Oregon Black community leaders receive death threat letters, racial slurs

West

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Leaders in Portland’s Black community have received more letters containing racial slurs and death threats.

Kamelah Adams is an activist and small business owner. She runs Mimi’s Fresh Tees and helps promote safe spaces for people of color by offering “PDX Love Over Hate” signs for neighbors to put in their yards.

“It’s about supporting the community, uplifting each other and standing in solidarity,” Adams said.

Adams said she’s received four disturbing letters since the summer, two of which arrived in her mailbox on Thursday. They contained racist language and a kill list containing her name.

The anonymous author of the letter threatened: “Anyone with a PDX Love Over Hate sign in there (sic) yard will be shot and killed!!!”

“It’s almost like you are being hindered to fully live your life as a Black woman,” she said. “My family and I keep getting retraumatized by these letters.”

Adams said all four letters look similar as if they were all written by the same person. The latest batch read, in part: “Has the defunded Portland police/Clark County Sheriff/U.S. Postal inspectors made an arrest yet n—–? Nope!” and continues “I will never be caught n—— lives don’t matter!”

Candace Avalos was also named on the kill list. Avalos received a different hateful letter a few weeks ago which also contained a kill list including her name and Adams’ name.

“This person is clearly choosing to clearly target both of us because they are mailing both of us,” Avalos said.

Local activist Gregory McKelvey’s name also appeared on the kill list in both recent letters.

“Heart kind of sinks because you thought it was just a one-off or just a one-time thing but it looks like this person wants to keep it up and is taking pleasure in the attention they are getting from it,” McKelvey said.

Despite the threats and hateful language, Adams said her work will continue.

“People are showing up again so the love does outweigh the hate and I can’t stress that enough,” said Adams. “Because the community is showing up, they are showing their support, but it’s important to continue these conversations but also continue the anti-racism work.”

Adams encouraged anyone wanting to show their support for those named in the kill list to pick up a PDX Love Over Hate yard sign.

“I want this terrorism to stop,” she said.

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