WAUWATOSA — A community is showing outrage after mysterious letters were delivered to “Keep Wauwatosa white.”
At first glance, it’s easy to see people in many different Wauwatosa neighborhoods have a lot of different views thanks to all the signs, some supporting Black lives, law enforcement and other causes.
But one “for sale” sign, in particular, got a lot of attention this week as residents symbolically put their home up for “sale” if leaders can’t keep the area safe.
Andrew Shaw walks the neighborhood with his biracial family. He was upset after learning yard sign encouraged one of his neighbors to send this racist letter to people displaying the sign - which was created by another resident for a completely different reason.
“I don’t know who wrote the letter. I don’t know how these people feel towards me and in turn towards my family," Shaw said.
The letter said things like “We whites must stay together” and "we must keep Wauwatosa free from Black and their lack of morals." They were distributed to at least four residents and got much more attention on social media.
On Thursday, Wauwatosa Mayor Dennis McBride held a press conference denouncing the letter, urging the person responsible to leave.
“It’s a very simple message," McBride said. "Everyone is welcome in Wauwatosa, except for those people who don’t love their fellow human beings.”
“What’s really key and important is this is about safety," said Dana Fritz, a Wauwatosa resident who spoke with TMJ4 News about the signs. He said they had no intention of provoking racism and he doesn't know who sent the letters.
Fritz said car break-ins and the recent shooting police say happened outside of Wauwatosa police officer Joseph Mensah’s girlfriend’s now-former home were some of the incidents included.
“We hadn’t seen that, or intensive crime, in the 12 years that I’ve been here," Fritz said.
Shaw said words matter and he also wants to raise his kids in a safe neighborhood free of crime and racism.
"It’s about my kids and my family. I will continue running around these streets, but I’m not going to put them in harm’s way," he said.
Anyone with information about the person responsible for the signs is asked to contact Wauwatosa police.