Monday 19 February 2018

This response to offensive graffiti shows that you can't judge a book by its cover

The moving note has gone viral.

By Prudence Wade

When someone graffitis your house, your first response is likely to be anger. However, this couple channelled their anger into something more positive, sending a powerful message about immigrants in the US.

When Ian Brillembourg was walking through the streets of a Seattle neighbourhood, he spotted a note that was written in response to the couple’s house being graffitied with the words “Old Money Rule$”.

First off, the letter says: “That was unkind. And completely off the mark” – and it then goes on to explain how wrong the tag actually is.


One person who lives in the house “is a working-class immigrant, the first person ever from that family to study beyond high school,” and the other “is the child of immigrants, people who worked hard, studied hard and picked vegetables during the summers for extra money”.

The note proves that you can’t make snap judgements, because “none of us came from money. We have worked diligently, invested carefully and saved”.

This really struck a chord with Ian when he walked by. Ian has lived in Seattle for six years, and said: “I was born and raised in Venezuela before moving to the US 10 years ago, so naturally I have become sensitive to social and class conflicts.”

A protester, left, confronts a supporter of President Donald Trump, right, during a May Day protest, Monday, May 1, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Ian thinks that the couple dealt with the situation in a graceful and admirable way. Indeed, the end of the note says: “The next time you want to hurt somebody or something, please first consider who is on the receiving end of your actions.”

Whilst Ian recognises that it’s unlikely the note will change the behaviour of the person responsible, he still thinks it makes a powerful statement and so shared it on Reddit.

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