Alabama security guard reportedly finds racist note at work

Updated: Dec. 18, 2020 at 5:38 PM CST
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BULLOCK COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - A racist note reportedly taped to a window has fueled anger in Prattville, Union Springs and now Memphis, Tennessee.

“We have to stop this foolishness,” said Bullock County Voter League Political Director Robert Turner.

“We have a citizen being threatened,” said Bullock County NAACP President J.V. Poe.

“A frightful letter, if I may say,” added Bullock County community activist Ron Smith.

A security guard at International Paper in Prattville reportedly found a one-page note when she started her work shift at noon on Wednesday. The author used the N-word three times.

“And it was placed on the window where she worked,” said Smith, who has been in contact with the family.

The writer seems to go on a rant about wearing a mask. In the left hand margin of the letter, the person penned the letters “KKK.”

“More than likely she’s probably wearing a mask. That could be the problem,” said Poe.

Smith says they chose to hold the news conference in Bullock County because the female security guard is from Bullock County. They saw this as supporting a native daughter.

Bullock County is about 60 miles southeast from Prattville, where International Paper is located.

“So we feel as though it’s right to initiate it here,” Smith said.

Smith, Turner and Poe declined to identify the woman but said she recently graduated from Bullock County High School, and she’s in her early 20s.

“The letter the young lady received should not have been sent,” said an angry Turner.

From Memphis, Tennessee, International Paper leaders responded Friday morning.

“We’ve launched an investigation. We condemn the offensive nature of this note. We do not tolerate threatening acts, racism or bigotry. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive culture where individuals feel valued and engaged and have the opportunity to contribute to their best every day,” wrote International Paper director of corporate communications Tom Ryan. “As part of our own investigation, we have also reported the matter to the local FBI office.”

“Additional threats have come after it was posted on Facebook,” Poe said.

Along with International Paper’s investigation, community leaders in Bullock County, including the NAACP, will conduct their own probe; all eyes are on the mystery letter to determine who and why.

Ron Smith says International Paper officials in Prattville met with the employee Friday morning, but it’s not clear what came of that meeting.

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