By Cornelia Seigneur

During an interview this past week regarding my blog post, “Where’s a Police Officer to get a cup of Coffee?” I was asked whether I knew what the red and black stood for before going there for lunch Tuesday May 18 with my daughter. I had briefly gone to their website which said it is “safe and welcoming to all.” Yes, I knew it was a bit radical, but my daughter and I like adventure and we were open to what we thought would simply be an interesting indie vegan eating experience with  my vegetarian daughter.   

My daughter at the red and black

 I initially heard about the red and  black because I was working on a story for The Oregonian on Matt Mikalatos, the author of Imaginary Jesus, a fast paced hilarious story examining pre-conceived notions of Jesus Christ, which begins at none other than the vegan red and black café (in my published final edition published June 6, I just note that the story is set in a local café ).

 Interestingly, Mikalatos sets his story at the red and black  to show how a certain segment of Portland is, and my experience there, having an officer kicked out while I was I was quietly speaking with him May 18, kind of legitimizes Mikalatos’ opening setting of his book.  Mikalatos is a missionary with Campus Crusade for Christ and has spoken to people in an open and honest way about Jesus for 10 plus years. He listens to people and hopes his book will be a vehicle to an open dialogue about Jesus, with believers and atheists, and anyone who would like to talk.

Since this week of craziness regarding my May 22 blog post on my experience, which went viral only after I posted it on Facebook May 29, I have been asked if I will go back to the red and black. Honestly, I would be afraid. I really do not think I would be welcome. And I too would be asked to leave. And I hate rejection. I really would not go back either, to be honest, as the food was, as I noted, not very tasteful,which I have not focused on. I was just trying to bring light to the dishonoring of a human being. 

I will note that someone created a “Ban the red and black café” Facebook page started, which people at church today told me has  thousands of followers, and while I appreciate their efforts to support police, I really just to remain positive. To say thank you. To raise awareness of how hard it must be to not be respected by some of the very citizens you are trying to protect. I would like to keep this positive. On the morning of my interview with Paul Linnman on 1190, my husband said to think about a way to support the police in a positive way. So, that is why we for now ceated the “Blue Ribbon Campaign-Police Deserve a Cup of Coffee” Facebook page!/pages/Blue-Ribbon-Campaign-Police-Deserve-a-Cup-of-Coffee/109371342442292?ref=ts . And, I am meeting with police public relations to see what we can do as a whole to show the overwhelming support.

Most importantly, as I have said over and over, I really just want to continue this  dialogue and conversation. Just as Matt Mikalatos is trying to do with his book, Imaginary Jesus, the very reason I even set foot at the red and black in the first place.

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