After living in the Portland Metro area for over ten years, and now living in the state capitol, I can say with upmost confidence that Portland is diverse. Now, if we went east, we’d find ourselves in conservative heaven. Trader Joe’s is big business in this mecca of liberals. People love the natural stuff, the prices and especially The Fearless Flyer they send out each month! So, color me shocked when this crazy story started making news.
A Trader Joe’s was supposed to go up in a long abandoned empty lot, something that would bring jobs and lower cost food to the lower income area. Well, here comes the Portland African-American Leadership Forum (PAALF), who has hardly any members in the neighborhood, to protest. They were “pushing back against the city’s history of displacing African Americans”.
Huh? Portland? Huffington Post did what it does best: The NAACP wrote an editorial on The Huffington Post calling the city’s deal a “case study in gentrification.” One resident of the neighborhood became so frustrated she told The Oregonian, “I moved here when there were gunshots out the window. I appreciate that (PAALF) is trying to talk about the origins of gentrification. That’s really essential, but they can’t stand up and say, ‘As residents of the King neighborhood, this is what we want.’ The residents of the King neighborhood want this to happen.”PAALF is demanding (again) that the land be used for an “affordable housing component”. Obviously, the demands aren’t being answered, nor should they be. One leader said, “In the past we have settled for far less. This is a people’s movement for African Americans and other communities, for self-determination”. They’re also not happy with Trader Joe’s backing out. Yes, we’re now in a bizarre world. You really have to read it for yourself; maybe it will make more sense to you than me.