I don’t understand. Please explain this to me like I’m a five-year-old.
People in Portland are protesting, which I do understand and fully support. They are protesting in support and solidarity of Black Lives Matter, which I fully support, and the murder of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and too too many other people of color.
From what I can tell, they have been peacefully protesting, which we all have the Constitutional right to do. I myself have taken part in several frontline protests in my lifetime, starting with Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. I have also protested many other times, doing my part in ways that work for me and where I am in life at that point in time.
What I don’t understand is why the Portland protesters feel the need to do it in front of the Federal Courthouse. They know the man in the Oval Office is using protests in that location as fodder for his campaign. They know he is using it as fodder to say there is essentially anarchy in Portland. They know he is using it as fodder to justify why a paramilitary force is now in Portland, and are about to be deployed to Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Chicago.
So why continue to give him his fodder, his talking points, his political ads, his propaganda to the many people who don’t seem to be able to critically think about what is happening right before their very eyes, or just can’t admit they were wrong in voting for the man in the Oval Office in the first place, so they are doubling down to save face (see critical thinking again).
Why not continue the protests, which they should, but do it away from Federal Buildings? Why not think strategically, rather than emotionally (which often gets in the way of thinking strategically)? Why not call his bluff and let the American people see your narrative, not the narrative he is portraying? Why do you feel the need to continue protesting so late into the night where the paramilitary troop can do many harmful things under the cover of tear gas and darkness?
And, why are some protesters trying to purposefully antagonize this unlawful, unconstitutional paramilitary troop by firing fireworks at the building, walking up and getting in the face of these soldiers, or throwing water bottles and such at them. When you do those kinds of actions, there will be a reaction to it, which could, in the end, make you dead. Is that what you want?
I honor and admire the wall of vets, the wall of moms, the wall of dads, the wall of teachers, the wall of nurses, and all the other walls and protesters. Keep it up, keep it loud, keep it safe!
Most importantly, continue to call attention to your just cause. And again, do it strategically. Tell your own story, don’t let the man in the Oval Office tell it his way. Because if you continue to let him tell the story, it will harm all of us, not just Portlanders.
Remember your when, your how, and most importantly, remember your why. Remember too, the means does not often justify the end.
Please move away from Federal property to protest. The American people have gotten behind your cause, and are continuing to stay behind you in your cause, the cause that helps lift us all, but only if you protest peacefully and strategically.
I beg of you for the safety of yourselves, and the soul of our country, move away, move away, find another place to make your say:
“I can’t breath!” “Hands up, please don’t shoot me!” “Black Lives Matter!”