NAACP president says federal government is adding to racial pain

Portland has turned into microcosm of U.S. race relations

OW Staff Writer | 8/13/2020, midnight

NAACP President Derrick Johnson recently sent an email to supporters of the nonprofit titled “What’s happening in Portland?” His statement follows:

“For more than two months, the streets of Portland have resembled a war zone as activists and law enforcement clash night after night.

“With tensions in the city escalating on a daily basis, we’ve watched Portland turn into a microcosm of race relations in the United States.

“Each passing day, it becomes clear that the true cost of the violent uprising is Black lives, Black businesses, and ultimately, the Black agenda. We cannot let this be the case.

“We must refocus the attention in Portland to the real issue at hand - racial injustice and the continuous subjugation of the Black community. We Are Done Dying.

“The protests in the city started in response to the unconscionable killing of George Floyd at the hands of the police, but it soon unearthed an ugly truth about our country—our leaders have done too little to protect the Black community, and too often our people still pay the price of generations of racism, bigotry, and segregation with their lives.

“And rather than assuage the cries of a community in distress, the federal government instead adds to our pain. President Trump’s response - sending in national forces into the midst of the protest - is no display of strength. It is, however, a deliberate cover-up for his weakness in a time when our nation needs strong and compassionate leadership.

“We cannot allow our movement to be turned into a spectacle by President Trump and others who seek to co-opt our advocacy. Now is the time to let all our leaders know, We Are Done Dying.”

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