Local coffee shop owner to ‘combat hate with love’ over mailed letter

When a local coffee shop in West Palm Beach receives mail, it’s usually bills, business opportunities or customers that have something to say. But this month, a one-page letter sent to Subculture Coffee in West Palm Beach was anything but the usual. 

Because it was hand-addressed to Subculture Coffee, Sean Scott, the owner, thought it was a personal letter. So he opened the envelope immediately. 

The first words he saw read:

“We all know deep down inside that races should never mix. Teach your children right.”

He was shocked.

“I thought it was sent on purpose, maybe because we’re such a diverse space,” said Scott. “We welcome all kinds of people and we’re known for that.”

Scott wasn’t sure why the letter was sent to his business as he believes the culture he has created around Subculture Coffee couldn’t be further from that ideology. 

He decided to read the entire letter titled “White and Proud!,” and signed by “New Order” (with a Nazi sign inside the “O”), because he says it’s important to be exposed to everything — not just the social “bubbles” we create around us.

Reading the letter made him realize he needed to say something, because “silence is complicity.” Scott decided to respond to the letter via his Instagram and Facebook accounts with a different message:

To the human that sent this to me at the shop today: Hello! You must not have realized to whom you have sent this letter but please hear me now. There is no other person or business that is as fundamentally opposed to this type of arrogant & delusional hate. So please, let me take a few moments to tell you about what we DO believe: We believe not in the white race but the human race. One beautiful people. We believe in fostering a community that celebrates what it means to be human and the expression of our different cultures. We believe in erasing lines, not creating them. We believe in working with compassion and empathy, serving all people equally, rich or poor, young & old, black, white and any shade in between. We believe in spreading hope and understand it's exponential power when we join together. We believe in extending a hand to any in need. We believe in diversity. So read this and let it be known. Understand how deep my love goes for the human race. Believe it. If you'd like to talk, I'd be happy to. Sincerely- Sean Scott 908-319-0409 #silenceiscomplicity

A post shared by Subculture Coffee Co. (@subculturecoffee) on

What he didn’t expect was that his response would be commented, shared and liked hundreds of times from people all over the world.

“I think that the response shouldn’t be ‘why you’re wrong’, but ‘what we believe to be correct,’ said Scott. “It’s more impactful, no matter their intent.”

The Palm Beach Post contacted New Order but at the time of this publication, New Order has not responded. 

“I know it sounds cliché ‘to combat hate with love,’ but that’s really what we’re all about,” said Scott. 

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