Alameda neighbors erase hate, police investigate possible racist vandalism

Within just a few hours, one Alameda couple experienced one of the most vile acts of human behavior, followed by one of the kindest.

"The outpouring, I can't, I'm almost in tears now," says Fredrick Alexander.

Fredrick and Cindy Alexander are the only African Americans living in their neighborhood on Otis Drive, without any problems. But they say they couldn't believe what they woke up to Sunday morning.

Their Mercedes parked out front was spray-painted with the letters 'ALM', which they believe stands for "all lives matter." That has become a mantra for many white racists trying to undermine the Black Lives Matter movement.

"I was truly hurt. I couldn't believe the community could take part in something so hateful," said Alexander.

Police are investigating it as what they are calling a hate incident.
But for the Alexanders, the hate turned into something they say was far more powerful.

Photos of the car began circulating on social media Sunday. And in no time, neighbors spontaneously began pouring out of their homes, residents drove over from further out. They began removing the spray paint, helping to wipe out the hate literally and figuratively.

Neighbors say once they saw the pictures, they couldn't just do nothing.

"I was angered beyond belief. I was so angry I was shaking," said Colin Stermer.

"I just wanted to come by and tell them they are wanted, they are loved, respected. The action doesn't represent what our neighbors feel towards them," said Rachel Wellman.

"I can't describe the outpouring of love from this community. It was just overwhelming. It was overwhelming," said Alexander.

"Just seeing the reaction of the family and how grateful they were for the support. That's what made me the happiest," said Wellman.

The Alexanders don't understand why they were targeted. But they have this message for those responsible: "Hate never wins. It will never win. There are more of us then there are of them. My community showed me. My neighbors showed me," Alexander said.