As a progressive, it deeply bothers me when progressives turn on each other rather than on the real current enemy, Donald Trump and his Republican enablers.
All too often progressive groups fall prey to extreme political correctness, where the slightest deviation from left-wing political purity is met with extreme vilification.
This has befallen the founder of the Wall of Moms movement, Bev Barnum.
Barnum is a Mexican-American mother who wanted to do something to protect Black Lives Matter protesters in Portland from the aggressive tactics of federal agents sent by Trump to supposedly guard the federal courthouse, while the real goal seemingly was to bolster Trump's fading reelection chances by appealing to voters energized by a law-and-order mentality.
The Wall of Moms movement has been a huge success. Spin-off groups have formed all around the country. But as the Biblical saying goes, no prophet is accepted in his own home town. Or in this case, her home town.
For me the first clue that something was amiss with the Wall of Moms movement came when I noticed that the twitter feed for Wall of Moms had stopped talking about the Black Lives Matter protests and was all about bashing Bev Barnum.
Why? Well, the Wall of Moms twitter feed shared a message from Barnum that seemed completely reasonable to me, but obviously didn't comply with whatever purity test was being used by whoever now controlled "WOM OFFICIAL."
So Barnum, the founder of Wall of Moms, came up with the idea of making Wall of Moms a movement that could be used to support causes in addition to Black Lives Matter. It's hard for me to see what could be wrong with that.
Why not have a Wall of Moms at rallies supporting efforts to combat global warming? Or immigration reform. Or health care for all. Or a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Or stopping pipelines slated to cross Native American lands.
But since the first Wall of Moms was in support of Black Lives Matter protests, the politically correct progressive police decided that only Black women should be in charge of the Portland Wall of Moms. A Mexican-American woman wasn't enough of a person of color to count, I guess.
Sure, it makes sense that Black Lives Matter groups should be led by Black people. But it makes no sense that other groups wishing to support the Black Lives Matter movement also have to be led by Black people.
It's such a waste of energy when progressives outdo themselves to see who can be the Purest of Them All, forgetting that the real enemy aren't those who fail to attain some mythical standard of political correctness, but those in this country who are leading us down the road of authoritarianism, racism, militarism, and other undesirable "ism's."
Bev Barnum forms a non-profit Wall of Moms organization. Good for her. If anyone doesn't like that, they can do something different on their own. What happened to women supporting women rather than tearing other women down?
I can't understand why whoever is running the OFFICIAL WOM twitter feed is so set on disparaging Barnum when they should be focused on making sure that federal agents leave Portland and police reforms occur in Oregon's largest city.
The Oregonian newspaper has a story about the dispute within the Wall of Moms movement, "Portland's Wall of Moms crumbles amid online allegations by former partner, Don't Shoot PDX." What were the shocking allegations? Here's some of what the story says.
Portland Wall of Moms, a group formed in recent weeks and quickly recognized as a staple of nightly downtown protests, was accused publicly Wednesday of “anti-Blackness” by leaders of an existing, Black-led community group.
Wall of Moms, whose members said they aimed to support and protect other Black Lives Matter protesters near the fence in front of the federal courthouse, announced Friday that its white leadership had rescinded their positions to allow women of color to be in charge. New leaders announced Friday include Teressa Raiford, executive director of Don’t Shoot Portland, Demetria Hester and Danialle James.
But less than a week later, Don’t Shoot Portland took to Instagram to urge people against supporting the Wall of Moms, saying that it was no longer working with the moms group.
“The lies are finally clear and we are sad but ultimately not surprised that anti-Blackness showed its ugly head,” read the post published on Wednesday by Don’t Shoot Portland, a local Black Lives Matter and mutual aid group founded in 2014.
The Wednesday post alleges that Wall of Moms founder Bev Barnum filed for business registrations without consulting the newly instated Black leaders and that the safety of Black members at the nightly protests in downtown Portland was overlooked.
Barnum has not yet commented publicly about the allegations.
The post said that issues of Black mothers’ safety have only come to light in the past 24 hours.
Barnum appeared to file three business registrations on Tuesday including one that makes The Wall of Moms a 501c3 nonprofit. Don’t Shoot Portland interpreted the filings to mean that Wall of Moms goal was to get federal officers out of Portland -- not to support Black Lives Matter, according to the Instagram post. The newly instated Black leaders were not told about the registrations, according to the post.
Wow. Bev Barnum wants to get federal officers out of Portland. She filed three business registrations. So this makes her "anti-Black"? I'm a strong supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, but not when leaders of that movement do or say crazy stuff. They owe Barnum an apology, in my opinion.
If you don't agree, fine. That's your opinion. We can agree to disagree without vilifying each other.