The Oregon Attorney General is hosting a series of public forums in order to better understand the rising number of hate crimes in Oregon.
“I feel sad about the situation we’re in,” said Ellen Rosenblum.
Dozens of people filled Unite Oregon on Monday night to share their stories of discrimination.
“I was wearing my tradition hijab and my employer walked up to me and told me to take my do-rag off,” said a Muslim woman.
“A noose was hung in my work area at a state agency,” said another man.
These stories did not make the news, but others did. You may recall the armed woman who yelled the n-word at a black woman in McMinnville. A food cart owner called one of his customers the n-word. A brother and sister were on the receiving end of homophobic slurs as they walked home from a Pride event.
Oregon Attorney General Rosenblum is hosting two more listening sessions across the state. She wants to hear people’s experiences with discrimination in order to strengthen the state’s hate crime laws. The number of hate-motivated incidents increased by more than 40 percent in 2018.
“It’s about love, not hate,” Rosenblum said. “We need to eradicate hate in our community.”
Nobody agrees more than the people who filled Unite Oregon Monday night.
“People of all races, walks of life, religion, sexual orientation deserve to be treated fairly,” said one attendee.
Future Listening sessions
When: Jan. 8, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Harris Hall
125 E. 8th Ave
Eugene, Oregon 97401
When: Jan. 9, 6:00-8:00 p.m.
Where: Medford Public Library
205 S. Central Ave
Medford, OR 97501