Whitelandia is a documentary about Oregon’s historically institutionalized determination to discriminate and exclude blacks. The 90 minute film is an examination of Oregon’s oppressive practices and how it’s very foundation, since the writing of it’s 1857 constitution, was meant to create a white homeland. In anticipation of it’s statehood, the preliminary Oregon government actually wrote the first of The Black Laws of Oregon aka Jim Crow in 1844. Initially, the law required slave owners to free their slaves, but slaves were required to leave the state immediately. If the former slaves were caught in Oregeon they would be “whiplashed and expelled.” In 1845, before the punishment for the “crime” was put into effect, it was repealed and the punishment was replaced with hard labor. In other words, you became a slave again. The black laws of Oregon were repealed in 1927, but the pursuit of a pure white state persisted.
The film uncover’s Oregon’s roots involving segregation, The Klu Klux Klan, the gentrification of black neighborhoods and how Oregon has become the whitest state in America today.
With a city government favoring the higher income residents for the increased tax base they bring with them, and a foreclosure rate nearly double that of whites due to the targeting of Black Americans for predatory mortgage loans, traditionally Black neighborhoods are all but gone…and Oregon’s Black population seems to simply be vanishing…. As one Black resident interviewed asserts, “I don’t live in Oregon, I survive in Oregon.”
Watch the trailer below.