Salon Owner Victimized by Hate Letter, Repeated Taunts Tells City Council 'Racism Exist in Elk Grove'

Elk Grove business owner Shari Wilson relates her experiences to the
Elk Grove City Council.
September 13, 2017 |

In the aftermath of an incident that is being investigated as a hate crime, the owner of an Elk Grove beauty salon urged the Elk Grove City Council to address what she characterized as rampant racism. 

Speaking before the city council during the public comment portion of tonight's regular meeting, Elk Grove resident and business owner Sharie Wilson expressed dismay over an incident that occurred on the morning of Tuesday, September 12. An employee of Wilson discovered a blatantly racist note left on the front door of her Old Town Elk Grove business, DreamGirls Fine Hair Imports. 

That letter, which can be viewed below, threatened Wilson and other members of the African American community with violence. 

Flanked by her husband Marcel, Wilson told the City Council of the incident and her personal experiences living as an African American in Elk Grove. Along with the hate letter, Wilson said her business has been subjected to feces thrown at the front door of the establishment, people using the n-word epitaph, and other hate speech directed at her and staff members. 

"But this wasn't the first time, and it wasn't the first time we called the police," Wilson said.

Wilson went to characterized the police department response to past incidents as dismissive saying they were likely caused by teenagers or a homeless woman living at the nearby railroad tracks. 

"What has to happen for you guys to see its an issue," she said. "Does a black child have to be hung?" 
Wilson, who met with Council Member Pat Hume earlier in the day, said when asked by Hume how should the issue be addressed, she suggested that a town hall style meeting should be held to discuss race relations in the city. 

In addition to expressing her dismay at the incident, Wilson also said she had experienced unfair treatment at the hands of Elk Grove Police officers. Wilson, a Sheldon area resident, implied she had been a victim of racial profiling. 

"I get pulled over all the time," she said. "I'm pulling out of my street and got pulled over because he said my headlights weren't on...he pulled me over because he assumed I was probably doing something illegal."

Wilson also said, "racism exists in Elk Grove, and I want you guys to take action."

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