More Dangerous Insidious Trash in Portland 1

More Dangerous Insidious Trash in Portland

More Dangerous Insidious Trash in Portland 2

Columbia Sportswear Chair, President and CEO Tim Boyle’s unhealthy obsession with the garbage on the highways is not his alone. (comments at the 2023 Oregon Business Leadership Summit) Most of us hate it, too. But most don’t have the collective wherewithal to do much about it. However, I would like to suggest that while the trash on streets is a physically visible problem we can all see and commiserate about, we have deeper problems with how our most vulnerable citizens, especially Black people, are treated.

That is, the city of Portland continues to treat its Black citizens like trash. For example, how is it that the city continues to accept a 50% educational achievement gap between Black and white students? And as if we didn’t already know it, a recent State disparity study graphically shows that Blacks are continually being economically discriminated against in acquiring government contracts.

As sure as the neck bone is connected to the shoulder bone and the shoulder bone is connected to the backbone, likewise we can see why Black unemployment numbers continue to be triple that of whites. Furthermore, Black folks similarly disproportionately populate our prisons and the criminal justice system. And it is straight up ugly to realize that Blacks have the lowest home ownership rate of any ethnic group.

If you want to see some garbage, these are only a few devastating indicators of the real trash problem in Portland. Perhaps we can enlist Tim Boyle and many other successful private sector capitalists here to be more pissed off and obsessed enough to help clean up this mess.

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