Owens meets with NAACP to discuss hate crimes

September 18, 2001|By Lynn Anderson | Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF

The president of the Anne Arundel County chapter of the NAACP heralded a new era of open communications between county officials and African-American communities after meeting yesterday with County Executive Janet S. Owens.

"I always felt that [county officials] had that [anti-hate crimes] posture," said Gerald G. Stansbury, president of the local chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "But there lacked communication between the county and the community. I think we'll stay focused now. I think we're on the right track."

The NAACP and other African-American organizations, including United Black Clergy, are concerned about a series of hate crimes in the county.

Last week, racist and anti-Semitic graffiti were reported found in two houses under construction in Churchton.

In the past several weeks, the Crofton house and car of a black minister were spray-painted with expletives, threats and racial slurs; a Lothian church was looted and desecrated with satanic and racist epithets; and the letters "KKK" were spray-painted on the garage door of an Edgewater house about to be sold to a black family.

The couple who were to buy the house, Frank and Tina Marie Head of Laurel, attended the meeting with Owens and have volunteered to organize an outreach and education program they hope will stem the recent rise in hate crimes. They want to call the event National Hate Hate Crimes Day.

Owens was not available for comment after the meeting.

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