Muskogee Deputy Mayor Derrick Reed received a package from an unknown address that contained a T-shirt with the caption “I hate you, I hate you, I don’t even know you & I hate your guts, I hope all the bad things in life happen to you & nobody else but you.”
“It was a package from a return address where someone went online and ordered it,” Reed said. “It came from a distribution center.”
Reed, who has been on the City Council for nine years, turned the package over to police, who are attempting to track down its origins. He has, in the meantime, heightened his awareness of what’s going on around him.
“I’m vigilant,” he said. “I’m hoping to find out something on it to ease my nerves and the nerves of my family. You try to do the right thing, to serve everybody, and then things like this happen.”
City Councilor Ivory Vann earlier this year received empty letters from a city employee Dan Hurd, who was trying to establish his theory that Vann did not live in his district. The city disciplined Hurd. But Vann received four letters with varying degrees of negativity and veiled threats, and former mayoral candidate Tracy Cole received threatening texts.
One of the letters Vann received told him to “Get help learn to speak so others can understand you.” and “Learn to shut up and listen.” That letter closed with a diatribe against black people:
How come bank tellers, fast food workers, store clerks, etc. are not all black? How come professional black sport people use white managers - trainers - caddies - personal assistants - financial planners. How come? How come? You know what I mean. Think about it!
The three African-American politicians received the items within close proximity in time. Police are investigating.