St. Petersburg neighborhood fired up after homophobic, anti-semitic signs in front yard

Signs removed, neighbors don't want them to return
Posted at 6:28 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 02:07:12-04

A St. Petersburg neighborhood is saying they don't feel safe after seeing hate-fueled signs in a neighbor's yard.

It's the type of hatred Howard Wilson has seen before.

"I hate to see this kind of bigotry," he said. "It's a disease."

 A neighbor lined up anti-semitic messages targeting Jews, sexual orientation and people with disabilities.

The signs are a nasty reminder for Wilson who witnessed racial segregation as a high schooler.

"I thought we had come so far past that," he said, "I hate to see that coming up again."

One neighbor was so disgusted by them he snapped a picture and sent it our way. We're hiding his identity because he's terrified of the man who posted them.

"Just couldn't believe that was in our neighborhood, and this person was showing how much he hated some of his neighbors," said the neighbor.

 We reached out to St. Petersburg police to see if they could do anything. They said, no. While the speech is horrible, since there's no direct threat, the sign posters didn't break any laws. All of it falls under the first amendment.

"I don't dispute his right to have the signs, I dispute his right to do it in a neighborhood and put it in our faces and let everyone know he hates us basically," said a neighbor.

While the constitution protects these signs, neighbors say the choice to post them is not very American at all.

"We're about freedom, we're about equality and all of those are essential to make us what we are as Americans," said Wilson.

Others are using this uncomfortable situation to teach a lesson.

"And my children read and they go outside and what message would I be sending them if I didn't try to stand up and say that it's not right," said a neighbor.

They are teaching their neighborhood that love beats hate.