In 2013, Central District Activist Omari Tahir-Garrett Also Told a Man to Go Back to Asia

Comments

1
Omari is a racist kook who has anger and violence issues. This is nothing new.

Luckily, he's getting quite old so maybe his physical outbursts will be limited, I hope.
2
There is a misquote in this article: "If somebody told you to go back to Vietnam, would you go back to Vietnam?"

If you play the video embedded in the article, at 2:10, it sounds clear to me that Tahir-Garrett says "If somebody told you to go to Vietnam, would you go to Vietnam?"

While that doesn't make the rest of his statements any better, I think the erroneous inclusion of "back" in the quote adds a lot more charge to that particular statement. Please update the quote and be more careful about double checking your articles in the future. Thank you.
3
He also hit our former mayor in the face with a bullhorn. I wouldn't take anything he says too seriously. I'd say it is past time for others in the movement to ask Omari to have a seat.
4
@2 seems to be correct about the word "back"; I didn't hear it, either. He does say all that about the guy belonging in Asia, so the sentiment of "back" is there, but it's not explicitly stated.
5
@2: We've removed "back" from that particular quote. Thanks.
6
Sydney,
Garrett is a damn fool. Indeed, I recall him assaulting former late mayor Paul Schell many years ago. Alas, Mr. Garrett can't be taken seriously anymore. He needs to retire and relax. His activism is getting out of hand.

7
Is there a video where and Richard Lee and Tahir-Garrett harass each other?
8
Sydney, it's time to examine your own role in this.

The words "race," "racism," and "racist" are noticeably absent from your article, as are "bigot" and "bigotry."

If we're going to confront the problems of racial tensions and bigotry in our community, we're going to need journalists who have the courage to speak plainly, and use the words that everyone is thinking, instead of ducking under a thesaurus and brandishing limp irrelevancies like "Kyriarchy" to avoid even hinting at a suggestion that someone might be a little bit of a bigot.

When a journalist won't take the risk of participating in the real conversation, how can you possibly expect anyone else to?
9
All of that is important context for the video.
Why is context important for someone spewing racist statements? Would you give the 18 year old white kid from rural USA who never had the opportunity to know any better the "context" pass if he was spewing racist crap?
10
@8
Sydney means well...so well that she is blinded by reality.
11
He told a co-worker of mine that he was a White Mutant, and he should go back to Europe.

It's a catch-all bullying riff on White Racism's "Go Back to Africa". I presume.
12
Why is Omari's criminal record never mentioned in Stranger stories?

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.c…
13
Tahir-Garrett is pretty well-known as a hothead. I recall him coming to Seattle School board meetings and ranting and then threatening board members. He was one of the people who overstayed their welcome in the Nova high school building for months.

It's a sad thing because his son, Wyking, seems like a decent guy trying to do good in the neighborhood.
14
Same guy in 2008. I think there might be a bit of a problem here, Syndey...

"A King County Superior Court judge this morning approved a protection order barring Omari Tahir-Garrett from coming near Seattle schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson and School Board President Cheryl Chow, who say they have been threatened by Tahir-Garrett.

Goodloe-Johnson and Chow allege that Tahir-Garrett has disrupted School Board meetings with threats, obscenities, racially charged remarks and, at one point, pushed a school administrator to the floor. Chow and Goodloe-Johnson say they fear for their safety.

At one meeting, Tahir-Garrett allegedly warned Chow, an Asian American, that the Wah Mee Massacre could happen again, a reference to the 1983 fatal shooting of 13 people at a Chinatown International District gambling club.

“I understood this to be a threat to my life, as well as to the lives of my fellow directors,” Chow said in papers filed in Superior Court.

Tahir-Garrett, who went to prison for striking then-Mayor Paul Schell with a bullhorn in 2001, could not be reached for comment. He also did not appear in court this morning when a temporary protection was extended for a year. The protection order bars Tahir-Garrett from coming within 500 feet of any Seattle Public School building, within 500 feet of Goodloe-Johnson or Chow, and within 1,000 yards of either woman’s home or workplace."

Anyone allied with this man, or defending him, needs to do some serious deep self-analysis, because you're allied with or defending a person with a very well DOCUMENTED history of racist proclamations, violence, and threats of violence against others.
15
hmm. this must be sooo totally like confusing to this "journalist".
16
1. If an elderly white man told Mr. Garrett, to go back to the plantation, would the black community be saying "oh he's just an old man, pay him no mind" like they are saying about Mr Garret's racist nazi comment?
2. Mr Garrett would be arrested for hate speech if he had said any of this.... in Germany
17
He's a racist buffoon. Those pop up everywhere. The story is why his ugly bigotry doesn't seem to be a problem for him being at the center of CD "anti-gentrification" politics, or being tight with Sawant and other important local political figures. What this stuff says about him isn't really interesting. What it says about the politics of "anti-gentrification" as a political project, on the other hand...
18
The Stranger needs to calm down with this witch hunt of Omari. Yes, he has made prejudice statements. Yes, he has acted violently in the past (and served time for it). Yes, he needs to be called out on his actions. However, we must also acknowledge that he has a history of trauma and is likely struggling with some mental issues. Those of us who live in the CD, and those who pay attention to neighborhood politics, are well aware of Omari and the complications that come with him positioning himself as a leader of many social and political movements. The real problem is people and news outlets who equate Omari with BLM or even the local work that his son is doing in the community. This article makes it seem like BLM, as a movement, condones Omari's behavior, which is not true.

What happened at Uncle Ike's was simple. Ian preyed upon Omari's temper and baited him into making prejudice statements against Jews. Ian knew he could rile up Omari, film it, and use it as fodder against BLM by making Omari look like the face of local BLM activists. It's one more tactic Ian and the Bangassers use to pit the neighborhood (and city) against BLM and in favor of rapid gentrification at the expense of existing black-owned businesses and community orgs.

The Stranger is now going back years into Omari's history to expose what the neighborhood already knows. This is not news, nor is it appropriate for a Seattle-wide news site.
19
@18, maybe all of the white protesters from outside the CD should stay there - outside the CD - and stop bullying a law-abiding locally-owned small business. This is not a city-wide issue, nor is it appropriate for the Stranger to cover any of the protests. It's one more tactic against Ian and the Bangassers to pit a mob of ill-informed goons against law-abiding local community members. Omari knew he could go there, taunt the business owner, rile up a crowd, and then get sympathy for spewing disgusting anti-Semitic taunts at a local, law-abiding business owner who is also a long-time resident of the neighborhood. What happend at Ike's was simple. Omari preyed upon fools and goaded them into trespassing, taunts, and threats against others in our community. Just ask Cheryl Chow about Omari's long history of racist taunts and threats of violence. Or ask Paul Schell, who was assaulted by this man. I suppose they "provoked" him?