February 4, 2020
2019 saw an alarming number of hate crimes across the state, but also some incredible efforts to fight hate in Oregon. The year began with KKK graffiti appearing in Cave Junction and ended with a racially motivated stabbing in Ontario. There is some evidence that, despite violent attacks that include several assaults on LGBT people, there might be a leveling off of the spike that followed the 2016 election. In November, the FBI released its annual hate crime report, finding 139 hate crimes reported in Oregon in 2018 (of which 88 were violent), as compared to 169 (86 violent) in 2017, a 17% reduction in reported hate crimes. However, the national trends are a little less comforting, including a fairly dramatic increase in anti-Semitic incidents over the last year.
While these horrible things were happening across the state, some important progress was being made. In July, Governor Brown signed a bill that added Holocaust education to the state’s school curriculum. The state also enacted a new bias crime law, SB 577, that expanded protections, mandated the better collecting of data, and, perhaps most importantly, created a network of resources for survivors of bias crimes. The CAHC was present at the Governor’s signing of the bill on July 15 and has participated in the steering committee charged with implementing the law. The law was the result of intense work by a partnership of community groups and the Oregon Attorney General’s office that included a series of listening sessions across the state in January.
The year also saw several hate crime cases moving through the court system, including an increasing number that have been charged under SB 577. The trial of Jeremy Christian, who has been held in a Multnomah County jail since the 2017 stabbing attack on a Portland Max train, was delayed until January, 2020. In March, a jury found Russell Courtier guilty of the racially motivated 2016 murder of Larnell Bruce, Jr. in Gresham. The family of Bruce was present for the signing of Oregon’s new bias crime law in July.
The year also the witnessed menacing presence of the Proud Boys, accused of violent attacks, a large alt-right rally in Portland on August 17, and Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson indicted for inciting a riot. In response to the August 17 rally, Portland hosted an Our City, Our Home Anti-Hate Rally in Pioneer Square on August 14. On February 7, the city council had passed a resolution condemning white supremacy and the alt right.
The new year (and new decade) will see the implementation of the state’s new bias crime law and the creation of a hotline for Oregonian’s to report both bias crime and non-criminal bias incidents (1-844-924-BIAS).
The chronology below is divided into two categories. The first are hate crimes and incidents that were reported in 2019 via the CAHC Facebook page. The second category are examples of how the state has responded to the issue of hate, from both an institutional and community level. It is certainly not a complete tally of all incidents, but highlights both the normality of hate as well as the incredible resistance that occurs in our state.
2019 – The Year in Hate in Oregon
Jan. 11 – Holocaust deniers crash Attorney General’s session, Medford.
Jan. 12 – KKK grafitti, Cave Junction.
Jan. 18 – White supremacist Andrew Oswalt re-enrolls in OSU, Corvallis.
Jan. 18 – KKK flyers posted, Astoria.
Jan. 22 – Portland mayor threatened by member of Proud Boys.
Jan. 23 – Parkrose High athletes called racial slurs at St. Helens High game.
Feb. 10 – Transgender woman attacked, Portland.
Feb. 17 – Flyers for racist YouTuber posted in Hollywood neighborhood, Portland.
Feb. 19 – Report of anti-gay harassment on Trimet bus (#72), Portland.
Feb. 22 – Jeremy Christian to use a mental health defense in Max stabbing case.
Feb. 23 – Report of racist/anti-gay harassment, SE 86th & Division, Portland.
Feb. 23 – “Radical Agenda” pro-Holocaust flyers found in Abernathy neighborhood, Oregon City.
Feb. 26 – Report of anti-gay harassment, SE 65th & Foster, Portland.
Mar. 3 – Reports of white supremacists and anti-gay harassment, Portland.
Mar. 4 – White man arrested for racial harassment, Portland.
Mar. 6 – Teacher tells student to “Go back to Mexico,” Salem.
Mar. 12 – Proud Boy arrested, Patriot Prayer member indicted, Portland.
Mar. 20 – Swastika carved in Russian restaurant, SE Portland.
Mar. 21 – White Supremacist Andrew Oswalt charged with hate crime, Corvallis.
Apr. 22 – Oregon anti-government activist arrested in New Mexico for detaining migrants.
Apr. 22 – Noose found at Cleveland High School, Portland.
Apr. 23 – Racist harassment, Springfield.
Apr. 25 – Racial slur, lockdown at Wilson High School, Portland.
Apr. 26 – Blackface cake at Cleveland High School, Portland.
May 1 – Patriot Prayer street fight and riot at Cider Riot bar, Portland.
May 5 – America First rally, Springfield.
May 11 – Gresham man arrested for making racial threats.
May 28 – Homeless woman arrested for racial harassment, Portland.
June 4 – Bar accused of discriminating against trans patrons, Portland.
June 12 – Racist and swastika graffiti reported, Eugene.
June 29 – Racist assault in NE Alberta neighborhood, Portland.
July 16 – Milwaukee HS student seen stealing equality sign, ripping pride flag.
July 16 – Report that Oregon had 6th highest hate crime increase, 2013-17, in nation.
July 18 – Pride signs stolen from homes, Milwaukie.
July 27 – Home graffitied with homophobic slurs, Salem.
Aug. 2 – Swastika’s spray painted on local businesses, Eugene,
Aug. 7 – Armed man arrested outside El Paso immigrant center with plans to come to Portland.
Aug. 10 – Man arrested for bias crime outside CC Slaughter’s , Portland.
Aug. 13 – Lesbian couple has molotov cocktail thrown at house, SE Portland.
Aug. 17 – Proud Boy/alt right march, Portland.
Aug. 20 – Racist assault, Salem.
Aug. 24 – Anti-trans attack, Newport.
Sept. 17 – Anti-trans attack reported, Portland.
Sept. 27 – Racist harassment of neighbor, Gresham.
Oct. 1 – Anti-trans attack in the Pearl District, Portland.
Oct. 24 – Noose found at Chapman Elementary, Portland.
Oct. 29 – White teens wear blackface at high school event, Lebanon.
Oct. 29 – University of Oregon accused of not reporting anti-Semitic hate crimes, Eugene.
Nov. 11 – Noose found hanging at OHSU, Portland.
Dec. 18 – Lawsuit claims black teen was racially harassed before suicide, Bend.
Dec. 23 – Racial stabbing at truck stop, Ontario.
2019 – The Year in Responding to Hate in Oregon
Jan. 7 – Attorney General’s session on hate crime, Portland.
Jan. 9 – Attorney General’s session on hate crime, Eugene.
Jan. 11 – Attorney General’s session on hate crime, Medford.
Jan. 15 – Andrew Ramsey charged in anti-Sikh assault, Salem.
Jan. 19 – Senate Bill 577 is introduced, Salem.
Jan. 28 – Portland prepares anti-hate resolution.
Jan. 31 – 6 Gypsy Joker gang-members arrested, Portland.
Feb. 7 – Portland City Council passes resolution on white supremacy.
Feb. 12 – Eugene man who threatened shooting spree at Catholic church pleads guilty to federal hate crime.
Feb. 24 – Q Center Town Hall, Portland.
Mar. 1 – Lakeridge HS student pushes bill to require Holocaust and genocide education at Oregon public schools.
Mar. 2 – Our Streets! Community Safety Day, PICA, Portland.
Mar. 12 – Oregon Senate approves Holocaust education curriculum, Salem.
Mar. 12 – SB 577 moves out of committee, Salem.
Mar. 15 – Community support rally for Christchurch shooting victims, MET, Tigard.
Mar. 19 – Russell Courtier found guilty on all counts for Bruce murder, Portland.
Mar. 25 – Andrew Oswalt arraigned on new bias-motivated offense, Corvallis.
Apr. 1 – Understanding Oppression workshop, YWCA, Portland.
Apr. 2 – Man convicted of hate crime for threatening to kill gay man, Portland.
Apr. 4 – Oregon SB 577 moved out of judiciary committee, Salem.
Apr. 9 – Jeremy Christian trial to stay in Multnomah County.
Apr 16 – Judge gives Russell Courtier life sentence for Bruce murder, Portland.
Apr. 23 – Racist harasser in McMinville gets 30 days in jail.
May 3 – Jeremey Christian trial moved to January 2020, Portland.
May 4 – Civil suit filed against Patriot Prayer by owner of Cider Riot, Portland.
May 4- PUAH hosts training on Trauma-Informed Hate Response, Portland.
May 6 – AG Rosenblum community meeting on hate crime, Portland.
May 11 – PUAH Disrupting Hate: A Mental Health Providers Guide, Lewis & Clark.
May 15 – Report of 42% decrease in hate crimes in Eugene.
May 24 – Salem man sentenced to jail after grabbing a Sikh man’s turban.
May 25 – Portland City Hall meeting on white supremacy training.
May 28 – Wilson High students walk out over racism, Portland.
May 28 – Oregon lawmakers add Holocaust education to school curriculum.
May 28 – “Islamophobia and White Nationalism in Oregon and the World” at Oregon Historical Society, Portland.
May 30 – Transforming Hate: Mulugeta Seraw’s Legacy, Portland.
May 31 – Divided States: The Max Attack screening, Portland.
May 31 – Man gets probation for anti-Sikh attack, Salem.
June 10 – SPLC benefit, Salem Cinema, Salem.
June 14 – Oregon Senate passes SB 577, Salem.
June 20 – SB 577 unanimously passes House, Salem.
July 9 – White Supremacy in Oregon classes begin at First Unitarian, Portland.
July 15 – Gov. Brown signs SB 577 into law, Salem.
July 15 – Gov. Brown signs Holocaust education bill, Salem.
July 18 – Michael Amatullo convicted of Intim 2 for racial harassment, Portland.
July 23 – Eugene adopts resolution condemning white supremacy.
Aug. 5 – Woman convicted of hate crime for kicking black mother’s stroller, Portland.
Aug. 6 – Interfaith Vigil against Gun Violence and White Supremacy, Augusta Lutheran, Portland.
Aug. 14 – Arrest in the anti-gay Molotov cocktail case, Portland.
Aug. 14 – Oregonian surveys Oregon congressional leaders on hate crime.
Aug. 14 – Our City, Our Home Anti-Hate Rally, Portland.
Aug. 15 – Joey Gibson charged with felony rioting, Portland.
Aug. 15 – CAHC issues statement ahead of alt-right march, Portland.
Aug. 29 – Anti-Trans hate crime indictment, Lincoln City.
Aug. 30 – Vet has guns removed after threatening antifa demonstrators, Portland.
Aug. 30 – Larnell Bruce Jr. Foundation launched, Portland.
‘Aug. 31 – FBI takes guns of right-wing activist who threatened to kill antifa, Portland.
Sept. 8 – Man sentenced for racist assault on black youth, Portland.
Sept. 11 – Trump & White Supremacy discussion, Chit Chat Cafe, Portland.
Sept. 16 – SB 577 public signing ceremony, Salem.
Sept. 16 – Security guard sentenced for racist attack, Portland.
Oct. 1 – Portland Public Schools announces Racial Equity Plan.
Oct. 1 – First Steering Committee meeting for the implementation of SB 577, Portland.
Oct. 21 – Anti-gay attacker first person convicted under SB 577, Portland.
Oct. 24 – Building Bridges: Confronting Hate symposium, Tigard.
Oct. 31 – Prosecutors not seeking the death penalty in the Jeremy Christian case.
Nov. 11 – Concert to remember Mulugeta Seraw, Portland
Nov. 12 – FBI releases 2018 hate crime data.
Dec. 17 – Man arrested for murder of Vancouver trans teen.
Dec. 24 – Woman indicted for racist assault, Portland.
The September 5, 2019 CAHC meeting, hosted by the Muslim Educational Trust in Tigard, (Pictured: Matthew Kahl (ADL), Patt Bekken (PFLAG Portland), Adrian Brown (US Attorney’s Office), Wajdi Said (MET), Randy Blazak (CAHC chair), Allan Lazo (Fair Housing Council of Oregon), photo by Rich Iwasaki (Portland JACL), not pictured: Dawn Holt (PFLAG Portland))