Downers Grove

Threatening Letter Including Bullet Prompted Downers Grove Library to Cancel Drag Queen Bingo Event

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Earlier this month, the Downers Grove Public Library canceled a drag queen bingo event planned for October after receiving multiple threats, including a threatening letter that contained a bullet, officials revealed.

In a Facebook post, Mayor Bob Barnett shared a picture of the envelope, addressed from "Your Friends at Maga," that was sent to the library. Inside was a bullet, as well as a letter that read in part "More to Come For Downers Grove Library." Also attached to the envelope was a Confederate flag sticker.

Barnett has asked for anyone with information about who sent the letter to contact police.

The Downers Grove Public Library announced the cancellation of the bingo program Sept. 12 after receiving threats, including one that promised a "rude awakening" should the event take place.

On social media, one Facebook user commented asking if library board members were “crazy.” Another posted that there would be a protest outside. A third user responded: “Bring weapons.”

Earlier this month, David Goldenberg of the Anti-Defamation League said threats, like the one mailed to the library, are becoming all too common.

report from the ADL's Center on Extremism makes note of several drag events across the country, similar to the one in Downers Grove, which have been canceled over safety concerns after being targeted by extremist groups.

Goldenberg said recent years have seen "dramatic increases in hate crimes affecting members of the community and also these types of incidents where groups like the Proud Boys and Awake Illinois are using these events as organizing tools."

In a statement announcing the cancellation of event, the library said that "providing an inclusive, welcoming, and safe space for everyone in the Downers Grove community is of the utmost importance to the library" and that programs like drag queen bingo "provide a window to the world, as well as a mirror to it, creating opportunities for patrons to see the wonderfully diverse community in which we live."

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