homophobia

Threatening Letter Covered in Swastikas Left for North Andover Resident

"This town is our home. We all belong here," the North Andover Pride Project wrote in response to the incident

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A person in North Andover, Massachusetts, received a homophobic, threatening letter covered in swastikas on Monday, prompting police to launch an investigation, the North Andover Pride Project said.

The letter was found at the person's front door, and, according to a Facebook post from the Pride Project, it is "the second incident involving Nazi symbols in less than a month in our town, and the second reported incident of anti-LGBTQ+ harassment in as much time."

Heather Rochette found the letter in the vestibule of her home at the Village Green condominium complex on Monday. It featured swastikas taped to a piece of paper with a threatening message and a slur against the LBGTQ+ community, as well as the phrase, "A card from your dear friend," scrawled on the outside.

Rochette is a single mom of two kids and may have been targeted because of the small pride flag in front of her place.

"It was a horrifying message and I'm thankful I'm the only one that saw it and my children didn't," she said.

North Andover police said they are taking the incident seriously.

"We're dealing with a hate crime, no matter who did it. Whether it was juveniles or adults, it's a hate crime and that's based on– it's a protected class being targeted. There's a definite threat to do harm," Lt. E.J. Foulds said.

The Pride Project said, "We are angry, saddened, and frustrated. Everyone who lives in or visits North Andover deserves to feel safe and welcome. We stand in solidarity with our Jewish neighbors, our LGBTQ+ neighbors, our Black and Brown neighbors, our neighbors with disabilities, our immigrant neighbors, and all who these historic symbols of hate are designed to terrorize. This town is our home. We all belong here."

The incident was reported to police. Anyone with information is asked to contact the NAPD non-emergency line, 978-683-3168, or by emailing CrimeWatch@NAPD.US.

"We remain committed to advocating for education, open discussion, and accountability as we move forward together," the Pride Project said. "When we see white supremacy we will call it by its name every time. This is not ok."

Standing up against hate, racism, and social injustice starts at home and it's up to all of us to teach our kids, but everyone's experience is different. In this episode of Mom2Mom with Maria Sansone, we talk with Dr. Traci Baxley of Social Justice Parenting and author, columnist, and parenting community expert Christine Koh about tackling the tough topics from various viewpoints.
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