A family in Florida is outraged after receiving a racist letter last Thursday that targeted their two teenage daughters.
“Don’t you think enough is enough? It’s time to take those hideous posters of that ugly fat Black girl down off your house,” the unsigned letter said. According to Buzzfeed News, the Sproul family had put up posters outside their home in Yulee, Fla., to celebrate the high school graduation of their identical twin daughters, Xanah and Xarah. Other families in the Timbercreek Plantation neighborhood had put up similar posters for their children but the Sproul family were the only ones to receive any kind of hate mail.
I can only wonder why.
“What a disgrace to the neighborhood. In fact, your entire brood is a disgrace to the neighborhood,” the letter added. “Consider moving to a ‘hood’ of your kind. Your neighbors are watching you!”
“I started reading the letter out loud to my wife and she thought I was joking. And I’m like, ‘There’s no way I would ever say that about my daughters.’ And so she grabbed the letter and she read it and instantly got furious and confused.” David Sproul, the girls’ father, told Buzzfeed News. His wife, Toya, contacted the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office and filed a report.
“We at the Nassau County Sheriff’s Office do not tolerate racism and hate crimes in our county. This is out of character for Nassau County and we will continue to investigate this incident. We are proud of the Sproul twins’ accomplishments and hope to get to the bottom of this soon,” Undersheriff Roy Henderson said in a statement.
Xanah and Xarah weren’t home when the Sprouls received the letter and David Sproul was understandably nervous about how his twins were going to receive it.
“They kind of threw [the letter] down and then they went about their way. They are aware of what’s going on in the country [with Black Lives Matter protests] but after reading it they could clearly see that the person doesn’t know them. That’s the nature of how they are because they’re just super sweet girls,” David Sproul said.
Both girls graduated from Yulee High School with honors, were section leaders for the school’s marching band and members of the National Honor Society. Xanah and Xarah both received scholarships to Saint Leo University to study in the school’s honors pre-med program this fall.
One of the girls’ cousins posted the letter on Twitter, where it quickly went viral. As a result, an Amazon wish list was set up to purchase school supplies for the girls, and a parade throughout the neighborhood has been planned for later this week. Sproul has said that while Xanah and Xarah appreciate the widespread support, they have declined to add anything to the wish list. “They actually hate all of this attention, but it definitely shows them that there’s more love than the hate that’s out there. And so for that they’ve learned to be pretty grateful,” he added.
Sadly, this seems to be the start of a trend. Earlier this month, an interracial family in Raleigh, N.C., received a similarly racist, similarly anonymous letter, dissuading them from putting up any Black Lives Matter signs. It appears that as the nationwide conversation on the lasting effects of systemic racism, white folks are becoming more emboldened to say how they really feel.
Anonymously, of course.
Sproul has said that he and the family wish to move on from the incident but he’s still disturbed by the last line of the letter: “Your neighbors are watching you.”
“Are we supposed to be looking over our shoulders now? Is something worse going to happen? We no longer feel really comfortable in our house anymore ... we’re not living in fear, but at the same time our life is different.”
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