[Marxism] blog post: from boulder north and west to portland, part 2

MICHAEL YATES mikedjyates at msn.com
Thu Aug 5 20:54:51 MDT 2010

Full at http://blog.cheapmotelsandahotplate.org/2010/08/05/from-boulder-north-and-west-to-portland-part-2/
An excerpt about Portland:
"Many familiar sites were still in place. Powell’s Books, the largest independent new and used bookstore in the United States, hasn’t moved, nor has Pioneer Square. The Saturday Farmers’ Market remains on the Park Blocks by Portland State University, and Carlo was selling the hot sausage sandwiches I bought every week. We noticed one thing especially that hadn’t changed. Portland is still a white city. The absence of people of color is startling for a city this large. It ranks fifth in whiteness among the forty largest major metropolitan; its city center ranks number one. Blacks comprise a mere 3 percent of the population. Portland and the entire state of Oregon were begun as exclusively white areas, with laws to maintain racial homogeneity. Racial purity has changed at a snail’s pace. I read once but can’t now remember where that one writer called Portland the "last bastion of Caucasian culture." This seems to still be true.
Portland has many good features. It is a walkable and bikeable city, and it has decent public transportation. You can live there without a car. Flowers bloom and the trees keep their leaves for most of the year. There are many groceries that sell local and organic food. The music and arts scenes are vibrant. There is a university and a number of small liberal arts colleges. People live throughout the city, and there is a "green belt" around it, with abundant trails for hiking and walking. The Rose Garden is a flower-lover’s dream.
But, it's a shame Portland is so damn white."
michael yates


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