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Do we forget again, or stand together?

There is no way around it; Oregon has a terrible history when it comes to racism.

Up till 1928, Native American children were stolen from their families and put into christian-run boarding schools, to be forcibly indoctrinated into ‘civilized’ culture. At the onset of USA involvement in World War II in 1942, American-born US citizens of Japanese descent were rounded up and put into internment camps. Until 1926 Oregon had black exclusion laws, preventing black people from settling within the state. Since then, ethnically mixed neighborhoods have not received the same support as predominantly white ones. 

Those were mistakes made by our ancestors. Our responsibility is to not forget and to not repeat.

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it

American philosopher George Santayana in The Life of Reason.

With today’s highest offices calling for division, hate and violence, looking down with disdain at our struggles from their mansions; it is up to us to take a good look at our neighbors on the left, at our neighbors on the right, to look them in the eyes, and recognize ourselves.

Remember that time you were working in your front yard and the neighbor from across the street came over to loan you their tools and maybe lend a hand themselves? Remember that day the older couple down the street was returning from the hospital and the first thing on your mind was to bring them a meal and listen to their story? Remember that time trash fell off a truck passing through, and how the neighborhood came together to clean up? That is who we can choose to be, living in one of the most culturally diverse neighborhoods of Salem, capital of Oregon.

What happens going forward is your choice. Do we forget again or do we stand together?

The Coalition of Communities of Color

The Coalition of Communities of Color (CCC) advances racial justice through cross-cultural collective action.

We encourage you to learn more at coalitioncommunitiescolor.org and to step up in some way to help secure a safe future for all.

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