Community members gathered outside Seal Beach retirement community Leisure World Wednesday to condemn hateful incidents targeting Asians after a resident received a racist and threatening letter celebrating her husband’s recent death.
Seal Beach police are investigating whether a hate crime occurred after the Choi family was sent the handwritten, anonymous letter — postmarked on the day of Byong Choi’s funeral — telling his widow to “watch out” and “go back to your country where you belong.”
The letter opened with, “Now that [your husband] is gone makes it one less Asian to put up with in Leisure World.”
Dozens of people stood along the street outside the retirement community, holding signs bearing phrases like “Racism needs a vaccine” and “Hate has no home here.”
Some of those who showed up were Choi’s neighbors, including Duane Owens.
“We will not allow hate to go on in our community,” he said.
Another attendee, Robin Yan, says he grew up in nearby Rossmoor, where he experienced similar racism.
“These kinds of words that were said in the letter were actually said to me a lot when I was a kid,” he told KTLA. “We’re just here to let people know that this kind of racism is not to be tolerated.”
The letter was reported Monday, and police say they’re now following up on numerous tips received since news of the incident broke Tuesday.