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Woman, 81, Takes Center Stage In Rally Against Hate

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DENVER (CBS4) – An 81-year-old African-American resident of Denver’s Whittier neighborhood is not mincing words after being targeted in a racist letter.

The woman, who goes by Miss Monica, took center stage at a community rally on Monday night that was billed as a stand against hate.

“You’re a coward,” she said, addressing the person who sent the letter to her.

Miss Monica has lived in the same Denver house for more than 50 years and the neighborhood she lives in is one of the most diverse in the city.

Last week she and more than 20 neighbors received an anonymous letter calling her the n-word and saying there’s no room for her or Jews in the neighborhood.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“I never had a problem with any of the neighbors. We all look out for each other. I don’t know where all this is coming from,” she said.

Brother Jeff Fard helped organize the rally and told CBS4 they are trying to boost Monica’s spirits.

“She’s full of love and compassion. But right now she’s full of fear. We want to make sure that we play a role — as well as law enforcement — in turning that fear around,” Fard said.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

During the rally neighbors joined hands in prayer against their unseen enemy and Miss Monica offered a heartfelt thanks.

“It makes me know they care. I never knew this many people cared,” she said. “Thank you. That’s all I can say is thank you.”

In addition to the gathering on Monday night, dozens of neighbors went door to door passing out orange cards bearing the words, “The Community Is Greater Than … Hate, Bigotry, Intolerance, Ignorance, Divisiveness.”

“Hate is unacceptable and fear and intimidation tactics in this community is not going to be accepted,” Fard told neighbors during the rally.

Denver police say finding the person responsible for the letters is a top priority. They are investigating if the person behind it committed a hate crime.

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