The Oregon Liquor Control Commission tries to monitor the distribution of alcohol, so they are the inherent enemy of the Oregon Commentator. But recently we’ve been given a much better reason to hate them; they appear to be a bunch of goddam racists. A lawsuit was filed this month that claims employees left a noose at a black coworker’s desk. The worker, Gene Summerfield, said he has also been victim to racial slurs, and has seen employees greet each other by “Heiling Hitler.” He filed a complaint about racist behavior before but was dismissed due to the one year statute of limitations. This is way beyond office shenanigans. This is shameful.
On the next episode of the Office, Ryan leaves a burning cross in Stanley’s cubicle.
OLCC Public Affairs Specialist Christie Scott said in an email to KOIN news, “The [internal] investigation did not substantiate claims of a derogatory comment and found no conclusive evidence that the loop of twine mentioned in the complaint was intended as harassment.” Then what the hell was it intended as? Do people just leave shit like this around for no reason? Was it a gift? A poorly made, but thoughtful, necktie? A makeshift leash for Summerfield’s dog? An extremely ineffective belt for Summerfield’s children?
Unfortunately, some attention whores have marred credibility of similar complaints in the past, but these accusations against the OLCC are not alone. In 2000 Robert Larry spoke to the Portland Mercury about his frequent run-ins with the OLCC. Larry, a black man, believed that his unfair treatment was no coincidence. Five years later Rami Makboul, Oregon club owner and out-right racist (he leaves out that second part on his business card), claimed that when he said black people didn’t belong in downtown Portland, an OLCC agent spoke the same way. In 2007, Reneé Majeski stated that the OLCC wouldn’t give a liquor license to a Mexican store owner in Bend because they feared Mexican gang involvement. Majeski also said that previous businesses in her venue, which attracted more white people, had similar problems to her business (noise, crowds, etc.) but weren’t bothered by the OLCC.
Things aren’t looking good for the OLCC. Or, should I say, for non-whites who have to deal with them. Racial discrimination should never be tolerated; however it’s especially outrageous when perpetrated by an organization that has control over Oregon businesses. But at least now we know the real reason why they were trying to ban malt liquor. Fuck…sorry.
So, OLCC, us Commentators will never like you because some of our biggest principles involve lots of alcohol, everywhere, all the time, and civil rights. And we hold a grudge. But maybe you can earn some respect back from the public if you don’t let this racist shit slide. And while you’re at it maybe loosen up Oregon’s laws regarding alcohol. No? Okay, it was worth a shot.