An interracial couple from Birmingham, Alabama, who run a successful ice business, say they received a hate letter that suggested they didn't belong in the city because of their decision to marry someone of an opposite race.
David and Wani Shaw, owners of Magic City Sweet Ice, say they opened up their mailbox in front of their house and found a letter written in all caps, reports AL.com:
The letter reads:
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
OR GO BACK TO WOODLAWN
The couple say they worked hard to get to the point they're at now, where they are running their own authentic Italian ice shop. Last year, they reportedly sold ices from a pushcart in Woodlawn.
"I never experienced anything like that so I really didn't know how to respond," David Shaw reportedly told Fox 6 WBRC.
Wani Shaw, who says she thought it was a joke at first, told AL.com: "Hey, we aren't going to California. There's a drought there! That'll put us out of business!"
David Shaw told Fox 6 WBRC that the majority of residents support them and that he felt compelled to post the letter on Facebook because he had no other way of expressing his thoughts in a manner that might reach the writer.
"I posted it because there was no way I could communicate with the person," he said. "There was no return address, no name. This was the only way I could communicate."
The couple, who met in Virginia after Wani moved to Boston from her native Liberia, say they don't believe the majority of people in Birmingham would agree with the letter and its message.
"Whoever wrote that letter is in the dying minority," Wani Shaw told AL.com. "We don't deny that past, but we don't relive it. We're part of a generation that knows better. And wants more."
According to the couple, the letter has actually helped them drum up new business and support.
Photo Credit: AL.com, WBRC