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Dozens attend rally to support coffee shop vandalized with hateful message

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DENVER — The Whittier neighborhood and surrounding area banded together Thursday night spreading an important message— racism will not be tolerated.

A rally at Whittier Café came just one day after a racial slur was found written outside the minority-owned coffee shop. Two offensive words were written on an outdoor ledge of the business. The first word— starting with an f— preceded the n-word.

The hateful message has stirred up a lot emotion in the community, but those at the rally told FOX31 they will not be intimidated. They are working to show their love is more powerful than hateful words.

There was a line out the door Thursday evening at Whittier Cafe -- a place known as a cultural center in the Whittier neighborhood.

“We are greater than whatever challenges that are put in front of us,” one customer said.

The message of hate is now gone. A force of support is what remains. The shop owner, Millete Birhanemaskel, was moved to tears on Thursday when she saw how many in her community came out to support her.

“It’s too much ... it’s so beautiful,” Birhanemaskel said with tears in her eyes. “Thank you, thank you, thank you,” she told the crowd.

Police are still looking for a vandalism suspect.

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