The state of California moves forward Transgender History Month, but this summer in Susanville, Mayor Quincy McCourt covers up a hate-speech message at Lassen Family Services. File photo

LFS, community reclaim vandalized building

Lassen Family Services and several dozen community members painted over the hate-crime vandalism that marred two exterior walls of the nonprofit organization at 9 a.m. this morning, Monday, June 5.

Pride Month began Thursday, June 1, and the hate speech equating the colors in the Pride Flag with pedophilia was discovered the first thing Friday morning.

Three flags were stolen from the LFS flag pole last year during Pride Month, including an American Flag, a California state flag and a Pride Flag.

While community members work to reclaim the Riverside Drive wall at Lassen Family Services, these volunteers take on the other wall.

Many members of the good-natured crowd dipped rollers in paint and covered the hateful messages beneath a Pride Flag high on one wall of the building.

Kendra Zaengle and Susanville Police Chief Ryan Cochran welcomed the community members, and the chief said the department is working to identify the person who spray painted the message on the building. He said such hate crimes will not be tolerated.

Zaengle read a brief statement from the nonprofit organization to the crowd before the repainting began: “We are saddened by what happened on the night of June 1.

“June is Pride Month and in solidarity we chose to hang the Progress Pride Flag. Because of th8is, we were targeted. An individual came and spray painted our building with false messages that are filled with hate.

“It’s amazing that we have come so far in the advancement of civil rights, yet we stay ignorant of the face that hatred exists.

“Let us say that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. Everyone deserves the right to be safe, but because of this act, some people won’t.

“We are a nonprofit organization that serves those who have experienced domestic violence and sexual assault. We serve all individuals equally, and we don’t discriminate. Yet it appears some individuals within our community do.

“For that of you who are persecuted or have been persecuted, we are here for you. We support you, and we are not going to let hate win.”

According to a social media post, LFS wrote, “Thank you to everyone who showed support by reaching out to our office, educating the community on inclusivity, providing us with donations to cover the cost of damages, providing us with water and treats for the repainting, and those who volunteered to repaint today.”

“You have no idea how much this means to us. We accept everyone as they are, and we will meet every survivor where they are at.”

Community members armed with paint rollers cover the hateful messages on the walls of Lassen Family Services.