OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Omaha gathered to celebrate the life and accomplishments of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. Monday. The celebration came on the heels of a visit from the first African American president of the United States, but in a neighborhood near 30th and Spaulding there is a reminder that there is still work to do.
In an open display of disrespect to the president, Steve Bowman uses of the ‘n’ word to describe him in a sign for his entire neighborhood to see. When asked if his language was too strong, Bowman said, “Well I grew up in the 60’s; I remember racial riots. I know Martin Luther King. I’m 57 so I grew up in the late 50's early 60's and I know what it’s like the water guns the racial riots and Birmingham. You know the south, I know all about it I have a master’s degree in history. It might be a little racist.”
Rigina Wright and her two children live across the street from Bowman and his racist display. She told WOWT 6 News she won’t get angry and true to the teachings of Dr. King, she has tried to help her neighbor.
“He’s been putting up stuff like that constantly. Constantly putting up stuff like that and I’ll bring it up to him gently, you know, ‘take that down please you know this is not the neighborhood for that’” said Wright. “He understands and he will take it down after I mention it to him, but then he'll put something else up.”
He claims that his signs and his words are political; but after speaking with WOWT’s John Chapman, he has decided to take down the sign.
Rigina said she will continue to be King-like and help her neighbor get along with all people.
“He’s a good neighbor, but he has some racial issues he needs to overcome,” said Wright.
Other people in the neighborhood agree that he is a good neighbor, but they also all agree that he needs help expressing his thoughts about people who are different from himself.