An interracial family living in a north Raleigh neighborhood shared with local news station WRAL an unsigned letter warning against posting any signs in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The note read:
“Before you think about putting any signage up in your yard, or if you had any idea about making a public statement on your property regarding George Floyd or racism, please remember that the rest of us live in an upscale neighborhood and have spent the extra money to stay out of mixed neighborhoods and/or the ghetto.
“No one wants trouble or any circumstance arising which could turn our neighborhood into a “semi-ghetto.” Please keep your husband and teenage kids well behaved and orderly because no one is interested in your or their “struggles.”
Keep matters inside your own house and do your best to keep this area upscale and free of that element. Most of us would not hesitate to call the police if your kids or husband gets unruly, so please be considerate of everyone else living amongst you.”
“Free of that element…”
The letter was signed without a name but expressed “sincere gratitude.”
The family declined to appear on-camera but several neighbors spoke to WRAL regarding the ugliness of the missive.
Kate Pirrung, a neighbor in the Wakefield Plantation neighborhood told WRAL, “I was horrified, appalled, disappointed…sad.”
“I couldn’t believe that someone in my neighborhood – that close to me – would have written something so mean,” said neighbor Marianna Morin.
Neighbor Armand Morin pointed to the implicit threat in the note.
“In the end, underneath all the context, it was a threat: Don’t do this. We’ll report you. We’ll send people over to your house – the police in this particular incident,” said Armand.
In response to the note, the family sent out copies to all of their neighbors along with a message of their own.
“If you did not write this letter, we wanted you to be aware of what has happened in our neighborhood,” the family wrote. “If you are the person that wrote this letter, we will not be intimidated by your cowardly act and ignorance. We are happy to have a discussion regarding love, respect and racism if your have the courage.”
“Something has to change,” Pirrung said. “We are all God’s children. What happened to love thy neighbor, treat each other with respect and kindness?”
“It’s not just in the city,” said Marianna Morin of the explicit racism. “It’s not just in the streets. It’s in this neighborhood.”
The family issued a public statement regarding the letter to WRAL.
“We want to acknowledge that this letter does not compare to some of the more dire circumstances many people find themselves in on a regular basis due to bigotry,” wrote the family. “However, it was shocking and ignorant.”
“The outrage, support and kind words expressed to us by so many in our community have overpowered the hate expressed from the one person who wrote the letter,” they continued. “Our hope is for this to inspire respectful conversations and courageous self-examination about bias and racism.”
“To the person who wrote the letter, we pray for your heart to be released from bitterness and filled with understanding and compassion for others,” the family added. “Black lives do matter.”
You can watch the report from WRAL below.