Quick note: our direct action training is coming up Earth Day weekend. If you’re interested in learning tactical direct action skills for strategic resistance, consider attending. We’re also prioritizing experienced activists so that we can share high-value skills and you can bring new knowledge and inspiration back to your community. Click here to register and learn more.
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Oregon’s history (and present) of virulent racism
Check out this excerpt from a speech by Lisa Ponder for some background on Oregon’s racist history and present:
We can talk about Statistics:
Home ownership affects people’s health, their stability, their wealth, their plans, and their community roots and connections. In addition, there is a strong correlation between a family’s situation and whether there was home ownership three generations prior.
We can talk about the LAW:
Oregon’s 1859 State Constitution forbade all Blacks from settling here, whether slave or free. Then, in 1868, our state revoked our ratification of the 14th Amendment. Segregation in Oregon was upheld by our courts until 1953. AND, Oregon refused to ratify the 15th Amendment until 1959.
We can talk about Ethics:
Real estate agents and banks operated with maps on which they had drawn red lines around areas that they had decided were to stay Black only or White only. This was called “red lining”. The Real Estate Code Of Ethics forbade selling homes across race lines. Many deeds in Eugene still carry this language of segregation.
We can talk about community behavior:
Even when Federal loans became officially available, local banks would not give the loans to Blacks. Even when a business did not put out a sign saying “Whites Only”, Black families were not assured service. African American Oregonians were not alone in receiving mistreatment; Variations on the same story exists for Asian Oregonians, Latino Oregonians, and Native American Oregonians.
Read the full talk and learn more history here: https://blogs.uoregon.edu/commonreading/files/2016/02/Mims-Monument-Dedication-program-remarks-by-Lisa-Ponder-1eojk36.pdf