Hawaii lawmaker 'frustrated' after getting vulgar letter attacking heritage, minorities

Published: Aug. 17, 2017 at 3:18 AM HST|Updated: Aug. 17, 2017 at 11:24 AM HST
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Rep. Beth Fukumoto (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)
Rep. Beth Fukumoto (Image: Hawaii News Now/file)

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A state representative is speaking out after receiving a strongly worded, vulgar letter from a person who she says is a self-proclaimed Trump supporter.

Rep. Beth Fukumoto shared the letter, dated Aug. 9, 2017 in an effort to bring awareness to racist rhetoric happening in the country.

"I'm so moved by what's happening nationally and I feel so frustrated and sad," Fukumoto said.

In the one-page typed letter, the sender mocks Fukumoto's Japanese heritage and links that to the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The sender goes on to make vulgar statements about immigrants by calling them "parasites," and takes jabs at minorities by saying, "We Trump people hate illegals, black thugs, Muslims and bombs, and gays who do nothing but ***** 24 hrs a day."

Fukumoto's office scratched out the name of the sender. Hawaii News Now further edited the photo to remove vulgar and obscene words.

Fukumoto says this isn't the first letter like this she's gotten.

"I worked to fight racist rhetoric when I was a member of the Republican party, and I left when I realized I couldn't win that fight from within," Fukumoto said.

In March, Fukumoto was criticized by Hawaii's GOP after vocalizing her opposition to President Trump. After careful deliberation, she eventually switched parties to become a Democrat.

The lawmaker, who was the state's youngest House minority leader, represents District 36, Mililani and Mililani Mauka. She decided to share the latest letter in light of recent violence on the mainland.

She says it's all too relevant to the current events, and more leaders need to make an effort to condemn the hate.

"We have so many political leaders who are saying nothing or aren't saying enough," Fukumoto said. "I don't think all Republicans are racist, but I think that a significant portion of the party has been co-opted by this white nationalist undertone."

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