One Asian American family in San Francisco has been the target of hate mail since putting up a Black Lives Matter sign in their window.
KRON 4 reports that Debbie Lee has had the sign up in the window of her Forest Knolls/Twin Peaks home since 2015. But despite having been up all this time, it's only just recently that she started receiving threatening letters in the mail about the sign.
Lee told CBS that one letter, which was just placed in her mailbox in July, read, "BLUE LIVES MATTER! Get rid of your sign or WE will!" Following that one, another letter came, this time saying, "It’s time to replace your BLM sign. How about CHINK LIVES MATTER". The letters all culminated in one, which Lee said felt like a direct threat. She said, "It’s the threat of ‘If you don’t take it down, we will’ which implies that they are going to come do something to our property, to ourselves."
Lee expressed worry about not knowing exactly who's been leaving the letters, saying, "We think it might be someone in the neighborhood because they know we are Asian.” But despite that, she and her family remain undeterred in their expression of support for the BLM movement. Moreover, they've doubled down on it, placing more signs in their window that read, "STANDING WITH MY NEIGHBORS AGAINST HATE." As well, at a community meeting on Monday where she was to speak about her experience, Lee was greeted with a round of applause.
To be sure, it's unsettling to think that the person or persons responsible for the letters continues to feel emboldened in our current political climate to deliver this attack on their neighbors. As you've likely heard before, and according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the number of hate crimes spiked directly after the election, with 1,094 incidents taking place just within 34 days November 8th, 2016. The Huffington Post reports that across the country, cities are seeing a marked rise in bias and hate-related crimes throughout 2017 thus far.
Here in the Bay Area, we've seen dozens of reports of hate-related incidents over the last 10 months, many of them not physically violent and involving notes like this, like a campaign of letters sent to mosques here and around the country, and a "White power" note left on one woman's car in Noe Valley.