Oregon Coalition Against Hate Crime

Fighting hate by networking resources

2018 – The Year in Hate (and Resistance to Hate) — January 1, 2019

2018 – The Year in Hate (and Resistance to Hate)

January 1, 2019

The state of Oregon saw an elevated level of hate activity and criminality in 2018. This follows an upward trend following the 2016 elections. Last November, the FBI released its annual hate crime report and found a 15.2% increase in the national number of hate crimes reported to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (8,437 offenses in 2017 and 7,321 offenses in 2016) which was dwarfed by the 40.4% increase in Oregon’s data (146 incidents in 2017 and 104 in 2016). Half of these 2017 offenses occurred in Eugene, reflecting their innovative work to improve hate crime reporting. A 2005 Bureau of Justice Statistics found that only 1 in 15 hate crimes are reported to authorities. In addition, not all police agencies submit data to the FBI. In Oregon, only 29 of 214 participating agencies submitted reports. The FBI data for reported hate crimes for 2018 won’t be available until November, 2019.

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It is important to point out that the wide variety of hate activity causes trauma to the victims and communities that are targeted. This includes federal civil rights offenses, crimes that violate Oregon’s intimidation statutes, as well hate incidents, like the posting of racist flyers, that do not rise to the level of criminal offense but are still harmful to the community. Oregon experienced all of the above. Much of the disruption was related to the regular marches by Joey Gibson’s Patriot Prayer that attracted supporters from hate groups, like the Proud Boys and Identity Evropa. In addition, elementary, middle, and high schools across the state saw a rash of swastikas and other anti-Semitic graffiti.

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However, the state also saw an increase in the amount of anti-hate activity. This included the CAHC/DOJ hate crime forum in Eugene on March 10, the events surrounding the one-year-anniversary of the Portland Hollywood Max attack in May, and the conference to commemorate the 30-year anniversary of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw on November 12. On May 23, Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced the formation of a state task force on hate crimes. In addition, the new bias incident/crime reporting system was launched by Portland United Against Hate this past fall. Community trainings and presentations occurred across the state. The airing of Divided States: Portland, Oregon on A&E on March 3 reminded us of how deep the divisions are in Oregon. The good work of individuals and organizations, like the YWCA, Rural Organizing Project, the Urban League of Portland, PUAH, and Unite Oregon, did the heavy lifting to build resilience to hate.

2019 promises more divisiveness. Oregon will see the murder trial of Jeremy Christian but also recommendations of the attorney general’s task force. We are planning a third CAHC/DOJ hate crime forum in Medford this spring. We encourage residents to be vigilant, report all hate activity through the the best channel (which might not be the police) and stay safe.

What follows is a list of hate activity that was reported directly (through our Facebook page) or indirectly to the CAHC in 2018. It is not a comprehensive list by any means. After that is a list of some of the anti-hate activity that occurred in the state last year.

Oregon Hate Activity in 2018

January

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11 – Identity Evropa recruitment poster found on Portland State campus, Portland.

20 – Convicted hate criminal Jacob Laskey arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault, unlawful use of a weapon, menacing and criminal trespassing, Creswell.

21 – Neo-Nazi Kynan Dutton waves Nazi flag in front of Oregon capital, Salem.

24 – White nationalist student rep at OSU faces recall, Corvallis.

26 – Racist note given to African-American boy at Lake Oswego Junior High, Lake Oswego.

30 – Reward offered to catch people posting anti-Semitic materials at PCC Cascade Campus, Portland.

31 – OSU grad student Andrew Oswalt charged with Intim 1 after posting racist stickers on campus, Corvallis.

February

1 – A balloon with a swastika drawn on it found in a yard in North Portland.

2 – White supremacist invades home in White City.

4 – “KKK,” racist, and anti-Semitic phrases chalked on sidewalk in Portland park.

March

6 – Whit man intentionally rams his car into an Afghani immigrant, Lincoln City,

29 – Identity Evropa flies found in Portland and Gladstone.

30 – Noose found hanging from a tree in Sellwood.

April

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12 – Neo-Nazi fliers found in SE Portland.

25 – Skinhead punches gay person in Eugene.

25 – Neo-Nazi graffiti in East Moreland Park, Eugene.

27 – Hammerskins post ‘Hunting Guides’ Targeting Northwest Communities” online.

29 – Neo-Nazi flier was posted on the wall of Congregation Neveh Shalom, Portland.

May

8 – KKK flyers posted, East Medford.

June

3 – Patriot Prayer rally with Proud Boys, Identity Europa, Portland.

9 – Assault by Proud Boys on NE Broadway, Portland.

17 – Anti-gay assault on NW 21st Avenue, Portland.

22 – Linn County DMV Worker posts “Shoot Them All at the Border” on Facebook.

23 – Stormer Book Club flyers, Oregon City.

30 – Proud Boys involved in Patriot Prayer riot, Portland.

July

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11 – Racist threatener arrested, Beaverton.

16 – Anti-lesbian rant investigated, SE Portland.

17 – Oregonians for Immigration Reform gets Measure 105 on November ballot.

19 – Northwest Front flyers posted, Corvallis.

20 – Deputy placed on leave for wearing Proud Boys gear, Clark Co. WA.

22 – Man arrested on intimidation charges, Lents, Portland.

August

2 – Racist harassment at Beach Elementary School Park, Portland.

4 – Patriot Prayer/Proud Boys rally, Portland.

10 – Racist attack on Willamette River dock, Portland.

September

4 – Anti-immigrant (and Yes on 105) literature handed out at Oregon State Fair, Salem.

12 – Racial slur etched, paint smeared on woman’s car, NE Portland.

October

6 – PSU Pita Pit employee arrested for racist menacing, Portland.

13 -Patriot Prayer rally, Portland.

19 – Nazi flyers blaming Jews for Kavanaugh protests, Portland.

22 – “OK to be white” stickers found in Vancouver, WA.

26 – Hate criminal James Acrement dies at Oregon State Prison, Salem.

28 – Favorable Oregonian story about Joey Gibson, Portland.

November

20 – Anti-Semitic graffiti at Lewis Elementary School, Portland.

December

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8 – Oregon skinheads arrested in anti-black attack in Lynnwood, Washington.

12 – Anti-Semitic graffiti found at Cleveland High School, Portland.

18 – Neo-Nazi Jimmy Marr hospitalized after class with anti-racist activist, Corvallis.

20 – Portland man arrested after threatening two African-American boys with a butcher knife.

23 – Police called on black guest at Double Tree Hilton for calling his mother, Portland.

24 – White women harasses African-America couple with knife, arrested, McMinnville.

 

Responding to Hate in 2018

January

16 – Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces, First Unitarian Church (PDX NAACP).

27 – Holocaust Remembrance Day.

February

1 – TriMet Advisory Committee announces artist for Hollywood Max Station tribute mural, Sarah Farahat.

27 – Peace March held by students of Faubian Elementary School, Portland.

March

5 – Divided States: Portland airs on A&E, forum held at Portland Community College – Cascade.

10 – CAHC/DOJ Hate Crime Forum at UO School of Law, Eugene.

13 – The Beloved Community: Living the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Race Talks, Portland.

16 – Racial Equity Exploration: A Theatrical, Interactive Experience, Portland.

April

8 – Interrupting Hate in Public Spaces, YWCA, Portland.

9 – From Charlottesville to Eugene: White Nationalism’s Resurgence, Immigration, & The Lawyer’s Voice in the Debate, UO School of Law, Eugene.

10 – Hate Under Law: Free Speech, Bigotry and Oregon forum, West Linn.

May

1 – White Supremacy in Oregon: History and Current Issues, NOW Portland.

23 – AG Rosenblum announces task force on hate crime.

25 – Q Center vigil, Portland.

26 – One year anniversary of Portland Max Attack, dedication of the mural at the Hollywood Max Station.

June

16 – Trans Unity Pride Celebration, Portland.

16 – PUAH Managing Compassion Fatigue workshop, Lewis & Clark College.

20 – Jeremy Christian profile page removed from Facebook.

20 – Mourn, Pray, Love and Take Action! Rally, Unite Oregon, Portland.

21 – Cultural Empathy program, YWCA, Portland.

21-23 – Good in the Hood Festival, Portland.

August

7 – Community rally against hate in Normandale Park, Portland.

10 – CAHC at Anti-Hate Teach In – Washington, DC.

15 – Supporting Native Survivors, YWCA, Gresham.

19 – Walk with Refugees and Immigrants, Gateway Discovery Park, Portland.

25 – Portland Somali Festival, Lents Park, Portland

October

9 – Tragedy on the Max: One Year Later, Race Talks, Portland.

11 – Harvey Milk Street Celebration, Portland.

17 –  CAHC presentation on community engagement and extremism, NYC.

17 – Interrupting Hate in Schools, Resolutions NW, Portland.

18 – Building Bridges Summit , Muslim Educational Trust, Tigard.

24 – Eli Saslow (Rising out of Hatred) presentation at Alberta Rose Theater, Portland.

25 – Judge considers death penalty in Max attack case, Portland.

28 – Community gathering in response to Pittsburgh hate crime, Portland.

November

2 – Man arrested in for Aug. 10 racist bias crime, Portland.

6 – Oregon voters defeat Measure 105.

13 – Seraw Commemoration Conference, Portland State.

14 – Seraw street topping ceremony, SE 31st and Pine, Portland.

28 – Andrew Oswalt found guilty, Corvallis.

December

13 – Andrew Oswalt sentenced to 40 days in jail, 3 yers probation, Corvallis.

14 – CAHC attends ADL Consortium on Extremism, Washington DC.

16 – SE Uplift Book Study – A Hundred Little Hitlers, Portland.

 

Remembering one murder in this time of hate. — October 30, 2018

Remembering one murder in this time of hate.

October 30, 2018

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Thirty years ago, the brutal murder of an Ethiopian immigrant by racist skinheads put Portland, Oregon on the map and put the problem of hate crimes into the national consciousness. Now, in the wake of racist murders in Kentucky and Pennsylvania and right-wing bomb threats across the country, we are called to remember the killing of Mulugeta Seraw and the work that must be done to confront the seemingly growing wave of hate in our communities.

The CAHC is honored to support the Urban League of Portland in the holding of a Conference to Commemorate Mulugeta Seraw on Tuesday, November 13, 9 am to 2 pm, at Portland State University. The conference will include participation from the local Ethiopian community (including Mulugeta’s uncle), attorneys involved in the civil suit against the White Aryan Resistance, Portland United Against Hate, and the Coalition Against Hate Crime. To register, please click the link below:

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION

If you are interested in a scholarship to attend the conference free of charge, please click here: Scholarship Application Form

The city also has plans to add street top signs with Seraw’s name in the Southeast neighborhood where the murder occurred. The announcement for that ceremony is forthcoming and is being planned for the morning of November 14 at the intersection of SE 31st and SE Pine.

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Seraw’s murder and the current racial violence that has gripped our nation remind of us of the hard work required to move us towards a more equitable society. Let’s honor Mulugeta by doing this work now.

We hope to see you on November 13.

 

How We Respond to Hate — August 27, 2017

How We Respond to Hate

August 26, 2017

On August 12, the Coalition Against Hate Crime, with the assistance  of the Department of Justice – Community Relations Service, held a free forum, entitled How We Respond to Hate. The forum, hosted at the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, had a capacity audience. The original motive for the forum was to help the city heal and respond to the May 26 Max train attack, but the events occurring in Charlottesville, Virginia that weekend were on everyone’s mind. Much networking was done and there was good coverage from the local media:

Portland leaders discuss hate crimes

The forum was made possible thanks to a generous grant from Emily’s Fund and with help from the Genocide Studies Project at Portland State. Emily’s Fund also made available “HATE NOT IN OUR TOWN” yard signs that participants took home. The day was built on three important panels, with the participation of committed community leaders.

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Welcome and Introduction 12:30 – 12:45 pm:

Randy Blazak, Coalition Against Hate Crime

Law Panel

Law and Law Enforcement Panel: 12:50 – 1:45 pm

Responses to hate from local and federal law enforcement agencies

Moderated by Knight Sor, DOJ/Community Relations Service

Caryn Ackerman, Special Agent, Federal Bureau of Investigation – Oregon

Hannah Horsley, U.S. Attorney’s Office

Jeff Sharp, Portland Police Bureau Bias Crime Detective

Sheriff Pat Garrett, Washington County

Jeffery Howes, Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office

Community panel

Community Voices Panel 1:50- 2:45 pm

Perspectives from communities that have been the target of hate

Moderated by Harpreet Singh Mokha, DOJ/Community Relations Service

Gurpreet Kaur Singh, representing the Sikh community

Seemab Hussaini and Zakir Khan of CAIR-OR, representing the Muslim community

Steve Wasserstrom, Reed College, representing the Jewish community

Reid Vanderburgh, PFLAG, representing the LGBTQ community

Resource Panel

Resource Panel 2:50 – 3:45 pm

Preventing and responding to hate

Moderated by Amanda Byron from Portland State’s Conflict Resolution Department

Hillary Bernstein, Anti-Defamation League

Rachel Cunliffe Portland State Conflict Resolution

Shweta Moorthy, Portland United Against Hate

Chase Jones, Department of Homeland Security

Harleen  Kaur, Sikh Coalition

Wrap Up and Networking 3:45 – 4:00 pm

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Hate continues to be a problem in our state. On August 20th, as motorists from around the region drove north on Interstate 5 to view the solar eclipse, many were greeted by banners hung by neo-Nazis from bridges in the Eugene-Albany area. Our rapid response team (i. e., Jeff Gottfried) delivered nearly 200 yard signs to churches, temples, and synagogues in the area, letting neighbors know that hate has no place in Lane County.

As we try to make sense of the events in Charlottesville (Read Randy Blazak response to the situation here: Charlottesville: America’s fork in the road), and our president’s mixed messages about racism, we redouble our efforts around this issue. We are working on a plan to better distribute the “HATE NOT IN OUR TOWN” signs to communities across the state. We are also partnering with the Portland Urban League to build towards a 2018 event to mark the 30th anniversary of the murder of Mulugeta Seraw by racist skinheads in Southeast Portland. We encourage you to be a part of our efforts.

Responding to Hate in Portland — June 19, 2017

Responding to Hate in Portland

June 19, 2017

In the wake of the brutal May 26th attack on the Portland Max train that left two good samaritans dead and a third seriously injured, the city has been responding in a number of ways. The worldwide media attention on the incident has put Portland in a spotlight it hasn’t occupied since the 1988 murder of an Ethiopian immigrant by racist skinheads. As the chair of the Coalition, I have tried to fairly represent the CAHC’s mission, as well as our city, its history, and the work that must be done, in the New York Times, CNN, NPR, the BBC,  Al Jazeera, and several other media outlets.

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Since the attack, the city has held vigils, memorial services, anti-hate rallies, community meetings with law enforcement, benefit shows and fundraisers for the victims, and on June 7, the Portland City Council approved a $40,000 grant to help improve the reporting of hate crimes in the city. On June 9, Oregon Senators and Congress members submitted a joint resolution condemning the attacks. There will a bystander intervention workshop on June 25. And the Oregon Attorney General’s Office will be hosting a hate crime forum on July 24 at the Muslim Educational Trust in Tigard.

The CAHC is working with our partners at the DOJ CRS to assemble a community forum in late July that will cover the legal issues regarding hate crimes, the experience of communities that have been targeted, and useful strategies from preventing hate crimes and responding when hate does arise. We will have more information, soon. The DOJ CRS is also helping to support our Hate Free State proclamation that is currently in Governor Brown’s office.

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All this work and more is being done to honor Ricky Best, Taliesin Namkai-Meche, and Micah Fletcher, as well as the two girls who were verbally assaulted that day. Their families should know that waves of goodness, reflection, activism, and community commitment will continue to unfold from that horrific day. We have all been forced to rededicate ourselves to this issue because of their sacrifice. Sadly, there have been several hate incidents in Oregon since that attack, and we have been tasked with the realization that hate is still a regular part of our world, even in Portland. However, the ripple of those people’s actions on that train will bring positive change for many years to come.

White supremacist murders two samaritans on Portland Max train. — May 27, 2017

White supremacist murders two samaritans on Portland Max train.

May 27,  2017

On May 26, 2017 there was a brutal attack on the Portland Max, near the Hollywood station by a known white supremacist. We encourage people to stand up to hate speech, but in this case it turned fatal. Jeremy Christian was verbally assaulting two women on the train he believed to be Muslim. Three people who tried to get him to stop were stabbed by Christian. Ricky John Best, 53, died at the scene and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, died later in the hospital.. Christian is in custody.

Here is one of the media accounts of the incident.

Police: 2 killed in MAX train stabbing after suspect bullies Muslim women

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(Photo by Katherine Cook)

The women who were the initial targets of the attack fled the train and the Portland Police are hoping to interview them. Chief Marshman made this plea.

Community colleagues,

By now I am sure you are aware of the incident on the MAX train where two people were killed. Portland Police has the suspect in custody. 

We are continuing to investigate this terrible crime and will get information to the public as soon as we are able to do so. 

Preliminary information is that the suspect was yelling various types of hate speech to many passengers on the train. 

We are looking for two young women, possibly teenagers, who were on the train. We believe these two young women are witnesses to this crime. One was possibly wearing a hijab. 

With Ramadan beginning this evening, please know that the Portland Police Bureau stands by your side and will have extra police patrols for you. 

Thank you,
Mike Marshman, Chief of Police

Both Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Mayor Ted Wheeler have condemned the incident. There is a vigil planned for tonight at the Hollywood Max Center at 6:30.

 

We know that attacks on Muslims have increased, and have spiked since the bombing in Manchester, England. It is important for us to stand with the victims and against this type of terrorism in our communities. All people should feel safe, no matter what their faith is.