Local News

Racist fliers found in Raleigh neighborhood

Posted December 8, 2008

— At least two Raleigh families in Raleigh's Lakestone neighborhood found racist fliers directed at President-elect Barack Obama.

Bruce Thompson's wife found the folded flier on top of their mail in their mailbox last Monday, he said.

"I don't know if it was anger as much as it was disappointment that in this day and time, somebody would put something like this in someone's mailbox," said Thompson, an Obama supporter with campaign signs still in his yard in the wooded neighborhood in inside-the-Beltline north Raleigh.

It's unclear why he received the flier or how many other people in the neighborhood also received one. Thompson said at least one other neighbor also got the flier.

"What also disappoints me is having my children exposed to it," he said. "You know, having to explain to my 8-year-old what the (racist) word means."

Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said that investigators do not believe any crime was committed, because the flier contained no specific threat and that it falls under protected speech.

"The speech may be offensive, or many people may consider it to be reprehensible, but that does not make it illegal," Sughrue said.

Police, however, have sent the information and flier to state and federal agencies to review.

Dan Mihalko, a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service, said the only law broken is one dealing with unpaid postage. That allows someone to be fined for putting mail in a mailbox without paying postage.

Since Obama was elected Nov. 4, investigators have received several reports of fliers being distributed.

On Nov. 5, in Fayetteville, police investigated Ku Klux Klan fliers found in several yards in a neighborhood there. The fliers contained no threats and appeared to be distributed randomly.

A day later, four North Carolina State University students admitted to spray painting racist graffiti directed at Obama in the university's Free Expression Tunnel, where students are encouraged to speak what is on their minds.

The Secret Service searched the students' residences and found no threat against Obama. No charges were filed.

Thompson said he is not really interested in seeing criminal punishment for whoever left the flier in his mailbox, but he wants the person to learn from his or her action.

"I think a person who would put something like this in somebody's mailbox is probably trying to scare the person," he said. "But really, they are the ones who have the fear. So, I'd like for them to realize and really look deep within themselves and realize that they don't have anything to fear."


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  • TechRescue Dec 9, 2008

    I've received "scat" like this in my mailbox and my email. It goes in the trash. Bringing publicty to it accomplishes nothing except satisfying the idiot that sent it.

    I will say this... My daughter is a Junior at NCSU. "Bush needs to die", "Kill Bush", and the like have frequently adorned the Free Expression tunnel. Never heard of the Secret Service visiting, or anybody getting that worked up about the nonsensical ravings of an obvious idiot.

    It's funny.... I never see substantive coverage about the astounding rate at which young black men are killing each other, but let one stupid redneck stuff a few mailboxes or get out a paintbrush....

  • Foxtrot Delta Tango Dec 9, 2008

    Stop calling the police with non-emergency garbage.

  • kwandle Dec 9, 2008

    This is sick and I am glad they called the police, although I am not pleased w. the blase response by said police, but not surprised, either.
    The officer is incorrect in saying this is a "Free speech" issue only, as it is illegal to put something in someone else's mailbox!
    And I don't want to hear the Republican's whining about Bush bashing. This is something ENTIRELY different. Bush was bashed b/c of his policies and b/c of the way he ran this country into the ground. The cowards who put this *ignorant* (yes, ignorant)garbage in someone's *private* mailbox are hung up on Obama's RACE. I'm amazed that the violent implications of such a note don't bother you at all. I have yet to see someone threaten violence against W.; they just want him impeached. There is a difference.
    Hey, I am all for freedom of speech, but that speech comes w. responsibility...and putting creepy notes in a mailbox is a little personal and is meant to spread fear and incite violence.

  • Lightfoot3 Dec 9, 2008

    What racist word? A word that starts with N? Could be “nobody”, “nut job”, “nut case”, “nimcompook”, “numb skull”, or whatever.

  • intuit Dec 9, 2008

    We all have a duty to educate and empower such ignorant, naive citizens of our community.

  • whatelseisnew Dec 8, 2008

    Far worse has been said about President Bush. I guess some of you missed the doctored up wedding photos of his daughter. The ones with the blood-stained wedding dress. Just a small example of the real hatred that comes from the left.

  • this is fdup Dec 8, 2008

    if this was placed in only a handfull of mailboxes why is this even news in todays age? just a moron looking for attention

  • anneonymousone Dec 8, 2008

    Hurray, Champ, for being a good, kind teacher here. I hope some understood what you said and registered your thoughtful tone.

    I dislike dozens of things about George W. Bush as a person and as a political figure, and his being a white man never enters into what I think or feel about him.

    Dad's a white man and I love him, I have dated white men, I have white male friends, coworkers, and if some moved into the neighborhood, I would be OK with that, too.

    This sort of thing does need to be reported, because it may be an indication of criminal activity, but it may be more productive to appluad those who are doing right and give them more attention.

    Mr. Thompson, your hope that the person(s) responsible would do some deep thinking about what they are afraid of is very wise. I'm glad to be on the planet with you.

  • hollylama Dec 8, 2008

    The "CHANGE" flier was taken from a teacher (may have been local) that explained to his class that CHANGE meant Come Help a (see flyer) Get Elected.

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Dec 8, 2008

    This sounds like I condone it, and I don't. But don't expect this type of behavior to disappear just because a black was finally elected President. There will ALWAYS be people who hate other groups of people. As long as people have different preferences in color, taste, sounds, feel, etc., there will always be people who like some people more than others. And there will always be people who hate some people more than others. It will only be a perfect world just before Christ returns. And no man on earth knows that time.