"KKK", "White Power" and a Swastika Spray-Painted onto Odessa Diner

By Jen Kastner

NewsWest 9

ODESSA- The backside of the old Arthur Ray's Diner in Odessa has been spray-painted with words and symbols of hate. Along the restaurant's wall shows a swastika, "KKK" and "White Power". Owner Donald Bruns has never confronted anything like this is all his years of living in Odessa.

"Anytime you see the letters 'KKK', immediately stuff runs through your mind," he tells NewsWest 9.

Right down the alley from the restaurant is a dumpster tagged with a bright red swastika.

Bruns bought this soul food restaurant a couple months ago. It's currently closed for remodeling. Christopher Rawles was working on remodeling the interior when he discovered the tagging.

"Seeing that kind of upset me. We work together side by side and there's no room for those racist words, no matter what you are," he tells NewsWest 9.

So far, no witnesses have come forward. Bruns can't say for sure if he was the target, but thinks there's a strong chance.

"My wife and I have really been blessed. We have overcome many obstacles to have the few things that we have and it's a possibility that someone's not pleased with that," he adds.

Art Leal with the equal rights advocacy group Una Voz Unida tells us, "I had a lot of mixed feelings when I saw it. I was disgusted, angry and saddened because I think Odessa is better than that," he says.

Bruns adds, "We don't need that. Odessa doesn't need that. West Texas doesn't need that. We all are here together and some people may not like that."

He plans to stay watchful. "I will have my eyes open, certainly around my family," he explains.

However, he also wants to move forward from this without fear and without anger, but rather, with a sense of perseverance.

Bruns is in the process of filing a police report. The restaurant plans to re-open in about a month under the name Back In The Day II.

To help with the clean-up effort at the diner, please call Una Voz Unida Odessa at (432) 235-0380.