January 23rd, 2014 By Nigel Jaquiss and Aaron Mesh | News | Posted In: Politics, Multnomah County

Baruti Artharee Alleges "Treachery and Wickedness" by African-American Leaders

Former Hales aide was suspended for remarks about County Commissioner Loretta Smith

news3.wideaBaruti Artharee

Former Portland mayoral aide Baruti Artharee earned notoriety and a suspension last summer for making suggestive remarks about County Commissioner Loretta Smith.

Artharee, who was then public safety advisor to Mayor Charlie Hales, confirmed in a June 9 interview with WW that he made the remarks at a June 6, 2013 gathering at the Quartet Restaurant.

"I said, 'Here's our beautiful commissioner, Loretta Smith—mmm, mmm, mmm—she looks good tonight,'" Artharee said.

Hales responded—slowly—to that behavior by suspending Artharee for a week last July. Artharee then resigned in October.

In recent weeks, there's been a lot of chatter about Artharee's role in supporting Teressa Raiford, who announced earlier this month she's challenging Smith for her county commission seat.

It's not unheard of for an incumbent to draw a primary challenge—what is unusual is that in Portland's small African American community that Artharee would so publicly seek to settle a score. The Oregonian reported he showed up at Raiford's candidacy announcement. And he has been busy on Facebook, encouraging friends to "like" Raiford.

Smith, Artharee and Raiford are all African American. Smith told WW last summer she faced pressure from some leaders of the city’s African-American community to back off and drop her criticism of Artharee.

Now Artharee has begun circulating charges of his own.

Very early this morning, Artharee sent an email to a list of friends—not including WW—alleging "treachery and wickedness" among the city's African-American leaders.

Artharee does not list the offenders, but promises to later name the people committing "Political drive-by shootings in Portlandia."

Smith declined comment to WW this evening.

Here is the full text of Artharee's email.

Date: Thu, Jan 23, 2014 at 2:33 AM
Subject: All In The Family #1a


"And there comes a times when one must take a position that is neither safe,

nor politic, nor popular: but one must take it because it is right."

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

 

You are receiving this email because as a member of Portland's African American community and you are concerned about truth, justice and accountable of our community leaders. Also, I know you are aware of my selfless service for our people by working with many of you on creating opportunities in the areas of housing, education, contracting and public safety.

 

In fact, over the past 40 years many of you have commended me for my courage to "speak truth to power" whenever called upon, that includes at the state capitol, in city hall, within the police department, to the school board, in various executive board rooms and in the community. It has truly been a blessing to serve in positions that have enabled me to advance the causes that improve people's lives.

 

After retiring from the Mayor's office in October, 2013 I have had time to reflect on my career and community service.  I have decided that there is still one stone left to be turned over. Some of you have asked me to not "go there" meaning exposing the treachery and wickedness of some house and or scared negroes sitting in high places. Your comments were expressions of concern for me but many others came in the form of warnings or even threats!

 

Obviously, some folks really do not the stock that I am made of! Therefore, in spite of that feedback, I plan to inform you the truth about those self-serving leaders and the self-appointed gatekeepers. Just to be clear! I speak for nobody other than myself. My comments and observations are from my personal experience and my own investigative journalism over the past several months. I know you will be as shocked as I have been at the depth of wickedness being perpetrated under the disguise of "what is best for the community". If you abhor "black on black crime" at the street level you should be just as repulsed by it at the executive levels too.

 

Lastly, I will not play the game of the local white media. They are primarily concerned about hits on their websites, so the more salacious the story the better for them. Many of the reporters that cover our issues are young white kids with no historical perspective and only trying to get promoted. They could not careless about the impacts and ramifications of their shallow and one-sided reporting. So I will not comply with requests for interviews or answer their questions. This about some housekeeping "within the family".

 

Again, my goal is to only "speak truth to power" about the lies and deceptions. It is about accountability, honesty and integrity. This is the least I can do for those who shoulders we stand on and for our young people who have quickly recognized and questioned why this charade has been allowed to persist.

 

Personally, I have nothing to gain by speaking out. But I could not live with myself if I did not speak up. Too many people have confided in me how they have been demonized as political retribution for not going along to get along. It has been easy to ignore the seedy actions of a few misguided house negroes until becoming a victim of their displeasure. More to come on the "Political drive-by shootings in Portlandia" and the names of the conspirators.

 

"Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that."

Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


 
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