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Black San Francisco Dog Walker Whose Home Burned Down Reveals Years of Racist Harassment


The house of Black dog walker Terry Williams was burned down on Tuesday morning. He told NBC News that the fire, which left him and his parents without a home, came after 14 years of racist attacks.

Williams, 49, said, “This has been going on since I opened my business.” “Every time I walk my dogs or my clients’ dogs in the park, I get called the N-word and other racist names.” It gets too much at some point. We are now in that place.

The San Francisco Police Department hasn’t found anyone they think is responsible for the fire. Before, the police said they were looking into hate crimes linked to sending packages to Williams’ home with racist threats. They still haven’t found a suspect in that case or decided if it is related to this one.

Williams said he found two packages at the row house he shared with his parents on April 26 and May 5.

One package was in a plastic bag that said “gangster,” “thug,” and other things that are bad for Black people on it. He told KGO-TV, an ABC station in San Francisco, that the bag had a picture of him with racial slurs written on it and a stuffed animal with racist slurs written on it like a noose around its neck.

Williams told NBC News on Wednesday night that he had also gotten three postcards that were mean and racist toward him.

“A lot of people in San Francisco don’t like Black people.” “It’s clear,” he said. “California is supposed to be a liberal state, but I’ve seen a lot of crazy racism.” I try to be happy, be myself, and talk to people on the street. But being called the N-word while walking dogs for years wears you down.

Take a look at this: we no longer have a house. We lost everything we had in that house. Why is that? Because I’m Black? It’s not funny. It’s sad. Racism has never really gone away. It is as common as ever. I mean it when I say, “This is about my family and my life.

The fire started at home where his parents, 79 and 81 years old, were. A spokesman for the fire department said that firefighters had to get his parents out of the building on the second and third floors. Williams said that his mother was in the hospital for a few days because she had breathed in too much smoke, and his father got burns on the top of his head.

Williams said, “It’s been bad, but you never expect your house to catch fire.” “We need to begin again.”

Williams said he has gotten a lot of letters and notes since the fire. They are stuck on the garage doors of his burned-down house that have been boarded up. He is told to keep his head up and not move by the notes. Some notes say that the racism he has had to deal with for so long is wrong.

“Man, hearing from people that they care helps.” It’s good for your mind. For a second, it really shut me down. Williams said, “I don’t think I’d be able to make it through this without that.” There are some cool people from all kinds of backgrounds who are really behind us. They’re showing that there are caring, good people in the world.

Williams said he was grateful for all the support and help he has gotten from his friends in his mixed-race neighborhood. The “Support Terry’s Family Rebuild After Fire” GoFundMe effort was started by a person in the community who wants to help the Williams family.

He said, “We are grateful.” “Not everyone here is racist.” But there are enough to make some people’s lives very hard. I’m not sure why that’s the case. I don’t bother anyone. As a black man living in an area with white people, all I do is walk dogs. And they use that against me. “It’s sad.”

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