SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — In the past five weeks, a local school board candidate said several of her campaign signs have been vandalized, some with racial slurs or other profanities.
“We lifted it up to try and save it. It had the N-word, black B-word and a few more N-words,” explained Natomas Unified School Board candidate Ericka Harden. “Just a lot of hatred in the world and there’s absolutely no reason to be like that.”
The most recent incident happened just after talking with FOX40 Monday. Harden got a phone call reporting that another batch of signs were hit just a few blocks away.
“This is a school board race but there’s never a time when anyone should be mean, violent or this disrespectful — and it’s scary,” Harden said.
Sacramento police said they have no suspects and that Harden’s case is being investigated by the Criminal Intelligence Unit as a hate crime.
“It scares me to go outside,” Harden said. “I mean, I’m worried for my son and for myself. Not so much the blood boiling but feeling like we’re in 1952 and it’s time for us to think about leaving, and that’s not OK.”
“I don’t know why you guys are doing this,” said Harden’s son, Eric. “But, honestly, it just makes us want to try harder to win and it gets us up every morning.”
Ericka Harden said she’s lived in Natomas for 19 years and is the Natomas Community Association’s president.
Her friend, Sachiko Konatsu, said there’s racial disparity in Natomas “between north and south.” Konatsu said she believes her friend will make a difference working on the school board to bridge the divide.
“And this is kind of what we’re fighting for, the equality for both sides,” Konatsu told FOX40.
Ericka Harden said she hopes the vandalism stops and asks for those responsible to “please stop.”
“It’s not going to stop me, so just cut it out. I’m here to stay,” she said.
Sacramento police are encouraging those who have campaign signs vandalized to report it so they can investigate.