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Portlanders will stand up to hate. Every time.

This weekend, a group of white supremacists converged on downtown Portland with the intent to strike fear in our community.

But Portlanders wouldn't stand for that, and we showed up.

The neo-Nazis were vastly outnumbered by the counter-protesters, who sent a message loud and clear: Portlanders will stand up to hate. Every time.

They came here to intimidate, to threaten, to provoke. Instead, they were revealed for exactly who they are - a gang of cowardly, ignorant haters afraid of a world where women and people of color stand up for themselves.

Donald Trump's hateful rhetoric has fueled and emboldened groups like the Proud Boys and there has been an increase in hate crimes nationwide since his election. And while groups like this have a right to express themselves, let's also recognize the violence inherent in the racism, sexism, and aggression of their opinions. Thankfully, there were no fatalities on Saturday, but the entire march and the presence of bigots shouting on our streets was an assault on our city's values.

I'm proud of the way Portlanders stood together this weekend: bold, proud, united, and strong - standing firm for a vision of America that draws strength from our diversity and never stops fighting for equity.

The ringleaders of the bigoted marchers have vowed to return to Portland. And when they show up, we'll show up again. And bigger and stronger. We won't be quiet in the face of hatred.

Portland has a long, troubled, and at times, repugant history of racism – one that we're still wrestling with. And we won't surrender one inch of the progress we've made to indulge the dangerous, hateful rhetoric of the Proud Boys and their companions.

White nationalists and racists are not welcome in Portland. Period.


Posted on August 20, 2019.