When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there. It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926. Oregon’s founding is part of the forgotten history of racism in the American west.
Waddles Coffee Shop in Portland, Oregon was a popular restaurant in the 1950s for both locals and travelers alike. The drive-in catered to America’s postwar obsession with car culture, allowing people to get coffee and a slice of pie without even leaving their vehicle. But if you happened to be black, the owners of Waddles implored you to keep on driving. The restaurant had a sign outside with a very clear message: “White Trade Only — Please.”
It’s the kind of scene from the 1950s that’s so hard for many Americans to imagine happening outside of the Jim Crow South. How could a progressive, northern city like Portland have allowed a restaurant to exclude non-white patrons? This had to be an anomaly, right? In reality it was far too common in Oregon, a state that was explicitly founded as a kind of white utopia.
America’s history of racial discrimination is most commonly taught as a southern issue. That’s certainly how I learned about it while going to Minnesota public schools in the 1980s and 90s. White people outside of the South seem to learn about the Civil War and civil rights movements from an incredibly safe (and often judgmental) distance.
Victor “Vic” Atiyeh, Oregon’s 32nd governor and the nation’s first Arab-American governor, died Sunday night when he succumbed to renal failure at a Portland hospital.
Atiyeh turned 91 in February. He served two terms as Oregon governor, from 1979 to 1987. He had fallen in his Washington County home July 5 and injured his ribs.
Known for his hands-on style of leadership and ability to work both sides of the political aisle, Atiyeh both cut budgets and increased taxes to keep the state afloat during the national economic recession that Oregon weathered longer than most states. After his first year in office, Atiyeh faced double-digit unemployment in the state.
He was also considered ahead of his time in diversity, appointing the first woman to serve on the Oregon Supreme Court.
Read the whole thing here: Victor Atiyeh, 1st Arab-American Governor, Dies in Oregon
Vic Atiyeh was governor of Oregon almost the whole time I lived in the state. Since I was a young liberal and he was a Republican, I thought he was awful back then, but as you can see from this obituary, he was an old-school Republican from before the party went off the rails. Raised taxes! Why I never!
I have one very fond memory of him. I flew from Portland to Los Angeles, and the pilot told us the Governor of Oregon was with us (up in first class). About 10 minutes before we were due to land, the pilot said they were having trouble getting the landing gear down. There were several tense minutes before he told us they had succeeded, and much applause when we landed. I saw the governor in the baggage claim area and asked for his autograph on my ticket folder. He wrote, ‘We made it! Vic Atiyeh’. I still have it.
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -
A man police said is responsible for a shooting in a downtown parking lot ran from the scene, but shot himself in the testicles as he shoved the gun into his waistband Tuesday night.
Joseph Johnson, 40, has been released from the hospital and booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of first-degree robbery, second-degree assault and felon in possession of a firearm.
Robbery detectives said Johnson and the victim, 32-year-old Jordan Merrell, knew each other well and lived in the same apartment building near Southwest 10th Avenue and Columbia Street.
Johnson apparently confronted Merrell in the parking lot behind the building, demanded he hand over his property and then shot Merrell in the leg, police said.
The victim, Merrill, also survived, presumably with his property intact.
A 13-year-old Jewish boy has used his Bar Mitzvah speech to call for same-sex couples in his home state of Oregon to be granted the right to marry. The US state currently only recognises same-sex marriages conducted elsewhere. Watch Duncan McAlpine Sennett take his synagogue with him as he explains why the biblical definition of marriage is nothing like what those who oppose equality say it is, and by the end you’ll be cheering him on like his local Jewish community.
After months of in-fighting, the beleaguered Oregon Republican Party elected a new chairman last weekend. His name is Art Robinson, and he wants to sprinkle radioactive waste from airplanes to build up our resistance to degenerative illnesses.
On nuclear waste: “All we need do with nuclear waste is dilute it to a low radiation level and sprinkle it over the ocean—or even over America after hormesis is better understood and verified with respect to more diseases.”
But surely that’s just an outliar, I’m sure the rest of his positions are sound and rational.
On public schools: “Public education (tax-financed socialism) has become the most widespread and devastating form of child abuse and racism in the United States. Moreover, people who have been cut off at the knees by public education are so mentally handicapped that they cannot be responsible custodians of the energy technology base or other advanced accomplishments of our civilization.” (Robinson, a home-schooling activist, sells a DIY curriculum for $195.)
Ok. let’s try a different subject…
On AIDS: “There is a possibility that the entire ‘war’ on HIV and AIDS is in error. U.S. government AIDS programs are now receiving $6 billion per year and are based entirely upon the hypothesis that HIV virus causes AIDS.
Where in the world is the GOP finding these idiots? He has more derp quotes in the article, but I couldn’t bear to inflict them on you.
Pharma companies and big retailers “flooded our Capitol building with lobbyists from out of state,” he says. On the eve of the House vote, with the count too close to call, four legislators went out and bought 22 boxes of Sudafed and Tylenol Cold. They brought their loot back to the Legislature, where Bovett walked lawmakers through the process of turning the medicine into meth with a handful of household products. Without exceeding the legal sales limit, they had all the ingredients needed to make about 180 hits. The bill passed overwhelmingly.
Industry’s motto has been “stop meth, not meds.” One lawmaker likens it to the NRA’s “plea to people who own weapons that they are coming for your guns.”
Since the bill became law in 2006, the number of meth labs found in Oregon has fallen 96 percent. Children are no longer being pulled from homes with meth labs, and police officers have been freed up to pursue leads instead of cleaning up labs and chasing smurfers. In 2008, Oregon experienced the largest drop in violent-crime rates in the country. By 2009, property crime rates fell to their lowest in 43 years. That year, overall crime in Oregon reached a 40-year low. The state’s Criminal Justice Commission credited the pseudoephedrine prescription bill, along with declining meth use, as key factors.
For Big Pharma, however, Oregon’s measure was a major defeat—and the industry was not about to let it happen again. “They’ve learned from their mistakes in Oregon, they’ve learned from their mistakes in Mississippi,” says Marshall Fisher, who runs the Bureau of Narcotics in Mississippi. “They know if another state falls, and has the results that we’ve had, the chances of national legislation are that much closer. Every year they can fight this off is another year of those profits.”
Grant Acord will be charged as an adult and also faces 6 counts of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device
A US teenager who intended to blow up his school will be charged with attempted aggravated murder after six bombs were found in his bedroom, a prosecutor said late Saturday.
Grant Acord, 17, planned to attack his school in Oregon in a plot “forged and inspired” by a 1999 mass shooting at a high school in Columbine, Colorado, said Benton County District Attorney John Haroldson.
Acord will be charged as an adult and also faces six counts of manufacturing and possessing a destructive device after investigators found the six bombs in a secret compartment in his bedroom, Haroldson said.
Acord was taken to a juvenile jail Thursday night after police received a tip that the youth was making a bomb to blow up West Albany High School.
He said Acord had written plans, a checklists and a specific timeline for the attack. The investigators found pipe bombs, Molotov cocktails, a Drano bomb and a napalm bomb, Haroldson said.
Police found no bombs during a search of the high school.
Rep. Duncan D. Hunter of California is trying. Yesterday, he introduced the War Memorial Protection Act, a bill that would enshrine into law the ability for federal war memorials in the public square, like the one in Coos Bay, Oregon, to include religious symbols. It’s a direct response to moves by groups like the Freedom from Religion Foundation and Americans United for Separation of Church and State who make it their business to, well, separate church (the crosses and other religious symbols) from state (the U.S. government’s memorials, existing on public property and paid for with public funds).
The bill would be all the more remarkable if it were a new idea. But it isn’t. Last year, in fact, the U.S. House passed by voice vote the same act, also introduced by Hunter.
A National Rifle Association representative, relatives of two people killed in a December mall shooting spree and others took part in a passionate gun control debate Friday as Oregon’s Legislature began considering bills that would impose new gun restrictions but wouldn’t go as far as some lawmakers had hoped.
The Senate Judiciary Committee heard four hours of public testimony on a package of four bills that would expand background checks and add new restrictions on carrying firearms.
The daughter and husband of a woman shot dead at a suburban Portland shopping mall urged lawmakers to adopt the legislation and asked for additional measures, such as requiring that guns be kept locked up.
“The gun that was used to kill my mother was stolen,” said Jenna Passalacqua, daughter of Cindy Yuille, one of two people fatally shot by Jacob Roberts as he opened fire inside the Clackamas Town Center on Dec. 11. Roberts, who killed himself after the shooting, had stolen the AR-15 from a friend.
“Had that gun been locked up properly, she might still be alive today,” said Passalacqua, one of more than 100 people who showed up at the hearing to testify.
Roe v. Wade guaranteed abortion as a legal right across the country. A separate decision two decades later, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, guaranteed states’ rights to limit access to abortion, so long as it did not pose an “undue burden” on the woman.
States have, over the past four decades, made no short use of that latter right. Only one state, Oregon, has not layered additional restrictions on top of the Roe decision. At the other end of the spectrum is Oklahoma: With 22 abortion restrictions, it has more than any other state. The chart below, courtesy of Remapping the Debate, has the full list. You can also go here for an interactive version of the graphic, which will let you look at what type of restrictions each state has set.