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Ebony Hailey will not let her 11-year old daughter, Rebekah, collect the mail anymore.

Even though the box is across the street from Hailey’s south Fresno home, after what she found there Monday, the daily mail is off-limits.

Rebekah told her mom, an education administrator with Fresno Unified, that someone posted disturbing flyers on the community box, a caricature of a boy of color, along with flyers that said “Coronavirus.”

Hailey checked out the mailbox herself and snapped a photo. What she saw concerned her.

“What in the world is this? What message are we sending? Why is this up here?” Hailey said.

No one saw who posted the flyers. They were later removed, although Hailey and her neighbors did not know who did that either.

Racially Motivated?

“It crossed the line, whether people think it’s just a prank or if they think it’s minute. But the reality is these are sensitive and fragile times.”Ebony Hailey

Hailey wasn’t sure if the flyers were racially motivated, but it made her wonder.

“I’m the only one that I’m aware of with a little black boy in this neighborhood and a little black girl,” Hailey said. “It didn’t feel right. It didn’t sit right with me. The way that it was put on display was not a good feeling at all.”

Hailey and her family have lived in the neighborhood for nearly 15 years. This is the first time she recalled anything like this. She reached out to her friends to ask their thoughts, and also called the postal service.

After canvassing the surrounding neighborhoods, it was only the mailbox near the Hailey family and other households of people of color that had the flyers attached.

“It crossed the line, whether people think it’s just a prank or if they think it’s minute. But the reality is these are sensitive and fragile times,” Hailey said.

Explaining the Flyers to Her Children

What did Hailey tell her children?

“This is why we don’t look at the negative things that are going around social media. You need to understand your history, who you are, where you come from, where you’re going,” Hailey said. “God is always around them, protecting them from things from dangerous — seen and unseen.”

Young Rebekah was still processing things.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate. You don’t put (flyers) of people with that skin color on mailboxes,” Rebekah said.

Hailey had her daughter scrub her hands and arms when she returned home, out of precaution.

11-year old Rebekah Hailey (left) and her mother, Ebony Hailey (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Picture of Disney Cartoon Character

Baljeet from “Phineas and Ferb” (Disney Channel)

The image was of Baljeet, a character from the Disney Channel cartoon “Phineas and Ferb” about a blended family. In the show, Baljeet — of Indian descent — is a somewhat-wimpy sidekick to the main characters.

Other neighbors felt uncomfortable with the flyers as well.

The mailbox is next to the home of Jasmine Kaur and her family, who are of Indian descent.

“There’s a lot of negativity going on already. We don’t need more,” Kaur said.

She didn’t think the flyer was directed at her or her family.

“It’s probably somebody pranking,” Kaur said.

For Hailey, it didn’t matter if the character was Indian or Black.

It still didn’t make a difference if it was a child who was dark of skin color. I don’t think whoever posted that … maybe they weren’t aware of what character it was,” Hailey said.

Post Office Response

A spokeswoman for the USPS told GV Wire℠ a postal inspector will investigate the incident.

“The Postal Service does not allow postings to be placed on any mail receptacles. The manager has informed the carrier to remove any flyers encountered on this route,” the spokesman said.

The mailman for the neighborhood said Monday was his first day, and he noticed only one flyer at the time. He flipped up the flyer to open the community box and deliver the mail.

He didn’t realize the significance of the image.

“I didn’t even pay attention to it. I didn’t know what that was about,” said the carrier who did not want to give his name.

“I pray it doesn’t happen to anybody else throughout our community near Fresno. We’re all in this community, and we all got to live here.” — Ebony Hailey

What Hailey Would Say to Whoever Posted the Flyers

Hailey talked about what she would say to the person responsible for the flyers.

My question is why? What were you thinking? What do you think you were going to get out of that? Now, I have to put my kids on alert, even more so to be aware of their own surroundings, their own neighborhood that they were born and raised in. And that’s not a conversation I thought I would have to have here.”

Hailey hopes that if anyone sees more flyers like that in the future, they’ll take them down.

I pray it doesn’t happen to anybody else throughout our community near Fresno,” she said. “We’re all in this community, and we all got to live here.”

4 Responses

  1. Bill Thacker

    Everything isn’t about racism . I suppose if you want to turn the Disney character which is actually Indian and spin it into a racist rant like the media does and “community organizers” like Stacy Williams ( although these so called organizers are not from Fresno Community) who never missed an opportunity to gaslight her ridiculous ranting of ” white privilege” aka (let’s blame whitie for my victim hood )
    Teaching kids self accountability instead of blaming another person’s race for society/community challenges is getting old…some self responsibility goes a long way. There is plenty of racism in the local Mexican population i have even heard local Mexicans disparage the hispanics of Central America ( Hondurans, Salvadorans etc) lets give it a break people next you will be demanding Disneyland remove all non white characters cause its racist to have inclusion. Making an excuse for more pandering of identity politics which is the same as race baiting.
    Blacks have other issues to deal with: high absence of black fathers, breakdown of Family, black on black crime and the pathetic politically correct FUSD that Halley works for that starts kids at an early age on free meal handouts, while parents have convenience of drive up services in their brand new SUV …lets start victimhood at an early age. Oh and the test scores and academic benchmarks of FUSD? Another laughable sad commentary of blame and being ” economically disadvantaged”
    My family did without, lots of time we went without meals as my father struggled . Never did we ask for handouts or would any have been given i don’t have the right skin color. So get out of here with your stories. Talk about the families losing their livelihoods unable to pay property taxes that feed into FUSD budget and those families who won’t be buying Granville homes because of economic uncertainty. Nah you would rather take issue with a Disney characters on a flyer or sponsor pro Palestinian anti-Israel talks when both are less than 5% of Central California population. GV participates in identity politics how about support fir the shrinking middle class business owners being destroyed by Fresno City Hall and true investigative journalism on how city of Fresno plans on developing economic opportunities for Fresnos workforce. Instead of allowing diverting of their economic shortfall vision with more stories of ” homekessness” “drug addiction” “BLM” etc get back to running the city as a business not a social experiment.
    Signed
    Just some insignificant white person

    Reply
    • Bill

      Balance of power? White people are the minority in Fresno County its over 70% Mexican and many are very powerful and have done well.
      Whites are the minority, give it a break. Lots of successful Mexicans in Fresno County and successful blacks the problem is they seem to distance themselves from their community or marry outside of their race & ethnicity. Not sure why. John Roybal your point is taken but its not valid nor does it make logical sense. More excuses. Move on with your life instead of blaming it on fuzzy math. SW & SE Fresno was just awarded over $40 Million from the Covid 19 benefits, the councilmen from the NE and NW pushed to have it distributed to those districts. Now sit back and watch the money get dumped into developers pockets and some of their favorite non-profits. Don’t blame anyone for that except poor leadership.

      Reply

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