Horrific Racist Fliers in Bucks County Spark Outrage Amid a Climate of Renewed Bigotry

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Horrific Racist Fliers in Bucks County Spark Outrage Amid a Climate of Renewed Bigotry

Gabby Houck

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Two weeks ago, Professor Shawn Queeney received a letter in his mailbox addressed to “Proud American.” Upon opening the letter Queeney realized this wasn’t a normal letter. This was a letter sealed and sent by a white supremacy group.

The letter contained a hand drawn white male donning a Nazi Confederate flag fusion with the words “white and proud” in elementary-like cursive.

On the back was quote from none other than Adolf Hitler.

Professor Queeney has taught communications at Bucks for 14 years. He resides in Pennsburg in Upper Montgomery county, a predominately white and republican area according to the communications professor.

When asked what his initial reaction the letter was Queeney said, “When I got that letter, I went door to door down my street just to figure out what was going on…I wanted to see if everyone else had received it.”

They did. Letters were addressed to very specific people. To Queeney, who had small American flags out front of his house, his was addressed to “Proud American.”

To his neighbor who showed support of a new middle school on their lawn their letter was addressed, “Middle School Supporter.”

As for his community’s response, Queeney couldn’t help but feel underwhelmed.

“We held a candlelight vigil the Sunday after receiving the letter…”

“About 400 people turned out and that was positive… but I couldn’t get people from my own neighborhood to go which was frustrating,” Queeney admitted.

“What bothered me the most walking down the street with that letter was the lack of outrage from my neighbors,” he revealed.

“I just wished that the response could have been a little bigger in numbers,” confessed Queeney.

When the question was raised why didn’t his community react the way he anticipated Queeney said, “I think some people felt threatened and others didn’t even want to give them (the hate group) the satisfaction of acknowledgement.”

“There’s an African American family that just moved in and after they received this letter my neighbor told me that her family warned her not to move out here.” This family received a letter with a different drawing.

Their letter contained a drawing of a black man stabbing a white man with the words “welcome to multicultural America.”

In regards to those who don’t want to give the group the time of day Queeney said, “I understand where they’re coming from… but personally I feel a lot more confrontational about the whole thing.”

Queeney did confront by calling his state and local government representatives about the matter and according to him the responses were mixed.

“They all came out with public statements along the lines of this kind of stuff won’t be tolerated in our town, and that was positive.”

“But when I spoke to my mayor she had more of an approach of ‘let’s take the wind out of their sails and pay them no attention,’ I just can’t bring myself to think that way about this.”

The response from the cops was also not what Queeney was expecting.

“My wife called the cops, that’s how scared she was…”

“And they said there was nothing they could do because there was no criminal intent, and all these letters were doing were exercising the First Amendment right.”

“I’m a First Amendment nut, but that was cold comfort for me,” Queeney confessed.

In regards to how the situation was handled by local government and authorities, Queeney raised a valid point.

“Had a note shown up at my door saying hail Allah I’m sure an investigation would have been publicly launched, the response would’ve been much different.”

As to why he’s so passionate about this matter Queeney said, “I feel like we have a family connection to this stuff.”

“Almost everyone has fathers or grandfathers that fought the war to end Nazism and fascism that died in those wars, to end this way of thinking.”

Queeney went on to say “I’m not a unique American because I have this family connection, if our family fought and died to end Nazism, why aren’t we more outraged that Nazis are sending things to our door?”

“I feel we have a moral obligation as people to speak out and an obligation as Americans to stand up against this kind of stuff,” Queeney asserted.

In terms of the First Amendment Queeney warned, “We need to find an effective way of regulating without restricting.”

“I don’t think there is an ounce of value in restricting speech, but people shouldn’t be anonymously blasting their hatred over the internet.” Queeney declared

“Let them show up and present their ideals physically in a debate and let the best ideals win.”

As of now, authorities in Pennsburg have still shown little to no interest in the matter. Leaving a suspect for the letters unidentified.

However, Professor Queeney has an inkling that the culprit is most likely someone he’s already seen face to face.

His reasoning, “It’s a small town, everybody knows everybody, and everyone knows who’s up to what.”

When the question of if there were still any lingering feelings about the matter after the time that has passed was posed all Queeney said was that,

“At the end of the day it’s my neighborhood. It’s where I live, and quite frankly, I don’t want that stuff there.”

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