A Los Angeles family whose house was firebombed early Wednesday, causing $200,000 worth of damage, said they considered moving away, convinced they were the targets of a hate crime.
But Ronald and Malissia Clinton have chosen to stay after being inundated with support from the local community in Manhattan Beach.
The couple believe there is no other reason for the attack – where a gasoline-filled tire was set alight, blowing out the front of their house at 2.30am – other than the fact they’re black.
‘I don’t have proof, I don’t have any type of motive, but I do have a gut,’ Mr Clinton told My Fox LA. ‘And I tell you- my gut tells me this was racially motivated.
‘And it was somebody that had the intent to harm, injure or even kill us.’
Adding to The Daily Breeze, Mr Clinton said: ‘I just know there is no other reason to target us.
‘We have no enemies. Why us?’ Manhattan Beach’s population is 84 percent white. Mr Clinton, a pharmacist, was sleep when the attack occurred.
He said he woke to the sound of at least two explosions. His wife, a corporate lawyer, was away on business.
He quickly got his three children up, grabbed the family dog and ran outside.
He then used a garden hose to douse the flames at the front of the house until firefighters arrived to finish the job. The house was bought in 2013 for $3.5 million.
The fire department confirmed the incident was arson. Mr and Mrs Clinton said their first reaction was to move.
‘The first thing Ron said is, ”Maybe we gotta move”,’ Mrs Clinton said.
‘Maybe this is not safe.’ But on Friday night, hundreds gathered in Manhattan Beach, most of them carrying candles, to show their support for the Clinton family.
‘This is not what our community is all about and we’re going to get the person who did this,’ Manhattan Beach Mayor Wayne Powell told ABC 7.
‘It was just amazing to see the turnout,’ Mr Clinton added. Police are investigating and hope to catch the persons responsible.