As the Chair of the Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association, I feel compelled to make a statement on behalf of our community to reaffirm our commitment to inclusivity and support of all peoples. I was saddened to learn that there have been recent occurrences of hate speech in our neighborhood. This has been in the form of stickers that attempt to vilify people of the Jewish faith. As would be expected, members of our community who found these stickers responded swiftly to address and remove or cover up the content.
To those who perpetrated these actions, I say on behalf of your neighbors, hate has no home here.
To anyone who is justifiably angered by this, I say to you that hate cannot defeat hate. Only love can win. We have every right to feel angered by these hateful words. However, we can choose what happens after those angry feelings are experienced. We can choose love.
Someone is drawn to hate when they lack the support, love, and social-emotional connections of a community. While we always draw a firm line against hate, we should also open our arms to those who commit to leave their hate behind. We should call people in at the same time we call them out.
I encourage all of you to stand up and let your voices be heard. Let your neighbors know that they are welcome here. No matter a person’s faith, the color of their skin, their gender status, their housing status, their nation of origin, or any other trait that could be used to divide us… all people who bring love and respect are welcome in Foster-Powell.
The Foster-Powell Neighborhood Association is a member organization of Portland United Against Hate.