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A roadside stand in Murrieta where customers can shop for Black Lives Matter merchandise has become a target of vandalism, and the owners says of hate as well.

“I’ve been this color all my life so abuse has been from a baby to now,” Esther Grant said.

Grant says she opened the stand back in June hoping to promote racial equality and social justice but also to raise money for her dream: opening a youth center called “Unity Hope.”

“That can unite the youth so they can get help,” she said. “We are building up funds to get a building.”

But over the past few months, Grant and her grandson say they have endured a lot of abuse.

“We’ve been dealing with a lot people driving by here saying racial slurs,” Shemar Lucas said.

Even during an interview with NBCLA, someone drove by and yelled at the stand.

“What did they say? ‘Black Lives are terrorists.’ There were kids in that car. Who taught them that? Who taught them that,” she said.

Some people even stop to confront Grant and her family, demanding that they go away.

“It doesn’t make you feel good at all. Makes you feel like you are not wanted,” Lucas said.

Words aren’t the only weapons. Others have been dumping feces near the stand, and spreading nails all over the parking area.

“We come out here everyday picking up nails tacks and all that,” Lucas said.

“My grandson had to buy brand new tires. They destroyed his tires. My daughter had to buy on her car,” Grant said.

Customers we spoke to say they are appalled.

“We all have the right to do what we want and say what we want,” Sandra Figueroa said.

“It’s really disappointing to see my neighbors perpetuating this level of division,” Chris Murillo said.

Despite the abuse, Grant says she will not go away until she has fulfilled her dream of opening a youth center.

“And they can hurt my feelings, make me cry,” Grant said. “They can knock me down.. But I’m going to get up.”

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By Kelley Wheeler

Kelley Wheeler is a Metro reporter covering political issues and general assignments. A second-generation journalist, worked with all major news outlet, she holds a vast expeirience. Kelley is a graduate of USC with degrees in journalism and English literature. She is a recipient of Yale’s Poynter Fellowship in Journalism.

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