White woman defaces monument of Black Lewis and Clark expedition member
"Not this bull----- to replace a White man with a f------ Black man. That is not unity," the woman yelled
A white woman was seen on video vandalizing the monument of the only Black member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition on Tuesday.
Oregon Live reports that the woman identified as Jeanette Grode, 43, received a citation for criminal mischief, abuse of venerated objects, unlawful applying of graffiti, and vandalism. She was not arrested for her actions.
Grode spray-painted purple letters on the monument’s pedestal and on the plaque describing the monument. The words “love not hate” were spray painted, as well as other symbols.
The monument commemorates York, an enslaved Black member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804, and is located at Mount Tabor in Southeast Portland. The expedition was initiated when “President Thomas Jefferson tasked Meriwether Lewis with exploring lands west of the Mississippi River that comprised the Louisiana purchase. Lewis chose Willliam Clark as his co-leader for the mission,” according to HISTORY.
The bust of York appeared months earlier in place of a Harvey Scott statue.
A passerby tweeted on Tuesday that he noticed Grode during a bike ride and uploaded pictures of her, saying, “Had an interesting encounter during a bike ride this morning. A person was defacing the Bust of York statue on the top of Mt Tabor.”
A Twitter user responded about a similar encounter near the bust, tweeting, “She approached my partner and I about the whole thing a few days ago. It was rly intense. She was incredibly racist and agitated about being ‘discriminated’ against for being a ‘white blonde women.’”
Williamete Week on YouTube shared the video of Grode yelling at bystanders with spray cans in her hand. “F— all of you!” she said.
“I don’t give a f—! Do whatever the f— you want. It’s love and unity. Not this bull—– to replace a White man with a f—— Black man. That is not unity,” she yelled. “Yeah, you can go ahead, shake your head…’white privilege.'”
Skye Mitchell visited the park from Alaska and told the outlet that he was confused by Grode’s defacement of the bust.
”Certain things like Confederate statues I totally understand. We shouldn’t be honoring the generals that were trying to keep that,” Mitchell said. “But the people that died who were just trying to be human — why can’t we honor them?”
In February, Portland Parks & Recreation officials said the bust would not be removed due to its policy of allowing tributes as long as they’re not a danger to the public.
Carmen Rubio, City Commissioner, released a statement at that time, calling the bust “a much-needed reminder to city leaders to hasten our work of rooting out white supremacy in our institutions—particularly our city government, where many processes exclude community participation and discourage engagement.”
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