*Chris Kennedy of North Little Rock, Arkansas put out a seven-foot Black Santa figure in his yard along with a sign reading “Joy.” Within days an anonymous letter arrived admonishing him for portraying Santa Claus as “Black” and informing him that he was “jealous” of the white race.
The note, written from the perspective of a white Santa Claus, said: “You should not try to deceive children into believing that I am a negro. You being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty.” The racist letter also told Kennedy to leave the community.
This was the first racist incident Kennedy says he’s experienced since moving into the neighborhood in 2017. He went live on Facebook and read the letter, adding: “I am trying to be as nice as I can in this very moment because I am actually filled with rage.”
Taped to the front of the envelope was an image that resembled the Lakewood Property Owners Association’s (LPOA) logo. The LPOA officials, however, said it had nothing to do with the letter and condemned it. Lakewood Property Owners Association executive director Evan Blake visited Kennedy personally to give him a free membership to the LPOA as a gesture to let him know that his family was part of the community.
“The real thing that angered me was the fact that the person who wrote it suggested I move out east where I guess they feel all black people live,” said Kennedy. He knows the intention is to scare people into taking down the decorations. “I feel like it’s a combination of politics and actual racism,” said Kennedy. “I am not sure that it was solely about just the black Santa display as much as it was legitimately just racism, in general.”
Watch a report of the incident from CBS affiliate THV11 below: