Family sent ‘devastating’ racist note
A FAMILY'S "dream home" has turned into a nightmare after their teenage son became the target of vile racist abuse at the hands of an elderly neighbour.
Amy Howell Pundt, from Indiana in the US, has spoken out the incident after her husband found their new home covered in toilet paper with an anonymous note at the front door.
According to Ms Howell Pundt, the letter was filled with racial slurs directed at the couple's mixed race, 15-year-old son.
The lengthy, rambling letter begins by declaring: "This is a white neighbourhood" and that "some people find (n-word) stressful."
The letter claims the author moved to the "all white" town of Kokomo and into an "all white neighbourhood" for "health reasons" and that the family "should have considered the neighbours" before moving in with their child.
"Your kid may be a nice kid but the sight sets off my anger, rage and disgust of how (n-word) never pay for their crimes," the letter continued, claiming the child was "not welcome" in the community.
A distressed Ms Howell Pundt has shared a photo of the letter online and started a GoFundMe page to raise money for the family's possible legal fees as well as the installation of a fence and security system.
"We just experienced our first ever hate crime. A hate crime against my son! A Child," the mother of five wrote.
"My child was facing bigotry and hatred at a level I can't even fathom. Just for the colour of his skin.
"This destroyed his innocence. This destroyed a childhood. This even affected my other four kids."
She explained she had watched her son "be crushed by someone else's hatred and racism" and that she wanted to share the family's story to raise awareness of the effects of racism.
"It's real. It hurts. It destroys. It's devastating, and it effects everyone," she wrote.
Ms Howell Pundt said her son, who was an athlete and on his high school's honour role, was handling the situation with "maturity well beyond his age" - but that she now feared for his safety.
"This momma is worried and nervous, and a million other emotions. I can't eat, I can't sleep, every day I am on high alert," she wrote.
"Something as simple as sending him out to catch the bus has me in a mess. It has us all in a mess."
The family's 63-year-old white neighbour Deborah Cantwell has been charged with intimidation and criminal mischief after the matter was reported to police.
According to the Washington Post, Ms Cantwell admitted to writing the note, and claimed it was because her family had been attacked by other black people in the past.
She told police she acted out of "rage" and that she was "trying to vent".
When authorities asked if she regretted her behaviour, she told them "yes and no", according to the publication.
"I am sorry that it caused so much ruckus, but I feel like I released some anger writing that letter," she said, according to the court documents.
Ms Cantwell will appear in court on November 19.
Meanwhile, Ms Howell Pundt's GoFundMe page has already raised $A6557 with a goal of nearly $10,000.
Sadly, it's only the latest in a string of racist incidents in the US recently.
Earlier this week, white woman Susan Westwood was sacked from her $176,000-per-year job after being filmed taunting black sisters Leisa and Mary Garris this month and saying: "I am white and hot. So what are you doing here?"
She also asked them where they lived, if they were visiting their "baby daddy" and if she needed to reveal her concealed weapon.