John King’s entire life changed March 22 when the only home he has ever owned was torched, tagged and destroyed in what he believes was a hate crime.
Those responsible spray painted “get out cracker” and the Star of David on walls inside the Clarksdale, Miss., home.
King is white, but not Jewish. That said, the star is a symbol used by the Gangster Disciples, a gang active in Clarksdale, according to WREG-TV.
The grieving homeowner said that discovering the words on the wall further compounded his pain after losing his prized possessions in the fire.
“I’ve lost everything that my grandparents gave to me,” King told the outlet. “That’s more sentimental value to me than anything, and lost it all to the fire.”
King said he’s not sure who would have committed such a crime, as he gets along well with all of his neighbors.
“I don’t believe I’ve done anything to anybody around here,” he said. “I’ve got some of the greatest neighbors that you could ask for.”
Considering the “cracker” message posted on his wall, King has no doubt that the fire was a hate crime.
“Due to arthritis I can’t do anything anymore and I am on a limited income,” he told WHBQ-TV. “I don’t have hundreds of dollars in my checking account but whatever I do have I have worked hard for, and for people to break in and steal stuff because of my skin color is just horrendous!”
The home is so badly damaged that King cannot live there, though it is unclear whether he’ll rebuild, as he fears for his safety.
He hopes to see those responsible behind bars and plans to take the case to the FBI.
Featured image via WREG-TV