'You don't belong here': Black family receives hateful note from white neighbors

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A family in Long Island is in a state of disbelief after receiving an anonymous letter in the mail asking them to leave town — specifically because they’re black.

Tuesday, Darcell Copes, who lives with her three grown children and five young grandchildren, received a letter that read, “Attn: African-American family. This is coming from Lindenhurst community. Lindenhurst is 84% white population. You don’t belong here!!!”

It continued: “Please leave Lindenhurst as soon as you can. It will be better for all of us. Find the town where there are more people like you. Sorry if this is rude, but it’s the truth.”

“I went from being fearful, protecting my family, to being totally confused, and wanted to know who and why,” she told NBC 4 on Friday. “Today, it becomes even deeper: is it someone in the school district, is it the guy at the corner store, is it my neighbor down the street? Where?”

The Copes family has lived in their home for two years, and this is the first time they have experienced such overt racism.

Babylon Town and Lindenhurst Village said in a joint statement on Friday that the letter contained “racist hateful views.”

“The best way to fight bias is with solidarity and we stand with all of our residents in declaring that there is no place for this type of intolerance and hatred in the Village of Lindenhurst, the Town of Babylon, or anywhere in our community. We are, and always will be, a strong diverse community that does not cede ground to hostility, ignorance, or hatred, wherever it may appear.’

Copes called the letter writer a “coward” but says her family is not intimidated and will not be leaving Lindenhurst. She added that she would be praying for the person who sent it.

Suffolk County Police’s hate crimes unit is now investigating the letter.

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