Portland's theater scene is being rocked by a report of racial profiling posted by the co-founder of the August Wilson Red Door Project, an arts organization dedicated to racial diversity.
"I was profiled last night in front of ART [Artists Repertory Theatre] sitting in my car," wrote 63-year-old black director Kevin Jones wrote in a statement to the PDX Backstage Yahoo group on Friday, July 15. "I wasn't manhandled. But the hand was on the gun," he wrote.
Jones described himself as "an older, gray-haired man" sitting in his 1976 BMW outside the theater. "I want someone, someone in power—someone white, to get mad and stop this," he wrote. "This shit hurts."
The theater community responded with a wave of support, offering to share Jones' story on Facebook, which he declined. Local actress Michele Mariana wrote a letter to Charlie Hales and the Chief of Police. Jones, who is currently directing a collection of monologues by black playwrights, declined to comment at press time.
"Racial profiling is not a new story. It's a very old story. It is not something that is difficult to find out more about. If it's not something you have researched from a historical perspective, we recommend you do so and then use your position, voice and privilege to influence the situation in a productive and healing direction," he told WW today.