HOUSTON – The Buffalo Soldiers National Museum was vandalized with an apparent swastika and other images.
Desmond Bertrand-Pitts, CEO of the museum and the founder’s grandson, filed a police report that said someone spray-painted the building between Monday and Tuesday. Tuesday was National Buffalo Soldiers Day.
They painted what appears to be a swastika and other words, including “Democratic Party” which is misspelled.
According to the police report, neighbors called the CEO to tell him the museum had been defaced.
Bertrand-Pitts posted pictures and a message on Facebook, saying, “I never thought that in my lifetime I would see this much disrespect for humankind and historical places and right in my own backyard.”
Bertrand-Pitts said, “This hurts because this is not only where I work, but it’s a part of my legacy.”
The museum, founded in 2001, is dedicated to honoring the legacy of African American soldiers.
In 1866, through an act of Congress, legislation was adopted to create six all African American Army units, now known as the buffalo soldiers.
It’s been closed for the safety of their visitors during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I don’t understand how this much hate could be around and in Houston,” said Bertrand-Pitts. “It was very emotional for me because I have a different passion, a different connection to the museum.”
There was a sign of home on Wednesday morning as community members like Paul Aubrey showed up with his pressure washer to remove the graffiti.
“It’s very hurtful,” said Aubrey of TP Pressure Washing.
While police try to find the vandals, Bertrand-Pitts is encouraged.
“I haven’t lost faith in the city. I haven’t lost faith in the people, because I know there is more good than there is bad,” said Bertrand-Pitts.