HERNANDO, Fla. (FOX 13) - Hate was on full display in Citrus County Friday.
A family woke up to see someone spray painted the N-word in huge letters on the side of their house.
It happened overnight at a home on East Charleston Court, in a quiet golf course community.
The vandalism has been covered up and the house will be repainted Saturday, but the damage has been done.
We have to blur the words in photos taken before they were covered, but in large red letters, it said “No” followed by the N-word.
For the White family, who's lived here three years, it was an ugly, shocking thing to wake up to.
Quite frankly they were at a loss for words. They've never had to deal with any sort of racism like this before.
The Citrus County Sheriff's Office is looking for whoever is responsible, adding that this could rise to the level of a hate crime.
“It was shock. It was just degrading and demeaning to think somebody came on our property at night to do something like this. I think it was a coward,” homeowner Dana White told FOX 13 News.
Her husband, James added, “Don’t hide behind the dark. Bring it to the light. If there's a problem, let’s talk face-to-face.”
The family says, despite the ugliness, there has been an outpouring of support. Some local radio stations got wind of what happened and came out to help paint over the hateful words Friday afternoon.
And on Saturday, a local painting company has offered to come in and re-paint, for free.
“Race means nothing to us because we're all the same so we just thank everyone for what they've done and offered,” Dana White said.
The sheriff of Citrus County also weighed in, saying in part, this type of action is not acceptable and will not be tolerated.