Perhaps one Facebook comment says it best:
I would say someone needs to write an open letter to this idiot, but honestly he or she is living so far in the past I doubt they have internet access.
That’s about the long and short of the response one is likely to give when learning that Birmingham, Alabama couple David and Wani Shaw received a letter at their store Magic City Sweet Ice, Saturday, that read:
IT IS HARD TO IMAGINE A BIRMINGHAM BOY LEAVING AND BRINGING BACK A BLACK WIFE
YOU NEED TO MOVE TO CALIFORNIA WHERE THAT IS SOP [STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE]
OR GO BACK TO WOODLAWN
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At first I kind of thought it was a joke, then I was a little bit concerned for the safety of my family.
Having no other means to communicate with the anonymous bigot, Shaw used social media to respond to the letter the next day in hopes that the sender would see it. He took a quick pic of the letter and posted it, along with his response, to Facebook. It reads as follows:
1) I LOVE my beautiful black wife and everything about her, (most everything about her). Our love for one another is far deeper than skin color.
2) We won’t be moving to California, or God willing, anywhere else anytime soon.
3) You got the address wrong
Shaw’s response post on his Facebook page has been shared over 400 times and has been inundated with supportive comments. Shaw said:
It’s really turned into a positive thing. Yesterday was like a party at our store. So many people drove out to support us! I can’t even keep up with the social media positive response.
Shaw claimed he was initially uncertain whether he should show the letter to his wife, but once he did he says she just laughed. He said:
She’s a very strong woman from West Africa. She has been through a lot more than a little letter.
The couple of 14 years and three children have lived in the Birmingham area for four years, where they have since opened a genuine Italian ice shop in Homewood as of April. You can find it’s Facebook page, here.
Shine a light, folks. Every incident of bigotry we, as a nation, earnestly condemn publicly will slowly help change the tides, because one difference between the bigotry we have today and the bigotry of years gone by is that we now have the technology to keep it from flying under the radar. Each time it creeps up it can be raised to a national level and discussed, condemned, learned from. Support from around the world can flood in to offer strength and love to the victims.
Just like police brutality, smartphones and social media make for powerful tools in bringing the truth of “post-racial” America to the surface. So long as we keep doing that and skimming the surface for the collecting scum, each returning tide should yield cleaner water. And in case you didn’t know already, water is life.
Featured image via Facebook