The VICE Guide to Right Now

These Racist 'MAGA' Letters Are Being Sent All Over New York

The swastika-laden hate mail was sent to at least nine different spots in Brooklyn and Manhattan this week, including the Israeli consulate.

by River Donaghey
Oct 5 2017, 7:59pm

Photo via Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind's Facebook

The NYPD is currently investigating a series of identical hate-filled letters sent to businesses across New York City featuring Nazi swastikas above Trump's slogan "Make America Great Again," the New York Daily News reports.

The anonymous, anti-Semitic hate mail was reportedly sent to at least nine different businesses in Brooklyn and Manhattan this week, including a Kosher butcher shop, bakeries, a Harlem Starbucks, and the Israeli consulate, according to DNAinfo.

The short, typed letters feature an image of a large swastika and the phrase "Make America Great Again," before continuing with anti-semitic, anti-gay, and racist slurs. "Christian identity is back," the letters read. "Negroes and faggots must burn in hell." They also use the phrase "Judas Raus," a Nazi-era slogan meaning "Jews out" in German.

Weiss Bakery in Borough Park first reported the letter to Brooklyn assemblyman Dov Hikind, who spoke with the bakery owner and alerted the police.

"In light of what's going on the world, all threats must be taken very seriously," Hikind wrote in a Facebook post about the letters. "We're not waiting for an incident before addressing a threat. Fortunately, our community and myself have an excellent relationship with law enforcement—and the NYPD is the best there is at addressing criminal activity."

"To me, in 2017, you're not supposed to get a letter like this," Paul Freund of Satmar's Meat and Poultry Market, another Borough Park business targeted, told the Daily News. "It's a shame."

Acting Brooklyn district attorney Eric Gonzalez tweeted that his office is "aware" of the letters. "We are investigating and will not stand for these acts." While no suspects have been named, the NYPD has been able to trace the letters' return addresses back to Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighbourhood, according to a Daily News source.

America's urban hubs have seen a massive spike in hate crimes over the past few years, with reported incidents in New York jumping 24 percent between 2015 and 2016. The city saw a surge in anti-Semitic hate crimes in the early months of 2017, alongside a nationwide wave of bomb threats made to various Jewish community centers and schools.

"It's sad that we live in a time when such disgusting things are said about various races, including the Jews," Hikind wrote in his post, "but we will certainly take these matters seriously when they arise and act swiftly and responsibly, in tandem with the police, to make sure our community members are safe and protected."