NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Residents in Donelson gathered Sunday afternoon to hold a peaceful demonstration in the wake of racial harassment at two businesses on Lebanon Pike.
Dozens of neighbors gathered outside Inferno Fitness and Cupcake Collection in a show of support.
The latest incident occurred New Year’s Day when racial slurs were discovered on the windows of Inferno Fitness.
In a release sent Saturday, organizers of the peaceful demonstration said the slurs were part of what they discovered has been on-going harassment of the black-owned businesses in the area.
“It’s been very tumultuous for the entire year,” Joannes Williams, owner of Inferno Fitness, told Nashville’s News 2.
She continued to say that there’s been a number of drive-bys with people spitting or throwing items at her establishment.
“I’ve also gotten KKK and Aryan Brother messages on my windshield as well,” Williams added.
In less than 24 hours, the online community “Hip Donelson” rallied behind the businesses’ to organize the protest, drawing neighbors off all ethnicities and ages, many with signs to drive out the hate.
“I’ve dealt with it myself,” Williams said. “I’ve just tried to be strong and move on and be positive, but you know, I think it took this outward display for people to really realize what’s been happening.”
The community wanted to make it clear they stand united in harmony and respect.
They also wanted to emphasize that racism, bigotry and hatred are not a part of their community or values.