Local News

10-Year-Old Tells Redmond City Council Of Racist Encounters

REDMOND, OR -- For the first time in an open meeting, Redmond City Councilors addressed a racist incident that occurred earlier this month, in which the mayor and the city’s only Black Councilor, Clifford Evelyn, were targeted. 

Mayor Ed Fitch said he wanted to allow the group time to reflect. Councilor John Nielsen was one of several who insisted the incident does not represent the city. "Redmond is not unique or set apart when it comes to the issues of race. To pretend that we are is to contribute to the damage caused by this kind of small-minded idiocy," he said, "To claim that Redmond is racist, however, is false, lazy and stupid."

But it was 10-year-old Gavin who garnered the most attention. Speaking during the public comment period, he said, "Why should us Black people suffer from racism, when there are other races doing murders and robberies, when us Black people are showing respect and kind [sic]?" He went on to talk about his experience as a fourth grader in Redmond, "A lot of people have been calling me the ‘N’ word, or a monkey, even ‘Black boy.’ One girl said to me ‘I would hit you but that’s called animal abuse.’ We should not get treated like this." The video of his full statement is below.

Another citizen followed Gavin, saying, "It’s those that are the victims of these attacks that we should be listening to when we decide whether our city is racist or not. A white person standing up in this moment and saying ‘our town is not racist’ I find to be unacceptable." 

During Councilor Evelyn's time to comment, he said this month's incident is part of a pattern of behavior, "This has been brewing since my time on City Council. You only need to recall the waving of a Confederate flag, wearing of a Confederate uniform on Independence Day, a local business owner comparing the COVID vaccine mandate to the Holocaust and a citizen who openly felt comfortable stating her parents owned slaves and how it was alright." He called it "something out of the 50s and 60s."

Redmond Police continue to search for the person responsible for leaving a dead raccoon and racist sign on the doorstep of Fitch's law office.



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