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Ed Finch, the Mayor of Redmond Oregon, was met with a disturbing scene on Monday morning upon arrival to his law office.
A deceased raccoon, accompanied by a note containing racially charged language explicitly aimed at Clifford Evelyn, a Black City Councilman, was discovered affixed to the office door, while the raccoon carcass rested on the ground beneath it.
Elected to the council in 2021, Evelyn’s presence has seemingly been met with resistance from certain factions within the community. Mayor Finch, recognizing the wider societal implications, describes that some residents have experienced conflict while adapting to the increasing diversity not only within the city council but within Redmond as a whole.
Mayor Finch expressed deep sympathy for Evelyn and acknowledged the presence of racism within the community of Redmond.
He conveyed his dismay, stating, “It seems there’s some people in town that can’t accept the fact that Clifford is Black and is on the City Council.” Mayor Finch’s sentiments underline the urgent need to address the existing racism and White supremacy.
The association of raccoons with derogatory depictions of Black individuals has a long-standing history in the United States. Originating during slavery, it represents one of many degrading Black stereotypes.The ‘coon’ slur stands as one of the most offensive anti-Black caricatures to have emerged and carries an incredibly dehumanizing connotation.
In response to this alarming incident, Mayor Finch promptly notified the authorities, who have since launched an investigation describing the incident as a hate crime.
Currently, no suspects have been identified.
In the interest of preserving the investigation, both Mayor Finch and the police have chosen not to disclose the exact content of the note.
However, the Mayor has confirmed that the message was unequivocally “racially hateful,” underscoring the unfortunate reality that certain individuals within the community harbor a potentially dangerous prejudice against the presence of a Black City Councilman.