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[personal profile] tim
"Whenever I hear some white queer talking about moving to Portland, I assume it’s because they want to be among their white brethren, because there are more white queers in portland than there are people of color. I wish them good luck in their separatist project in getting away from the rest of us. None of you white people INTEND to do this, but it’s what it amounts to and it’s sort of hilarious whenever I hear one of you say that you’re committed to anti-racism, and you also wish you could move to Portland, thus making the blinding whiteness of that city even more pristine.

This is pretty much common knowledge about Portland, isn’t it? When I was growing up, Portland was where the racist skins came to visit from and beat up people. And even Wikipedia says: “While Portland’s diversity was historically comparable to metro Seattle and Salt Lake City, those areas grew more diverse in the late 1990s and 2000s. Portland not only remains white, but migration to Portland is disproportionately white, at least partly because Portland is attractive to young college-educated Americans, a group which is overwhelmingly white.”

IT’S GETTING WHITER ALL THE TIME! I am not surprised you couldn’t find any trans women of color."

-- Coxy Rawr Michael, commenting on PrettyQueer

An equally awesome reply:

"I haven’t ever commented here, but I have to just AMEN this comment about Portland as a white queer haven.

As a queer woman of color, I am consistently astounded by the way that white queers who flock to Portland loooove to talk a good game about their anti-racist credentials, all the while never acknowledging that their voluntary migration to an incredibly white and super racist city that I have NEVER heard a good thing about from my queer POC friends might be part of the problem.

I mean, I get it – people hate to take macro-level responsibility for the potentially oppressive impact of their individual choices, but god damn. Once in my life, I would love to hear from a white queer who claims anti-racist politics what the draw is…"

-- PissyQWOC, ibid

(no subject)

Date: 2011-10-30 04:19 am (UTC)
wild_irises: (Default)
From: [personal profile] wild_irises
I do know this is true about Portland, but "my" Portland is the most multicultural place I ever go. It's still significantly white, but people come from literally all over the world, including a large group from Japan, people of both prominent South African races, folk from India, from Burundi, from the Middle East, from Latin America. It's where I can be in a group of thirty people with twenty native languages. It's why I have close friends in Greece, in Croatia, in Japan, in Germany. And yes, some Americans of color as well (not enough). And I do have to say that when I spent five weeks there in 2009 with an extraordinarily multicultural group, no one complained about encountering racism or difficulties in the city.

But I was there in September for an unrelated gathering, and whoa, was it white.

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Tim Chevalier

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