I humbly come to you with this letter to address an overwhelming concern that is happening in America today.
Among the pandemic also known as the corona-virus 19/COVID 19 for three (3) months, there has been an uptick in racial violence.
As a Black woman here in Portland, Oregon, I AM very concerned. Oregon has a history of anti-Black laws, legislation, and hate-crimes that have been discriminatory with lasting effects on generations of communities and families. From redlining, to a busing system that took Black children away from their familiar communities to schools in unfamiliar communities, to today's 'urban renewal' systems known now as gentrification. All of these systems have not changed and are implemented in different and covert ways. The nation is witnessing on national news networks and all over social-media the abuse of power by law-enforcement across the nation, which has also played a very big part in anti-Black hatred.
These things have taken a toll on the psyche of African-Americans, myself being one of thousands if not millions. WE are exhausted. As a tenant, I DO NOT feel safe because a possible hate monger could come into my apartment and shoot me dead. As a transit rider, I DO NOT feel safe that I can ride the bus system without being harassed by law-enforcement or some hate monger out for blood. As a worker, I DO NOT feel safe to come to the job without feeling like I have to have my guard up. As a volunteer, I DO NOT feel safe knowing that I can participate in doing good for the community without having to constantly look over my shoulder.
I am far from perfect, but what I AM is a person who wants to do better and see better, and I believe there are many others who too want to be and see better as well; unfortunately, there is not enough of those who are willing to be brave and cut-out the people who are seeking to do harm, the people who are willing to be provocateurs of suspected white supremacist racism (White or Black, or otherwise), and/or at the very least call-out of said people. Discussions and 'studies' about 'how bad racism is' is no longer acceptable. We need PROACTIVE steps NOW to combat racism and hate.
To start, I implore ALL that I have sent this letter to, to please ask yourself what's important: your integrity or money. I realize that many people are unwilling to put themselves and their families on the line to call out racism. That is not lost on me. However, what doesn't happen to you today, will be a problem tomorrow. RACISM/ANIT-BLACK hatred is an age-old problem in this nation, and the more we try to 'hide it' the more it rears its ugly head ten-fold.
This letter/email is not just going to establishments I frequent, it will go to the governor, it will go to city hall, it will go to mass social media, and it will go to all those who are exhausted and demand proactive changes NOW. "If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?" -John F. Kennedy
Thank you for your willingness to understand,