Sonya and Mikey Franklin are a Jewish couple who live in Rockville, Maryland. For the past several days, they’ve hung a “Black Lives Matter” flag in their window, inspiring not the political discussion they might have hoped for but instead anti-Semitic threats.
Over the weekend, Mikey Franklin posted on social media the note he and his wife received. It calls Black Lives Matter a “RACIST TERROR GROUP,” then says “YOUR LACK OF CARE AND RACISM IS VERY ANNOYING AND DISGRACEFUL, AND FOR THIS WE WOULD LIKE TO AWARD YOU A GOLD STAR. ENJOY THE MAY-HEM.” All of this is written in all-caps, with the letters squared off, as if the author were trying to hide their natural handwriting.
At the bottom of the letter is a yellow Star of David, like the Nazis forced Jews to self-identify with, along with the German word for Jew, “Jude,” and a sketch of a gun sight.
Their home and car had also been teepeed and egged.
— Mikey Franklin (@mikeyfranklin) January 7, 2017
Sonya Franklin said that the image was especially disturbing for her because her family hails from the Soviet Union, where they were persecuted for their religion.
“This is something we lived through,” she said.
The Franklins apparently had difficulty convincing the police that the letter was anti-Semitic in nature. Spokesperson Sgt. Christopher Peck told Buzzfeed News that there was nothing anti-Semitic in the letter, though he also admitted to not knowing what “Jude” meant. Another individual with the police department, Lt. Brain Paul, said that the incident was now being investigated as a possible hate crime.
The police have no suspects yet but believe that children or teenagers might be the culprits. The Franklins, however, believe that it must have been at least passing acquaintances in order to have known that they are Jewish.