A Jewish bakery, a Jewish butcher shop, and a Harlem Starbucks are among the New York City businesses that have received letters bearing swastikas and anti-Semitic language — an incident that the NYPD hate crimes unit is investigating.
DNAinfo reports that Weiss Kosher Bakery in Borough Park, Satmar Meat in Borough Park, and a Starbucks on 145th Street in Harlem got the letters, which led with a large swastika and Donald Trump’s campaign slogan “Make America Great Again.”
According to a Facebook post from the local Assemblyman Dov Hikind, the letter also said “Juden Raus,” an anti-Semitic term used by Nazi propagandists; “negroes and faggots must burn in hell”; and “Christian identity is back.”
At least eight locations total received the letters between September 29 and October 2, including the Manhattan Israeli consulate and the Harlem Business Alliance, the police tell DNAinfo.
Hikind wrote that “in light of what’s going on the world, all threats must be taken very seriously.” He is encouraging people to report the letters to police. “Hate crimes are serious matters,” he writes. “This threat against one of our community’s beloved establishments, which used the U.S. mail, is absolutely a hate crime.”
It’s not the first time this year that restaurants and food-focused businesses have been targeted in hate crimes or assaulted by racist language. A man threw eggs at a halal cart in Astoria multiple times over the course of several weeks, leaving messages like “go back to your country,” and Xi’an Famous Foods called out two customers who addressed employees with a racial slur.
Studies have found that hate crimes have gone up about 20 percent in major metropolitan areas since the presidential campaign. New York City in particular saw the biggest jump in hate crimes, with a 24 percent increase between 2015 and spring 2017.