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Thursday, November 1, 2018

63-Year Old Grandmother Arrested for Leaving Racist Note for Black Neighbors

Deborah Cantwell

Deborah Cantwell

Greentown, IN — Deborah Cantwell, a 63-year old white woman from Indiana, has been arrested after allegedly leaving a racist note on the front door of her new neighbors. Cantwell, however, is trying to justify her actions by saying that she only did it out of anger because she previously had bad experiences with Black neighbors.

Cantwell is facing charges of misdemeanor counts of intimidation and criminal mischief for a crime that has left a Black family traumatized. She was also hit with a protection order that states “stalking has occurred” and constrains her from contacting the family again.

Howard County sheriff’s deputy was called on October 13 when the husband and father of the family reported that their newly purchased house has been toilet-papered and he also found a racist letter attached to the door. His wife and children had been inside the house about five hours earlier when discovered the chaos at midnight when he stopped by the house on his way home from work.

In the probable-cause affidavit, it was mentioned that the letter was “racially offensive and threatening in nature” and refers to the family’s black son.

“No N**** wanted in this neighborhood-THIS IS A WHITE NEIGHBORHOOD – some people find N**** Stressful,” Cantwell wrote, capitalizing the insults. “YOUR N*** KID IS NOT WELCOME.”


The affidavit cited the letter also included stress-related issues, apparent bullying and battering incidents, as well as the property’s apparent septic issues. Police initially thought juveniles were behind the incident. But the father informed authorities he suspected Cantwell based on what the home’s seller told him about her opposing their family moving to the neighborhood because of their black son.

The claims were realized true when investigators found text messages sent by Cantwell to another person saying “I am stressing now that we are going to get Black neighbors.”

“I am hoping that more people look at the house and an all-white family are the ultimate buyers. I am afraid the stress of black neighbors could put me in the hospital,” the text message continued. “My blood pressure is elevated just thinking about the possibility.”

Cantwell eventually admitted to writing the letter and toilet-papering the house, saying she did it out of anger and referencing past experiences with Blacks she said caused her family harm.

“I mean, the blacks get away with it every time,” Cantwell told investigators, according to the affidavit. “Just rage, I was trying to vent.”

Cantwell didn’t apologize for what she did and said it wasn’t a “big deal.” She even said it made her feel better because she “released some anger writing that letter.”

Meanwhile, the family has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help them fight what they called a hate crime. The mother also wrote a lengthy description of what her son felt after knowing what happened.

“That this can’t make him angry and bitter,” the mother wrote. “That he is so much better then what they are portraying him as! His skin color shouldn’t matter. I had to look him in his eyes to talk to him about something I will never understand first, but I saw firsthand the devastation on his face. I watched my child be crushed by someone else hatred and racism.”