A community in Wilmington, North Carolina is rallying around a family that received a racist, threatening letter.
“I’m American, born in Hawaii, raised in North Carolina. And my husband is from Mexico,” Jessica Zambrano said.
An American flag flies on one side of the front door and a Mexican flag on the other.
“I just really want my children to know where they come from, what they are, and just to be proud of who they are. And to celebrate both sides of their family,” Zambrano said.
But that celebration was interrupted when a letter arrived in the mail recently, threatening gun violence if they continued to fly the Mexican flag.
“I was, like, shaky, like, very scared. Luckily, I came out here, because my kids were inside, to call the police.”
After a few days of fearing for her family’s safety, and considering taking the flag down, Zambrano decided she wasn’t going to let hate win.
“So I left it up. And then my neighbors, you know, stood beside us and put theirs up. So that made us feel very, very loved and very welcomed.”
A letter meant to sow hate and fear, prompted an outpouring of love, as neighbors rallied around the Zambrano’s, purchasing their own Mexican flags and flying them in solidarity.
“That letter really brought it home for me that, that the issue of racism is not just an issue that’s on the news, or his you know, in Minneapolis or wherever it is. But it’s something that’s local. It’s across the street for me,” Kevin Millard said.
“If we can use our privilege in a way that shows love to other people and shows support, that’s what it’s about.”
Amazed by the show of support, Zambrano posted a message of thanks to her neighbors on Facebook.
A message that is going viral — with hundreds of others standing with them from far outside the boundaries of her neighborhood.
“It was kind of overwhelming. I didn’t expect it to, you know, grow that much. But I think that there’s a lot of people that just want to stand up for what’s right,’ Zambrano said.
The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department is trying to find out who sent the letter.
That person could face charges possibly even for the commissioning of a hate crime.
The family says they’re grateful to deputies who patrol their neighborhood to ensure their safety.