Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Fighting hate by networking resources

Testimony in Support of SB398 – Ban the Noose — March 5, 2021

Testimony in Support of SB398 – Ban the Noose

March 2, 2021

Testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee at the Oregon State Capitol

My name is Dr. Randy Blazak and I’m the chair of Oregon’s Coalition Against Hate Crimes. The Coalition was formed in 1997 after the Oklahoma City Bombing as a way to increase cooperation and communication between community groups and local, state, and federal government agencies to interrupt extremist threats and serve the victims of bias in Oregon. For over 23 years, the Coalition has acted as a state-wide civil rights network that has included a range of members, from neighborhood advocacy groups to the United States Department of Justice. That’s why I am honored to be here today to lend my support to SB398.

Understanding the nature on hate crimes requires the understanding of context. The use of the “N word” is a rap song is an artistic expression, protected by the First Amendment. The use of the “N word” in an attack by white skinheads on a black victim can be used as evidence of a bias motivation and therefore elevated criminal charges. A swastika drawn on a chalkboard by a history professor discussing the Third Reich can have educational merit. A swastika drawn on a chalkboard by a student wanting to harass a Jewish classmate can have a deeply traumatic impact on the target of that action. And the noose may just be an image in an old western film, or it can be used to invoke generations of racial terrorism.

When people ask, “Isn’t every crime a hate crime?” it is incumbent upon us to explain the greater harm of bias motivated crimes. Research has demonstrated that the impact of a single hate crime is much deeper and wider than a traditional crime victimization. First, hate crimes, both violent and non-violent, have longer psychological impacts on the victim as they are targeted for some immutable characteristic about themselves that they can’t change or shouldn’t have to change. We have documented deeper trauma, including longer periods of depression, higher suicide and self-harm rates, and behavior changes that include social withdrawal. Victims often report saying things like, “How can this still be happening in America?” and “What’s to stop this from happening to me again?”

But it’s not just the direct victim that experiences this harm. The members of their community also experience a spike in anxiety as they wonder who among them will be next and ask if they are safe or even wanted in a community where the attack happened. An attack on a gay person will create a wave of trauma through the entire LGBTQ community and research shows that people’s behavior changes in that community in response to the elevated threat level. Soon, other marginalized communities are impacted. A vandalism of a Korean church, spreads waves of fear through other immigrant communities. We have research that shows communities become divided as residents try to feel out who is on the side of the victim and who is on the side of the attacker. Finally, the place itself becomes stigmatized by the hate that occurred there. What images come to mind when you say Laramie, Wyoming, Jasper, Texas, Charlottesville, Virginia, or even Portland, Oregon?

On November 12, 1988, three racist skinheads brutally beat an Ethiopian college student to death as he was coming home from work. The murder of Mulugeta Seraw put Portland, Oregon on the global map as a center of hate. After the May 26, 2017 hate-motivated double murder on a Portland Max train, I interviewed numerous members of the Portland Ethiopian community for a study on hate and trauma. Each one told me in strikingly similar terms that the 2017 Max attack brought up the emotional trauma of the 1988 murder, causing them to ask, again, will they ever be safe being a black person in Oregon. The PTSD we associate with war veterans is also found in minority communities that have experienced hate crimes.

If there is one act of hate that has persisted through time it is the use of the noose, connected, not only to vigilante racial murders, often of people who committed no crime, but murder as spectacle. Lynchings occurred in front of cheering white crowds as bodies were burned, mutilated, and castrated. Postcards depicting actual lynchings were often made not only to celebrate white supremacy but to keep black people in a constant state of fear of the randomness of white terror. It is worth noting that that first federal definition of terrorism came in the Anti-Klan Act of 1871. Lynchings were acts of terrorism, designed to spread fear and trauma through the black population, including here in Oregon. The 1902 lynching of Alonzo Tucker still serves as a message that African Americans are not welcome in Southern Oregon.

Context matters. A noose might just be a drawing in a game of Hangman. But in the context of the dramatic increase in hate crimes in Oregon and the nation, a noose can be much more than a piece of rope. Its display can be a terroristic act meant to cause emotional harm to specific targets and entire communities as they ask, again, am I safe or even wanted in this community. The cumulative trauma that the noose has bought as a tool of hundreds of years of racial terror won’t be stopped by the passage of this bill, but it will send a strong message that Oregon stands with the victims of hate and not the perpetrators of it. And that’s how healing starts.

Thank you.

Statement on the Threat of Post Election Violence — October 20, 2020

Statement on the Threat of Post Election Violence

October 20, 2020

Our country is passing through a time of great division. The voices of extremism have been growing and the threat of violence centered around the presidential election has raised anxiety levels in many communities. The includes communities who have long been the targets of hate and scapegoating, as well as federal workers, and even law enforcement. The Coalition Against Hate Crimes (CAHC) would like to use its collective voice to urge our partners in law enforcement to enact a cohesive strategy to protect Oregonians from those who have pledged violence around and after the election. This threat ranges from voter intimidation to acts of massive domestic terrorism.

We call on our coalition law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of the citizens and residents of our state by doing the following;

  • Have a clear plan about how law enforcement will respond to election related violence, including by those civilian groups that claim to be “pro-police.” This plan should be a collaboration between local, county, state, and federal law enforcement, and should be presented to the public. The priority of confronting domestic terrorism must be high through the new year.
  • Law enforcement should reach out to vulnerable communities who have been the target of hate in the past, including BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities and those subject to religious bigotry, to develop security strategies and encourage the reporting of bias related behavior. The Department of Homeland Security should provide resources to protect to communities who have been threatened by right-wing extremists.
  • All levels of law enforcement must make clear that any member who participates in right-wing extremist activities will be removed from armed service.
  • Law enforcement must engage in a public effort to both address the threat level and create a mechanism by which the public knows how to properly respond. This can include utilizing the state’s new bias crime hotline to report potential threats and plots, leading to immediate investigation. 

The last few years, the right-wing extremist movement has returned to the forefront of our body politic. Jeremy Christian, the anti-government activist posted an ode to Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, on his Facebook page before his 2017 murderous attack on a Portland Max train. Armed Proud Boys have been roaming Portland and Salem, looking for confrontation. Militia groups, like the Oath Keepers, have promoted themselves as soldiers in a coming civil war. The race war McVeigh hoped to spark has been rebranded as the “boogaloo,” with armed adherents, both on line and in the street, promising violent conflict if their man in the White House is not re-elected. The recent arrests of the militia members in Michigan who were plotting to kidnap (and execute) Governor Whitmer and overthrow the state government demonstrate how real these “patriot” visions for massive social disruption are.

Communities in Oregon have been traumatized by the presence of white-nationalist, fascists, and anti-government extremists, many regularly sporting weapons of war. This should not be normal in our state or in America. People are in fear of what a Trump victory or defeat could mean for public safety. This fear is magnified by the perception that many in law enforcement condone, or even participate in this form of oppression and domestic terrorism.

If a community member sees a threat being made to a mosque, synagogue, LGBTQ+ center, Black frequented venue, members of immigrant communities, or a federal building on social media, they should 1) believe that law enforcement is going to take it seriously, and 2) have a clear avenue to report it to authorities. Our partners in the justice field can help build community resilience in the face of growing fears of grievous violence.

Law enforcement partners must speak in a unified, clear voice that the threat posed by right-wing violence is at odds with our democratic values. It must be dealt with and not allowed to grow. There are those that are calling for a second civil war to begin in the next few months. We must stand together against the calls for violence and division and law enforcement must play a role in preventing this catastrophe.

CAHC/Law Enforcement Background

The CAHC was formed in 1997 in the wake of the Oklahoma City Bombing. The actors in that 1995 terrorist act killed 168 innocent people, including 19 children, and injured another 759 civilians, all who were inside the Murrah Federal Building. The goal of the bombing was to ignite a race war in America. They had spent time in the militia movement in Michigan, training with right-wing extremists who hated federal and state government agencies. Following the bombing, Attorney General Janet Reno requested that federal, state, county, and municipal law enforcement agencies form partnerships with community-baed groups to prevent further domestic terrorism from the radical right.

The CAHC was created as a partnership between advocacy and civil rights groups and law enforcement and government agencies to do this work. For 23 years, we have collaborated on better reporting of incidents, supporting the investigation and prosecution of hate crimes, community-level education, and providing resources to the victims of hate. Since our founding, we have had active participation from all levels of law of enforcement, from the Portland Police Bureau to the FBI. The partnerships have, at times, been tense, but have allowed for open channels of communications around key issues of public safety in our state.

PSA for Oregon’s New Bias Crime Law — February 1, 2020
Statement of Response to the August 17 Demonstrations — August 16, 2019

Statement of Response to the August 17 Demonstrations

Oregon has a long history of white supremacist and bigoted activism that is woven into our state’s story. It includes early territorial exclusion laws that required blacks in the region to be publicly whipped, as well as the forced internment of Japanese citizens and racist skinheads murdering immigrants in Portland. Each wave has sent messages to various groups that you are not welcome in Oregon.

In recent years we have tried to change the message to one that clearly states that Oregon is a welcoming place to all people. Unfortunately, white supremacy and bigoted activism continue to insert themselves. We’ve seen a dramatic increase in hate crimes and a new wave of bigots under the broad banner of the “alt right.” Some of these bigots are planning to march in Portland this Saturday. This includes a group called the Proud Boys that has been linked to violence in our city on several occasions. The potential for violence from protestors and counter-protestors has attracted the attention of the national media.

The Coalition Against Hate Crimes wants to have an official statement suggesting an appropriate response to this march. The CAHC was one of the numerous organizations that was present and supportive of Mayor Wheeler’s Unity Rally on Wednesday morning. The question remains, what to do on Saturday? On the one hand, when people with fascistic ideas about the world want to march in the city, it is of great value to directly oppose them and say, “not in our town, not in our streets, never again!” On the other hand, the alt right has been deft at controlling the media narrative and using images of violent anti-fascists to paint themselves as victims of “anti-freedom” forces. The political right has framed the actions of antifa counter protestors as “domestic terrorists,” a meme that has had some influence on the perception of progressive causes.

So the question is to counter-protest or let the alt right march through empty streets with no audience for their street theater. After much discussion, the Coalition would like to take a different approach.

The very presence of these marches acts as a form of emotional terrorism for people who have endured generation after generation of trauma from the forces of intolerance. Instead of directly confronting them and “feeding the wolf,” or going about our daily lives like we don’t have a real problem with white supremacy in the Northwest, we are supporting a third option.

We hope people use this occasion to recognize that there are many populations that are feeling fragile in this current political and cultural environment. That includes immigrants, people of color, LGBTQIA+ folks, people with disabilities, and religious minorities. Saturday can be a day that we offer support to our targeted neighbors in creative ways. Bake a cake, take a bit of time to chat, ask to pay for someone’s coffee as a sign of support, attend a community market and spend some money. Maybe instead of increasing the anxiety levels of marginalized communities, the presence of groups like the Proud Boys in Portland can serve to increase the civility between communities. Let this be an opportunity to reach out and build connections.

And those who feel they just want to hide this weekend, or be far from the battles in the street, you have complete permission to practice self-care. If you’ve had enough of news about mass shooters targeting communities like yours or just sick of people telling you to “go back where you came from,” your act of anti-fascism on Saturday might be taking a long bath or taking your children out to one of Portland’s great ice cream parlors.

And those who have the energy to directly confront the peddlers of hate, you are the heroic actors who are helping to change Oregon’s history of intolerance. We just ask that you take that brave stance in a non-violent manner and not give the alt right another meme to attract people to their cause or scare people away from ours. We can both confront hate and play the long game against intolerance.

“Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

2017 in Review: Hate Activity Returns to Oregon — January 8, 2018

2017 in Review: Hate Activity Returns to Oregon

January 8, 2018

Following the presidential election in November of 2016, it was clear that a continued increase in hate crimes was likely. Nobody was quite prepared for what 2017 had in store for the country or for Oregon. Although the national data for 2017, collected in the FBI’s annual Uniform Crime Report, won’t be available until mid-2018, preliminary evidence shows a dramatic increase in both hate crimes and non-criminal hate incidents. (The 2016 FBI data showed a 5% increase in reported hate crimes above 2015.) In the ten days following the election, the Southern Poverty Law Center counted 33 hate crimes and non-criminal hate incidents in Oregon, putting the state in the lead as experiencing the highest surge of hateful attacks, per capita, in the country.


A 2017 study by the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino looked at police data for the first half of 2017 for twelve cities across the country and found a 20 percent increase of reported hate crimes in those cities as compared to the first half of 2016. Leading the pack in that group was Portland, Oregon with a 200 percent increase in reported hate crimes. Making up the most significant trend in that surge has been the dramatic increase in anti-Muslim and anti-Arab hate crimes, especially after President Trump’s proposed anti-Muslim immigration ban. If there is any good news, it may be that hate crimes may have leveled off in the second half of 2017, but, again, we won’t have that aggregate data until mid-2018.


There has also been a rise in active hate groups connected to the Trump phenomenon. The SPLC counted a second year of growth of hate groups in 2016, identifying 917 nationally and 11 in Oregon (including 4 black separatist groups). In 2017, Oregon saw the Nationalist Socialist Movement open a chapter in Salem, a Mississippi Klansman at a Trump rally in Lake Oswego, and a convicted hate criminal set up a YouTube channel and weapons shop in Creswell. The state saw Neo-Nazi activity from Portland to Ashland, including anti-Semitic banners hung from overpasses on I-5. The state also witnessed numerous alt right rallies which have attracted a wide range of individuals and causes, including those opposing immigration and rights of Muslim Americans.

Jeremy Christian accused of fatally stabbings two Good Samaritans shouts in court in Portland

One of those attracted to the alt right cause was Jeremy Christian. If any act defines hate in Oregon this past year, it was his rampage on a Portland commuter train on May 26th. When three individuals, Ricky John Best, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, attempted to stop Christian from a racist assault of two teenage girls, Christian stabbed all three in the neck, killing Best and Namkai-Meche. Christian’s Facebook page (which is still accessible) professes admiration for Timothy McVeigh, the Oklahoma City Bomber who killed 168 people, including 19 children. At his May 30th arraignment in a Portland courtroom, Christian shouted, “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism. You hear me? Die.” Christian reflects to true threat of violence from America’s rejuvenated face of hate.

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But 2017 also witnessed great resistance to hate in Oregon, including the spontaneous memorial that sprung up at the Hollywood Max station where Christian’s violent attack unfolded (and which will soon become a more permanent art installation sponsored by Tri-met). Across the state, intervention trainings, implicit bias educational forums, and cultural events with Muslim and other communities occurred to counter the new hate. The Coalition hosted a forum on hate crimes on August 12 at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, facilitated by the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service. Unfortunately, the event occurred the same day as the murderous events in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, communities large and small across the state have continued to work to reduce hate locally. On September 23, a national organization of former hate group members, Life After Hate, held its first summit in Welches, Oregon to strategize solutions to reduce hate in America.


2017 was the year that put Oregon back on the national and international radar for the its issues with hate; issues that go all the way back to the founding of the state. The rash of swastikas and anti-immigrant attacks have forced us to reflect on what our true values as Oregonians are. This spotlight will not likely dim in 2018 with the one-year anniversary of the Max attack on May 26th and the 30th anniversary of the Portland murder of Mulugeta Seraw by racist skinheads on November 12th. Those commemorations, along with the divisive political climate and tensions building up to the mid-term elections in November, will test our resolve to move Oregon towards a more welcoming environment, opposite of its racially restrictive founding. The Coalition Against Hate Crime is committed to its mission to educate, improve reporting and investigation of hate crime, and, most of all, make sure members of targeted communities across Oregon feel safe. We have your back.

The 63 hate crimes and incidents listed below do not represent a comprehensive list. Hate crimes are vastly under-reported and there is a large gap of information about hate-related incidents that occur outside of the I-5 corridor, including along the coast and in eastern Oregon. These are the reports that have come into the CAHC via email, our Facebook page, or local media accounts. Some of the criminal events have results in arrests, while others remain unsolved. The reflect of slice of the hate that has occurred in our state in 2017. We continue to encourage people to report any hate activities to local authorities, but we also encourage victims and witnesses to also contact the Coalition.

Oregon’s Year in Hate: 2017

1/24 – Ashland. Neo-Nazi flyers posted around Ashland.

1/25 – Ashland. Black truck with a swastika placard reading, ‘The greatest story never told’ and “Jew Lies Matter” photographed driving around Ashland.

1/29 – Portland. Five males enter the Mount Covenant Church and disrupt services, espousing hate for immigrants and refugees.

1/30 – Portland. A Latino man was assaulted by a skinhead outside Zupans. He also made racist and homophobic comments during the attack.

2/1 – Portland. A man physically accosts workers and customers at Crema Coffee, screaming about “N lovers” and “faggots.”


2/4 – Eugene. Racially-charged messages, including swastikas, were left on 2 Eugene businesses over the weekend.

2/6 – Portland. A brick is thrown through window of the Black Lives Matter display at a feminist book store.

2/7 – Eugene. Nazi skinheads sporting swastikas seen driving a van with a placard reading, “Trump: Do the white thing.”

2/7 – Portland. A 35-year-old Hispanic man who works at a Southeast Portland funeral home was assaulted at his workplace was assaulted by an unknown white man who began yelling anti-immigrant slurs and hit him several times with some kind of object, possibly a belt.

2/14 – West Linn. Valentines with Hitler’s picture were found at Athey Creek Middle School with the phrase, “Be mein.”

2/18 – Ashland – A metal rail box was spray-painted with the words, “Anne Frank oven.”

2/19 – Portland. A man storms the pulpit at the United Church of Christ and begins yelling anti-homosexual epithets at the pastor, who is gay.

2/23 – Hillsboro. Swastikas are painted in Liberty High School for the second time in two weeks.

3/2 – Lake Oswego. Racist graffiti written on walls in Lake Oswego High School.

3/4 – Lake Oswego. Klan leader from Mississippi attends a pro-Trump rally.

3/4 – Salem. Officers arrested Jason Kendall, 52, for allegedly attacking a man working at a Middle Eastern restaurant with a pipe and telling his victim to “Go back to your country, terrorist,”

3/6 – Portland. The Mittleman Jewish Community Center (MJCC) evacuated its campus on Monday in SW Portland after receiving an e-mail threat. Numerous other Jewish centers are threatened on the same day.


3/7 – Portland. Anti-gay graffiti found in gender-neutral bathroom at Grant High School.

3/12 – Portland. Numerous swastikas painted on cars, trees, and pavement in Portland along SE 33rd Ave. in Richmond neighborhood.

3/12 – Portland. Neo-Nazis asked to leave Lucky Lab beer hall after disruption.

3/28 – Troutdale. An Iranian-American’s home was severely damaged by anti-Muslim vandalism.

4/19 – Portland. Mexican-American’s home in Northeast Portland vandalized, crude explosive device found.

4/21 – Portland. Attack of workers at Dar Salam restaurant in Northeast Portland by veteran shouting anti-Arab threats.

4/24 – Springfield. Nine neo-Nazis hold rally and meeting.

4/25 – Portland. Latina woman attacked by a white man on NE Martin Luther King Drive who threatened to kill her.

4/29 – Portland. Alt-right rally in Montavilla includes Jeremy Christian.

5/11 – Eugene. Man enters Eugene Islamic Center and threatens to kill people.

5/13 – Portland. Right-wing and white nationalists rally in Chapman Square.

5/14 – Eugene. White Power flyers posted around city.

5/25 – Portland. Jeremy Christian assaults a black woman on a Tri-Met bus.

5/26 – Portland. Jeremy Christian kills two men, injures third, on Northeast Portland Max train after an anti-immigrant rant accosting two black and Muslim riders.


6/2 – Portland. Muslim couple harassed and threatened in NE Portland.

6/2 – Portland. Man pistol whipped on I-5 in Portland, told to get out of the country.

6/4 – Portland. Pro-Trump rally in downtown Portland includes anti-black/anti-Muslim signs.

6/5 – Lane County. Signs hanging from bridge over I-205 said, “Jews did 9-11.”

6/7 – Portland. True Cascadia white nationalist flyers in posted in Southwest Portland.

6/8 – Portland. Racist flyers posted in Southeast Portland.

6/8 – Portland. Good in the Hood festival receives a letter, claiming to be from the KKK, threatening a “blood bath.”

6/12 – Beaverton. Transphobic graffiti found in ACMA bathroom.

6/23 – Portland. Racist threat phoned into Good in the Hood festival.

6/26 – Salem. Neo-Nazi Kynan Dutton announces a Nationalist Socialist Movement chapter in Salem.

7/21 – Portland. Man assaults Indian family on Max train at Portland State.

7/21 – Portland. Anti-South Asian harassment on SE Hawthorne Blvd.

7/24 – Portland. Family’s ‘Black Lives Matter’ sign burned down in front yard.

7/27 – Portland. Man harasses patrons outside of Portland gay bar on SE Stark St.

8/6 – Springfield. Repeated harassment of Latino family by white neighbor.

8/20 – Portland. White man yelling racial slurs on a Max Train.

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8/21 – Lane County. Nazi “eclipse” banners on I-5.

9/3 – Troutdale. Racist graffiti in Sweetbriar Elementary.

9/10 – Portland. Alt right rally in downtown Portland and Vancouver, WA.

9/11 – Portland. Abu-Bakar Islamic Center in NE Portland tagged with “ISIS” graffiti.

9/21 – Corvallis. Confederate flag hanging across from black cultural center.

9/24 – Portland. “KKK wants you” magnet in Roosevelt High School.

9/28 – Portland. Racist graffiti at Menlo Park Elementary.

10/5 – Portland. “Kill Muslims” sticker in a Multnomah County employee bathroom.

10/16 – Portland. Beverly Clearly statues vandalized with swastikas.

11/15 – Portland. Racist flyers appear on the campuses of Portland Community College – Rock Creek and Clark College in Vancouver, WA.

12/9 – Portland. Alt-right rally by Patriot Prayer.

12/11 – Portland. Car on NW Naito Parkway spray painted with “N word.”

12/12 – Portland. Patriot Prayer protest of Hillary Clinton speech.


12/16 – Portland. Portland State University flyered with posters for the racist Patriot Front.

12/23 – Portland. Portland Community College – Cascade flyered with posters for the  racist Patriot Front.


If there are other incidents that should be included in this tally, please email Randy Blazak at blazakr@gmail.com.

Showing Up for Love on Valentine’s: Portland United Against Hate — February 13, 2017

Showing Up for Love on Valentine’s: Portland United Against Hate

Source: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/72583

Portland United Against Hate

Vigil and joint announcement about creation of coalition

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Da Vinci Middle School

2508 NE Everett St.

Portland United Against Hate is a community initiated partnership of Community Based Organizations, Neighborhood Associations, concerned communities and the City. Together, we are building a rapid response system that combines reporting and tracking of hateful acts and providing the support and protection our communities need in this uncertain era. We seek to combine our resources, assets and relationships to create an inclusive city that protects, embraces, and celebrates its diverse communities.

We hear the outcry of our communities. In recent months, many community organizations report increasing incidents of hate crimes and intimidation, including bullying and violence stemming from racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, islamophobia, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, stigma, and misogyny. This affects every area of our lives, including our workplaces, schools, places of worship, healthcare facilities, the marketplace, and more. We reject this hateful behavior.

We are tackling this toxic environment head on. Our partnership is bound by these common values: we oppose a registry of people based on their faith, culture, ethnicity, and documentation status. We know Black Lives Matter. We will continue advocating reform of our police department and building trust between police and communities of color so everybody feels safe in our neighborhoods. We support Portland’s evolution as an Inclusive City, regardless of the threats made by the Trump administration.

We have come together. This community initiated partnership is combining forces with the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), whose charge is to connect and support all Portlanders to work collaboratively with government to build inclusive, safe, and livable neighborhoods and communities.  Community organizations look to ONI to collaborate in creating a robust response to the negative forces that undermine our city and community.

Our bold and intentional collaborative efforts are designed to protect communities from hate and proactively, create a strong base of support, provide the tools and resources to combat oppression, prosper economically and thrive collectively.

Everyone and every community deserves a safe, prosperous, and peaceful life, a life free from hate and harassment. We recognize and honor our collective resilience and our right to nurture our communities from a place of compassion, security, and belonging.

“With divisiveness and hatred becoming the norm at the national level, and here on the Best Coast, we must find ways to support our neighbors.  I sincerely appreciate this statement of community values, being generated by the people, for the people.  We believe in dignity and respect for all.  That is the Portland way.” Commissioner Amanda Fritz

We invite you to join us. Need help? Please reach out to the organizations below. Someone there will listen to what happened, and help you find a solution. Want to be involved? YOU can volunteer, lend your financial support, get trained on how to combat hate, and come together for community events. YOU can speak up when you hear or see hateful, harassing or intimidating acts. YOU can be part of creating a truly welcoming community. Together, we can all unite against hate.

Here’s the Facebook Event.

Oregon Senators sign letter critical of Trump’s removal of racists from extremist list — February 11, 2017

Oregon Senators sign letter critical of Trump’s removal of racists from extremist list

Democratic Senators Criticize Reported White House Plan to Refocus Counter-Terror Program, Ignore Threats from White Supremacists and Other Extremist Groups

Reports indicate that Trump administration is seeking to refocus Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) efforts solely on “Islamic Extremism,” ignoring broader violent extremist threats.

Source: http://www.booker.senate.gov

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), along with 10 other Democratic Senators, are criticizing a reported Trump administration plan to restructure U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) to instead focus solely on “Islamic Extremism” or “Radical Islamic Extremism,” and no longer target violent white supremacist and other extremist groups that have threatened or carried out attacks in the United States.

The Department of Homeland Security currently defines CVE as efforts that aim “to address the root causes of violent extremism by providing resources to communities to build and sustain local prevention efforts and promote the use of counter-narratives to confront violent extremist messaging online.”

Joining Sens. Booker and Schatz on a letter to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis, and USAID acting Administrator Wade Warren expressing concerns with the reported White House plan are Senators Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tom Carper (D-DE), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Patty Murray (D-WA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Bob Casey (D-PA). 

The Senators write, “Singling out a specific religion as the focus of CVE efforts rather than violent extremism more broadly— while ignoring threats from white supremacist groups— would severely damage our credibility with foreign allies and partners as an honest broker in the fight against violent extremism, and prove divisive in communities across our country.”

The letter continues, “Supporting countering violent extremism programs that take an evidence-based view of what violent extremism really is and how to tackle it increases the U.S. government’s standing as a moral leader, advances American foreign policy objectives, and protects our homeland. We will not allow these U.S. government’s efforts to be tarnished by any move that would overtly single out a specific religious, ethnic, or other identity due to bias instead of evidence.”

The full text of the letter follows:

February 9, 2017

The Honorable Rex Tillerson
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street, NW
Washington, DC 20520

 The Honorable John Kelly
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
3801 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20528

 The Honorable James Mattis
U.S. Department of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301

 The Honorable Wade Warren
Acting Administrator
U.S. Agency for International Development
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20523

Dear Secretaries Tillerson, Kelly, Mattis and Acting Administrator Warren:

We write with deep concerns about reports that the Trump administration plans to restructure U.S. government efforts to counter violent extremism (CVE) to instead focus solely on “Islamic Extremism” or “Radical Islamic Extremism,” no longer targeting violent white supremacist and other extremist groups. As we have witnessed most recently and tragically with the mass shooting of worshippers at a mosque in Quebec this past month, violent extremism is not confined to any single ethnic, religious, or other identity group, but is instead a political and social phenomenon afflicting diverse nations and peoples across the globe. In the United States, the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in American history, the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, was perpetrated not by “Islamic extremists” but by an anti-government extremist from New York. Singling out a specific religion as the focus of CVE efforts rather than violent extremism more broadly— while ignoring threats from white supremacist groups— would severely damage our credibility with foreign allies and partners as an honest broker in the fight against violent extremism, and prove divisive in communities across our country.

Bipartisan national security leaders along with numerous former U.S. officials and practitioners recognize the value that CVE programs bring to the fight against extremists and we are eager to continue this critical work. Countering violent extremism programs have proven to decrease the number of communities engaging in extremism. By preventing people from heading down the path to radicalization and recruitment, we can help to stem the spread of extremist ideologies and prevent new individuals from resorting to violent means—thereby reducing the need for the U.S. military to solve violent extremism through use of force alone, an impossible and misguided task.

As national security leaders tasked to protect our country and expand our alliances and partnerships around the world, we know you are aware of the considerable efforts we and our partners across the world have engaged in to prevent violence and the spread of violent ideologies. From the United Arab Emirates’ Hedayah, the International Centre of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, to our own Life After Hate, a group of former members of the American violent far-right extremist movement countering neo-Nazi propaganda, these governments have taken important steps to address radicalization. Refocusing our violent extremism program to focus exclusively on Islamic extremism will, without any doubt, alienate Muslim organizations and individuals in the United States, as well as the governments who have been our closest partners abroad. It will also put U.S. service members, diplomats, development practitioners, and citizens traveling the world at significant risk, and will increase the likelihood of more attacks. We have already seen the effects of this proposed change as Reuters reported that one Michigan-based group led by Lebanese-Americans has already declined a $500,000 CVE grant from the Department of Homeland Security and numerous overseas development partners have expressed that they will no longer work with the United States in the event of such a redefinition. 

In addition to isolating our closest allies in the fight against extremism, both at home and abroad, the administration’s plan to exclusively target Islam raises serious questions over whether such a policy would violate constitutional protections and the rights of American citizens. Specifically, we are concerned that this course of action risks violating both the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment, crucial safeguards on the rights of vulnerable citizens.

Supporting countering violent extremism programs that take an evidence-based view of what violent extremism really is and how to tackle it increases the U.S. government’s standing as a moral leader, advances American foreign policy objectives, and protects our homeland. We will not allow these U.S. government’s efforts to be tarnished by any move that would overtly single out a specific religious, ethnic, or other identity due to bias instead of evidence.



_______________________________                                      _______________________________

Cory A. Booker                                                          Brian Schatz

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

_______________________________                                      _______________________________

Richard Blumenthal                                                  Jeffrey A. Merkley

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________

Ron Wyden                                                                Kirsten Gillibrand

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________

Tom Carper                                                               Chris Van Hollen

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________

Patty Murray                                                             Maria Cantwell

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

 _______________________________                                      _______________________________ 

Sheldon Whitehouse                                                Robert P. Casey Jr.

United States Senator                                               United States Senator

CAHC Meeting, Feb. 2 at 2 pm — January 27, 2017

CAHC Meeting, Feb. 2 at 2 pm

January 27, 2017

The January 5th meeting was well attended. Participation from community groups as well as Portland Police, the FBI and the DOJ really got the ball rolling. Our next Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting is:

Thursday, February 2nd at 2 pm

PCC – Cascade Campus
Student Union Building
Room 204 – Cascade Room
(For directions: CLICK HERE)
Among other items, we will be discussing the proposal to declare Oregon a “Hate-Free Zone,” a hate crime reporting app, and events in Ashland.
CAHC Meeting, Jan. 5 at 2 pm — December 21, 2016

CAHC Meeting, Jan. 5 at 2 pm

December 20, 2016

We had to cancel the CAHC meeting this month because of the snow. The new meeting time is:

Thursday, January 5th at 2 pm

PCC – Cascade Campus
Student Union Building
Room 204 – Cascade Room
(For directions: CLICK HERE)
Among other items, we will be discussing the possibility of declaring Oregon a “Hate-Free Zone” as was done in Washington this week.

We hope to see you there. Happy holidays!

Dec. 15 CAHC meeting to be rescheduled — December 15, 2016

Dec. 15 CAHC meeting to be rescheduled

December 14, 2016

Thanks to the snow, PCC will be closed Thursday, 12/15, so we will have to reschedule our Coalition Against Hate Crime meeting. I apologize for any inconvenience. We will try to get a new meeting date out you as soon as possible.

 Please think about these two questions before we meet:
1. How can we encourage people across the state to report hate crimes and incidents to the appropriate authorities?
2. How can we engage in outreach to communities who are the most vulnerable to hate crimes?
Thanks and hope you all have the day off Thursday.
Randy Blazak,
CAHC chair