66-year-old resident at Friendship Manor target of racially-oriented hate mail

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SALT LAKE CITY -- For one resident, things aren’t so friendly at Friendship Manor, which is a subsidized housing complex in Salt Lake City.

Jack Coleman has received inappropriate and hurtful notes of a racial nature posted on his door. He received the most recent one Friday morning. Now, the Salt Lake City Police Department is investigating it as a possible hate crime.

Coleman, 66, said he’s the only African-American resident at Friendship Manor. The housing complex holds hundreds of tenants. Problems for Coleman began immediately after he moved into his unit at Friendship Manor in April. His first encounter in the dining room left him in shock.

Coleman said: “[Another resident] said, ‘Well when did they start moving in n------ like you?’ I went, ‘Excuse me, what did you say?’”

The harassment didn’t stop there. Coleman said he was the target of numerous racial slurs.

“This kept escalating and escalating, and I kept going to management and I kept complaining, I kept writing incident reports one after another, and one after another, over and over again, and it just kept getting worse,” he said.

Coleman has received hate mail from another tenant, and he said he worries about what might come next.

Behind tears, Coleman said: “If someone is that desperate to leave those kind of notes on my door, what else would they do to me?”

We asked to speak with someone from the management office at Friendship Manor. We were referred to their attorney, Lester Perry.

He tells FOX 13 News: “I have on my desk and I'm ready to immediately evict and to seek court orders on an immediate eviction of the person who is posting these notes. Or persons, we don't know if it's one, we don't know if it's two.”

Perry explains that racial slurs and harassment are violations of the lease and could be grounds for eviction from Friendship Manor.

He adds, “You need to realize that we're talking about residents that grew up in a different generation than you are. Many of them are 70s and 80s.”

Jeanetta Williams, President of the NAACP Salt Lake City chapter, said age isn’t the issue here.

“It's an excuse,” she said. “Everybody in that age bracket he's referring to do not that think that way. That person or persons may have been raised that way, they may want to think that way, but there's laws in place that forbids people being discriminated against.”

Perry said management has taken action against one resident who admitted to using a racial slur against Coleman, but would not give details--which would violate that person’s privacy rights. He said he’s been the attorney representing Friendship Manor for nearly two decades and there’s never been a situation like this one.

Meanwhile, Coleman said he’s scared for his life. He spent Thursday night somewhere else besides his unit at Friendship Manor.


  • Disgusted

    Ridiculous. Our grandparents acting like children, and we wonder why the world is in the state it is in – nobody ever grows or changes. They put on the social facade, but deep-down, they are seething hate and want to take it out on somebody different.

  • Jan Jones

    How disgusting. And I am FINISHED with hearing the excuse “They’re from another generation, and things were different when they were growing up”. Bigotry is bigotry, and bigotry has ALWAYS been ugly and disgusting. I hope they identify anyone involved in this harrassment and boot them to the curb. We shouldn’t have to pay to subsidize housing for racists who choose to treat fellow tenants this way.

  • John

    Maybe some volunteers form the city can throw a big BBQ in honor of this gentleman to show support and to send a message that Salt Lake City does not tolerate bigots. We are not on their side

  • Taxed Enough

    Other people are getting taxed to pay the rent for these people – if they can’t get along, kick them all out and let them work to carry their own weight in society. Maybe that will keep them busy enough to not bother their neighbors.

    • Disturbed

      Are you serious, dude? “These people”?? These ELDERLY people who have worked their entire lives? You want to throw them into the streets because they don’t think like you? Maybe we can just throw them into the meat grinder and turn them into Soylent Green so you and your ilk can get a little more protein in your diets? You’re disgusting.

      • dave

        im not so sure its best to expect these people to go back to work, but to evict them is best the bigotry isnt ok, and its not about thinking like taxed enough does its about these people not treating others with the respect they deserve.

        besides its apparent these bigots dont like living their anyway if they did then they wouldnt do anything to potentially get them evicted. sounds like everyone would be happier if they got the boot.

    • Jeanne

      “Taxed enough,” I would like you to stop, take a deep breath, and think for a minute. Please consider that you are but one accident or serious illness away from being one of “these people.” Where is your compassion?

  • Nancy Dixon

    Well, LOOKIE! LOOKIE! FINALLY, Friendship Manor is being exposed! Their evil doings for MANY years now are beginning to come out. Good work, Annie Cutler! Keep investigating, Annie! You will be helping so very many elderly folks who are, now, being hurt and, who have been hurt over the years. This is all ELDER ABUSE. Annie, you are our knight in shining armor!

  • Pacifica

    Nancy Dixon is right. Friendship Manor has been a cesspool of mismanagement and elder abuse for years. County and state Aging Services investigators should be involved immediately. And the resident who insulted this man to his face should be evicted immediately, zero tolerance.

  • Tammi Velasquez

    It is really sad that people, no matter their age, should engage in such unkind and cruel behavior. He should be flooded with loads of positive notes to let him know we aren’t all racist. And a barbeque!

    • dave

      your totally right theirs about 1 out of 7 of my comments dont show up on the board and nothing i do can get teh comments to work

  • Gertrude

    The real question is how is Friendship Manor handling the racism and homophobia that exist there? Silence isn’t going to do it.

Comments are closed.