Tuesday, September 23, 2008


i've been shopping a lot lately, probably more than i should have. since i live on the northeast side, i shop on the northeast side too. i guess i'm a regular at lloyd center, jantzen beach, and the new airport way shopping area, all of which have Ross Stores. interestingly enough, in the last month, i've been inside all 3 of those stores. today, while i was at the jantzen beach Ross, i came to the realization: all three of those stores have a big, dark skinned black man standing in front wearing a "loss prevention" jacket. not necessarily security, but loss prevention.

if portland had a high number of black people, i probably wouldn't have given it a second thought. but is it a coincidence that the three Ross stores in northeast portland have a tall, dark skinned black man for their "loss prevention"? what does that say about Ross?

is the typical shopper afraid of a big black man standing in the front of the store-so intimidated that they will think twice about stealing? or did the store choose to hire a big black man because [they think] he can run fast and catch a thief? or is there a high number of black shoplifters that the store thinks will suddenly grow a conscience when they see 'one of their own' protecting the store? i'm not sure what to make of it.

granted, we all know that a large black man is more intimidating (to white people) than a large white man. even a lanky, nice looking black man (like the ones working at Ross) will be "scarier" than a big, mean, burly white man. we know this. i guess i'm just wondering what Ross' reason is for making sure they ALL (at least on my side of town) have black men guarding the store.

(not that i'm complaining about black men being employed! this is good!)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Changes, Part II

you might remember this post a while back about movie theaters in portland, oregon.

so i thought it would be fun tonight to get a couple friends together and go see the new Tyler Perry movie. as i looked through the listings to find which theater i wanted to go to, i once again noticed that the only place on the northeast side of town (where the majority of people of color live) where this "black movie" is playing is at the lloyd mall. once again, another "black movie" relegated to the mall with the mallrats, kids and transients. it's okay for black people to make a scene there, where we won't tarnish anyone's opinion of the biker happy, green, liberal, sustainable portland.

the other 8 or so locations playing the movie are way far out. sure, there are black people who live waaay out on the outskirts, but not many. and sure, white people will want to see it as well. but COME. ON. there are many movie theaters in NE portland and downtown (not far from NE) that could show the movie. why do we have to drive way out of the area to see it?

it's clear that someone obviously doesn't want a large group of black people anywhere in the NE area "causing a scene" and "disrupting" all the new white yuppies now living in NE gentrifying the old black neighborhoods, or bother any of the existing 'quiet' white folks. and are they assuming that there aren't any non-people of color in the inner NE who want to see the movie?

why else would the movie only be shown at places such as gresham, milwaukie and hillsboro? most of the people who are most interested in seeing it likely live in NE. why do i have to drive way out to do it? why are they so afraid of black people being in one place? this is not some controversial malcolm X movie, or MLK type racial film. they don't have to worry about there being a riot or looting. it's racist because someone assumes that when a bunch of black people are together in one area, we will act like the stereotype- rioting, loud, rude, disorderly and whatever else.


Tuesday, September 09, 2008


i've been away for awhile. i needed time to sort out whether i even wantd to blog this anymore. i don't even know if i still have readers. but inevitably, things happen which cause me to think. about race. in portland. but the summer respite was nice.

i feel like i'm SUCH a (bad) product of the lack of good radio stations in portland. lately, i feel like i despise black music. it's stupid. it's so simple minded-it's either about 'making slow looooove baby' or it's about 'shaking that thang'. period. that's all black people sing about. or is it that that's the only non-white music the radio stations in portland play?

i know there's better r & b out there. but i've been conditioned to despise it. if i don't watch BET on cable (which, by the way should be boycotted because of it's total degradation of black women and black people in general...but wait! It's the only channel us black people have!!) and i'm too old for MTV, how would someone go about finding good soul music out there?

seriously. it all sounds the same. it all sounds like R.Kelly whining about making love, making love, making love, making love...UGH! and don't get me started on the ghetto moms i see dropping their kids off at school with their slippers and rollers BLASTING that slow, lovemaking, baby-baby music at 8am in the morning.

so typical. that's another post though.