Hate Crimes

Amplifying Resilience: Allies Must Get Loud Against Hate.

Lauri Carleton was a vital member of my community.

Mindy Stern
Published in
5 min readAug 24, 2023

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The original MagPi in Studo City, photo by me

I’m sitting on my bed, early morning, before the sun and the neighbor’s yappy dog awaken, before storm clouds move in. I’m tracking Hurricane Hilary’s path from Mexico to my home in Los Angeles. Cool. I’m in the “high risk of flooding” zone.

I open Instagram and see a post and I gasp. No. This cannot be. Lauri Carleton, a woman I know, the owner of a beloved local shop, MagPi, has been shot and killed at her Lake Arrowhead store. For refusing to take down a Pride flag. By a 27 year old man.

I am sick. Last night, I wore pants I bought from Lauri — the last time I saw her, shopped in her store — an institution in my community. Studio City, a tiny gem within LA’s urban sprawl. Some of her children attended the same school as my kids.

This cannot be true.

Shaking, I text friends and conversations begin. Hate has come to our home. Not the first time, I’m sure, but this is the first person I know murdered for standing up for what is right and good in this world.

We cannot be afraid. We must get louder in Lauri’s honor.

We learn police shot and killed the gunman. His ending doesn’t feel as good as I wish it did. We are so broken. Our men are very, very sick.

It is surreal. Watching my backyard flood from the first tropical storm in Los Angeles history, seeing national news cover Lauri Carleton’s death, feeling the earth shake from a strong earthquake.

What have we done, America? The hate, the denial, the guns. We could have been so much better than this.

Most mornings, I run past MagPi, take in it’s wide windows, well dressed mannequins and beautiful home goods. The other day I thought The strikes better end soon so I have some money to shop here again. I thought about the effect of the strikes on local businesses and how MagPi survived the pandemic and thieves breaking its front windows -twice! I thought about its resilience and Lauri’s determination.

The following day, I bought flowers and a card, placed them amongst the rainbow shrine to Lauri at the…

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