GoFundMe page

Racists Beat Down Oregon Man, Police Are Not Investigating as Hate Crime

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”.

Not enough

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

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