I wrote a number of intros to this post, but couldn’t get anywhere with it. I am too angry today that there is no respite, no relief, from racist violence, both corporeal and social, for anyone in our society. Communities torn apart by urban renewal and gentrification; bodies beaten, jailed, and slaughtered; no protection offered by the spiritual promise of naming a street after Dr. King and his unquenchable thirst for justice. Instead, the boulevard serves as a staging ground for various forms of white supremacy, from the mundane to the brutal.
A heavily intoxicated man who yelled “White Power!” at a stranger along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard — then dragged the man into the street and beat him — was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.
Upon hearing Frederick Edward Miller III shout “White Power!” Angelo Finzo responded by saying: “Excuse me?” authorities say. Miller, 37, then began beating Finzo. Miller also dragged Finzo into the street near the intersection of MLK and Halsey Street and kicked Finzo with his steel-toed boots, said prosecutor Chris Mascal.
Miller, who referred to Finzo as “the brown person,” apparently thought Finzo, 32, was of Indian descent, Mascal said. Finzo suffered abrasions on his knees, bruises on his ribs and lumps on his head.
Portland police officers who responded to the Feb. 13 attack found Miller nearby, yelling at someone else — an African-American man.
–Take from oregonlive.com; more details at that link.
Before this, Miller participated in the gang rape of a woman, after he and his buddies broke into a house to steal marijuana plants and found her there.
We continue to betray the promise we made to justice and dignity for all, in naming the street Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard. Hope reasserts itself, however, with each act of defiance, every cry of outrage, each expression of the centrality of celebrating communion together, every call for justice for those who are otherwise denied justice.