Asian-American Family Racially Harassed in Portland, Oregon

Caught this story in my inbox today — apparently, an Asian American family recently moved into a suburban area called Hapy Valley outside of Portland, Oregon. The family claims that they returned home one day to find racial slurs spray-painted onto the house. They also found a book of matches and a clear bottle containing a liquid that might have been gasoline, along with a note threatening arson.

Here’s the full article:

HAPPY VALLEY (AP) – Clackamas County sheriff’s officers are investigating a racial harassment case involving an Asian-American family moving into a home in the southeast Portland suburb of Happy Valley.

Sheriff’s Detective Jim Strovink says the FBI is also investigating whether the harassment of Sang Huynh and his family constitutes a federal civil rights violation.

Racial slurs were spray-painted Monday afternoon on the outside of the home. The family also found a book of matches near a clear plastic bottle of what police think is gasoline. Warning notes included one that said, “We will burn your house down if we have to.”

Fourteen-year-old Lisa Huynh says her parents are upset by the threats and her little brother is now afraid to sleep in his own room.

Happy Valley Mayor Rob Wheeler called the harassment “totally unacceptable and disturbing.”

According to its Wikipedia article, Happy Valley is a small community that had about 4,500 residents in 2000. Nearly 90% of the residents are White, and Asian residents make up the next largest racial group at less than 9%.

To me, Happy Valley doesn’t sound like all that happy a place to be.

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