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illegal immigrants? you mean white people
except that white people didn’t immigrate into the united states… they funded the united states. you can’t illegally immigrate into a society you created.
it’s time to play “spot the white boy”
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i fucking hate seeing that comic post, with the old white guy who’s part of the klan, and then goes to PoC countries and “becomes not racist”
because that’s not how that works
living people are not your fucking teaching tools
and imagine how many fucking people he must have hurt
how many awful fucking things he must have done and said during his “not racist no moar” journey
seriously i fucking hate that post more than words can describe
not to mention it entirely presents the situation as something *we* (poc) can fix and should be trying to fix (for him and people like him). As if we’re not ~human~ and ~inspiring~ enough in our natural poverty near him.
the comic seems to ignore that the largest swells of the klan live in areas with the most non-white populations. The klan is huge in Georgia, the klan is huge in Texas, the klan is huge as a response to being dared to live with people of color.
You don’t see a huge klan in Portland proper not because white people here aren’t racist but because they don’t have a legacy of poc to ~rebel against~ because the feel slighted by our freedom and citizenship. (but don’t worry, it’s waiting just outside the city limited, in rural Oregon where poc are being pushed out to).
We can’t fix the racist guy, you can’t just send him to us to “fix.” And if you do we might “fix” him in a different way, like fixing him a giant kick in the nuts.
Very much co-sign.
At the risk of distracting from your point, the rest of this is a sidebar expansion on your statement, “[white people in Portland] don’t have a legacy of poc to ~rebel against~,” because as it turns out, our “not having a legacy of POC” is an ugly, ugly story. It wasn’t just happenstance, the way so many Oregonians tend to believe. You may already know this, in which case, please ignore it; I’m posting it because Oregonians tend to forget, ignore and/or deny this shit.
First off, the original Oregon State Constitution outright *prohibited* black people from living in the state. And before Oregon became a state, the territorial government also excluded black people from the territory. And before Oregon became a U.S. territory, when “Oregon” was just a bunch of white squatters in Oregon City… That’s right, those heroic white settlers crossing the Oregon Trail, *this* was what they made their first order of business on arrival: writing a law that said that black people couldn’t come to Oregon.
(I grew up in Washington state, and our first black settler there was a man named George Washington Bush. He was instrumental in establishing the U.S. claim to the Washington Territory as superceding the British counterclaim. [*twitch* *writing as if colonial claims are legitimate* *twitch*] The only reason he was in the Washington Territory at all is because he had been driven North across the Columbia by Portlanders who were backed by Oregon’s black exclusion law.)
(…by the way, the reason that Oregon even became a state was because of local panic about the Dred Scott decision. I forget exactly what the details were, but yeah, it had something to do with the possibility that Oregon wouldn’t be able to exclude black people any more.)
Black exclusion wasn’t repealed until 1927. In the meanwhile, Oregon had become a refuge for white racists: there was a big influx of Southern whites “fleeing” here after the Civil War, for instance. Consequently, even though there weren’t many black people in the state, the Klan was actually quite big in Oregon, at least through the 1920s. Even after the repeal of black exclusion, black people weren’t exactly falling all over themselves to come live here: it wasn’t until WWII and the demand for labor to build ships at Vanport, I think, that Portland started to have a significant black community. (There had been a small one before then, permitted by a grandfather clause in the black exclusion laws.) That black community has been displaced several times over, starting with the Vanport flood, and has now been almost wholly pushed out of the city with the gentrification of North Portland.
Anti-Chinese racism in Oregon was… well, it feels wrong to say “a much bigger deal” than anti-Black racism, so let’s say something like, “much more violent,” seeing that it involved riots and massacres. On a national level, there’s a tendency to define racism as an anti-Black thing, which tends to let west coasters feel smug about how “not-racist” our history is. Which is complete and *utter* bullshit. We have a long history of nasty and vicious race riots out here, but they were usually anti-Chinese riots. Plus shit like the time that the city of Tacoma, Washington, cold-bloodedly announced that they intended to raze Tacoma’s Chinatown to the ground. On the scheduled day they rounded everyone up, put them on cattle cars, shipped them off to Portland, and then, yes, put everyone’s homes to the torch. This happened with the Washington state governor’s fucking *blessing,* btw: everyone knew it was going to happen — they put up public notices with the date on! — and the governor outright refused to mobilize the national guard to stop it. And oh, yes, as if this wasn’t horrific enough, people died of exposure on those cattle cars, too.
Oregon was somewhat safer for Chinese than California and Washington were, and Portland was somewhat safer than the rest of Oregon. Which means that when Portlanders tend to talk about anti-Chinese racism, they tend to position themselves as the comparative good guys. I don’t have a good summary link for the history of Chinese in Oregon and in Portland proper, but this alludes to a fair sampling of it, and likewise points out how white Portlanders tend to minimize and deny it. In general, I enthusiastically recommend Marie Rose Wong’s Sweet Cakes, Long Journey: The Chinatowns of Portland, Oregon, which can be a dense read in places (it began as a doctoral thesis), but is an absolutely gripping read in others. It will absolutely be at my fingertips if I ever write historical fiction about Oregon.
Oh, and there was also a decent-sized Hawaiian population here back when, too. (From the colonial point of view, there was a massive labor shortage in the Northwest for a long while, and it was common to import people from Hawaii.) I don’t much know the details, but from what I have been able to gather, they mostly took refuge with Native communities when the shit started hitting the fan. Many of the local “Native” placenames are actually Polynesian, and there’s a fair amount of Hawaiian in some of the local tribal languages, nowadays.
And of course, no discussion of Portland and/or Oregon “not having a legacy of POC” would be complete without an enumeration of what went down with Native people. But forgive me, I can’t. I will leave the details as an exercise for the reader.
…so when contemporary Portlanders get all smug about not having the Klan, you are very correct to point out that it has a lot to do with Oregon not having a local “legacy of POC to be racist against.” But the reason there isn’t a legacy of POC to be racist against, is because historical Oregonians were *very fucking effective* in their racism. So, *no*, contemporary Portlanders, we *don’t* get to feel smug about the Klan not being a big deal hereabouts nowadays.
And since I was having a link-drop fest above anyway, here have one more: In which I analyze the original Oregon State Constitution’s racial provisions, article by article, line by line. For those who want it, there’s a tl;dr at the end.
holy shit all this history I didn’t fucking know
fuck you Oregon
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