GALVESTON – A local mother of 11-year-old twins went on what she thought would be the perfect weekend getaway in Galveston, a place her parents used to take her often. However, the families’ trip took a serious turn when they found a racist message carved into the sand next to a Swastika symbol that was also dug in.
Judith Quander is now adamant to help enlighten others about how hurtful and impactful those words can be.
“Words matter,” Quander said. “They are powerful.”
Thursday night, their families left to a special weekend getaway.
“Galveston is very special to me because my parents are an interracial couple and my parents were always looking (for a place) where can we go that’s safe, and Galveston was that place,” Quander said.
Renting a beach house in west Galveston along the San Luis pass, the family spent all of Friday in the sun. Saturday morning, Quander got up.
“I got up early Saturday morning and decided to take a walk on the beach before the kids got up, and that’s when I saw the message,” Quander said.
She saw a racist word dug into the sand next to a Swastika. It was located just behind the beach house.
“Our main concern at the time was honestly our safety because we thought ‘Somebody had to have been watching us yesterday,’” Quander said. “When you put those things together, the Swaztika and the word, it feels aggressive and violent. Given what else has been happening, we were watching the coverage of Atlanta the day before and I didn’t want a ‘Just a bad day’ scenario.”
She sat down with her 11-year-olds.
“[I told them] not to internalize it, but to keep doing what they’re doing,” Quander said.
Her powerful words are now digging even deeper.
“We have to always speak up when something is wrong or when we see something, and not just for us but anybody,” Quander said.
Quander hopes that people recognize the scope of the issue.
“It’s not this abstract thing, right? This happens to people, you know. People you love, people you care about,” Quander said.
Her words are now reaching even further.
“We had so many people comment on Facebook, and their first thought was, ‘Oh, my God. I’m so glad you’re safe.’ And I just think that’s powerful,” Quander said.
This mother and professor said she is hoping to make people aware, spreading a different kind of light: enlightenment.
“Just to realize how heavy those words are and the history that comes behind it,” Quander said.
Because Quander said people need to know.
“It’s not right,” Quander said.
Quander filed a report with Galveston police and is reaching out to councilmembers. This professor hopes this experience will be a teaching moment for her children and this community.