Unsplash | kaleb tapp

Neighborhood Puts Up Black Santas In Support Of Family Who Got A Hateful Letter Over Theirs

As the holidays get closer and closer, we're almost at the point where Christmas is upon us. As such, many families are getting ready to deck the halls by putting up their decorations, both inside their home and outside. From lights to trees to inflatables, everyone is getting their holiday spirit on with some extra-special vibes.

One father, Chris Kennedy, got his decorations out and ready to go on his front lawn.

Kennedy, who is from North Little Rock, Arkansas, has been living in his neighborhood for three years and using the same decorations since he moved in.

While in the past he hasn't had any problems, this year seems to be a little different.

Kennedy's decorations include some inflatables on his front lawn that showcase some various Christmas classics: Santa Claus and a Christmas tree. However, Kennedy's decorations include two versions of Santa.

Kennedy said in an interview that he puts up his decorations to make kids smile and to spread joy during the holidays.

His holiday display features a large "Joy" sign and other positive slogans that wish onlookers a happy holiday season.

Kennedy's inflatable Black Santa Claus was purchased in 2016 when his daughter was born.

While they have never heard any backlash for their Black Santa, this year, Kennedy received a typed letter in his mailbox saying that the Black Santa Claus was "offensive."

Kennedy went on to say that as a Black family living in the southern United States, they often have a difficult time finding Black Santa decor.

Unsplash | Alicia Slough

"It’s very hard for us to find Black Santa decorations here in the South, so whenever we see them we often buy them," he said.

While they have never had any backlash for their Black Santa, this year, Kennedy received a typed letter in his mailbox over the Black Santa Claus decoration.

The letter insisted that Kennedy remove the decoration from his lawn.

In the letter he shared on Facebook live, the anonymous letter-writer made a number of racist comments.

The letter accused Kennedy of being "jealous" of white culture and trying to "deceive" kids into thinking that Santa is Black. The person also suggested Kennedy and his family move out of the neighborhood.

The person also included a picture of a white Santa posing with his thumbs down.

YouTube | THV11://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aU6EKQU9jpU&ab_channel=THV11

Clearly, Kennedy and his family were shocked that someone would go to such great lengths to make them feel unwelcome and unwanted in their own neighborhood.

After the letter was posted to social media, Kennedy's other neighbors stepped up to share their love and support.

Some sent gift packages, showing that they do appreciate the diversity in the neighborhood and that Kennedy is an "awesome neighbor."

Others wrote nice letters to the Kennedy family about how they "look forward" to the decorations every year.

One person left a letter anonymously, saying that they not only look forward to the Kennedys' decorations every year, but they also hear them and stand with them in solidarity.

In fact, several neighbors purchased their own Black Santas and displayed them on their lawns.

One of those neighbors was Chip Welch, who shared a photo of his Santa on Facebook.

"We like Chris Kennedy's Santa so much we got us one, too!" Welch wrote in his post.

It didn't take long for other neighbors to show their support to the Kennedy family with their very own Black Santa decorations.

Retailers in the area report that demand for Black Santa decorations has gone up so much that they are running low on stock. The Kennedy family said the support from the community has been "heartwarming."

Many people on social media also spoke out in support of Kennedy and his family's decor.

Many people wrote that they are sorry that individuals still live with so much hate. They also mentioned how this is "not the Christmas spirit" that we should be embracing.

Others told Chris to "keep being [him]self."

Many said that, while he cannot change the ignorance of others, he can continue to be himself and keep up the great work.

Kennedy hopes that by speaking out about his experience, he can bring more positive changes to the world.

Unsplash | Tj Holowaychuk

"At the end of the day, what was meant for evil was flipped for good," he noted. "We are showing that we are truly better together and united as one," he said in an interview with the Washington Post.

The Kennedy family has taken that positivity one step further by stepping up to help charities.

Unsplash | Mister B.

Since the outpouring of support from their community and around the world, the Kennedy family has encouraged people moved by their story to donate to The Ronald McDonald House Charities Of Arkansas to spread some much-needed Christmas cheer to those who need it.

Filed Under: