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Threats: San Diego County Weeklies Receive Series of Hate Letters Purportedly from the Ku Klux Klan

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Threats: San Diego County Weeklies Receive Series of Hate Letters Purportedly from the Ku Klux Klan

Article excerpt

THREATENING LETTERS purporting to be from the Ku Klux Klan were sent to San Diego County weeklies, one of which was threatened with destruction.

The threats became reality at the Lemon Grove Review when a rock was hurled through the window of a building mistakenly believed to house the paper.

One of the letters, which have assailed Jews, blacks, gays, lesbians, Hispanic "wetbacks" the Catholic Church and the Mafia, was received by the San Diego Jewish Times, a paper that was fire-bombed in 1989, apparently by one or more members of a hate group.

Pete Kaufman, who publishes the Review and two other community weeklies in the county, has been the recipient of nine letters since early September, most of them signed by the "Exalted Cyclops of the Lemon Grove Ku Klux Klan."

One communication, which, like the others, is laden with grammatical and spelling errors, demanded that Kaufman print the letter, a diatribe against the owner of a video shop -- described as Jewish -- who allegedly deals in pornographic materials.

A missive dated Dec. 1 railed against "elitist pure Jews at the top who work in hand with the Catholic Church, who actually willfully plan the downfall of Western Civilization."

Another section condemned the "Italian and Mafia-controlled Vatican" and "Democratically nigger-controlled New York."

"They attack everybody but white Protestants," Kaufman commented.

Kaufman, who is not Jewish, said he blamed the first few letters on "just another whacko" until the fifth one came wrapped around a rock hurled through a window of his recently vacated office. He and his small staff had moved out of the rented quarters and are now publishing the Review from his home. Kaufman said the move was unrelated to the letters.

KKK graffiti also was scrawled on the vacated building. "The message said that, because of my failure to publish its previous letters, the local Klan had held a tribunal in which they found me guilty of various things." Kaufman recalled.

"Guilty on all counts for your negligence and downplayment [sic] of the issues, thereby increasing the accepted insolence against [sic] our Bible and Constitution, not to mention your lack of publishing important letters... the sentence is DESTRUCTION!" the letter declared.

One letter was signed but Kaufman said he could not find the man's name in the phone book or through other sources, including the sheriff's department. …

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