Racists Beat Down Oregon Man, Police Are Not Investigating as Hate Crime
Meanwhile, Parsham Rabiee, a Lyft driver, now can't work to save the life he took years to build.
Parsham Rabiee was attacked by two white Lyft passengers outside of Portland, Ore., who verbally and physically assaulted him, including repeated use of racial slurs and making fun of his music. But the Gresham police are claiming it wasn't a racially-biased attack.
The injured Lyft driver, Rabiee, said the men seemed to be intoxicated and were "acting erratically." Rabiee still tried to help one of them exiting the car who could barely walk straight.
In return for his help, Rabiee endured severe head trauma, a broken nose and other bruises on his head from repeated punching and kicking.
"I was too nice and I'm mad that I was. I should've just sit and don't care about anything," Rabiee said. "The first hit I got on my head I fell down. I fell down, I didn't know what happened. I wasn't even ready for a fight."
"They were saying stuff like I'm a stupid Middle Easterner," Rabiee continued. "I mean, I was really scared, I really didn't care at the time, I was worried about my safety more than anything. Even thinking about it. It hurts me. I try not thinking about it, but I hope they get what they deserve."
The Lyft account that paid for the ride was a woman's account, and the two passengers were male. It's unclear if police have identified the woman with the account or called her in for questioning.
And it's unclear if Lyft, which only has two people of color in its executive leadership, is doing anything to help their driver recover.
Rabiee was ordered by doctors not to report to work for weeks while he recovers. He had to set up his own GoFundMe page that has collected over $2,000 to help support him. Lyft was his only source of income.
"My only concern is to not lose my apartment, car, insurance, my pet, and everything that I worked so hard for years," he said on the page.
And to add insult to injury, literally, the Gresham police are not investigating this as a bias crime and said they don't know why the attack occurred.
A violation of hate crimes law is constituted if a person threatens "to inflict serious physical injury" or "intentionally subjects another to offensive physical contact because of the person's perception of the other's race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation".
The law hasn't been on the side of people of color in Oregon in the past either. The state, a den of white supremacy historically (largest concentration in the West), actually entered the Union as its sole no-Blacks state, even though it was a free state (no slavery).
The language remained on the books until 2002.
Attacks against Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, Hindu, Arab, and Middle Eastern communities in the U.S. were up a staggering 45 percent in 2017.
In 2017, a white supremacist stabbed three men on a MAX train after coming to the defense of two minority women he was harassing.
Interestingly enough, there are over 40,000 Arab-Americans living in Portland. And, in 1978, Oregon was even the first state to elect an Arab-American governor, Victor George Atiyeh.
Reader Question: Do you think police will be forced to look into this as a hate crime?
Lyft driver assaulted by one of his passengers in Gresham
Lyft driver assaulted by one of his passengers in Gresham www.kptv.com
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The light sentence given to the officer who killed McDonald, "suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a Black man that a white man is bound to honor," said his great-uncle.
Hours of testimony at Jason Van Dyke's sentencing on Friday ended in shock for one family, and relief and happiness for the other.
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President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."
It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.
Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."
"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.
"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.
Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.
His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."
Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.
Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.
Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.
I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.
Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?
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A Black toddler was subjected to having her hair pulled and being pushed by the employee.
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"This shutdown is about the erosion of American democracy and the subversion of our most basic governmental norms," said Ocasio-Cortez.