January 2021

It is incomprehensible’: Columbus Urban League demands investigation into racist threats

Courtesy of ABC 6
By Ciara Lucas
January 11, 2021

Racist threats of violence against a black-owned business in Columbus caused owners to close their doors on Sunday afternoon.

‘Bake Me Happy’, located in Merion Village, closed after a series of threatening phone calls and racial slurs against the owners. The Columbus Urban League is stepping in, demanding an investigation into these threats.

“Due to numerous racially charged threats to our Merion Village location today, we have decided to close for the safety of our employees.”

The Columbus Urban League is speaking out on their behalf, calling for Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Franklin County Prosecutor Gary Tyack to take the matter seriously.

The president of the CUL believes the violence on Capitol Hill motivated the threats.

“Just to know that end result of the insurrection in Washington, DC has now spilled into our community,” says Stephanie Hightower.

“It’s just really unfortunate. We’re now experiencing this here now, live in Columbus, Ohio.”

Hightower says there are other black business owners reportedly receiving similar threats. She is calling on local authorities to protect those being targeted and pursue prosecution.

Read her full statement below:

“It is incomprehensible that respected entrepreneurs and community activists felt it necessary to close their beloved business because of threats from an extremist racist demagogue. What’s just as unbelievable is that other Black business owners reportedly also are receiving similar threats. Federal, state and local authorities should immediately and thoroughly investigate these issues, protect the intended victims and ensure that swift and sure prosecution is pursued against these criminal acts. Do not delay. As we witnessed during the debacle in our nation’s capital last week, we should never underestimate the capacity for violence by those who appear to be the 2021 version of a lynch mob. To my Black and Brown colleagues and friends, don’t relent. You are not alone. Count on your Columbus Urban League and others to stand with you and face down bigotry in all forms and at all times. And, to those who persecute our people because of their race, we should not retaliate. But be clear. We also will not hesitate nor vacillate. We will demand justice and protect our civil rights.” –Stephanie Hightower, President & CEO of Columbus Urban League

ABC6/FOX28 will continue to follow the latest in this story.

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