Newburgh business owner receives anti-pride hate letter

Newburgh business owner receives anti-pride hate letter
Updated: Jun. 22, 2020 at 7:27 PM CDT
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NEWBURGH, Ind. (WFIE) - A Newburgh man says he woke up Monday morning to a message of hate posted on his door.

You’ll find all colors of the rainbow outside Ken Oliver’s Art Studio and home in downtown Newburgh.

“To me, it’s just beautiful, it’s colorful and it is about a world that’s inclusive,” says Oliver.

On Monday morning, a letter was taped to Oliver’s front door. It said: ”The rainbow is a sign of God’s promise, not a symbol of man’s perversion. You shame Newburgh.”

“I was emotional, he was emotional and you know, nothing like this has happened, and Ken is the last person I would expect it to happen to,” said neighboring business owner Amber Perkins.

Perkins says Oliver is like a real-life Mr. Rogers in their downtown neighborhood. Her store is now decked out with “PRIDE” to support him.

“For him to come out to that this morning, I just, it breaks my heart, it makes me angry and it breaks my heart both,” said Perkins.

Although Ken himself was deeply hurt by the letter, he’s not taking it down. He wants people to see what he says “hate” looks like.

“It’s going to make me stronger because right now in our community, we can have a conversation about diversity, and we can have a conversation about inclusivity,” said Oliver. “We can have those conversations now. Because someone gave us the opportunity by putting that ugly gram on my door.”

He hopes this will be a catalyst for change, and better things to come in the town he calls home.

“All of them lending support, and telling me that Newburgh is not like this,” said Oliver. “It’s allowing us to have a beautiful conversation of how we want Newburgh to be in the future.”

Oliver tells us he is grateful for all of the nearby merchants and community members who have reached out to him.

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