I walked the length of a very small beach along the Willamette River in Portland, Oregon yesterday. In the space of about a hundred yards and less than five minutes I passed a young family speaking in Arabic, a pair of men walking together chatting in Chinese, a couple in their thirties complaining to each other in a Slavic language, a very young man and young woman strolling closely and whispering in Korean, and various people rich to homeless whose language is mine. I also saw a very white young man fishing peacefully right next to a very black young man who had just emerged from a chilly swim. I saw and heard these things in view of Tilikum Crossing, a lovely new bridge that joins the west and east banks of the river. A few minutes earlier, I saw the rock in this photograph. Why anyone would feel a need to declare anyplace in the world a ****hole is a great sadness to me.