This bit of news about one of our parishioners at the Cathedral is featured on the front page of the Arizona Central website today:
Judith and Walter Conley never expected to be targets of a hate crime, especially not in Litchfield Farms – a serene, gated community nestled in the southwest Valley desert.
The 60-something couple said they know that racism still permeates society:
“We expect it,” Walter said, fighting tears as he surveys the damage in his 4,000-square-foot home. “But we don’t expect it to happen to us.”
Vandals on Sunday tore through the Conleys’ $800,000 custom home, still under construction, and scrawled profanities and racist epithets on the walls of several rooms. One read, “(Expletive) BLAKS” (sic). Another, “NO BLACKS.”
The vandals also punched holes in the walls and ceiling, and cut gashes into the cabinets and a hand-carved front door. It’s unclear how much the damage will cost or how long it will take to make repairs.
“We’re not going to be run away by . . . racists,” Judith said. “One doesn’t want to hear it, or believe it, but racism is still an issue. As much as you try to fight it, racism is alive and well.”
Judy is one of the people who led the national Anti-racism training event for the Episcopl Church in Chicago the week before Thanksgiving. She has served the Episcopal Church at every level and in all levels has worked to warn us that racism is still active in the world – both outside and inside the Church. That she and her husband have had to suffer this violation of their lives is very sad confirmation of the truth of what she has been saying.
Do keep the Conley family in your prayers. I am given to understand that the police should have enough information about the perpetrators to make their apprehension relatively easy. Hopefully they’ll be able to see that this *is* a hate crime and will marshall the necessary resources to persue justice in this case.