PORTLAND, Ore. – Mayor Ted Wheeler says the string of recent hate incidents targeting people of color in Portland is “unconscionable.”
The mayor released a statement late Friday afternoon calling on Portlanders to come together and ensure everyone in the city is welcome.
“Our city, just two weeks removed from a national tragedy, has experienced a number of incidents this week clearly motivated by hate,” Wheeler said.
The mayor noted the recent racist threat to the Good in the Hood festival and report of racist language targeted at a middle school student.
“These incidents are part of an historic and troubling pattern in Portland and across our state,” said Wheeler.
The incidents follow a double murder on a MAX train where police said a man yelled racist epithets at two black girls, one of whom is Muslim, and stabbed three men who tried to defuse the situation. Two of those men were killed.
The mayor said the city is doing all it can to investigate the recent incidents, and is working with local school districts and law enforcement on the local, state and federal levels.
The mayor released the following statement:
“Our city, just two weeks removed from a national tragedy, has experienced a number of incidents this week clearly motivated by hate. Threats to the Good in the Hood festival in the heart of Albina, targeting communities of color, particularly black Portlanders. Reports today of racist language directed at a middle school child.
“This is unconscionable.
“The troubling fact is that these incidents are part of an historic and troubling pattern in Portland and across our state. In the days following last year’s election, the Southern Policy Law Center counted more hate incidents in Oregon than other state in America.
“We are in communication with local school districts, the Governor’s office, and are actively working with local, state, and federal law enforcement. We are doing all we can to investigate these recent incidents and protect our residents who are living under threat. If you have any information that could assist investigators, please contact the Portland Police Bureau.
“These times can be terrifying… I’ve spoken to many people who are scared. We have a tremendous opportunity to come together to ensure that everyone is welcome in our city, and we all live in safety and with dignity.
“Please, let’s continue to stand up for one another.”