It’s so nice to live in a city with a tolerant, inclusive, and diverse culture! Those of us that came from conservative areas to Portland in order to enjoy a welcoming and friendly culture can’t emphasize enough how relieving it is to reside in a progressive city. Following Trump’s call to ban all Muslims from entering the U.S., Portland passed a City resolution that declares that the City of Portland will not tolerate hate speech, and welcomes all immigrants and refugees. “Portland will continue to be a welcoming city to immigrants and refugees from all parts of the world, including the many Muslims fleeing from their violent and unstable countries,” said Mayor Charlie Hales.
More recently, we’ve heard strong statements rejecting the president-elect’s positions on immigration and Portland’s commitment to staying out of ICE enforcement. This is a city of people that will support and protect the oppressed and marginalized. Now more than ever many of us feel embarrassed and ashamed of our nation. We cannot help but to wonder how anyone can say, “I’m proud to be an American” without the slightest acknowledgement of irony. To real patriotic Americans this statement suggests an allegiance with the ideas of bigotry and exclusion rather than tolerance and freedom. In the face of this at least we can sincerely say, “I’m proud to be a Portlander”.
While out walking my dog a few days ago, I bumped into a neighbor walking home with one of her children. We’ve met and briefly chatted a few times before but this was the first time we took a moment to get to know each other better. She told me her story of how she emigrated from Ethiopia to the U.K. before immigrating to the U.S. We talked about living in Portland, the climate, and the culture. I mentioned how refreshing it is, at a time like this, to live in such a friendly and open-minded place.
We quickly found ourselves in agreement on the subject and shared a warm, joyful discussion exchanging anecdotes of good experiences we’ve had since moving to the Northwest. It was one of those not-so-rare Portland moments when virtual strangers embrace and bond in friendship and kindness. The icing on the cake came later that evening. After dining out with an old friend, we came across the “You Belong Here” posters shown here. I love this so much! Please share.