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‘Your hate is not welcomed’: Genoa Township couple receive hateful letters over BLM flag

The first letter arrived in August 2020. Two more arrived this month. All three are from an anonymous sender who claims to be a neighbor.

DELAWARE COUNTY, Ohio — A Black Lives Matter flag is a symbol of support and pride for a family in a small central Ohio township. But they say their flag is also leading to hate mail, and this isn’t the first time.

Out of their concern for their safety, we are not sharing the family's last name. But they still want their story told. They say they will not tolerate this type of hate.

“We're an interracial family, we're a Black family, our kids are Black,” said Janine. “We want them to feel supported, their lives do matter.”

A Black Lives Matter flag has been outside Janine and Jeff's Genoa Township home since the summer of 2020. Not long after the flag went up, a piece of concerning mail came in, with no return address, asking them to take the flag down.

“And that they walk by our house every day and they were tired of seeing our signs,” explained Janine. “And they weren't sure if we were a ‘Negro family’ is the language they used. But it was not welcomed here.”

At the time, Janine shared what happened on Facebook to alert her neighbors to this anonymous sender.

“For them to actually go to that length of writing a letter, sending it anonymously, to our home where we have our family, our children, it was pretty scary.”

However, there was a positive. Neighbors stepped up with their signs, in a show of support.

But then, in the last two weeks, another anonymous letter arrived. It asked them to take their flag down calling the movement "a big scam."

“And then another letter, two weeks later,” said Janine. “It's becoming more of a pattern and it's not at all comfortable or acceptable.”

The 3rd letter reads, "take down that [stupid] flag on your house. My dog and me tired of seeing it every day."

Lt. Rich Lyon from the Genoa Township Police department says it's tough to track where the letters are coming from... and because there appears to be no direct threat of violence, there hasn't been a criminal offense.

Janine and Jeff are sharing their story to raise awareness that hate exists close to home.

“Your hate is not welcomed. We have the support of our community. They stand with us,” said Janine.

“I'd even welcome a conversation with somebody rather than anonymous letters being sent to us, I mean I think we can accomplish a lot in this world though communication and one-way communication isn't very helpful,” said Jeff.

Janine and Jeff say they've been in touch with Genoa Township Police and police tell them that they'll be on close watch.

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