June 19, 2017

ICYMI: Storyteller-in-chief: 'The goal is to prove Metzger wrong'

Charles Wilhoite reflects on several decades of civic leadership and a Portland tenure bookended by racial violence. Here he is, in a personal photo, circa 1990.

In early June, the Oregon Business magazine handed its "Storyteller-in-Chief" microphone to Charles Wilhoite, the chair of Meyer's Board of Trustees.

Charles didn't drop that mic.

Instead, he linked together two incidents of racial violence in Portland, 27 years apart, racist bookends that drive home the central idea that each of us are obligated, always, to stand against intolerance and injustice:

"It should be unacceptable to everyone that two individuals died and another was gravely injured on one of our MAX trains last month because they chose to defend the unalienable civil rights of two teenage minority girls under racist attack.

Similarly, it should be unacceptable to everyone that high school drop-out rates, unemployment rates, and rates of homelessness and health disparity are double-digit percentage points higher for communities of color and the poor.

There is significant, tragic irony in the fact that I moved to Portland in 1990, smack-dab in the middle of the racial ugliness associated with the Tom Metzger trial."

You can, and should, read Charles' full story here.