N-word spray painted outside Brookside business; owners respond to the hate with love
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Physiques by Monique owner discovered racist graffiti spray painted right outside her business Thursday.
Now, police are trying to figure out who was behind the act.
When Monique Washington, owner of Physiques by Monique, walked into work Thursday, seeing the N-word was the last thing she expected to discover.
"It hurts to read such a dirty word like that," said Washington. "I have never actually seen or been called that word since middle school."
She opened the doors to her business on Brookside six years ago and said she's never dealt with anything like this there.
"It's gut wrenching to just to know that I have brown skin and was targeted just because of my skin color," said Washington.
And she said she's sure this was targeted at her since there's no other African American business owners in the surrounding area.
"To see something like that on Brookside was beyond shocking," said Joy Jones Washington, Monique's wife. "It's hard to watch somebody be hurt on that kind of a level."
Joy said she was the one who cleaned up the hate off the sidewalk.
"I just knew in my heart I didn't want another human to see that word out there," said Joy.
They both refuse to retaliate hate with hate and are combating it with love by writing "Spread love" outside their business where the racist slur was.
"I like to spread love wherever I go. I don't hate the person that wrote this. I would like to sit down with them and maybe educate them on why it's inappropriate to use this word," said Washington.
But after all the support she's gotten from the community, she said she knows this act doesn't represent Tulsa.
"Sure, this morning, I felt like I was punched in the gut. Throughout the day, just the outpouring of love... I can't help but smile," said Washington.
Washington filed a police report about the incident.
Police are reviewing surveillance video from surrounding businesses to try to find out who did this.