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Dr. Martens put up several billboards featuring boots with red laces, a symbol of the white supremacist movement

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Several billboard advertisements in Portland for Dr. Martens boots feature red laces, a symbol adopted by the white supremacist movement.

Boots with red laces "indicate the wearer has shed blood for the skinhead movement," according to the Southern Poverty Law Center's glossary.

Sam Sachs is the founder of 'The No Hate Zone,' a nonprofit group dedicated to fighting hatred and racism.

"They should have known better then to have a billboard with those boots and those laces... and especially in this city, at this time in our country."
Sam Sachs

Portland in particular has a lengthy history with white supremacists. It was a haven for many of them in the 80s and 90s, that harkens back to state history that was unfavorable to minorities, especially Blacks.

"I don't think it was intentional on their behalf," Sachs said of Dr. Martens. "But working for Dr. Martens is kind of a two-edged sword. You should know the history behind these boots and behind those laces."

Sachs told us that if Dr. Martens was in fact ignorant to the city's vast history with White Supremacists, the least they can do is take the billboards down.

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Dr. Martens has tried to dissociate itself from the white supremacy movement in the past.

Our affiliate KATU in Portland, Oregon has contributed to this story.

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