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https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/entry/portland-police-far-right-proud-boys_n_5f4417f6c5b6c00d03b29826?ri18n=true

Portland Police Are Giving Up On Policing The Far-Right

Officers allowed street brawls between "willing participants" last weekend, despite escalating violence from Proud Boys and other far-right groups.

The Portland Police Bureau appears to have all but given up on policing the far-right factions brawling in the Oregon city’s streets, despite a recent escalation in violence that has seen those extremists throw explosives, brandish guns and in one case fire them at other protesters.

 

It’s common to see far-right extremist groups like the Proud Boys exchanging blows with counterprotesters in Portland. They’ve been doing that for years, often as PPB officers watched until a riot was officially declared and then police cleared the streets using tear gas and other munitions.

But over the weekend, police took an entirely hands-off approach to the fighting, even as the demonstrations grew more violent than ever. As officers stood by on Saturday, the Proud Boys and their far-right friends attacked and intimidated anti-fascist protesters using paintball guns, mace, fireworks, aluminum bats and various firearms, according to The Washington Post.

One of them — notorious Proud Boys organizer Alan Swinney — was seen pointing a gun at protesters, his finger on the trigger. Another Proud Boy, Tusitala “Tiny” Toese, was present, per the Post, in apparent violation of his parole over an attack at a similar demonstration in 2017 (he wasn’t apprehended on Saturday, but a judge on Monday issued a warrant for his arrest).

Meanwhile, over a loudspeaker, police encouraged those present to “self-monitor for criminal activity.” In essence, the PPB had thrown up its hands.

In a statement to The Washington Post, the bureau said that officers were tired from responding to ongoing demonstrations against racism and police brutality, which have kept Portland in the national spotlight for weeks. Officers wouldn’t intervene in small skirmishes between “willing participants,” even if the clashes fit the city’s definition of a riot.

“Each skirmish appeared to involve willing participants and the events were not enduring in time, so officers were not deployed to intervene,” the bureau said of Saturday’s events. “PPB members have been the focus of over 80 days of violent actions directed at the police, which is a major consideration for determining if police resources are necessary to interject between two groups with individuals who appear to be willingly engaging in physical confrontations for short durations.”

Allowing local far-right groups to wreak havoc on the city isn’t a big departure for the PPB. As the Proud Boys cheered, officers launched tear gas and other munitions at anti-fascist counterprotesters during a rally in 2017, which left one antifa protester with a gas canister lodged in his head. Police gave the Proud Boys an escort out of the city following a rally in 2018 that saw the far-right demonstrators outnumbered by anti-fascists. A key officer had a friendly and ongoing relationship with the leader of Proud Boys affiliate group Patriot Prayer, judging from texts obtained by Willamette Week.

But relinquishing the act of policing to the brawlers themselves is both new and concerning, especially given the context: Local extremists have escalated their violent tactics in recent weeks, brazenly introducing guns and a lot more weaponry to the melee.

Local right-wing protester Skylor Jernigan, who attended a conservative “flag wave” demonstration in Portland earlier this month alongside Swinney, allegedly shot at Black Lives Matter protesters from inside a car. (Nobody was hit.) He was later arrested and charged with two felony counts of unlawful use of a weapon. During the same event, Swinney was seen spraying protesters with chemical irritants and shooting them with rounds from a paintball gun. He faced no immediate consequence for those displays or for pointing a pistol at protesters this past Saturday.

Long before this month’s events, the Proud Boys and other local Portland groups had been emboldened by governmental inaction during their rallies. Proud Boys leadership admitted at a rally last year that one of their stated goals was to continue such demonstrations in order to waste taxpayer dollars, overburden city resources and embarrass Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler. (For his part, Wheeler released a statement Monday saying he was “closely reviewing” the PPB’s “strategy to limit their intervention.”)

Now it appears that the Proud Boys enjoy not just a broader arsenal at their rallies, but a tacit promise from the city that they’ll face little to no police intervention.

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https://www.politico.com/news/2020/08/26/trump-domestic-extemism-homeland-security-401926

One state law enforcement official, who requested anonymity to discuss intelligence matters, said the intelligence products DHS sends to its state and local partners emphasize the threat from left-wing extremists significantly more than the threat from right-wing extremists––and disproportionately so. Left-wing extremists have caused numerous problems and hurt police, the state official continued. “But none of them have been killed,” the official said. “But when we look at the far right, we’ve seen numerous attacks where cops have been killed.”

 

“I would expect at least a balanced production between far left and far right extremists,” the official continued.

The official also said he got much more helpful information on threats from the far right from the Anti-Defamation League than from DHS — particularly its material on Boogaloo, a coterie of extremists trying to incite a race war.

“They only have a handful of analysts at the ADL, and their handful of analysts put together a better product that the entire DHS,” the official said.

Earlier in the Trump administration, DHS’s intelligence arm disbanded a group of analysts focused on domestic terrorism.

Selim, of the ADL, said DHS’s sparse material for state and local partners on far-right threats and Boogaloo was concerning.

“It’s problematic,” he said. “The DHS’s mission and mandate is to protect against all threats both foreign and domestic.”

The tendency to downplay that threat has existed in prior administrations, she noted, but the Trump team has taken that tendency to an extreme. “Anything domestic-related is kind of seen as the JV of the national security team,” she said.

The Center for Strategic and International Studies — a centrist Washington think tank known for its focus on international affairs and defense technology — released a briefing in June of this year concluding that the most significant terror threat to the U.S. appears to come from white supremacists. Right-wing extremists were responsible for two-thirds of terror attacks and plots in the U.S. last year, it found, and for 90 percent in the first four months of 2020.

 

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https://www.csis.org/analysis/escalating-terrorism-problem-united-states

ATTACKS AND PLOTS

Between 1994 and 2020, there were 893 terrorist attacks and plots in the United States. Overall, right-wing terrorists perpetrated the majority—57 percent—of all attacks and plots during this period, compared to 25 percent committed by left-wing terrorists, 15 percent by religious terrorists, 3 percent by ethnonationalists, and 0.7 percent by terrorists with other motives.

As shown in Figure 2, data on the number of terrorist attacks and plots by perpetrator orientation indicate that right-wing terrorism not only accounts for the majority of incidents but has also grown in quantity over the past six years. This increase is reminiscent of the wave of right-wing activity in the 1990s that peaked with 43 right-wing incidents in 1995. The Oklahoma City bombing, which occurred on April 19, 1995, was the second-most deadly terrorist attack in U.S. history, after September 11, 2001. In three recent years—2016, 2017, and 2019—the number of right-wing terrorist events matched or exceeded the number in 1995, including a recent high of 53 right-wing terrorist incidents in 2017. Despite a moderate decrease in 2018 to 29 incidents, right-wing activity again increased in 2019 to 44 incidents. Religious attacks and plots have also shown some increases during this period—notably in 2015, 2017, and 2019—but at a significantly smaller magnitude than right-wing events.
TNT_Graphics_Web-02.jpg

FATALITIES

In analyzing fatalities from terrorist attacks, religious terrorism has killed the largest number of individuals—3,086 people—primarily due to the attacks on September 11, 2001, which caused 2,977 deaths.10 The magnitude of this death toll fundamentally shaped U.S. counterterrorism policy over the past two decades. In comparison, right-wing terrorist attacks caused 335 deaths, left-wing attacks caused 22 deaths, and ethnonationalist terrorists caused 5 deaths.

To evaluate the ongoing threat from different types of terrorists, however, it is useful to consider the proportion of fatalities attributed to each type of perpetrator annually. In 14 of the 21 years between 1994 and 2019 in which fatal terrorist attacks occurred, the majority of deaths resulted from right-wing attacks. In eight of these years, right-wing attackers caused all of the fatalities, and in three more—including 2018 and 2019—they were responsible for more than 90 percent of annual fatalities.11 Therefore, while religious terrorists caused the largest number of total fatalities, right-wing attackers were most likely to cause more deaths in a given year.

 

THE RISING SPECTER OF TERRORISM

Our data suggest that right-wing extremists pose the most significant terrorism threat to the United States, based on annual terrorist events and fatalities. Over the next year, the threat of terrorism in the United States will likely increase based on several factors, such as the November 2020 presidential election and the response to the Covid-19 crisis. These factors are not the cause of terrorism, but they are events and developments likely to fuel anger and be co-opted by a small minority of extremists as a pretext for violence.

First, the November 2020 presidential election will likely be a significant source of anger and polarization that increases the possibility of terrorism. Some—though not all—far-right extremists associate themselves with President Trump and may resort to violence before or after the election. As U.S. Department of Justice documents have highlighted, some far-right extremists have referred to themselves as “Trumpenkriegers”—or “fighters for Trump.”50 If President Trump loses the election, some extremists may use violence because they believe—however incorrectly—that there was fraud or that the election of Democratic candidate Joe Biden will undermine their extremist objectives. Alternatively, some on the far-left could resort to terrorism if President Trump is re-elected. In June 14, 2017, James Hodgkinson—a left-wing extremist—shot U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, U.S. Capitol Police officer Crystal Griner, congressional aide Zack Barth, and lobbyist Matt Mika in Alexandria, VA. A few months earlier, Hodgkinson wrote in a Facebook post that “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.”51 Tension on both the far right and far left has dramatically risen over the past several years.

Second, developments associated with Covid-19—such as prolonged unemployment or government attempts to close “non-essential” businesses in response to a second or third wave—could increase the possibility of terrorism. Some far-right extremists, for example, have threatened violence and railed against federal, state, and local efforts to take away their freedoms by requiring face coverings in public indoor settings, closing businesses, and prohibiting large gatherings to curb the spread of the virus. In March 2020, Timothy Wilson, who had ties to neo-Nazi groups, was killed in a shootout with FBI agents who were attempting to arrest him for planning to bomb a hospital in Missouri. Though he had been planning the attack for some time and had considered a variety of targets, he used the outbreak of Covid-19 to target a hospital in order to gain additional publicity. On the far left and far right, some anti-vaxxers—who oppose vaccines as a conspiracy by the government and pharmaceutical companies—have threatened violence in response to Covid-19 response efforts.52

Third, a polarizing event other than the presidential election—such as a school shooting or racially-motivated killing—could spark protests that extremists attempt to hijack. As highlighted in the introduction, extremists from all sides attempted to hijack the May and June 2020 protests in the United States as an excuse to commit acts of terrorism. In addition, far-right and far-left networks have used violence against each other at protests—such as in Berkeley, CA and Charlottesville, VA in 2017—raising concerns about escalating violence.

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VANCOUVER ISLAND | News
 

Royal Canadian Navy to replace term 'seaman' with gender-neutral 'sailor'

Todd Coyne Bio shot March 2019

Todd CoyneSenior Digital Producer, CTV News Vancouver Island

@ToddCoyne Contact

Published Thursday, August 27, 2020 11:26AM PDTLast Updated Thursday, August 27, 2020 11:55AM PDT
Money owed to Canadian Armed Forces members

Sailors head towards HMCS Ville de Quebec for the Royal Canadian Navy Change of Command ceremony in Halifax on Wednesday, June 12, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan)

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VICTORIA -- The Royal Canadian Navy has announced it is formally dropping the term "seaman" for its junior members and will replace it with the gender-neutral "sailor."

The navy, like many others around the world, has long used the designations of “ordinary seaman,” “able seaman,” “leading seaman” and “master seaman” for its members.

Those ranks will be changed to "sailor third class," "sailor second class," "sailor first class," and "master sailor," the navy announced Thursday.

The move comes after an online survey of navy members and the general public last month garnered more than 75 per cent support for the change, according to Vice-Admiral Art McDonald, the commander of the navy.

"While ours is proudly a service steeped in tradition – a service which was historically dominated by straight, cis, white males – it’s equally, necessarily, and proudly a modern service that prides itself on striving to continuously evolve in-step with the nation," McDonald said in a statement.

Despite the majority support for the change, the navy commander said the poll and online dialogue revealed "prejudice and hate" in the service, calling the revelations "heartbreaking."

On July 24, the navy's deputy commander responded to online posts attacking the military's plan to drop the term "seaman," calling the responses "hateful, misogynistic and racist."

"These comments serve as a reminder of our need to call out cowardly attacks such as these, and remind us also that we should take every opportunity to show support for minority and marginalized groups," said Rear-Admiral Chris Sutherland in a message shared on Facebook.

"I am shocked that you think that your comments would be acceptable, and that you are not able to recognize that those you are disparaging are the very people dedicating their lives to afford you the freedom to comment," he added.

The new rank designations will be effective Sept. 4, but the navy says changing the titles in the force's orders, publications and regulations will likely take several years.   

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Real winning!

https://www.insider.com/st-louis-couple-threatened-protesters-with-guns-made-children-cry-2020-7

An investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch said the McCloskeys had a long history of legal action and conflicts with their neighbors, and even threatened to obtain a restraining order against the Jewish synagogue next door.

The paper reported that in 2013 the Jewish Central Reform Congregation constructed beehives just outside the McCloskeys' northern wall. Their plan was to harvest the honey with the congregation's children to partake in the traditional Rosh Hashanah tradition of eating apples and honey to ensure a "sweet new year."

But, the Post-Dispatch said, those plans were ruined when Mark McCloskey destroyed the beehives and left a note saying, among other things, that the "structure constitutes a trespass" and threatened that if the beehives were not cleaned up a restraining order would be obtained and they'd seek damages and attorneys' fees.

"They've always been part of the problem, never part of the solution," said a neighbor, Robert Dolgin, according to the Post-Dispatch.

 
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A wife asks her husband, "Could you please go shopping for me and buy one carton of milk and if they have avocados, get 6.

A short time later the husband comes back with 6 cartons of milk. 

The wife asks him, "Why did you buy 6 cartons of milk?"

He replied, "They had avocados."

If you're a woman, I'm sure you're going back to read it again! Men will get it the first time.

My work is done here.

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Police may need reform, but they can never be replaced

 

  • Calgary Sun
  • 30 Aug 2020
  • LORNE GUNTER lgunter@postmedia.com
img?regionKey=XywP6jtoxWTcvqMlMBelsQ%3d%3d  

Any effort to reform the police and make them more respectful of people of colour must include the police.

By and large, police are intelligent, thoughtful and professional, so it makes sense to include them in crafting the solutions.

Systemic racism will not go away by making police the enemy.

That’s why efforts to defund the police (as advocated at protests across the country this weekend) are ultimately pointless.

Perhaps that’s easy to say for someone who has never been pulled over because of the colour of his skin, never been “carded” while minding his own business on a public street, never been presumed guilty by virtue of being in the “wrong” neighbourhood.

Nevertheless, it’s true. We are always going to need police. Indeed, most of us, regardless of race, want police to come to our aid.

When trouble breaks out in front of our homes, regardless of where we live, we’re going to call 911 and ask for a police officer — not call a different number and request a social worker.

Just how engrained police are in our psyches — both individually and as communities — can be seen in the facts surrounding Regis Korchinski-paquet’s death in

Toronto in May.

Korchinski-paquet fell to her death from her 24th-floor apartment after a family fight that brought six police officers and other first responders to the scene.

This past week, Ontario’s independent Special Investigations Unit (SIU) ruled that police had no responsibility for the 29-year-old’s death.

After officers arrived to investigate complaints of a family quarrel that began over a too-loud TV, Korchinski-paquet (who is both black and Indigenous) went out to her balcony where she tried to cross over to the balcony of the next apartment, but tragically lost her balance and fell.

Just whose complaints brought police to the apartment in the first place, though? Korchinski-paquet’s. And her mother’s. And her brother’s.

All three of them called 911 individually to come help them defuse their quarrel.

Tens of thousands of protestors and hundreds of thousands of petition signers may blame police for the young woman’s death, despite the SIU’S exoneration.

And millions more may insist that system racism is so pervasive that police never give persons of colour fair treatment. Still the first instinct of all of Korchinski-paquet’s family was to call police.

Perhaps police need reform, but they cannot be replaced.

I would also submit that any attempt to reform police that does not involve the police is doomed to fail, especially in Canada.

We may see the awful incidents of police shootings of black Americans – mostly recently the execution-style back shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin – and take to the streets shouting it is just as bad in Canada.

To be sure, there have been horrible incidents here, too, such as the 2013 killing of Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

But I would argue the systemic bias is not on the same violent level. Also, police are generally better trained in Canada. There are provincial and national training standards – not merely county ones. And violent incidents involving police are investigated by independent bodies in nearly every province.

Should police return to less-confrontational tactics – more de-escalation, less instant confrontation? Should our politicians and police commanders remind officers more often to be respectful of everyone they interact with, even if they are from communities disproportionately involved in crime?

Sure. All of that and much more.

But the current mood of the social justice activists and street protestors is to harden the Us versus Them paradigm against police, when what is needed is for police to be reminded that they are an extension of Us – all of us

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I can agree with this.

As seen in the news from this weekend in Toronto, during a demonstration an individual was jumping on cars.  During the takedown, 7 officers were injured, however, the scene was kept under control, and nobody was killed.

While it is unfortunate that officers were injured, it is part of the job.  Just like injuries occur in the aviation industry.

It was a job well done, imho.

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the escalation of violence involving police and minorities is a self fulfilling prophecy.

As the media gets the general public all riled up the black community begin to fear the police and as a result are aprehensive when around police and sometimes to the point of pushing back not in defiance but in fear for their life.  That push back can and will cause a situation to escalate.

any interaction with the police and another party can go two ways.  quiet interaction with a positive outcome (ie Both parties part ways with no violence) or one of the parties can do or say something that triggers the other party.  This is where any response from the other party should be tempered but being human and emotional creatures this is sometimes not the case.  It is that point that needs to be recognized and tempered by the OFFICER (because the other guy isn't going to recognize it).  De-Escalation of a situation is a difficult task and sometimes it frankly does not work.  These are the outliers that we see all over social media and the news.  No one ever reports on the peaceful traffic stop where both parties go on their merry way.

Police have a tough job to do.  Now that job is even tougher.

 

I wil give an example of the above but not to a violent encounter.

I hear guys at work all the time say they got pulled over on the way to work for speeding. and the cop was a D@#$ and gave them the full charge.  I question the encounter because this has never been my experience in a traffic stop.

My first question is always "What did you say to the cop when he approached the car?"

This is the MOST important point in the interaction with the officer.  First impressions are EVERYTHING.

The answer to this question is usually "Why the hell did you stop me?" or "What did I do Wrong?" or just "WTF?"

it is at this very point that the office knew you were getting the full E-Ticket ride.  This is no different from any other interaction with police. The driver always gets the first swing.  Make it count.

now had that interaction been some thing more respectful then perhaps things would go a different way.  For me they usually do because I deal with police frequently and respect that they have a job to do and accept that sometimes I am the target of their job.  you pays your money you takes your chances.

Next time you have to interact with the police on any level ( pulled over for a traffic violation or robbing a liquor store) be nice.  the outcome will always be better than the alternative.

 

 

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Police may need reform, but they can never be replaced

 

  • Calgary Sun
  • 30 Aug 2020
  • LORNE GUNTER lgunter@postmedia.com
img?regionKey=XywP6jtoxWTcvqMlMBelsQ%3d%3d  

Any effort to reform the police and make them more respectful of people of colour must include the police.

By and large, police are intelligent, thoughtful and professional, so it makes sense to include them in crafting the solutions.

Systemic racism will not go away by making police the enemy.

That’s why efforts to defund the police (as advocated at protests across the country this weekend) are ultimately pointless.

Perhaps that’s easy to say for someone who has never been pulled over because of the colour of his skin, never been “carded” while minding his own business on a public street, never been presumed guilty by virtue of being in the “wrong” neighbourhood.

Nevertheless, it’s true. We are always going to need police. Indeed, most of us, regardless of race, want police to come to our aid.

When trouble breaks out in front of our homes, regardless of where we live, we’re going to call 911 and ask for a police officer — not call a different number and request a social worker.

Just how engrained police are in our psyches — both individually and as communities — can be seen in the facts surrounding Regis Korchinski-paquet’s death in

Toronto in May.

Korchinski-paquet fell to her death from her 24th-floor apartment after a family fight that brought six police officers and other first responders to the scene.

This past week, Ontario’s independent Special Investigations Unit (SIU) ruled that police had no responsibility for the 29-year-old’s death.

After officers arrived to investigate complaints of a family quarrel that began over a too-loud TV, Korchinski-paquet (who is both black and Indigenous) went out to her balcony where she tried to cross over to the balcony of the next apartment, but tragically lost her balance and fell.

Just whose complaints brought police to the apartment in the first place, though? Korchinski-paquet’s. And her mother’s. And her brother’s.

All three of them called 911 individually to come help them defuse their quarrel.

Tens of thousands of protestors and hundreds of thousands of petition signers may blame police for the young woman’s death, despite the SIU’S exoneration.

And millions more may insist that system racism is so pervasive that police never give persons of colour fair treatment. Still the first instinct of all of Korchinski-paquet’s family was to call police.

Perhaps police need reform, but they cannot be replaced.

I would also submit that any attempt to reform police that does not involve the police is doomed to fail, especially in Canada.

We may see the awful incidents of police shootings of black Americans – mostly recently the execution-style back shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin – and take to the streets shouting it is just as bad in Canada.

To be sure, there have been horrible incidents here, too, such as the 2013 killing of Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

But I would argue the systemic bias is not on the same violent level. Also, police are generally better trained in Canada. There are provincial and national training standards – not merely county ones. And violent incidents involving police are investigated by independent bodies in nearly every province.

Should police return to less-confrontational tactics – more de-escalation, less instant confrontation? Should our politicians and police commanders remind officers more often to be respectful of everyone they interact with, even if they are from communities disproportionately involved in crime?

Sure. All of that and much more.

But the current mood of the social justice activists and street protestors is to harden the Us versus Them paradigm against police, when what is needed is for police to be reminded that they are an extension of Us – all of us

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Portland: How a 'hyper-liberal' city's racist past is resurfacing

By Ashitha NageshBBC News
  • 2 September 2020
 
Protester in Portland with a face covering that says "Black Lives Matter" on itImage copyrightREUTERS

"Portland is a city where young people go to retire."

Fred Armisen declared this - in song form - in the opening scene of the sketch comedy show Portlandia in January 2011. The show satirised the city on the US West Coast for its "hipster" culture - a city that gave unicyclists the right of way, where people brewed kombucha before it became mainstream, and whose slogan was literally "Keep Portland Weird".

Four years later, with the city in the throes of rapid gentrification, beloved Portland magazine Willamette Week declared to its readers that this moment in 2011 was officially the day "Old Portland", the one that was fun, bohemian and "weird", died.

If the "Old Portland" was seen as a liberal utopia, then the "New Portland", in 2020, is characterised by civil rights protests, violent clashes between far-right and anti-fascist groups, and images of federal agents indiscriminately bundling protesters into unmarked vehicles. While Old Portlanders may have discussed their vegan cheese side-businesses, New Portlanders bond over how many times they've been tear-gassed.

But this change wasn't as much of a leap as it may seem on the surface.

While the Portlandia stereotype endured for almost a decade, the reality for Portlanders themselves was very different. In the 2010s, wealthy outsiders relocated themselves and their businesses to the city in the hopes of capitalising on its "cool", while East Coast publications repeated the show's joke about Portland being "a retirement community for the young". The city's residents were frequently caricatured as the kind of people who use "cacao" as a safe word.

 

At the same time, Portlanders struggled to afford rents that were increasing at one of the fastest rates in the country; beloved local shops were being pushed out in favour of chains and high-rise apartment blocks; and the small businesses parodied on Portlandia, such as the feminist bookshop In Other Words, hit out at the show and everything it represented. Locals explicitly blamed the show for hastening unwanted development in the city. By the time the series ended in 2018, few Portlanders looked back fondly on its influence.

For people of colour in Portland in particular, there was something egregious about the city's "Portlandia" reputation. The show - and subsequent portrayals of the city in national media - seemed to whitewash life in what was already an extremely white city.

"I've never looked to Portlandia or other cultural phenomena for self-affirmation," said activist Cameron Whitten, who set up the Black Resilience Fund during this summer's protests. "Much of what Portland is famous for was not made for me or people who look like me."

 

Mr Whitten moved to Portland from Northern Virginia in 2009, at the age of 18. His first day in Oregon was marred by racism.

"My first day in the state, my friend and I drove to Albany to stay at their dad's house," he said. "After the first night there, we were told to leave because his father was uncomfortable with a black man in his home. I remember that I laughed, because I was surprised by the absurdity of the situation… But I don't find it funny anymore. I've now lived in Oregon for more than a decade, and I'm reminded daily that because of my skin colour, I can be looked at as different, other, and less."

A city 'built on white supremacy'

Portland is often called the whitest big city in the US - about 72% of its population is non-Latino white, while only about 6.6% of the population is black (compared to 12.7% of the overall US population). This is something black history and urban development scholars say is by design, not happenstance. Prof Shirley Jackson, a Black Studies professor at Portland State University, said that it was important to remember that Oregon was founded on the basis of "excluding certain populations, namely African-Americans".

Although the provisional government of the territory banned slavery in 1844, it also required all African-Americans to leave Oregon - any black person who stayed would be publicly flogged every six months until they left. Five years later, in 1849, another law was passed forbidding free African-Americans from entering the territory, and in 1857 Oregon adopted a state constitution banning black people from entering, living or owning property in the state. In 1859, when Oregon joined the union ahead of the civil war, it was the only state to explicitly forbid black people from living within its borders.

Going into the 20th Century, the deadly, white supremacist Ku Klux Klan had increasing influence in the state. In one particularly telling photo, published by a local newspaper in 1921 and preserved by the Oregon History Project, two representatives of the KKK's Oregon chapter, wearing hoods and robes, posed with some of the state's most powerful officials - including the police chief and the district attorney.

 

One moment in particular is seared into the black community's collective memory - the Vanport disaster.

During World War Two, black people were recruited from across the US to work at a shipyard on the Columbia River, about five miles north of Portland. They were housed in a new development called Vanport, which was built in 110 days. At its height, Prof Jackson said, about 40,000 people lived there. But it was always intended to be a temporary housing project.

"After the war ended, many white Portlanders had hoped that the black people who came to work at the shipyards would return to the states from which they had originally come. Although some did, at least one-third of the 18,500 residents who remained in Vanport were black," she explained.

"On 30 May 1948, Memorial Day, the waters of the Columbia River flooded Vanport and after six years of existence, it disappeared. For the 6,000 Black people who found themselves without housing, it was especially traumatic."

 

At least 15 people died - although some at the time believed the housing authority had quietly destroyed hundreds more bodies to cover up its slow response to the disaster. Surviving residents, who had been assured that the housing was safe, now had to try and find new homes in Portland. The Red Cross tried to help, but struggled because of deep-seated racism in the city. Housing was also limited "due to racial covenants that restricted whites from selling their homes to blacks", said Prof Jackson.

"Many ended up in north and north-east Portland," she said. "It is ironic that gentrification has [now] added to the movement of blacks out of the very areas that they were confined to. Today, these areas are populated in large part by white people, as black people have moved to the surrounding cities of Gresham, Beaverton, and Hillsboro."

Entrenched inequality to the present day

Racism has persisted in Portland. A housing audit in 2011 found that landlords in the city discriminated against black and Latino tenants 64% of the time, by charging them extra fees, higher rents or demanding larger deposits, while black school pupils are four to five times more likely than their white classmates to be suspended or expelled.

Another report on racism from Portland State University and the Coalition of Communities of Color, published in 2014, found that black people were still disadvantaged in employment, health and high school graduation rates, compared to both white Portlanders and black families in the rest of the US. Average incomes and rates of home ownership are also significantly lower for black Portlanders than for their white neighbours and black Americans generally.

Activist Gregory McKelvey has been heavily involved in this summer's protests. The city, he says, has only been able to see itself as a "liberal utopia" by adopting a colour-blind approach to racism - which for him means ignoring it.

"Portland is allowed to have a reputation as a progressive or edgy city because it does not have to reckon with its racist past, policing or segregation due to the demographics of the city," he said. "Portland is certainly a lovely city and is a beautiful place to live - but part of what it is built upon is colonialism, white supremacy and segregation. Many people say Portland is a place that pushes black people out of neighbourhoods and replaces them with 'Black Lives Matter' signs."

A moment of reckoning

But could this year's protests change how Portland reflects on its present - and its past? The protests - which have now gone on for nearly 100 consecutive days - were sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, and at least initially were explicitly held in support of Black Lives Matter. When protesters established an autonomous zone in the city in June, they named it after a black man who was killed by Portland police in 2018. They made global headlines in July, when federal agents were deployed to the city.

Mr Whitten said he didn't know what impact the ongoing protests would have on racial inequality in the city. But he said he was feeling hopeful.

"Frederick Douglass once said, 'power concedes nothing without a demand'. I hope that these protests fuel powerful demands that lead to the transformation we've been longing for."

 

Prof Jackson is less optimistic. She said it was "ironic" that the protests had, in her opinion, "taken attention away from Black Lives Matter, and have become something completely different - we have come to a point where the Black Lives Matter movement is being hijacked for anti-government causes".

Gregory McKelvey, meanwhile, doesn't believe these protests alone will trigger a reckoning. It was "frustrating", he said, that the movement was being framed by politicians as an issue of Democrats v Republicans, diverting the focus away from the local issues.

"Portland Police is the target of most of the protests, not Donald Trump. Our (local) elected officials want to deflect the issue to Trump and many national audiences allow that to happen because they care more about what is happening at the federal level than in our small city.

"For Portlanders, this has always been about Portland and nothing will change that."

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