Sociologist: White Power groups active in area


WEEKEND’S VIOLENCE IN CHARLOTTESVILLE, VIRGINIA. IT’S 5:00. I’M JEFF GIANOLA. JENNIFER: AND I’M JENNIFER HOFF. CHAOS ERUPTED IN VIRGINIA BETWEEN WHITE NATIONALISM SUPPORTERS AND COUNTER PROTESTORS OVER THE WEEKEND. ONE WOMAN WAS KILLED WHEN A CAR PLOWED INTO THOSE COUNTER PROTESTERS. THEN TWO STATE TROOPERS DIED IN A HELICOPTER CRASH AS THEY MONITORED THAT PROTEST. PEOPLE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, INCLUDING HERE IN PORTLAND, THEN STOOD IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE VICTIMS AND RALLIED AGAINST THE VIOLENCE AND HATE. IT’S LIKE I GOT PUNCHED JUST LIKE THE MURDERS ON THE MAX TWO MONTHS AGO. IT’S A DIFFICULT DISCUSSION. NO ONE WANTS TO ADMIT WE’RE PROPPING UP RACISM AND MARGINALIZATION OF PEOPLE. JENNIFER: THIS WAS ONE OF SEVERAL EVENTS HELD IN OUR AREA THIS WEEKEND. JEFF: RACE RELATIONS HERE IN PORTLAND ARE A BIG CONCERN. OREGON IS A STATE WITH A HISTORY OF RACISM. JENNIFER: TONIGHT WE ARE SPEAKING WITH LOCAL EXPERTS WHETHER THEY SEE IT GETTING BETTER OR WORSE. OUR LISA BALICK IS LIVE AT CITY HALL WITH MORE. LISA: WE HAVE SEEN SO MANY PROTESTERS CLASH RIGHT HERE AT CITY HALL. YOU KNOW HIGHLIGHTS THE LONG HISTORY WE HAVE WITH REACH RELATIONS — RACE RELATIONS IN OREGON. WHEN OREGON BECAME A STATE, THE FOUNDERS WROTE WHITES ONLY IN THE CONSTITUTION. AND WITH MORE THAN 70% OF THE STATE STILL WHITE THESE DAYS, RACE POLITICALLY DIVIDES. PORTLAND DELUDES THEMSELVES INTO THINKING THIS IS A HIT TOWN. — HIP TOWN. LISA: U OF O SOCIOLOGY PROFESSOR RANDY BLAZAK, A WHITE SUPREMACIST EXPERT, IS HEAD OF THE OREGON COALITION AGAINST HATE CRIME. A LOT OF PEOPLE LIVE IN ILLUSION HERE IN PORTLAND. IT’S JUST NOT A KNOWLEDGE TO INTEL SOMETHING — COMMUNITY LEADER RON HERNDON TELLS ME RACISM OFTEN APPEARS IN OTHER PLACES BESIDES THE NEWS. I HAVE A COWORKER IN EAST COUNTY VERY CONCERNED ABOUT HER CHILD BECAUSE OF THE NAMES SHE GETS CALLED, AND IT IS THE N WORD, AND THERE ARE JOKES MADE ABOUT HER HAIR AND HER SKIN. LISA: WHILE MORE PEOPLE ARE STANDING UP AGAINST RACISM AND BIGOTRY HERE, PHYSICAL CONFRONTATIONS WORRY SOME. WHAT I’M CONCERNED ABOUT IS INCREASING TENSION BETWEEN THE EXTREME RIGHT AND PEOPLE WHO WAN T TO CONFRONT THEM, BECAUSE SOMETIMES THAT FEEDS INTO THEIR NARRATIVE. WHEN YOU PUNCH A FASCIST IN THE FACE, SOMETIMES THEY LOOK LIKE A VICTIM: .