ONLY ON WWAY: Local pastor shocked by racist letter mailed to her church
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A Port City pastor was blindsided when she said she got a letter filled with hate and racist undertones over the weekend.
Dierdre Parker is a pastor at Speaks Temple AME Zion Church in Wilmington.
We do want to warn you, some of you may find the language in this story offensive or disturbing.
“Creepy people. Lazy bums sitting on porches. Porch monkeys,” Parker read from the letter. “Big lipped ape men. Blue gummed people wandering around. A stench in the air. Illegitimate kids everywhere. Etc. Where are you? Hm. And the answer I don’t even want to say.”
Those are just a few of the words Parker never thought she would have to read in her own church.
“Just kind of shocked,” Parker said. “Dumbfounded. Like, you would really send something like this to a church?”
The first thing that went through Parker’s mind besides anger was fear.
“You know, it made me start to think about what happened in Charleston,” Parker said. “You know, it could happen here this is a small church. We don’t have security. You know, am I going to have to be looking over my shoulder while I’m preaching?”
Parker said she hopes the letter was just random.
“I see racism everyday. But there are two places where you feel like you’ll be safe from that. And that’s at home and in church,” Parker said.
There is a second part to the letter. However, Parker decided not to share it with others because it is just too offensive.
But she did share what she would want to say to the person who wrote the letter.
“Why? Why? If you don’t like us and you know us that’s one thing,” Parker said. “But do you really know us?”
Parker hopes the author of the letter will see the harm they have caused. She also wants to raise awareness and start a bigger conversation surrounding racism.
“What happens when we remain silent is the people who don’t have to deal with racism don’t have to hear about it. And then they can pretend it doesn’t exist but it does exist,” Parker said.
Parker said she filed a police report. However, she said the Wilmington Police Department is not considering the letter a hate crime at this time because there is no actual threat.
The Wilmington Police Department is however keeping an eye on Parker’s church.
To read the letter, click here.
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