COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Flyers and stickers posted in a central Ohio neighborhood have left a family on edge, wondering whether they’re being targeted because of their race.
Neighbors on the northwest side of Columbus were upset by the flyers that showed up this week. One — a sticker — targeted an interracial couple, while the other — a poster — was affiliated with a nationalist group.
“This is too close to home,” Nikki Buskirk said.
Buskirk, who is black, said she was upset by the flyers posted in her neighborhood along the Columbus/Hilliard line.
“Makes me nervous to let my boys go out in the front yard to play and do what kids do at that age,” Buskirk said.
Her husband is white. She said their three sons — the oldest being 7 years old — are too young to know about the flyers that she worries could be targeting her family.
“How do I keep my family safe?” Buskirk said. “How do I know that this isn’t coming at my family?”
Buskirk said she first saw the posts Thursday morning on social media, through her friend and neighbor, Jessica Bosak. Bosak said she had seen the flyers posted in the neighborhood Facebook group and quickly took action.
“Loaded up my daughter and my ladder, and we went to the signs and started taking them down,” Bosak said.
She was able to take down the poster, but part of the sticker remained.
“I just scraped it off with my nail, but they definitely probably needed to have razor blades taken to them, cause there’s still residue,” Bosak said.
She expressed sadness and frustration that someone would do this in their neighborhood, which is home to many young families of different races and backgrounds.
“My frustration is that these other families see this and they no longer feel welcome, and that’s not OK anywhere,” Bosak said.
Columbus police said they were aware of the flyers but right now, a spokesperson said there’s no investigation or police report. Because the flyers are on public property, they’re allowed to be posted, but police want neighbors to let them know if they feel threatened.
For now, neighbors are taking action on their own by removing signs and keeping an eye on the streets.
Buskirk is grateful for the support from the majority of her community. When asked what she would want the people posting the signs to know, she teared up.
“We’re a family. We love each other. We just want to be like you. My husband goes to work. My kids go to school. There’s nothing wrong with us. We’re American, too.”
Both neighbors said they hope this sparks a conversation about diversity and the biases people hold. They want their neighborhood, and everywhere else, to be somewhere families can feel safe.