Poison pen could cost author 10 years in prison

Inspector Dave Driver has warned that whoever sent threatening racist letters to houses in Goonellabah last week could face 10 years in prison.

He said the letter targeted the Aboriginal community and contained threats against anyone engaged in anti-social behaviour.

Which I find to be quite ironic, he said.

Not all householders that received the letter were Aboriginal.

Anyone sending a document threatening to kill or inflict bodily harm is liable to 10 years in prison, Inspector Driver said. Were endeavouring to locate the author and put them before the courts.

He said the author claimed to be a member of a racist, organised group based in Casino, however, there were doubts about the letters authenticity, and there was no evidence such a group even existed.

He would not name the group, but it has been widely reported that the author claimed to be from the Klu Klux Klan a mis-spelling of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

Head of SCUs Gnibi College of Indigenous Australian Peoples, Judy Atkinson, whose work focuses on violence, trauma and healing, said whoever had written the letter was a very damaged person. She said the letter writer might have been hurt in their own family and was possibly operating from a place of self-hate.

None of us can stand on the sidelines and say its not my business, she said. We all have the capacity to be the person that wrote that letter. We have an ethical responsibility to work to understand why people behave like this.

Why would a mother slap her child in such a bad way? Whats happening to that mother? Its always a question we have to ask ourselves and what can we do.

Professor Atkinson said it was a very fearful time, and the letter writer was merely projecting their fear and distress onto others. But she urged the people who received the letter not to buy into that fear and retaliate.

She said the answer lay in working within our own communities to make positive changes.

This person from Casino is obviously in dysfunction and they are projecting their fear and distress onto another group of people, she said. If they didnt feel that way, they wouldnt take on the persona of the Ku Klux Klan, which they cant even spell. They need to go to school.

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