I doubt they read blogs like mine, but if some of the jerks who have been aiming fireworks at the federal courthouse in Portland every night, trying to dismantle the temporary fence that surrounds the building, and otherwise provoking a violent end to the otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter protests do come across this post, let's have a debate.
My position is: Violence should never be part of a Black Lives Matter protest. Not ever. Repeat, never.
Now, let me give reasons for why I think I'm correct about this. The first reason is much less important than the second, but I'll start with it.
Yes, I'm an old white guy. However, I was in college from 1966-71 at San Jose State College (or as I like to call it, with zero to back me up, the Stanford of the South Bay).
We had lots of protests against the Vietnam War. I recall that most were peaceful, though sometimes the cops behaved badly. However, most of us hippies truly did believe in "Make love, not war." Sure, there were fringe groups on campus that espoused violence against the Powers That Be. I didn't know anyone who agreed with them, though
So I felt right at home at the only Black Lives Matter protest I've attended here in Salem. It featured thousands of people who listened to inspiring speakers, then marched through downtown and back to the Capitol Mall without any trace of violence or even overt hostility to police.
(Jerry Moore, the police chief spoke at the event.)
The focus was on what it should be: Black Lives Matter.
And that's what is so irritating about the violent acts being carried out by small numbers of troublemakers or anarchists, not only in Portland but now also in Seattle and other cities. Which gets me to my second, and more important, reason for decrying violence at these protests.
Black leaders are calling for an end to it.
A few days ago E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland branch of the NAACP had a right-on opinion piece in the Washington Post. Here's some excerpts.
A front page story in today's Portland Oregonian makes some similar points.
It was almost 11 p.m. Wednesday when the crackle and flash of fireworks erupted at the federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
For some of the Black activists across the street at the county’s Justice Center, the disruption was a signal to wrap up for the night. The volatile scene beginning to play out a block away was distracting the crowd.
Michael Richard, 38, the final speaker, closed with a lament:
“What’s going on over there is a white movement … that’s taking over Black Lives Matter.”
The rest of the night would be marked by fire, chaos and a show of force by federal officers.
“A spectacle” is how the Rev. E.D. Mondaine described the spasm of late-night violence that has become the norm.
He blamed not only disruptive protesters but also presidential interference, which he said is carefully calculated to divert attention.
“Our movement has been co-opted and I am angry about it,” said Mondaine, president of the Portland NAACP. “Once again the status quo is finding a way to interrupt this revolution, this moment.
“We have to begin to organize more people to talk about the distractors,” he said. “These are privileged children of the status quo dancing on the stages that were designed to lift up the voices of people like (civil rights leader) C.T. Vivian and (U.S. Rep) John Lewis, the stages that were built to lift up the voice of justice and equality and inclusion.”
...Even before the involvement of federal law enforcement, the nights have tended to unfold in predictable ways: Black activists lead the crowds in front of the Justice Center with chants such as “Black lives matter” and “No justice, no peace.” Often they exhort the crowd to refrain from violence.
Then at some point well after dark, a faction of protesters that Blake referred to as “the graveyard shift,” largely young and white, turns its attention to the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse.
Over the course of the past week, demonstrators have carried out a range of destructive acts: They’ve set bonfires in the courthouse portico and pried plywood off the windows and doors, tossed a grill and garbage over the fence around the building, pointed lasers at officers and lit fireworks with concussive blasts that can be felt for blocks.
Almost on cue, officers with U.S. Marshals Service and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, many in camouflage and tactical gear, at some point emerge from the courthouse and sweep the streets using clouds of tear gas, pepper balls and other impact munitions.
...People lashing out during the protests “have legitimate anger, but I would respectfully disagree with them,” said Eric Ward, a longtime civil rights strategist and executive director of the Western States Center, a Portland-based organization that monitors right-wing extremism.
“I would say they are applying that anger in a wrong way,” Ward said. “Pulling down the boards of the federal courthouse or the Justice Center doesn’t stop police from brutalizing Black and Latino and Indigenous people on the streets of Portland.”
Protesting police violence by acting violently toward police obviously undercuts the core message of these protests. It serves no purpose. Well, it serves Trump's purpose to demonize the Black Lives Matter protests as threats to law and order in cities controlled by Democratic mayors.
And that's another reason to end the violence by a minority of protesters: Trump is relishing it.
I was with you until you had to turn it partisan. You don't know what Trump wants and frankly, I think it's hurt his campaign as much as the virus. He's damned if he does or doesn't do something about what's happening in our cities. I'd like to know why the so-called leaders seem unwilling to do anything and the police chief in Seattle has cal;led out hers for what it's doing with leaving no protection from the police. She suggested be ready to defend yourself. The last thing you'd think democratic leadership would want given their dislike for guns.
Posted by: Rain Trueax | July 27, 2020 at 09:28 AM
Violence should never be part of any protest, BLM or other wise, but this is part of the Democrat plan.
Something to think about….
The US Population is 330,000,000 and in 5 months the number of deaths was 130,000. The number of deaths as a percent of the population is 0.03939 %, compared to the number of cancer cases diagnosed in 2019 (1,762.450) and 607,000 deaths. Or, the Spanish flu with over 500,000 deaths in a smaller population which subsided and life returned to normal.
This doesn’t seem far fetched because it is happening before our eyes
A very well-orchestrated plan, or an unimaginable set of events that just fell into place .. with the United States front and center. You tell me!!
Scare people with a virus, force them to wear masks and place them in quarantine.
Count the number of deaths every second of every day, in every News Headline. By the way, ninety-nine and eight-tenths of the people who get the virus, recover. About one to two-tenths of one percent who get the virus, die. Most of them have other medical problems. Did you catch that ? Less than 1/2 of a percent die.
Close businesses = 35,000,000+ instantly unemployed.
Remove entertainment and prohibit Recreation; Closing parks, gyms, bars, restaurants, sports.
No dating. No touching. Isolate people. Dehumanize them.
Close Temples and Churches, prohibit worship. Create a vacuum and let depression, anxiety, hopelessness, and desperation set in.
Then... ignite hatred and civil unrest, creating Civil War. (BLM riots)
Empty the prisons because of the virus and fill the streets with criminals.
Send in Antifa to vandalize property, as if they are freedom fighters. Undermine the law, Riot, Loot and Attack all Law Enforcement, but tell the government to order a stand-down.
Then... Defund Law Enforcement and abolish Police.
We are all being played by those who want to destroy America! This is how you destroy a Nation from within and in a very short order. Will it work, I guess that depends on you and me
Posted by: A.P. Wahl | July 27, 2020 at 09:30 AM
This entire era we are living through = the unmasking of ultra-liberal self loathing.
The coffin has been built one nail at a time.
Posted by: Skyline | July 27, 2020 at 01:14 PM