White woman filmed destruction of York monument in Oregon

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White woman is filmed destroying Oregon monument to the only black member of Lewis and Clark Expedition screaming ‘unity’

  • The unidentified woman was filmed Tuesday using purple paint to damage the York bust in Portland’s Mount Tabor Park.
  • York was a slave who became the first black man to cross America as part of the Corps of Discovery
  • It was placed there in February by an unidentified person after the previous statue of white pioneer Harvey Scott was toppled by BLM protesters.
  • When confronted by a passerby, the woman yelled that unit would not be replaced by a ‘white man with a ***ing black man’

A white woman was caught on camera vandalizing a monument in Oregon to the only black member of the Lewis and Clark Expedition while screaming about “unity” and how she’s fallen victim to racial discrimination.

The unidentified woman was filmed Tuesday using purple paint to damage the York bust in Portland’s Mount Tabor Park. Willamette week reports.

York was a slave who became the first black man to cross America as part of the Corps of Discovery with explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in the early 1800s. He had been enslaved by Clark at the time.

The memorial was placed there by an unknown person in February after the previous statue of white pioneer Harvey Scott was toppled by protesters last year.

The unidentified woman was filmed Tuesday using purple paint to damage York's bust in Mount Tabor Park in Portland, Oregon.

The unidentified woman was filmed Tuesday using purple paint to damage York’s bust in Mount Tabor Park in Portland, Oregon.

When confronted by a passerby while spraying the monument, the woman began screaming that she had been prejudiced by black and Hispanic people.

“It is love and unity… not to replace a white man with a black man. That’s not a f***ing unit,’ the woman screamed.

The woman, dressed in sportswear and sunglasses, repeatedly yelled ‘f**k you all’.

She then added: ‘I will pay for the damage if you wish’.

The witness who saw the woman and began filming described her as “upset” and “trembling.”

“I got the feeling she was really upset about having a black statue there more than anything. That’s really scary,’ said the witness.

‘I was really upset. What shall I do? Do I take the can from her?’

The York monument mysteriously appeared in February with a plaque that reads: 'The first African American to cross North America and reach the Pacific coast'

The York monument mysteriously appeared in February with a plaque that reads: ‘The first African American to cross North America and reach the Pacific coast’

The Harvey Scott statue the woman was referring to was one of the monuments torn down in Portland last year during Black Lives Matter protests.

The Harvey Scott statue the woman was referring to was one of the monuments torn down in Portland last year during Black Lives Matter protests.

The Harvey Scott statue the woman was referring to was one of the monuments torn down in Portland last year during Black Lives Matter protests.

The York memorial mysteriously appeared in February with a plaque that read, “The first African American to cross North America and reach the Pacific coast.”

It’s not clear who placed the York monument in the park, but the city’s parks department decided to keep it in place as it was deemed safe from the public.

“Last summer there was concern about some of the public art that many states have exhibited, and so people really see this installation as a reckoning,” Adena Long, Portland Parks director and recreation, told the Associated Press.

“The story of York is really compelling and very sad.”

There are several York memorials throughout Portland, including at Lewis & Clark College. A statue of York next to Williams Clark was removed from the University of Portland last year due to vandalism.

York was Clark’s slave when they traveled through North America in the early 1800s.

According to historians, York was an essential member of the expedition, repeatedly asking for his freedom after the voyage ended.

Lewis denied his request.

York: The Black Hero of the Lewis and Clark Expedition

York was enslaved by William Clark and became the first black man to cross North America and reach the Pacific Ocean in the early 1800s as part of Lewis and Clark Expedition.

According to historians, York was an essential member of the expedition, repeatedly asking for his freedom after the voyage ended.

Lewis denied his request.

During the epic expedition, York had gone on reconnaissance missions, hunted buffalo and deer to feed the group, and helped to nurse the sick.

Historian Stephen Ambrose in his book ‘Undaunted Courage’ described the York expedition as ‘strong, agile, a natural athlete’.

York (pictured on the right) was enslaved by William Clark and became the first black man to cross North America and reach the Pacific Ocean in the early 1800s as part of Lewis and Clark Expedition

York (pictured on the right) was enslaved by William Clark and became the first black man to cross North America and reach the Pacific Ocean in the early 1800s as part of Lewis and Clark Expedition

Native Americans were fascinated by the first black person they had ever seen.

“They did not consider him a slave or an ordinary man, but an extraordinary person, more interesting and exalted than any of his companions,” the National Park Service says in a short biography.

After the expedition was over, everyone except York was rewarded with money and land. York, whose wife was also a slave and living in another city, demanded freedom as a reward for his services on the expedition, Ambrose wrote. But Clark refused, even giving him “a severe beating” for being brutal.

Clark later claimed to a friend that he had freed York. Historians have not been able to verify that.

Collier said that in the legends of the expedition, York’s role has been overlooked, and that the bust “really promotes that conversation here in our very, very white city.”

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