WARNING: This post contains offensive language and racially based threats.
The organizers of a long-time North Portland multicultural festival are working with local and federal authorities, after being sent a virulently racist and threatening letter on Wednesday.
The all-caps letter, sent to the offices of the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods, includes threats of violence to organizers and attendees of the upcoming Good in the Hood Music and Food Festival—including one against a specific person—among a cartoonish display of misspellings, racial slurs, KKK references, and oaths of allegiance to Donald Trump.
"THIS IS MY FREEDOM OF SPEECH!" it reads in part. "WE THE WHITE KKK NOW OWN NORTH AND NORTHEAST PORTLAND."
Shortly after, it says: "THE GOOD IN THE HOOD WILL NOT HAPPEN UNLESS YOU WANT TO SEE A BLOOD BATH!!!!!"
The threats have been taken to heart at NECN and among organizers of Good in the Hood—especially because a member of the festival organization is specifically threatened, and the author claims "WE ARE WATCHING HIM AND HIS FAMILY."
The threats come at an especially fraught time in Portland. In the wake of Trump's presidential win, authorities have documented a sharp uptick in discriminatory graffiti in the Portland area, and flyers promoting racial segregation have recently begun popping up around town. Compounding that are the ongoing concerns over minorities being forced from North and inner Northeast Portland. And of course the double murder allegedly carried out by a vocal white supremacist in May 26 are still fresh in the city's psyche.
NECN Director Adam Lyons tells the Mercury the organization has asked staff not to come into its offices while authorities investigate. NECN has helped with Good in the Hood for years
"It’s terrifying," Lyons says. "Everyone at the city and federal level and DAs office are taking it very seriously. They’re not going to intimidate us from having this festival, that's for sure."
Portland Police have confirmed to the Mercury they're investigating, and still trying to figure out if the threats are credible. Here's a statement from Sgt. Pete Simpson"
The Portland Police Bureau is aware of threats sent to the Good in the Hood community organization and is conducting an investigation. At this time, we are unable to confirm the nature of the threats or determine their credibility. We are working with our federal law enforcement partners on this investigation.
Anyone with information about threats to the Good in the Hood community event is asked to provide that information to Detective Jeff Sharp at 503-823-9773, email@example.com. Anyone needing to remain anonymous may report information to Crime Stoppers of Oregon by texting CRIMES (274637) - Type 823HELP, followed by the tip; Online at http://crimestoppersoforegon.com/submit_online_tip.php or by calling 503-823-HELP (4357).
The Good in the Hood festival has been held annually since the early 90s. It's billed as the largest multicultural festival in the Northwest.
Click here to read the letter [PDF]. We've redacted the name of the Good in the Hood official specifically named.