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Racism or prank? 'Missing friend' posters raise concern

Posted at 11:17 AM, Jun 24, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-24 11:17:11-04

When Bob Prebola saw a young white man riding a bike and putting up posters in his neighborhood, he and his wife took a close look and thought somebody was being racist. The picture is of a man, who appears to be Black, with his nose distorted to look larger or turned up.

Prebola took down the posters near his house in Livonia, Michigan, and told 7 Action News, "the picture to me is highly offensive. People can make their own determination.”

The wording on the posters says "searching for a missing friend, please contact", but the phone number goes to a cable TV customer service line.

Are these posters in Livonia racism or a prank?

Not everyone is seeing this the same way. Jinnie Bondy has them up by her house a few blocks away and says she doesn’t know why the man’s nose in the picture is pushed up and why they would use that picture, but she’s not offended by it.

This story originally reported by Jim Kiertzner on WXYZ.com.