Welcome sign for community largely made of Bangladeshi Americans targeted by vandals

‘It’s not just a sign, it’s our identity’

DETROIT – They say it’s a sign of honor and dignity for their immigrant community, and it was targeted by hate.

Vandals spray-painted the sign welcoming people to the Banglatown neighborhood, a community largely made up of Bangladeshi Americans.

The sign sits on the border of Detroit and Hamtramck on Conant Street near Jayne Park.

“It’s not just a sign, it’s our identity, it’s my existence,” said Dr. Rabbi Alam, first-generation Bangladeshi American and president of the Alliance of South Asian American Labor Michigan Chapter. “We believe in co-existence.”

Alam says on Nov. 6, the sign was vandalized, and the image is weighing on him.

“(For) somebody to come at the night time and tamper our establishment is not acceptable,” Alam said. “It’s a shame.”

Alam is also concerned because it’s instilling fear within the community.

“This is so unbelievable,” Alam said. “You come, and you can see our kids here. This is the playground. We just are trying to live our life here.”

He wants whoever committed the crime to be held accountable and has filed a police report with Detroit Police Department.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.