Kurt Schrader Must Resign, A Joint Opinion

We are a group of diverse Oregonians deeply concerned about the safety of our democracy. On Wednesday, January 6, 2021, we witnessed a white supremacist assault on our democracy by supporters of the president.

In the aftermath of the attempted coup d’état, Congressman Kurt Schrader made remarks to his House colleagues equating the consideration of impeaching the president to lynching. This is unacceptable. Seeking to equate the legal, constitutional practice of impeachment of a president, especially one who has incited insurrection, with lynching is abhorrent. Schrader has since apologized, but the damage is done. His initial words and actions are a stark indication of an elected official who does not understand systemic racism in America.

Representative Schrader may not be aware of the ways white supremacy has shaped our nation. The freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution were not extended to Indigenous and Black people by design. These two groups have been systematically cut out of the promise of America by law and by practice. White mob violence against Black people in the form of lynching has been used in our country to terrorize Black people in service of maintaining the white supremacist political and social order. Oregon has not been immune from that violence. On September 18, 1902, Alonzo Tucker, was lynched by a mob of armed white men in Coos Bay (then known as Mansfield). Mulugeta Seraw was hunted down and murdered by a group of white supremacists in Southeast Portland on November 12, 1988. These are just two examples of racist mob violence in Oregon and there are many others.

Make no mistake, the assault on the nation’s Capitol we watched in horror last Wednesday was not a random act of violence. It was a direct response by white supremacists to the record number of Black voters in Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, and Indigenous and Latinx voters in Arizona and Nevada exercising their right to vote in both the 2020 Presidential election and the Georgia Senate Runoff election.

It is no accident that those attacking the Capitol chose to erect scaffolding and hang a noose, an undeniable symbol of lynching, accompanying the other symbols of white supremacy and antisemitism in the insurrection. This behavior is deeply, unmistakably racist, and surely recognizable to Congressman Schrader.

We call for Congressman Schrader to resign immediately. Taking a position against impeachment undermines our democracy and is indefensible. Oregonians demand more of our elected officials in the 21st century. We have demonstrated in big cities and small towns across the state, in front of our state capitol, and on the streets of our nation’s Capitol to declare Black Lives Matter. Schrader’s words and actions represent a serious breach of trust with his constituents and with ALL Oregonians. His continued representation of Oregon, especially Black people and other communities of color is no longer acceptable. We expect our elected leaders and institutions to serve all people equitably and fairly. Congressional District 5 deserves better leadership.

Signed,

Rebecca Arce, Latina and Mother, Constituent

Rebecca Salinas-Oliveros, Monmouth City Councilor, Constituent

Sandra Hernandez, Director of Latinos Unidos Siempre, Constituent

Jessica Ventura, Constituent

Andrea Williams, Constituent

Colin K. Crader II, Constituent

Sam Crane, Constituent

Bill Dalbey, Toledo City Councilor, Constituent

Ashley Carson Cottingham, JD, Constituent

Mitzi Bauer, Constituent

Tessah Danel, Clackamas River Water Commissioner, PCP Clackamas County Democrats, Constituent

Mary E Ehly, Constituent

Ira Erbs VP At-Large AFT, Constituent

Star Khan, REFORMA Oregon Immediate Past President, Constituent

Malea Kirkland, Constituent

Kelie McWilliams, Constituent

Wanda Davis, PCP Polk County Democrats, Constituent

Amanda Deyerle-Olney, Constituent

Mark Gamba, Mayor of Milwaukie

Claire Hall, Lincoln County Commissioner, Constituent

Sandra D. Koops, Constituent

Annie Naranjo-Rivera, former Vice Chair, Tillamook County Democrats, Constituent

Rev. Dr. Dawn M. Reynolds, Secretary, Polk County Democrats, Constituent

Jonathan Smith, PCP, Clackamas County Democrats

Beth Vaughn, Chair, Polk County Democrats, Constituent

Pamela White, Board of Directors, Oregon City School District, Constituent

Manumalo S. Ala’ilima, Community Organizer

Adalina Capuli Merello

Diane Coward, Lineametrics Group, LLC

Rosa Colquitt, PhD, Greater Portland, National Organization for Women

Michelle DePass, Portland Public Schools Board of Education

Nancy Haque, Basic Rights Oregon

Kathy Hyzy, Milwaukie City Councilor

Shilpa Joshi, Renew Oregon

Sushmita Poddar. Washington County Civic Leader, Entrepreneur, Small Business Owner

Anita Yap, Small Business Owner

Mary Carroll, Child and Family Advocate

Alysia Cox, Precinct Committee Person

Beth Crane, EMPA

Diana Dickey, Former Salem City Councilor

Danielle Dropper

Angel Falconer, Council President, Milwaukie City Council

Amy Fellows, Non Profit Leader

Walt Nichols, Community Organizer

Greg Petersen

Debra Porta, Citizen

Antonio Huerta, Non Profit Community Organizer

Melanie Kebler, Bend City Councilor

Alissa Keny-Guyer, former State Representative, HD 46

Heather Millehrer-Huerta, Springfield Public Library Advisory Board

Rita Moore, PhD, Portland School Board

Cheri Partain, MSW, House District 35 Leader

Mary Peveto

Joan Sands

Mary Schutten, Educator & Greater Portland NOW

Kristin Teigen, Anti-racist Educator

Roey Thorpe, Business Owner

Rose Wilde, Lane ESD Board Member

Beth Woodward, Racial Inclusivity Work Group, Multnomah County Democratic Party

Ka ʻAha Lāhui O ʻOlekona Hawaiian Civic Club of Oregon and SW Washington (KALO HCC)

Samoan Pacific Development Corporation (SPDC)

Tongan Community Association

Tongan Women’s Association (TWA)

United Territories of Pacific Islanders Alliance Portland (UTOPIA PDX)

Greater Portland Chapter, National Organization of Women

Showing Up for Racial Justice Springfield-Eugene Chapter