PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - The nightly violence in Portland's Kenton neighborhood is leaving many business owners on edge, worried about destruction caused by rioters.
Terrance Moses owns a business in the area and is part of the Kenton Business Association. He said that things have drifted far from the original message of the Black Lives Matter movement.
“Now the movement has totally gone silent, there’s nobody leading it, nobody in charge of saying to the powers that be, this is what we want,” Moses said.
Moses said that for change to happen, marches don’t necessarily need to be done at night, especially when things are being destroyed.
“If we out here at nine, ten o’clock at night protesting or claiming to protest but we’re being destructive, the people we need to reach are not out at nine, ten o’clock at night,” Moses said.
Moses said he listened to one of the leaders this past weekend and was shocked to hear the man promoting violence to the crowd.
“I listened and watched the leader of the group what the plan was for their Black Lives Matter movement and his tone was we’re going to burn if that’s what it takes to get our point across,” Moses said.
Moses said the message promoting violence is counterproductive and hurts people of color who have businesses nearby.
“And then he goes on to say I want you to go to jail for the cause, this is how it’s done, this is the only way we’re going to get real change so if you feel you need to burn some stuff up then you burn it up,” Moses said.
Moses said business owners in the area are already struggling because of COVID-19 and this is only making matters worse.
“Nine businesses in the Kenton district is black and minority owned and one of them was spray painted and we put thousands of hours putting together that plaza so Black-owned businesses can expand outside,” Moses said.
Moses' message to those causing damage is plain and simple–he wants the violence to stop.
“My message to you is stop, let’s regroup and have a plan other than destroying things for destroying’s sake,” Moses said.
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