gay Pride was stolen, and other socially conscious messages crossed out.

“The thing that makes me the angriest is they also spray painted the n-word on our sidewalk, so that combined with crossing out Black Lives Matter the last time, those are really racist actions,” says Austin.

She is not concerned for her or her family’s safety.

“They are not attacking me, they are attacking black and brown people that live in this community,” she says.

And each time they signs are vandalized, she leaves them up, so people can see what is being attacked.

“They are trying to perpetrate hate, and racism, and other problems in this community. We as a community have to stand up and say this is not acceptable, this will not be Midland, we will not it let be Midland,” says Austin.

Austin is the chairwoman of the Democratic Party in Midland County, but she hasn’t had that role for long and she does not think that’s a factor in the vandalism.

Midland Police are investigating.

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