A taxi company in La Crosse was the target of racist graffiti recently. The slur, used as a derogatory way to describe people of Middle Eastern descent, was found on the garage of Bullet Cab with the owner’s name.

The perpetrator spray painted “Sand Nigger” which is a racial slur against Blacks, African Americans, Muslims, and Muslims of Middle Eastern or North African descent.

The owner, Mian “Mike” Ahmad, is from Pakistan but moved to Wisconsin nearly 20 years ago. The company’s general manager was alerted to the graffiti on Wednesday morning. Linda Devenport said she was sick to her stomach seeing the writing and considers this a hate crime.

“I think this town is above and beyond that, better than that. And for this to happen now is ridiculous,” said Devenport, general manager of Bullet Cab.

Ahmad wants to know why someone would spray-paint the slur on his business. If it is an issue with the taxi service, he would want the person to come have a discussion with him about the problem, instead of resorting to using the slur.

Ahmad called the graffiti a cowardly act. While it does not bother him personally, it has impacted those close to him.

“I won’t feel insulted or degraded. No. I’m way too big for this small thing. But my wife, she’s cried. She is stressed. She’s concerned about my kids,” said Ahmad.

He still considers La Crosse the “best place in America” and has strong faith in the community, especially after seeing people’s positive comments on social media.

“I feel the whole community is behind me. It increases my strength,” Ahmad added.

Devenport said she has not seen any negative comments about any racial group in La Crosse on social media and is not sure where the sentiment could have come from.

“Everybody is standing behind Bullet Cab. Everybody is standing behind Mike, behind the employees. If we need anything, they’re there. They’re ready to come together for us,” Devenport said.

The company says it has filed a report with the La Crosse Police Department. The graffiti has since been covered.