Statement from Urban League of Portland President & CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson on Racist Violence in Charlottesville and Other Cities
August 14, 2017
Racist violence is again on the march in cities across America. Weeks ago two girls were assaulted, one man severely wounded, and two others murdered in Portland by a would-be Nazi. This weekend, Confederate-loyalists, members of the KKK, and other bigots promoted white supremacy in Charlottesville, Virginia. There one person was killed, and others were seriously injured. Then, just yesterday, a racist rally took place in Seattle organized by the same extremists who recently held a violent demonstration in Portland.
Make no mistake, the violence we have experienced in Oregon stems from the same extremist value-system that we see on display 2,900 miles away.
To make matters worse, the highest levels of national leadership in the White House and the U.S. Department of Justice refuse to renounce both white supremacist ideology and individuals who subscribe to it. Those who chant hate-filled slogans in Oregon and march through the night with flaming torches in Virginia are emboldened by the silence others. So we must not remain silent.
So we must not remain silent.
For more than 70 years, your Urban League has continued to stand up for those who are targets of discrimination, threats, and violence. Individuals and families that face systemic racism and exclusion depend on us to help break through those barriers. With programs, services, and advocacy, my staff and I work to create a community that is not only safe but also a place where people of different backgrounds can thrive.
What can you do to help build a more equitable community across Oregon and Southwest Washington?
Make your voice heard. Act against hate. Join the Urban League today!