Manhattan Beach Rallies To Support Black Family Whose Home Was Attacked
Hundreds of Manhattan Beach residents held a candlelight vigil on Friday night to show support for a black family whose home was attacked earlier in the week.
The Clintons joined the hundreds in the streets of Manhattan Beach last night who wanted to show support for a family who believes their home was attacked in a hate crime. Early Wednesday morning, the Clintons' home on 11th Street was partially damaged in what investigators are calling a "suspicious" fire. Although no motive has yet to be determined, the Clintons are certain they were targeted in a hate crime. Ronald Clinton says they considered moving, but the overwhelming support shown by the community changed their minds. "I have to admit, initially, we considered it, but you know, this community is just too amazing for us to let one individual force us to leave," said Ronald Clinton at the rally, reports the NBC 4.
"When it happens to one of us, it happens to us all," he told supporters at the rally.
The rally was partly organized by family friend Sash Ramaswami, according to the L.A. Times, whose family moved away from Manhattan Beach in 2011 because her son was bullied in school over his nationality. Ramaswami is Indian-American. "It's an affluent white town where people don't want to talk about this stuff. If we don't say something and do something now, it won't be investigated," she told the paper.
"This massive turnout proves that people here want no part of this. We want [the suspect] to know this is not acceptable," Councilwoman Amy Howorth said at the rally last night, reports The Daily Breeze. At the rally, people in the crowd each greeted and offered their support to the Clintons, including Mayor Wayne Powell who promised that the perpetrators would be arrested. An online fundraiser has already raised over $24,000 to go towards a reward and a private investigator.
Although the fire is under investigation, the police have been hesitant to jump to the conclusion that it was a hate crime. "I don't know how you determine that unless someone scrawls the N-word across your door," said Malissia Clinton. African-Americans make up less than 1% of the population of Manhattan Beach, and the Clintons say they are the only black family in their neighborhood. Ronald Clinton has said that he has a "gut feeling" it was a hate crime.