(CNN)Chris Kennedy's Christmas display features a seven-foot Black Santa that stands tall in his yard along with a Christmas tree and a large shining sign that reads "Joy."
Man receives racist letter over Black Santa decoration -- and neighbors have his back
Until now, he has received nothing but compliments since he first moved to his North Little Rock, Arkansas, neighborhood in 2017.
But just before Thanksgiving this year, he received in the mail an anonymous racist note condemning the decorations in his yard.
"You should not try to deceive children into believing that I am a negro," said the letter, which was signed 'Santa Claus.' "You being jealous of my race is no excuse for your dishonesty."
Kennedy read the note over a live stream on his Facebook account.
"I am trying to be as nice as I can in this very moment because I am actually filled with rage," Kennedy said in his live stream.
In the video, he also revealed an image of a white Santa with two thumbs down, and the label taped to the front of the envelope that resembled the Lakewood Property Owners Association's (LPOA) logo.
"The real thing that angered me was the fact that the person who wrote it suggested I move out east where I guess they feel all black people live," Kennedy told CNN.
The LPOA had nothing to do with the letter, Lakewood Property Owners Association executive director Evan Blake told CNN.
Blake said that he visited Kennedy and his family to condemn the letter. He also gave him a free membership to the LPOA as a gesture of assurance that the Kennedys are very much a part of the North Little Rock community.
"We have never had anyone attack anyone based on their race," Blake said. "Racism is something that we do discriminate against and we will not stand for it."
Kennedy does have his suspicions about what motivated the unknown person to send the insensitive letter and worries someone will try to take down his decorations.
"I feel like it's a combination of politics and actual racism," Kennedy told CNN. "I am not sure that it was solely about just the black Santa display as much as it was legitimately just racism, in general."
Other North Little Rock residents living in different neighborhoods have contacted Kennedy to share similar stories about racist remarks and gestures. According to the 2019 U.S. Census Bureau, African-Americans comprise 44.7% of the population in North Little Rock.
For Kennedy, this isn't just about the color of Santa's skin, but instead about a rich family tradition that brings back fond childhood memories of looking at elaborate light displays with his father, who died over 15 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. Each year on Halloween, Kennedy, his wife and 4-year-old daughter decorate early for the holiday season.
"Putting up Christmas displays reminds me of him," Ke