Arkansas Man Said He Received Racist Note Demanding He Take Down Inflatable Black Santa
"The children love it and that's what Christmas is about," the North Little Rock homeowner said
An Arkansas man said he was taken aback when he recently received a racist letter suggesting he should move from his neighborhood due to an inflatable Black Santa Claus he has used to decorate his yard for the past three years, according to multiple local news outlets.
"Please remove your n---o Santa Claus yard decoration," the letter read, using an outdated term for Black people. "You should not try to deceive children into believing that I am a n---o. I am a caucasian (white man, to you) and have been for the past 600 years."
The letter continued: "Your being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty. Besides that, you are making yourself the laughing stock of the neighborhood. Obviously, your values are not that of the Lakewood area and maybe you should move to a neighborhood out east with the rest of your racist kind.”
Signed "Santa Claus," the back of the typed letter contained a stock image of a white Santa Claus holding both his thumbs down.
The letter went viral after the North Little Rock homeowner, Chris Kennedy, posted it on Facebook, according to TV station KLRT.
Kennedy shared a copy of the letter, which he said he received in the mail, with the station.
It's unclear who sent it, though the envelope contained a reference to the local homeowners' association, which has said it was not behind the letter, KLRT reported.
Kennedy said he got it on Tuesday, according to local station KTHV.
Evan Blake, executive director of the neighborhood's property owners' association, told KTHV that whoever wrote the letter does not belong in the area.
"We don't want the people that wrote that letter in the neighborhood. That's what we don't want," Blake said.
Kennedy isn't fazed by the vitriol he said he got.
"I want kids to smile," he told KLRT of the many decorations he includes in his yard each year, which include the inflatable Santa, an inflatable Christmas tree, oversized letters spelling "JOY" and a door sign that reads "This House Believes."
"Go ahead and laugh," he said of the decorations. "I want kids to smile."
Kennedy said that the letter left him "extremely angry" but that, since posting it to Facebook, he's seen dozens of people stopping by to show support for the holiday display.
He has no plans to take the Black Santa down.
"The children love it and that's what Christmas is about," Kennedy told KLRT. "It's about children."