This week brought destruction to Portland’s downtown core and damage and looting to our store at SW Park & Washington it also brought anger and fear of the future … and the question, will we survive? The answer is clear and loud YES we will but it’s going to be hard, but we will find a path.
As I reflect on the many nights I have stayed to protect the store and the sacrifice my employees have had to make, especially those we cannot yet bring back. We need to keep perspective on why this happened. The reality is that my losses and suffering is nothing compared to the 400 years of oppression of our black friends. If it takes this level of destruction to end this, so be it. But I believe that there’s a better way. Let’s talk, listen, and make fundamental changes in our society, we cannot continue in the same way, change is required.
To bring the brightness to our boarded-up store I commissioned a mural by Sean Lambert. @lambskins. Its intent is to make those walking by think, to find in their own heart the meanings of the symbols. It’s an expression of a white artist and a white cis gen gay male shop owner trying to add our voice and to say that we get it and we will work for change. It takes all voices, the black community needs our help, please raise yours.
Steven Lien – Owner underU4men