After their family’s Illinois home was vandalized with hate speech aimed at their adopted sisters, two young boys found a way to fight back (video below).
- In 2011, the Hollis family woke to a disturbing surprise.
“We live in a small town in Central Illinois and woke one morning in April 2011 to find our home and cars had been spray painted,” mother Anne Hollis told Everyone Matters.
The hate-filled words they found spray painted on their home included ”RETARD” and “Get Outta Here.”
The attack against the Hollis family occurred because their adopted daughters from Ukraine have Down Syndrome, according to Little Things.
- “That day changed my life forever,” Anne said.
- Anne’s two sons, then aged 6 and 7, wanted to fight back by making a video.
- “[To] speak up for our sisters,” the boys said.
The video they made with the help of their parents called on the public to stop using the word “retard.”
The Everyone Matters initiative became aware of the video and asked if they could share it with their global audience. The Hollis family agreed, and the video and family’s story soon went viral, with at least 375,000 reactions, 24,000 comments, and more than 165,000 shares on Facebook.
- On YouTube, the video has been viewed more than 887,000 times.
In the video, the boys hold up index cards that read, “For Meg and Alina”—their sisters, after sharing what happened to their home.
They continue to use the index cards to make their statement.
The first card the boy’s hold up at each turn uses a word with “Re” at the beginning, signaling their future call to stop using the word “retard” to refer to people with Down Syndrome.
“Our sisters are…realizing that with some hard work and help they can do anything,” the next cards read.
“Ready to play or dance whenever you are!” the following cards read, as images of their sisters then fill the screen. “Reading new words all the time. Reacting with a range of emotions—they are NOT always happy!”