Oregon and You Today

Hi Kevin,

It has been a devastating week in Oregon.  

Last Friday, Jeremy Christian, a known white supremacist, launched a racist and Islamophobia attack on two young women of color on public transportation, injuring a young man and killing two others trying to intervene. Our hearts go out to everyone who is suffering as a result of this terrorist act.

These violent incidents aren’t just happening in Oregon. From the killing of a Black student by a White man who followed Far Right organizations, to mosques being burned, to a stark increase in violent attacks against people from India, to a drive-by shooting at an LGBTQ organization in Tulsa, Oklahoma—we know that violence stoked by racism, xenophobia, and Islamophobia is on the rise.

Join the resistance.

Let’s make sure that those targeted by Islamophobia and racism can see that hate has no place in our neighborhoods and communities. Place one of these stickers on your car. In your favorite coffee shop.

We can’t let hate drown out our love and solidarity. Our message of love and solidarity with each other must be more visible than White supremacists, who are organizing in communities across the country.

Will you help us?

Sending love and support to all who need it this week.

In solidarity,

Kalpana, Jeana, Sami, Rosa and Moira

Forward Together’s Oregon staff



Thanks for the message of solidarity, Kevin. 

It is heartening to know that Muslim interests have contributed, reportedly, about half a million dollars (on Crowdfunding) to the families of those who were slain, so I do think some good has come out of that.

As I’m sure you’d also be doing, as I related to you, how I have ridden that particular train countless numbers of times, and know both of the individual  stops involved, both where the assailant got on, and where the incident culminated, I do get pangs of the question posed by several columnists:  what would I have done had I been sitting where those gentlemen were sitting, and would I have done the right thing, or would I have only thought of  my own narrow self interest in saving my life (which, given how gloom-and-doom any thinking person has to be, on the state of the world, and of this country, seems to be worth less and less)?

Sadly, there is plenty of history, at the state, regional and national level, to indicate that this shouldn’t have come as a surprise.  We are America’s whitest city, apparently.  There exists a certain reputation of Portland as a city where people think it’s enough to attend rallies and vigils, but can always be counted to sit on the sidelines when real terror breaks out.  The NW was, has been, and is, to some extent, been viewed as a refuge for white separatists, racists, and the like.  In this regard, I think we’re a bit different than Seattle, which tends to be grayer, more corporate, and more antiseptically PC.  That has, and has had, its good points, but I do think that an incident of this sort, sadly, has a bit more likelihood of happening here than it does in Seattle.

Nicholas Kristof, a writer for the NYT, who also happens to come from McMinnville, OR, about an hour’s drive or so from Portland, wrote that, in contrast to a number of depressing national and world events in the wake of Trump’s election, this story actually encouraged him, because to him it proved that there are Good Samaritans among us.  McMinnville is exactly the type of city and in exactly the type of region who would vote for Trump, in wine country, pretty heavily agricultural, and one of the exurbian recipients of “white flight” from Portland.  Linfield College is there (a small Lutheran institution) and George Fox college is in Newberg, just a few miles closer, which itself has a very conservative reputation.  Herbert Hoover supposedly had a house there, and the Quakers fund the college.

by Anonymous








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About eslkevin

I am a peace educator who has taken time to teach and work in countries such as the USA, Germany, Japan, Nicaragua, Mexico, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman over the past 4 decades.
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