fire, n-word, truck

‘It’s 2024’s Equivalent To Having A Cross Burned On My Front Porch’: Black Man’s Work Truck Painted With Racial Slurs And Set On Fire

Eureka, California-based Archie Claybon lost around $60,000 when his truck was firebombed.

Business owner Archie Claybon’s work truck was spray painted with the n-word and set on fire in Eureka, California, in the early morning hours of Feb. 20. 

Claybon was contacted by Eureka Police around 2 A.M. and told that his work truck was on fire. Claybon and his fiancée met officers at the end of the block. 

He told the Outpost that he saw his 2004 Ford F-350 burning upon arrival. For all of his customizations on the car in advertisements for his tile business, it was more than $10,000 destroyed without considering the price of the truck itself. After the blaze began to die, Claybon and the authorities saw that racial slurs were painted onto the exterior of the car as well.

The Claybon’s Custom Tile owner said, “It’s Black History Month, and they put the n-word on my truck. I just feel like whoever did this, they’ve got some stuff wrong in their head, a whole other level of racism. I feel like it’s 2024’s equivalent to having a cross burned on my front porch.”

Claybon began considering who would want to harm him or his business, and no names came to mind. He admitted he was unsure whether it was a personal grudge against him or if it was someone who had an issue with where he had been parking his truck for the past few weeks. 

Claybon explained that he’d received complaints in the past about his truck being parked in one spot for more than 72 hours but that no complaints about the location warranted what was done to his truck.

“A lot of people have asked me, ‘How would [the alleged perpetrator] know I’m Black?’ Well, my last name says it all,” Claybon said. 

The small business owner took a financial hit from the fire, putting nearly $50,000 into his truck for “engine, transmission, four-wheel-drive, turbo, wrap, paint, rims, a full makeover.”

“It was basically brand new. The only original things are the leather seats.”

He has considered starting a GoFundMe because it’s unlikely that his insurance claim will cover the full value of his truck and the loss his business will take due to it being out of commission. 

He decided there was another way that he wanted people to help.

“If anybody wants to help, tell your friends [about my business],” he expressed, “I tile, you smile. I’ve had so many bumps in the road; this is nothing a little blood, sweat, and time, and cars can’t fix,” Claybon said.

The Eureka Police Department is currently still investigating the firebombing.

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