Wakefield Estates Family Receives Racist Letter From Neighbor

Interracial Family Receives Racist Letter From Anonymous Neighbor

July 8, 2020 Updated October 21, 2020

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Tetra Images/Getty and WRAL Sloane Heffernan/Facebook

Interracial family in Raleigh, North Carolina receives a racist and threatening note from an anonymous neighbor

As protests continue across the country and non-Black Americans are committing themselves to anti-racism work and allyship, a frustrating number of racists are becoming just as vocal lately too. In a neighborhood in Raleigh, North Carolina, where homes sell for well over a million dollars, an interracial couple received a horrifying and anonymous letter from their neighbor, threatening to call the cops on them and blaming their family for turning the neighborhood into a “semi-ghetto.”

The family, who live in the Wakefield Estates in the Raleigh neighborhood of Wake Forest, received the anonymous letter, which was written to “Lori” — a white woman — and singled out her Black husband and two teenage children.

The letter started by warning Lori against erecting a Black Lives Matter sign in her yard, claiming the “statement” would be at odds with the “upscale neighborhood” the family lives in.

“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,” the letter states. “No one wants trouble or any circumstance arising which could turn our neighborhood into a ‘semi-ghetto.'”

The letter then turned into a threat. “Please keep your husband and teenaged 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,” it read. “Most of us would not hesitate to call the police if your kids or husband get unruly, so please be considerate of everyone else living amongst you.”

After receiving the blatantly racist letter, WRAL reports that Lori sent it to the rest of her neighbors so everyone was “aware of what has happened in our neighborhood.” The family then added a note of their own, which read: “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.”

WRAL/Facebook
WRAL/Facebook

“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. However, it was shocking and ignorant,” the family told WRAL News. “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. 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. Black lives do matter.”

So far, Lori and her family have been met with an outpouring of support from the rest of their neighborhood, the Wakefield HOA has condemned the letter, a local teen has made Black Lives Matter signs to distribute around the neighborhood, and someone commented on WRAL’s Facebook post that a rally in support of the family is happening this weekend as well.