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Offensive postcards mock Coeur d'Alene anti-hate campaign

The postcards depict Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer and two local civil rights activists as clowns.

COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho — Offensive postcards, mocking Coeur d’Alene city leaders who condemned hate speech, hit mailboxes in North Idaho this week.

The postcards are making fun of a September meeting at Coeur d’Alene City Hall. There, the mayor declared the city a welcoming community. Coeur d'Alene Police are now looking at if the postcards violate any laws.

The postcards depict Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Widmyer and two local civil rights activists as clowns. Below them are depictions of minorities, a homeless person and a transgender person. Laura Tenneson is one of the people targeted.

"It was kind of shocking and concerning when I first saw it," she said.

KREM 2 spoke with her earlier this week about Love Lives Here CDA, a local campaign aimed at stopping hate. In September, she stood alongside Widmyer and a leader with the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations for this photo. Widmyer had declared Coeur d'Alene as a welcoming community that condemns hate.

"Everybody deserves to be treated with kindness and with respect, and with love," said Tenneson.

The photo is being altered and mailed out through the postal service. It's not clear how many people received the post cards. Tenneson said she's aware of at least half a dozen.

It's not clear who's behind them. But a Kootenai County artist posted the picture on Facebook, saying he had been commissioned to do the work. He declined comment but reached out to his client on our behalf. At this point, we're waiting to hear back.   

Similar postcards mocking a diversity program at Boise State were reportedly mailed out to lawmakers and state officials in July.

Meanwhile, Coeur d'Alene's police chief said they're investigating the local mailings. He said they're trying to figure out if this violates any laws or ordinances. The city attorney's office directed questions to police.

Tenneson said the offensive post cards show that people promoting hate in North Idaho are starting to feel pushback from the community. The hateful drawings appear to be their way of doubling down.

"They're being exposed. And I guess the citizens of Coeur d'Alene are being informed about it, and the community is now banding together against that kind of behavior," Tenneson said.

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