Sunday, May 24, 2015

POLL: Anonymous Racist Note Left for Homeowner





The following anonymous note was left for a resident. What do you make of it?

With so many "Fake Hate" events and an increasing "Us versus Them" racial divide in the United States, is this a legitimate threat to this family?

The location is Lindenhurst, Long Island, New York.


Use Statement Analysis principles to profile the writer.  In your comments, reference the principle, or the reason 'why' you have concluded any portion of it, or the entire statement.

This work is very detail orientated and takes more than a few hours to complete.  From the photo, I am uncertain if "YOU DON'T BELONG HERE" is in bold type.  One photo seems to indicate this, while another does not.  The words "LIKE YOU" should be on one line (7th) as in the original.


Next, going for the most pressing issue, answer this question:

Is this a genuine racist threat, or not?






“ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY

THIS IS COMING FROM LINDENHURST COMMUNITY.

LINDENHURST IS 84% WHITE POPULATION. 

YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!!! 

PLEASE LEAVE LINDENHURST AS SOON AS YOU CAN. 

IT WILL BE BETTER FOR ALL OF US.

FIND THE TOWN WHERE THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE 

LIKE YOU,

SORRY IF THIS IS RUDE, BUT IT’S THE TRUTH.”


15 comments:

John mcgowan said...

“ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY"

One should never assume what someone means. "If" "ATTN" is an abbreviation of "Attention" then why not say it. This then would grab ones "attention" straight away and leave no room for doubt. What does "ATTN" mean in their subjective dictionary if not "attention"

"“ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY

Considering this is a racist message/note i would expect stronger language to be used, the "n" word for example and so on. This is for me is to polite. If this is a fake hate note and is written by a African American then using stronger more racist language would go against what they believe.

"“THIS IS COMING FROM LINDENHURST COMMUNITY."

There is a disconnect here Between "from" and " Lindhurts Community". The missing definite article " "the" suggest it is not coming "the" "Lindhurts Community"

"“LINDENHURST IS 84% WHITE POPULATION."

This is a very specific %. How would they know this. Does the author work for and or know someone who may have access to these type of statistics. The norm i would expect, would be to say, "the overall majority is "white"

"YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!!!"

Although this is written in bold with added exclamation marks x "3" for impact. Again the language is to soft for a racist.

"PLEASE LEAVE LINDENHURST AS SOON AS YOU CAN."

This is unexpected language. It is to polite. Racist usually will swear and use foul language etc. They are also giving them time when it is convenient for them to "leave", again this is unexpected. "Get the f... out now while you can" leaves no room for doubt to what the author wants to get across.

"“FIND THE TOWN WHERE THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU,",

Again this is far too polite. What i find interesting here however , is, the use of the definite article "The", "find the town". The author has a town in mind where they should go, otherwise they would use the indefinite article "A". Is the recipient of the racist note thinking of moving anyway and has chosen where to move.

SORRY IF THIS IS RUDE, BUT IT’S THE TRUTH.”

As noted above this is again to polite. Why would they be sorry. Racist don't give a sh.. and certainly would not apologize. To add "It's the truth" is unnecessary and weakens the assertion.

"If" this is a real fake hate racist note. Then they are the most polite racist iv'e ever come across.

kimisan03 said...

Way to go, John! "Find the place" also jumped out at me, too. Perhaps the author is planning a move.

Red Meat said...

The writer(s) are fairly educated and have been in an occupation where professional communication is valued, memos are written (Attn:) comma separating independent clauses, African- American hyphenated, "it's". But a bit of the language is colloquial: dropped article, "is 84% white population" awkwardly worded.

I wonder if two or more participated in the writing of it. The overt politeness is uncommon for a racist note and it seems the writer has a filter keeping it accurate and professional.

Red Meat said...

I'm going out on a limb here but the motivation for the note seems to be a fear for the community and not one of personal dislike of blacks. Invoking "community, finding the "town". The writer is dealing in something other than pure emotion but "fact". The note seems to wish them no harm but wants them in a different place. The population statistic...the writer is worried about something like home values. I question if it is written by someone in real estate or leadership of a neighborhood association or homeowners association. That stat would be easily known by a realtor.

Peter Hyatt said...

I will post analysis but am giving time for commentators to weigh in.

The very first thing to do is create "Analysis Questions" to be answered.

Peter

GetThem said...

It's fake.

It's odd that it starts with "ATTN:" and also "AFRICAN-AMERICAN" using a hyphen. It starts in quotes, but the entire quote doesn't end until the end of the paragraph (weird). This could be someone who works in an office or maybe a part time student? Addressing an envelope to a business is the only time I've seen "ATTN:" used this way or the start of certain letters. Also, the hyphenating of the words African-American is unusual and even in Google there is not one single reference using a hyphen. Everything is in CAPS and the rest of the punctuation is appropriate.

The letter is typed from "LINDHURST COMMUNITY." Not from "THE" Lindhurst community which would imply others are also involved in sending the letter. This is coming from an individual within the Lindhurst community. This is the sentence that makes me believe it is fake. It is a weak assertion claiming to be from Lindhurst community. The letter should say "I" somewhere and it does not. In fact, the letter does everything to avoid using the word "I" which would make it personal.

Town statistics are listed at 84% white which could be true since a quick search from Wickipedia (unreliable) of 2010 shows a higher number. Demographics here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindenhurst,_New_York

It goes on to say YOU DON'T BELONG HERE!!! 3 exclamation points and underlined text which is used for emphasis. Underlining is used by students for referencing Titles, or reporters, or blog authors.

Could this be a high school or college student? My gut says it is written by someone who is trying to sound intelligent as opposed to someone with an education who is trying to dumb it down.

Next he/she used "PLEASE" and issues a threat that it will better for everyone. This is contradictory since a threat is not polite.

The apology is missing a pronoun making it weak.

Peter Hyatt said...

another hint:

I spent years living close to Lindenhurst, Long Guyland.

tania cadogan said...

“ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY
If this note was hand posted to the family or left on the porch why the need to say “ATTN: AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY?
Who else would it have been aimed at?
Why the need to specify african-american family if that is who lives there.
If this was a race hate letter, why so polite?
The expected would be a racial slur.
Why african american and not black or similar?
If this were written by a white person who doesn't want a black family there they would be blunt and to the point.
It would be short and sweet, along the lines of n***** you ain't wanted here, leave now or else.
ATTN: is an abbreviation and not expected.
This is what you see in an office environment.
Why would the writer need to write ATTN?

THIS IS COMING FROM LINDENHURST COMMUNITY.
This is close, that is distant
The writer specifies the Lindenhurst community which is sharing the responsibility and minimising their own involvement.
The implication is this is a shared feeling by the community.
Is the writer speaking for the whole community?
If so then the Lindenhurst community must by default include all races.
The letter specifies community but not the white part of the community only
There is no article THE.
Expected would be this is coming from THE Lindenhurst community.
Why the need to say who this is coming from?
The fact the writer feels the need to say it is coming from the Lindenhurst community makes it sensitive.

LINDENHURST IS 84% WHITE POPULATION.
If this was written by someone white why not say WE are an 84% white population community/town/city
Why not say you are in the minority?
Why not we are in the majority?
Why IS not HAS?
Note the qualifier population.
Why not say Lindenhurst is 84% white
84% is a specific amount, where did they get this from?
Is this known to the general public as in reported in the media or online about the population etc of the town?
Do they work for local government in some way?
The writer doesn't say outright they are white so i can't say it for them

YOU DON’T BELONG HERE!!!
The writer doesn't say why they don't belong here.
They don't say you don't belong here because you are african-american/black/ racial slur.
The 3 exclamations marks indicate sensitivity, they don't appear anywhere else.
What has brought this letter on?

PLEASE LEAVE LINDENHURST AS SOON AS YOU CAN.
This is too polite.
Since this is supposedly a race hate letter, why include the word please?
Why minimise the demand by including the polite AS SOON AS YOU CAN
This isn't a demand or threat it is a request
This is passive and minimising.
No demand to get out of town now which would be the expected in a race hate letter.
As soon as you can could be months or years down the line.
It allows for them to stay in situ until it is convenient for them to move.
This is unexpected.

IT WILL BE BETTER FOR ALL OF US.
What is the IT that will be better for all of us?
How will it be better?
Who is the all they are referring to?
How will it be better for the family if they move out?
How will one family moving out make it better for the community?

tania cadogan said...

FIND THE TOWN WHERE THERE ARE MORE PEOPLE LIKE YOU,
THE town not A town?
The writer doesn't specify where there are more blacks or african-americans.
Define people like you.
Does the writer have a specific town in mind?
Again this is too polite.
The intent should be to get them out of this town and not caring about them finding a town with a high proportion of blacks.
If this were a genuine race hate letter then i would expect to see them telling the family to go back to Africa, to get out of the country.
If this were a race hate letter then the author would likely be a white supremacist and wouldn't be writing polite letters.
There would be deeds not words

SORRY IF THIS IS RUDE, BUT IT’S THE TRUTH.”
This is unexpected, especially since this is an alleged race hate letter.
There is a dropped pronoun ( I ) in relation to being sorry
Why would a racist apologise to a black family for being rude?
They wouldn't care since they consider themselves to be better than blacks.
BUT can be used to refute or negate or minmise what came before.
Here it refers to the being sorry if this is rude.
What is the truth?
That there is 84% whites?
That this is Lindenhurst


This is a fake letter.
It is too polite for one if it is supposed to be race hating.
The writer comes across as female.
Likely working in an office environment or familiar with office terminology.
I get this from the ATTN: it sounds like something a secretary or office manager would write or even someone in education.
The writer doesn't say they are white so i can't say it for them.
There is a lack of strong language indicating racism or race hate.
There are no demands, no threats as to what will happen if they don't leave.
There is no aggression or masculine language in it which would be expected in a race hate letter.
Most times the racist in such cases is male though there are females as well.

What prompted the letter i wonder?

Why now and not earlier?

What does the recipient expect will be done about it?

What does the recipient want doing about it as they may be different as to their aims?

What are their neighbors like?

Are there other black families locally?

Has anyone else received such a letter?

What is the recipient wanting for herself?

Publicity, donations, sympathy?

The letter is way too long.

if it was genuine i would expect a short threatening get the F*** out now N***** or similar.

No polite suggestions to find a more suitable town, no allowing for them to move as soon as they can.

Suggesting they speak for the whole community (forgetting that the Lindhurst community will have all races in it unless it is a tiny town of a couple hundred people out in the middle of nowhereville)

The writer has decent education since they can spell although they slipped up with IS not HAS (an) 84% white population.

This leads me to think the writer is black.

This then leads me to ask if the family have received other written 'threats' or been the victim of verbal or physical attacks.

Has anything been said or done to them since they received the letter?

I would check the letter for fingerprints to see if there are any strange prints on it.

If it was printed on a printer can it be compared to any printers in the house or place of employment?

GetThem said...

I can't respond on the 2nd survey question, it looks funny on the screen, it's all long and goes down the page and it won't let me pick an option. Also, I accidentally said yes on question 1, but I meant to say no. Maybe you take error into consideration when you calculate your totals.

Tanya, I like what you said regarding the population information. Good points.

Peter Hyatt said...

Get Them,

I think it is fixed. I put it on a new article so hopefully, not only will we get vote results, but the specific questions I have outlined for readers will help guide them.

Peter

Peter Hyatt said...

interesting work, John.

Go to the new article and poll!

Anonymous said...

Peter,

I am curious as to why you deleted so many comments from this story/poll (there were 21 at the time I posted)? I posted anon and merely pointed out the 84% white population didn't come from personal knowledge, but from research. I also queried when the go fund me page would be put up and proved I wasn't a robot. My post was before John's lengthy post stating the same thing re: 84% white thing. What is it you fear?

Peter Hyatt said...

Anonymous,

I tried to consolidate the information in the postings, themselves, to make it easier on readers.

Your post wasn't offensive, and there were three separate entries. It was spread out, had overlapping info, and 2 "Polling Questions" that did not even work!

Copy/pasting got confusing so I went down to one post .


The deletions were "collateral damage"!


It isn't the norm.

The reason for so many initial posts?

This is a longer story.

Anonymous work is very difficult and few, if any, analysts do it, and even fewer put their names on it.

The hope was clarity.

Peter

bluegrasschick said...

Anyone hear anything official yet? I've been looking to no avail. There was another hate letter to a biracial couple on Alabama. Their new business is booming after the incident.

http://m.wsfa.com/wsfa/pm_/contentdetail.htm?contentguid=od:NwjYKRdH