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Portland is in the middle of a nasty bout of black mob violence. This time directed at bicyclists.
But Tim Oberlander does not want us to know. Oberlander says he wants to be able to live in a city that does good things for good people.
So what’s wrong with that?
Oberlander is a news editor at KGW TV in Portland. His city is under attack from black mob violence centered around Martin Luther King Boulevard. This mob has been attacking bike riders, housewives, students, seniors, you name it. These attacks are part of a long -- but quiet -- history of racial violence in a liberal enclave that prides itself on racial tolerance and harmony.
But you would never know it from Oberlander.
Oberlander and his station are raising money to fix the teeth of a recent victim of black mob violence. "I want to live in a city where people do good things for other people," Tim said. "Now we've raised money for Andy's teeth, I can say that we live in a city that does good things for good people."
Tim might be a good person. But some of his viewers say he is a bad and dangerous and unreliable reporter for leaving out the descriptions of the predators in his news accounts.
Here is what Tim’s station, KGW, had to say about a few recent attacks:
“Police were warning bicyclists in Northeast Portland to be on the lookout after two men were injured during separate attacks along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.”
Andy Sweeney is a biker who is also the beneficiary of Oberlander’s largesse. He was riding home from the grocery store in August when a “group of teens” threw a traffic cone at him. Knocking him off his bike, leaving him with a concussion and two shattered front teeth in what used to be a winning smile.
"It's crazy," Sweeney told KGW. "I don't really understand their motivation or what they were going for."
Lots of readers figured it out, even if the KGW was determined to ignore it: “Great job 'whitewashing' the story,” said David Klassix at KGW’s reader comment section. “And falling to mention the attackers were black.”
Said another, Chloe Ru “Hey KGW. I will help you do something called REPORTING THE FACTS instead of hiding the truth,” said Ru. Another victim said “her attackers were a group of [AFRICAN AMERICAN aka BLACK] teenage boys and she suspects they didn’t stop with her."
“Anyone with any information about a roaming pack of AFRICAN AMERICAN aka BLACK teenage thugs beating anyone else, please call.....Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. They care just as much as KGW does about the community's safety.”
Sweeney described his attackers on Twitter: “Black kids in hoodies.”
After the sanitized version of the bike attacks became public, other victims of black mob violence in that area stepped forward as well, one at Reddit.com in response to Sweeney’s Tweet:
“Same thing happened to me once except it was a rocks being thrown, and thankfully my teeth are intact. The best you can do is just avoid being around any collection of young black males. It isn't being racist it's just being practical.”
Many of the attacks are centered around Martin Luther King Boulevard. Maybe local media thinks everyone already knows this is a black part of town. For the benefit of the out of towners, it is.
Some readers provided a link to the Chris Rock comedy bit:
"You know what's sad? Martin Luther King stood for non violence,” said Rock. “And I don't care where you are in America, if you're on Martin Luther King Boulevard, there's some violence going down.
It ain’t the safest place to be. You can’t call nobody and tell them you are lost on MLK.” (If you do, will say) RUN! RUN! RUN!.
Sad. Sad. Sad.?
One of the recent victims, middle aged woman, wound up in the emergency room. The other passed around a flier, warning neighbors to be on the lookout. Said KGW:
I heard some noise across the street and apparently one of the guy that was trying to vandalize the car came across the street,” said Amy Wilson. “(He) hit me very, very hard. (He) knocked me out cold. I fell back and hit my head on the sidewalk.
She suffered a concussion and needed 12 stitches to close the wound on the back of her head.
Wilson said her attackers were a group of teenage boys and she suspects they didn’t stop with her. “I’m almost convinced that it’s the same group that we’ve talked about that are going against cyclists,” she said.
Then another victim came forward to OregeonLive.com:
It was at least the second time in less than a week that a group of teenagers had assaulted a bicyclist along MLK.
Last Tuesday night, Bill Lynch, 64, had just crossed MLK as he pedaled home from a garden party when someone in a group of "three to five young people" knocked him off his bicycle on the Northeast Going Street Neighborhood Greenway.
"They were walking down the middle of the street like they owned it," Lynch said. "I don't know what hit me. A strong fist? Something in someone hand? It hurt."
Lynch said he was riding past the group and the blow "came out of nowhere."
“When I filed a police report the officer said similar nighttime incidents had occurred in the neighborhood recently,” Lynch writes in a flyer that he posted in his neighborhood to encourage people to be more vigilant. “I learned there was another attack on Aug. 19. In a couple of cases, the bicyclists were beaten and had their bikes stolen.”
And another, Chris Freeman: Chris Freeman wrote:
I was also attacked by a group of about five kids on bikes at NE 7th and Stanton at about 11pm on Aug 17. One of them jumped off his bike and tried to push me over. Luckily I didn't lose my balance after being pushed and was able to get away.
Bummer man. I was riding near SEI in North Portland a few years ago with my 3 year old daughter in a Burley behind me when 5 dudes (yes, they had dark skin) jumped our and threw rocks at us. Amazingly, considering how close they were and how many there were they completely missed and I hightailed it out of there, just feeling really sad about humanity.
Some were willing to point out the obvious: “There's a lot of black-on-white animosity in NE and N Portland. Especially towards white bicyclists.”
All the suspects in all of these attacks are black.
But others in Portland, like Tim, are eager to say they live in a city without racial tension -- or violence. Several commenters at the Reddit.com news site say white people do it all the time too.
“But there are dumbass white kids who dress the same that are capable of doing stupid shit like this, too. The kids in this instance didn't necessarily have to be black, but it is what it is. Dumbassedness knows no racial bounds.”
But none of these people supplied police reports, links, pictures or even anecdotes of roving bands of caucasian youth creating violence against black people -- or anyone else.
Others in Portland grudgingly admit that violence is real. But they plead guilty with an explanation: Said someone at Reddit.com identified as Kounterculture:
“I think that a lot of it has to do with the fact that in the african-american community bicycling isn't seen as a viable alternative to the automobile. It isn't mostly racial animosity, although I'm sure some of that goes on.”
Black mob violence against bicyclists and others has been a regular -- and unreported -- feature of life in Portland since at least 2007. Bike Portland reported six years ago several cases of black mob violence against bikers.
The web site mentioned the race of the attackers, largely to dismiss racial violence as having anything to do with it:
I don't think these attacks are solely about race, but I also don't think the conversation is real and honest if we don't mention it.
And I think any mention of race must also include the realities of gentrification in Northeast Portland. I think there remains resentment in the black community about gentrification...but whether that has to do with bikes and whites is hard to say.
Are bikes somehow symbolic of whites and gentrification to the eyes black community? I'm not sure, but it's a question I'd like to delve deeper into. It's certainly obvious that Portland's cycling population could be more diverse.
For those who require some help with translation, here it is: Black mobs attack bike riders in Portland because they are not diverse enough.
More than a dozen examples of black mob violence in Portland are documented in White Girl Bleed a Lot: The return of racial violence and how the media ignore it. Many of these cases are on video.
The book features QR codes that readers can scan with their smart phones to watch the violence on their smart phones as they read about it. Some recent cases:
Last year, 10 to 15 hoodie wearing black people invaded Nordstrom, stole clothing and raced out of the store. On video.
The locals were far from upset. Said one man who called himself the Crazed Sex Poodle to a local news site:
“I am actually sort of hoping that it happens more, it seems like a trend worth encouraging. Giant corporations like Nordstrom and Chevron steal everyday, taking back is something worth fostering.”
A few days before that, a mob of 20 black people chased a white couple into a convenience store. The local papers described the ensuing assault and robbery as a “fight.” The mob left when one of the employees sprayed them with “bear spray.” This too was on video, but the station has since taken it down.
A few days before that: “A large group of kids stormed” into a convenience store and stole everything they could carry. They came back later to threaten the clerk. On video.
A few months after that, a bigger crowd attacked an Albertson’s grocery store, following the same play book: Theft, destruction, intimidation. And no arrests. Despite the video.
Still, people seemed surprised when in June, a group of 150 black people -- described by the newspapers as drunken teenagers -- assaulted several people in a Portland park, robbing at least one of them. The newspaper -- and the TV broadcast -- may have shied away from describing the attackers, but the internet site of a local TV station was a little more revealing:
“Both fights involved groups of black teenagers randomly attacking people in the park.
The following night, a group of 20 to 30 black people, came upon three people on a tennis courts at the same park: “Some of the teens began throwing bottles onto the court and calling out to them. They said the teens then began fighting with them.”
In January of this year, a 14-year old white girl was beat down by three black women while about a dozen other black people took videos, shouted racial epithets, and encouraged the assault. Four people were arrested, including a mother of two of the assailants. The mother was convicted of giving police false information while trying to hide her daughters.
Taleeb Starkes describes many examples of black on white crime in his book: The Uncivil War. “Portland is one of the most liberal cities in the country,” said Starkes. “They are quite proud of that. But this same liberalism is causing them to ignore, condone and excuse black on white crime and black mob violence. People who commit these horrific acts of violence are one thing. But people who condone them by ignoring them or refusing to tell the truth about them only encourage more them to occur. Those folks are sicker than the criminals.”
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