RALEIGH, N.C. (CNN) – Hate-filled vandalism on a campaign sign in North Carolina has lead a community to unite behind the candidate.
What was once a hateful symbol and slur across a sign is now a giant message of love.
“Like, it looks more beautiful than it did before,” says Zainab Baloch.
Baloch, who is running for Raleigh City Council got a call from a passerby on Friday that one of her campaign signs had been vandalized.
An ethnic slur, a swastika, and the word Trump were spray-painted across the sign. But it didn’t take long for word to spread, and for the support started pouring in.
“The amount of support we received and how quickly it was literally the turning factor in this,” says Baloch.
Artist Anna Podris found out through Facebook. Someone had tagged her in a post suggesting an artist paint over the sign.
That’s when Podris knew she wanted to help.
“There’s been such a long tradition of artists using their cause for social justice,” says Podris. “And so I wanted to take this opportunity to turn a hateful message around.”
The turnaround time was short, but she was able to make it happen. Now the campaign sign is a work of art.
“To do that so fast, just out of the kindness of their heart, and for everyone to come out here today to show their support overshadows any type of hate or anything we have received,” says Baloch.
Podris says she knows it won’t change what happened, and the effects may still linger. But she’s grateful to be able to use her craft as a force for peace and love.
“It’s still there, the hurt is still there. But it just goes to show that there are people in this community that won’t stand for that and won’t stand by and watch that happen,” says Podris.
“I put myself out there but it’s my community and the people behind me that have been holding me up,” Baloch says. “And without them, I would not be able to deal with any of this or go through this so, it’s not just me alone.”
Baloch says this whole situation has made her want to win the election even more.