I went to school with Vahid Brown at Reed College. This piece is spot-on and I’m glad it was written [“Whack-a-Mole,” WW, Oct. 23, 2013]. Working with the FBI is not a “red flag,” it’s a way to potentially get some of the xenophobia, ignorance and just downright stupidity and misinformation out of government policy.
If the FBI is teaching its agents that all Muslims are terrorists, I want Vahid there to correct that and teach them that they’re not. I understand the desire for ideological purity, but there are real people who are going to be on the receiving end of FBI actions, and I want them to be understood as human beings, not as caricatures or stereotypes.
There is a need for the work Vahid is doing, both in his activist work and in what he did as an FBI trainer (and I would argue those can be seen as working toward one and the same cause).
This article deals with a complex situation, and while doing a decent job, fails at the end in presenting factual information with regard to its representation of Portland Rising Tide’s involvement and position [see correction below].
As is stated about Vahid Brown in the article—“We’re not putting him on trial here.” Portland Rising Tide does not wish to work with Brown, given his past associations with the FBI.
We are not making accusations about his current situation, which we have no information about. We are only stating that these past associations are enough to make it not appropriate for him to work with our group, which is actively targeted by the FBI.
—“Portland Rising Tide”
WATER BUREAU’S SPENDING
People cannot afford their water bills, and the Water Bureau wastes money like this [“Million-Dollar Water Park,” WW, Oct. 23, 2013]. City Commissioner Nick Fish needs to go. It’s time to clean house at City Hall.
The Water Bureau spent a fraction of its project budget on improving the park center, building sustainable quarters for the park overseer, and improving the trail system. My water money was well spent.
—“Hannah Keziah Mills”
MULTNOMAH WHISKEY LIBRARY
This place is a joke and the review was spot-on [“Bar Spotlight,” WW, Oct. 23, 2013]. I went inside on opening weekend, but they were “full for the night” at 6:30 pm. It was empty at the time. I went back to my ’hood and was treated like my business was appreciated.
Our Oct. 23 cover story, “Whack-a-Mole,” inaccurately attributed an Oct. 4 email sent to Vahid Brown questioning his work training FBI agents as coming from the activist group Portland Rising Tide. The email came from an activist who has worked with Rising Tide but is not a member of the group. WW regrets the error.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author’s street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words.
Submit to: 2220 NW Quimby St., Portland, OR 97210.
Fax: (503) 243-1115. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.