In front of Master Cuts at 219 Westchester Ave. on Tuesday, July 8, The Reverend Natalie Wimberly of St. Frances AME Zion Church and Joan Thomas, the president of the local NAACP chapter, comfort a crying Denise Delgado, whose husband was slandered in flyers containing hateful and derogatory slurs.  CLAIRE K. RACINE|WESTMORE NEWS
In front of Master Cuts at 219 Westchester Ave. on Tuesday, July 8, The Reverend Natalie Wimberly of St. Frances AME Zion Church and Joan Thomas, the president of the local NAACP chapter, comfort a crying Denise Delgado, whose husband was slandered in flyers containing hateful and derogatory slurs. CLAIRE K. RACINE|WESTMORE NEWS
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Rather than incite discord and division between two ethnic groups, flyers containing hateful and derogatory slurs have instead united the African American and Latino communities, as well as town, village and school officials, as they rallied to support a local business slandered in one of the messages.

"There is no room for his vile material in our community," Joan Thomas, the president of the local NAACP chapter, said at a press conference in front of Master Cuts at 219 Westchester Ave. on Tuesday, July 8. She was one of the many people who turned out to support a small business she described as "truly an American story."

"People know me. I've been here for five years," said Will Delgado, who lives in Connecticut.

A fictitious and malicious flyer supposedly signed by Will, along with another employee, Jamie, was distributed on cars and posted around the village. "After careful consideration evaluating complaints from our Latino clientele, we at Master Cuts have come to a FINAL conclusion that we will no longer serve the [n-word] that have alienated the Proud Latino Community. We are tired of all the violence perpetrated against our people and now is the time to take a stand and unite against these Monkey Cotton Pickers," the paper read.

There was another flyer also distributed in the area with even more foul language that did not directly mention Will or Master Cuts. The flyers were seen on South Main Street and Midland Avenue, as well as around the Port Chester train station.

A family devastated

When the Delgados returned on Monday, July 7 from a family vacation to Gettysburg, Va., it was to a slew of texts and calls about the flyer that had Will's name on it.

"I didn't believe it. I thought I was dreaming," said Will, who has family that is half black, half Puerto Rican.

"He was devastated," said his wife Denise. "He said, 'What? That I would say that and put my business in jeopardy, my kids' livelihood?'"

"Common sense--why would we put our name on it?" Denise asked.

After spending Monday attempting to figure out what was going on, the Delgados decided to fight fire with fire, posting their own flyer in the window of the barbershop.

"I felt I had to speak out today and to the news because this is not us," Denise said. "I couldn't stay quiet. We didn't do this and we weren't going to stand for people thinking we did this."

The flyer Master Cuts actually wrote explaining the situation also encouraged people to take down the original ones, especially online, "because keeping them up will just give their words more power."

"It's sad that in this day and age there's so much hate," Denise said.

By Tuesday evening, the pictures of the signs posted on Facebook had been removed. The online postings and comments--of which there were many--really bothered Will because they spread so quickly and there was little control over what people were saying. He was glad to hear that the pictures, at least, had been taken down.

Police ask for help

Unfortunately, there are very few copies of the original flyers. The Port Chester police only have one crumpled flyer and have asked that anyone with copies bring them to the police station to aid in the investigation. The detectives are also trying to determine when exactly the flyers were distributed.

"What we're doing now is trying to determine the timeframe of when they were placed," said newly appointed Port Chester Police Chief Richard Conway.

The police found out about the flyers after a Department of Public Works employee alerted them around 11 a.m. on Monday about papers that had been cleaned up. As part of their investigation, the police are interviewing DPW workers to see if they have any more information to shed light on the situation.

The Delgados, while they've spoken to the police, have no idea who would maliciously try and implicate their business.

"They are cooperating with the investigation. There is nothing that would indicate they are involved in any way or shape," Conway said.

Shoulders to lean on

Luckily, most of the community seems to understand that and Denise has been overwhelmed by the support they have received. Clients and the community really stepped up to show their support, with not one person stopping by to berate them. "It's still stressful," said Denise on Tuesday morning, sunglasses firmly in place on her face to cover her reddened eyes.

A man walking past the shop called out, "Best barbershop in town. Whoever made them posters have no balls," making Denise smile.

"We thank everybody who supported us. Thank you for the calls, for the texts, for the emails," she said.

In a show of support, other local businesses have also posted the Delgados' counter-flyer in their windows. Furthermore, representatives from the NAACP and the Port Chester Latino Network organized the press conference on Tuesday.

"This (the flyer) does not represent the sentiments of all people in Port Chester," said Bryan Diaz from the Latino Network.

Port Chester Mayor Neil Pagano also spoke, emphasizing that hateful, offensive and race-baiting language will not be tolerated in his village. "Hatred and bigotry have no place here," he said.

The outpouring of support--after two intense days--overwhelmed Denise. The Reverend Natalie Wimberly of St. Frances AME Zion Church was quick to offer a shoulder and words of comfort to the crying woman: "You're not alone.

"We're going to bring peace and harmony back," Wimberly added.