A Black Man Discovered A Racist Note About His Black Santa Decor. His Neighbors Brought Black Santas In Solidarity.
Kennedy's Christmas decoration is part of a long-standing tradition which helps him honor his late father.
November 30, 2020 at 2:32 pm
CNN reports Chris Kennedy's neighbors heard about the hateful message through social media and responded to the incident by buying Black Santas for their own yards.
Kennedy, who has mostly received compliments about his decoration since moving to the neighborhood in 2017, recently found the anonymous racist note in his mail, condemning the seven-foot Black Santa in his yard.
"You should not try to deceive children into believing that I am a negro," the letter stated, which was signed Santa Claus. "You being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty."
The person also suggested the Black man leave the neighborhood.
"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," Kennedy told CNN.
Reading the letter on his Facebook page, Kennedy said he was trying to stay calm despite the outrage he has been feeling.
"I am trying to be as nice as I can in this very moment because I am actually filled with rage," he said.
The racist letter featured an image of a white Santa with two thumbs down and a label resembling the Lakewood Property Owners Association's logo. However, LPOA executive director Evan Blake said the neighborhood association doesn't have anything to do with the letter.
"We have never had anyone attack anyone based on their race," Blake said. "Racism is something that we do discriminate against and we will not stand for it."
Kennedy's Christmas decor is part of a long-standing tradition which helps him honor his father, who died more than 15 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. The Arkansas man begins decorating on Halloween every year, working with his wife and daughter.
"Putting up Christmas displays reminds me of him," Kennedy said, talking about his father. "The main reason we put out the display is to bring joy to the neighborhood and brighten it up a little bit."
The family especially enjoys seeing the smiles on children's faces.
“I have this joy sign because that is what the holiday is, just a time for joy,” Kennedy told FOX16. “Go ahead and laugh. I want kids to smile.”
While the community rallies to support their neighbor, the LPOA is planning to display a Black Santa in its office. Kennedy said he is appreciative of the support, but he would rather see people donate to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas, helping children who can't be with their families for the holiday.
"There are still loving and caring individuals out there," the North Little Rock resident said. "I know that my neighborhood has definitely lifted us up."
Some of the neighbors expressed their support while Kennedy was being interviewed for the local news.
“We love your Black Santa,” one neighbor said while driving the past house, according to FOX16.
Another woman encouraged to the family to keep up the tradition.
“We just drove from Sherwood to let you know, that I hope and pray that you do not take him down, because children around here need to see him,” she said.
For anybody else who may be facing similar issues in a time of escalating racial tensions, Kennedy sends an uplifting message.
"Keep smiling, keep God first and push forward," he said.
The perpetrator in the racist incident hasn't yet been identified.