Police on Long Island say their hate crimes unit is investigating an anonymous note sent to a black resident asking her and her family to leave the town, which the letter said is "84 percent white."
"ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY," the all-caps note read. "THIS IS COMING FROM LINDENHURST COMMUNITY."
"YOU DON'T BELONG HERE," the letter continued. "PLEASE LEAVE LINDENHURST AS SOON AS YOU CAN. IT WILL BE BETTER FOR ALL OF US."
The letter urged the woman to find a town "WHERE THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU," and ended with, "SORRY IF THIS IS RUDE, BUT IT'S THE TRUTH."
Darcell Copes lives in the home with her three grown children and five young grandchildren.
"I went from being fearful, protecting my family, to being totally confused, and wanted to know who and why," she told NBC 4 New York 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?"
Daughter Ronica Copes uploaded a photo of the menacing, hateful letter to Facebook, and the image has since been shared more than 1,500 times. Dozens of Facebook commenters expressed outrage about the letter, postmarked May 19.
"Sooooo, I'm checking my mail and when I come across this I can't help but laugh... wait, it's not funny though," Ronica Copes wrote on her Facebook page. "Where they do that at? Oh yeah Lindenhurst. Unbelievable but then it's not ... our daily reality, I've just never seen it in this form."
The Copes said they've been receiving support from the community. The family has lived in the home for two years and say they hadn't experienced overt racism in the past since moving there -- but the letter is proof that alive and well in 2015, and they're not shocked.
Babylon Town and Lindenhurst Village condemned the letter for its "racist hateful views" in a joint statement obtained by Lindenhurst Patch Friday.
“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,” the statement said, according to Path. “We are, and always will be, a strong diverse community that does not cede ground to hostility, ignorance, or hatred, wherever it may appear.”
Darcell Copes called the letter writer a "coward" but will pray for the person, she said. The family won't be intimidated and plan on staying, she added