St. Pete woman reaches out to vandals who trash her anti-hate yard sign

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - Weary of all the political fighting and anger and screaming in her community and the world in general, Annette Baesel put a message of peace in the front yard of her Old Northeast home.

"Hate has no home here."

And vandals attacked it, making fun of her with taunting graffiti, writing "Terrorists are people too" and "We hate Republicans."

"I'm confused, sad, a little angry," says Baesel. "I think the message is a really positive message and I can't figure out why someone wouldn't like it. There's a lot of divisiveness right now in our community, a lot of hate."

But Annette's ultimate response to the graffiti is what's different about this story. She went on social media. Instead of raging and screaming, she posted a simple query to the vandals: "Would you like to talk about it?" She is up for a dialogue.

"In case whoever did this is on [the Nextdoor app], I wanted them to know we should talk," Baesel says. "If you're going to put a sign like this in your front yard and say you're open to all people, you have to be open to all people." 

So far, no response. But she's waiting, with an open ear, and a full heart.

"Love doesn't heal all, but it heals a lot," says Baesel.

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