Institutional racism and denial of justice to a black muslim man  



For the past 34 years, Robert R. Parker Jr. has tirelessly pursued justice to clear his name, restore his reputation, and gain admission to the Oregon State Bar. The Oregon Supreme Court failed to apply its own precedential authority that was relevant on “all points” in the case of a Black American Muslim man, but in the case of a White man on similar facts, a different standard was applied. We are calling on you to stand with Robert and other social justice warriors to hold the Oregon courts accountable for their role in upholding institutional bias premised on Mr. Parker’s race.


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About the Case

      t every step, Mr. Parker expected and relied on the courts and Ethics Commission to do what is right and, further, to correct any errors that were made. Perhaps the most egregious misstep can be found in the court’s Opinion denying Mr. Parker admission to the Oregon State Bar, in which the Oregon Supreme Court inexplicably ignored without comment, In Re Steffen, a case directly controlling the single issue on which this court based its decision adverse to Mr. Parker. This action is unjust and shows us the Oregon Supreme Court not acknowledge or adhere to its own case law precedent in consideration of the bar admission case, In re Steffen. Had the court acknowledged and applied In Re Steffen, it would have concluded that Mr. Parker had not violated a criminal statute, nor had he engaged in behavior justifying the denial of his admission to the Oregon State Bar. The only difference in these two cases is that Mr. Parker is a Black Muslim man. 



Several years later, Mr. Parker received a false sense of hope when the Oregon Government Ethics Commission had vacated its underlying Order, as the Oregon Court of Appeals unjustly refused to vacate its affirming judgment. This clearly was nothing short of appalling in its racially premised denial of relief. 


Lastly, the Oregon State Bar unilaterally offered to send its bar files to other state bar associations before Mr. Parker had ever applied and without any request from the recipient state bar associations. This action only further proves that the Oregon State Bar at the time was only trying to negatively affect or hurt Mr.Parker without justification.


These “irregularities,” singularly or combined in a proceeding likely are reflective of the pervasive institutional bias that the Oregon Supreme Court upholds. Whether they were racist or just their lingering subconscious belief that society's negative stereotypes perpetuated, these individuals of power may have acted with or without their knowledge to the disadvantage of racial and ethnic minorities. This Oregon Supreme Court denied Parker a fair and impartial tribunal in violation of the BBX’s Rules for Admission; Article I, Sections 10 and 11 of the Oregon Constitution, and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution. 

Even years after these violations and mistreatments we still need justice and legal recourse.


We see this happen in other legal contexts in which injustice and unfairness are uncovered years after the initial proceedings and there is an avenue of legal recourse. We need the community and current political leaders to stand up for what is right. Let’s be clear that this isn’t just because Mr. Parker is Black. It isn’t just because Mr. Parker is Muslim. It is because, by law, Mr. Parker did nothing that violates a criminal statute to deserve this treatment or verdict. At the end of the day, Mr. Parker respectfully requests that this court exercise its original jurisdiction and its authority to regulate the practice of law in Oregon, vacate its opinion in In Re Parker, and order Mr. Parker’s admission to the Oregon State Bar, subject to reasonable conditions, such as modern Continuing Legal Education Requirements. However, the court has yet to take our appeal thus we need your voice, power, and support in fighting injustice in the case of Robert R. Parker.



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Lew Fredrick, Oregon State Senator

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James Manning, Oregon State Senator, Chair of Public Safety


Stephen Scott, Attorney at Fisher Phillips

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Judge Mathis


Michael Scott, Attorney and Managing Partner of Scott Hookland LLP

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Janelle Bynum, Oregon State Representative and Judiciary Committee Member

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Travis Nelson, Western Director of the Democratic National Committee Black Caucus

Attorney Rima Ghandour

And More!


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