northwest vancouver

Mulugeta Seraw & Where We Are 29 Years Later.

   Imagine a 28 year old man. He is a grad student at PSU, and works two jobs to support himself through college and provide for his young son. His father gave up his own livelihood, so his son may become a well educated young man who may one day cause great changes in his community. He smiles and laughs with his friends, as they go out on the town to unwind. He is a human being, full of laughs, hopes, ideas and dreams. This person could be any one of us. But this person: Mulugeta Seraw does not get to laugh, hope or dream anymore.

Mr. Seraw, wikipedia

   On November 13, 1988 he lay in a puddle of his own blood on the sidewalk dying after being the victim of a semi-random neonazi attack. A group of thugs, from the “East Side White Pride” gang jumped him as he ended an evening out with his friends. With the swing of a baseball bat, they uncaringly extinguished the light of a human being.

   On November 13, 2017 “Patriot” Prayer decided to hold an “It’s OK To Be White” white pride rally. They showed up with signs bearing the slogan “It’s Okay To Be White” as if people actually were saying that it was not OK to be white (In fact, historically society has said it’s pretty OK to be white. ).  I would also like to point out that this “protest” against some invisible boogeyman attacking “whiteness” took place midday Monday. So on the anniversary of a horrific hate crime committed by white supremacists , a group associated with white supremacists and their ilk decided to hold a white pride rally on an overpass near Portland. Of the 364 other days in the year, they specifically picked this one.

   “Patriot” Prayer rolled up, dressed as the ‘patriots’ they are…

@itsmikebivens, twitter
With their American-Confederate flag mashups  (not a Flag Code expert or anything, but this has to violate some part of the Flag Code)….

More demonstrations of “proper” flag code? One man wearing it as a scarf, and a femme-appearing person has it folded like a bedsheet. From anonymous

@itsmikebivens, twitter
And they brought their swastika-emblazoned knifes to their “peaceful” protest!

   Now I am trying to find an answer for, why is a “Patriot Group” brazenly displaying flags and weapons associated with enemies of the United States? The South seceded (meaning to withdraw from, or leave) from the United States and rebelled against the same county these “Patriots” claim loyalty to. The swastika was co-opted by the Nazis, and now stands as a symbol of Nazi Germany (a U.S. Enemy in WWII) and other far-right groups. Why did they feel the need to brandish these items at their white pride rally, that they organized on the anniversary of one of the worst hate crimes in PNW history?

These people claim to be “inclusive” or “in favor of freedom of speech” and “patriots”. They will say it until they are blue in the face. But actions speak louder than words. So let’s talk a little bit about the actions taken by people with real American values today..

Anti-Fascist demonstrator holds up a black power salute, next to a banner the reads “Mulugeta Seraw We Fight In Your Memory”. Photo by author

Another banner displayed on the overpass, prior to “meeting” with “Patriot” Prayer. This banner reads “Fight Racism”

Anti-fascist demonstrators working together to hold up and display the Mulugeta Seraw memorial banner.

In all, people’s true colors were shown today. Hoping for a better Vancouver tomorrow.