Oregon School Board Member Fears ‘Evergreens’ Mascot Idea Could Trigger Lynching Memories

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A Portland, Oregon high school, which changed its name from Woodrow Wilson High School to Wells-Barnett High School to honor a black Pulitzer-prize winning journalist and activist who crusaded against lynching, has a mascot issue on its hands, thanks to the wokes.

According to the Portland Tribune, the school is changing its mascot from a Trojan and now needs something way less controversial. They asked the public for ideas, and Evergreens soon became the frontrunner. However, the new mascot idea needed approval from the school board before it could be adopted.

Enter Michelle DePass, director of the Portland Public School board. She started wracking her brain on this mascot problem and came to the conclusion that using the Evergreen — a tree — as a mascot “could conjure up reminders of hanging people with ropes from branches,” the Tribune reported.

In its presentation to the school board, the mascot committee laid out their belief on why ‘Evergreens’ would make the perfect gender-neutral, least intimidating mascot of all mascots. “Evergreens are characterized by the life-giving force of their foliage, the strength of their massive trunk, and the depth of their roots—in an individual tree and as a forest of trees,” Ellen Whatmore told the board. “They provide shelter and sustenance. They have histories that preclude us and will continue in perpetuity after we are no more.”

The mascot committee had to explain that they actually asked themselves whether evergreens could be racist or conjure up lynching memories. The committee then said they looked at the trees as a sign of life and not of death.

DePass isn’t so sure. “Lynching is a really difficult topic to talk about, and as a sole black board member, I invite you, beg you, implore you to join me in disrupting the situations, practices, that are racist. I can’t do this by myself,” she said before the board put off the mascot decision.

I can’t help but wonder about the property DePass lives on and whether there are any trees on the land. She lives in Portland. Surely there are trees on Michelle’s property. I wonder if every time she looks at an evergreen — or any tree — she is instantly transported back to a time when there were lynchings. If so, one would have to believe that has to be some sort of mental condition.

Imagine the first thing that goes through your head is lynchings when ‘Evergreens’ is chosen as a mascot frontrunner. It has to be extremely exhausting to be that woke in a woke city like Portland. This is a woman who clearly wants a spot in the OutKick Woke All-Star Challenge.

Here’s Michelle enjoying a “beautiful hike” amongst all the trees that didn’t trigger her into the fetal position over lynching fears. I can feel that smile right through my screen, Michelle. This woke thing you’re pulling on the mascot committee is hilarious:

A beautiful hike not too far from Portland,

Posted by Michelle DePass on Sunday, February 7, 2021

A quick check of the Ida B. Wells High School property on Google Maps from 2018 shows evergreen trees living right there on the school grounds. It’s unclear whether Michelle has made a call to have all trees, especially the evergreens, removed from school property because they could conjure up lynching reminders.

Stay tuned.

Written by Joe Kinsey

Joe Kinsey is the Senior Director of Content of OutKick and the editor of the Morning Screencaps column that examines a variety of stories taking place in real America.

Kinsey is also the founder of OutKick’s Thursday Night Mowing League, America’s largest virtual mowing league.

Kinsey graduated from University of Toledo.


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  1. Trees are racist…along with white women who have nothing better to do than think of racism.

    These Marxist race, gender, and sexuality wars are going to end up eating each other.

  2. Everyone should understand by now that logic and reason are __________ (fill in the blank: racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, ……..). Since we have a mentally challenged president, I guess it is now en vogue with the woke radical left to also be mentally challenged. Obviously Ms. DePass has mastered the art of acting mentally challenged (I’m sure my use of “Ms” is offensive”) since her plea makes absolutely no sense to anyone with an IQ north of that 9f a snail. How do you win with these people?

  3. I don’t think an Evergreen was ever used in a lynching. This is what happens when you see racism in everything. These people and their mental states need to be exploited for public consumption as often as possible.

    • My first thought when reading was the same. Since when were evergreens considered a “lynching” tree? The hypocritical left is obsessed with racism and it appears all the woke nuts are trying to “outwoke” one another. Spraying your kids with a hose in the summer will soon be considered Birmingham 1963 revisited…and it goes on and on.

  4. How do these other people listening to her presentation regarding her problem with trees keep from laughing out loud? Is everyone in the Pacific Northwest this fucked up?

  5. There are three levels of insanity here:

    1. The insanity of getting rid of Trojan as a legitimate mascot.
    2. The insanity of actually picking a stupid tree as a mascot based on the preference of a few tree huggers when it is a super-lame and laughable mascot that inspires no student or student-athlete when they compete in sports or academic competitions.
    3. The insanity of actually debating whether a tree is racist.

    The fact that these school board idiots are actually debating one and all of the above is proof that sadly our public schools are run by incompetent demagogues that need to go.

  6. Woodrow Wilson was a racist so the decision to change the school’s name may not be bad, but to rename the school for a Black poet who NOBODY HAS HEARD OF? Crazy. Are they now going to pick Black-sounding names out of a phone website to rename things? That and the evergreen angle are just bat-s$$t lunacy.

  7. Evergreens have small branches that are close together vertically. I don’t think you could lynch someone on an evergreen even if you wanted to. She should know that surrounded by evergreens.

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