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Posted under: News

'He Had A Problem With My Melanin': Seattle Activist Says White Man Spewed Racial Obscenities Because She Was Black

Activist and Seattle resident Harriett Walden demands for equality post hate crime

Prominent Seattle community activist Rev. Harriet Walden says she was the target of racism after having a container thrown at her, KOMO News reports.

Walden, the co-founder of Mothers for Police Accountability, said she was subjected to racial obscenities and profiling while in downtown Seattle.

She described the incident during a press conference at Liberty Bank Building, saying, “I didn’t do anything to the guy (and) he was in the wrong."

"I was just crossing the street, and he had a problem with melanin," she said.

The 75-year-old mother and grandmother explained that while visiting her son, she stood on the corner of 1st Avenue and Columbia Street. It was then that an unidentified white man in a black Subaru started spewing racial comments and hitting her with an oil container.

Walden described the man as appearing to be under 30 years old, and that he kept pushing his vehicle closer as if he wanted to hit her.

“It is a hate crime," the woman said. "He called me all kinds of names. It was melanin that set the guy off."

She says despite her activism over the years, personal and visible discrimination is a first for her.

“And it was unexpected because I was walking away,” she said. “And nobody wanted to defund the police.”

After an announcement was made on Tuesday, police are now in search of a suspect. However, police have asked for anyone with information to call in about the incident.

Casey McNerthney, a representative for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, wants bad behavior to be handled accordingly.

“We know there is still tremendous under-reporting and studies have shown that,” he said. “If this case is referred to us and we can prove it beyond a reasonable doubt, of course, we will charge. We want to send a message that this kind of behavior will not be tolerated."

A resident of 45 years, according to the Seattle Times, Walden has expressed how unsafe it is for Black residents and Asian Americans downtown. Her press conference served as a call to action and unification in the fight against social injustices.

“So I’m just asking for the media and the communities to work together and come up with a plan … and say it’s a new day and we’re not going to tolerate this because we know there’s another way,” she said. “There’s a lot of new people here and that’s good. … And they might think this is normal. This is not normal Seattle.”

Walden’s son, journalist Omari Salisbury, was subjected to police harassment in Seattle back in 1990 which became a catalyst for her organization.


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