NewsTwo Black Iowa Elected Officials Face Violent Racial Harassment

Two Black Iowa Elected Officials Face Violent Racial Harassment

Mayor Quentin Hart and Travis Hall opened up about the harrassment they faced.

Two Black Iowa county elected officials, Travis Hall and Quentin Hart, have been the targets of racial harassment and threats over the past six months. On April 18, a man was arrested for his involvement in the incidents.

Travis Hall, a Black Hawk County supervisor, recalled an incident in which someone poured a corrosive acid onto his work truck and then found himself being repeatedly targeted by racist calls, tests, and vandalism soon after.

“I could’ve been walking out to the truck, and if (that person) was there, would that have been thrown at me?” Hall worried. “All of these questions and constant fear – that should not be the price of serving in public office.”

Hall was not the only person facing these types of issues, Waterloo Mayor Quentin Hart was also being targeted because of his race.

Waterloo man Tyler Young was arrested and put in Black Hawk County Jail after police were granted an arrest warrant for Young back in December on several misdemeanor harassment charges. Young allegedly threatened both Hall and Hart in text messages.

Hart and Hall described receiving dozens of concerning text messages that called him the N-word and other racial and homophobic slurs. One message read, “Go back to Africa with all the other gorillas.” 

While the messages seemed to have come from different phone numbers, local authorities were able to connect both to Young — a man that neither Hall nor Hart knew. 

Hall opened up to the outlet. “All of these things make (I have) an uneasy feeling and knowing it was because I’m Black, it’s a burden,” Hall said. “It’s certainly been a stressor living in fear of the unknown around every corner or when I pick up the phone.”

“Quentin and I are not the first Black elected officials who have been the target [of racism]. Being a public, elected official should not mean you’re subject to this.”

Hall did give praise to the local law enforcement officers for continuing to take the threats against him and Hart seriously.

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Source: Black Enterprise

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