Portland, OR – A Portland restaurant established with the intent of honoring America’s heroes was shot up in a targeted attack last month.
Heroes American Café owner John Jackson, who is black, said his business partner received an anonymous call threatening their restaurant just three days prior to the Oct. 11 attack, KATU reported.
“It was a person who thought we were pro-police and were not for [Black Lives Matter] and something could happen,” Jackson said. “We kinda dismissed it as a prank call.”
Several days later, someone shot out two of the windows at the café and smashed in one other window with a bat, KATU reported.
Jackson, a 55-year-old U.S. Marine Corps veteran, said that the family-operated café was founded with the intent of honoring all of Americas heroes.
“We’re pro-heroes,” he told KATU. “Our mission, our concept has always been, let’s support local heroes, whether they’re first responders, which include police, firefighters and paramedics, whether they’re educators, teachers, nurses, the medical field, doctors and vets.”
“That’s been our mantra since we began Heroes about six years ago, and it’s not going to change,” he added.
Those responsible for the attack targeted the café without having any idea what the business stands for, Jackson told KATU.
“They singled me out thinking I didn’t support BLM without me expressing something either way and without them even knowing I’m an African American,” he noted.
John Jackson: “To the business owners & the people, hang in there. We are all in this together. This type of violence makes no sense. It only hurts the small guys like myself. We are just here providing a service to the community.” #koin6news #PDX #PNW #Oregon #Portland pic.twitter.com/TJVLsYCKy9
— Jennifer Dowling (@JenDowlingKoin6) October 12, 2020
Jackson said his business is simply “very American in nature,” the New York Post reported.
“We’re red, white and blue. Whatever side you’re on, you have a right to believe what you believe, but you don’t have a right to step on whatever you disagree with,” he said.
The café suffered thousands of dollars of damage in the attack.
“It’s extremely tough, probably the toughest time in small business history right now,” Jackson told KOIN. “Just making it day [by day] today is tough enough without $3,000 worth of glass (damage) on top of it.”
Jackson set up a fundraising campaign in the wake of the attack to collect donations for the business’s “Heroes Help Fund.”
The effort has raised over $6,900 so far.
“We’re not going to be intimidated,” he told KATU. “We’re digging in deeper, and our resolve is even stronger.”