Downtown Durham graffiti takes aim at black voters

DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – “Black lives don’t matter and neither does your vote“ was spray painted on two Durham walls within a quarter mile of each other and community members are upset.

UPDATE: Durham couple hopes to create mural on wall where ‘Black lives don’t matter’ was spray painted

See more photos of the graffiti
See more photos of the graffiti

The graffiti was found near the busy intersection of Main and Fayetteville streets.

Similar graffiti was found a quarter-mile away on Fayetteville Street but also had the words “Wake up!” painted.

JC’s Kitchen is right next to where one of the walls was tagged.

RELATED: Durham officials clean up ‘Black Lives Don’t Matter’ graffiti downtown

“When I saw it immediately this morning I was like ‘Oh my God, who would put it there?’” said Phyllis Terry owner of JC’s Kitchen.

Terry’s family has owned the restaurant for 25 years.

“JC” in the restaurant’s name stands for “Jesus Christ” and she says her business is not just about good food, but about being good to the community.

This is not the message she wants to next to her business.

“I wanted to voice the fact that this is not what I stand for and to encourage people to let them know that we matter and that our vote did count,” said Terry.

The words were right in the middle of the community and hundreds of people saw the graffiti throughout the day.

“It’s sad, it’s really sad to me that someone would even do that, it’s ignorant,” said Quanisha Whitfield.

Whitefield and her fiancé Jonathan Davis saw the message when they stopped to get dinner at JC’s Kitchen.

Davis has 8-year-old and 6-year-old children and says in 2016 he never thought he would have to deal with this as a parent.

“You don’t know how it’s going to affect them in the future, but I try to tell them to pay it no mind and be better than that, and pray and hope the situation changes,” said Davis.

While speaking to Davis’ family someone spray painted over the word “don’t” on the wall outside the restaurant to change the message to “black lives ‘do’ matter…”

A few hours later, someone else covered up the entire message on the other wall on Fayetteville Street.

Terry says she wants her community to know black lives do matter and their votes do count.

She says city officials told her they will clean the spray paint off Thursday.

In Tuesday’s election, Durham County was marred by voting issues. The County Board of Elections had to manually input 90,000 votes late in the night.

Hillary Clinton carried the county with nearly 79 percent of the vote over Donald Trump.

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