Racist and Threatening Letters Sent to Black Lawmakers in Charlotte, North Carolina

Police in Charlotte, North Carolina have opened an investigation after a racist and threatening letter was sent to more than a dozen city leaders of color.

The letter was sent to Black lawmakers in Charlotte, including Mayor Vi Lyles (D), WCNC reported.

During a public meeting earlier this month, County Commissioner Vilma Leake read out loud the letter that was sent to the Black city leaders, The Charlotte Observer reported. The two-page letter said “Black Democrats should be tarred and feathered and run out of town.”

The letter writer stated Black people and other people of color “should be focusing more on assimilation instead of isolating themselves.” The rant also praised President Donald Trump, claiming Trump “has done more for this country than any modern American president in the history of this great country.”

“I do believe you need to go back to where you came from if you don’t begin to show this great country some respect and honor,” the letter read. “Your freedom was born on the backs of great Americans, white Americans, who fought for you. So get over it, assimilate. If not, I am afraid that one of these days someone will recognize what you really stand for or don’t stand for and will round you up, all of you, and send you screaming to the concentration camps where you belong.”

The letter threatened “blowing up” a statue of Martin Luther King, Jr. in retaliation against criticism of Confederate statues, also claiming, “I would love it if they would blow you up,” according to Leake’s public reading.

At least 12 Black elected officials in Charlotte received similar letters in the past few days. City Councilman Braxton Winston told WCNC he received the letter about two weeks ago. "We get hate mail all the time," he told the news station. "But this one was unique ... It was pretty intense, pretty intense, [and] pretty well thought out."

Leake said she has asked the FBI to investigate the letter sent to her and the other elected officials. A spokesperson for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department told the publication, “We are aware of the letters and (are) reviewing the material.” The person who wrote the letter still remains unknown.

“It grieves me. All of these years that I have lived and been a part of that movement called the Civil Rights Movement that we thought that we had won ... If you wrote it, you are not strong enough to even sign your name. I’m turning my letter over to the FBI,” Leake said, according to the publication.

Trump has also unleashed his own racist remarks toward lawmakers in Congress. On July 14, Trump targeted Democratic freshman lawmakers New York Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar, Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley, and Michigan Representative Rashida Tlaib by telling them to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came.” All of the women were born in the US, with the exception of Omar who is a naturalized citizen.

“So interesting to see ‘Progressive’ Democrat Congresswo

men, who originally came from countries whose governments are a complete and total catastrophe, the worst, most corrupt and inept anywhere in the world (if they even have a functioning government at all) now loudly and viciously telling the people of the United States, the greatest and most powerful Nation on earth, how our government is to be run,” Trump previously tweeted.

In a tweet a week later, Trump targeted the female lawmakers again, who are also known as “the squad.” Trump called the representatives a “racist group of troublemakers.”

“The ‘Squad’ is a very Racist group of troublemakers who are young, inexperienced, and not very smart. They are pulling the once great Democrat Party far left, and were against humanitarian aid at the Border ... And are now against ICE and Homeland Security. So bad for our Country!” Trump tweeted on July 22.

On August 15, President Donald Trump urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Twitter to ban Omar and Tlaib from visiting the country and the Palestinian territories during a congressional trip.

"It would show great weakness if Israel allowed Rep. Omar and Rep. Tlaib to visit. They hate Israel (and) all Jewish people, (and) there is nothing that can be said or done to change their minds. Minnesota and Michigan will have a hard time putting them back in office. They are a disgrace!" Trump tweeted.

Trump’s tweet led to the Israeli leader banning the two Democratic lawmakers, saying in a statement that the two "planned a visit whose sole objective is to strengthen the boycott against us and deny Israel's legitimacy," NPR reported.

About the Author

Maria Perez is a breaking news writer for The North Star. She has an M.A. in Urban Reporting from the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. She has been published in the various venues, including Newsweek, Juvenile Justice Information Exchange, City Limits, and local newspapers like The Wave and The Home Reporter.