Let’s examine race and policing in Portland & DC

I and others have mentioned, of course, the vastly different treatment given to BLM protesters when it was thought they might inflict property damage and yesterday’s insurrectionists. There are numerous reports, including from Newsweek, about how law enforcement had plenty of information leading them to predict that the publicly-planned January 6th event would become violent. They even had good reason to fear there would be violence against people, not just property. For a variety of reasons, they did not take seriously the need for event security or even security on Capitol Hill. One reason is particularly interesting: they feared it would be even worse if they acted to prepare defenses against violence. Why? Here’s Newsweek’s take:

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You know what you did…

So what is it?

it’s been a weird and difficult year, but before we hit January 1st & everyone starts talking about what you’re certainly going to do this next year, let’s take a minute to contemplate what we did this past year.

Did you beat cancer into remission? Introduce your kids to your favorite hiking trail? Read an excellent book? Finish a degree? Reorganize that closet so you can actually find the things you need when you need them? Actually get a picture of that rare bird you see two or three times per year, but only when you don’t have your camera?

We’ve all complained about 2020, but a year is a long time. I know everyone has done things that they are proud or happy to have accomplished. I know that I’m happy to have been a part of the protests in Portland. I have deep roots there and what happens in Oregon generally and Portland specifically matters to me. Barriers related to disability can get in the way of getting a lot of things done, and when the new wave of protests began in the aftermath of the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, I wished I could do more. But I wasn’t really doing much.

Then things continued to get worse, and suddenly I found it in me: I did do more, for three hard weeks. It required help from a number of people (thank you all!) but I was able to maintain a presence there for a crucial period of time. And that mattered. Whatever else I did or didn’t do, I can say that I am both proud and happy that in 2020 I did that.

So, what did you do this year?

Racists are inscrutable

Okay, so there’s this guy. He’s an asshole, but he’s just some guy, y’know?

No, his name is not Zaphod Beeblebrox.

His name is Michael John Frederick, Jr. Despite being just a guy – excuse me, just a white guy – he’s managed to make it into the news cycle for some of  his recent accomplishments. What accomplishments, you wonder? Oh just this and that:

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Say It, ACLU!

On the afternoon of Wednesday, Sep 23rd, not much more than an hour after the Kentucky AG announced that no officers would be charged for the killing of Breonna Taylor, the ACLU released its own statement to the press. Before you read it, remember that this is the statement of an old organization that depends on its relationships for its effectiveness as much as it does the courts. So when they release statements, they’re not normally likely to simultaneously set fire to their political relationships and impugn the credibility of the courts.

But read this fucker:

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Black Lives Don’t Matter

Well, the grand jury indictments are in and a single officer is being charged with three counts of “Wanton Endangerment” because his bullets penetrated through the dry wall of Breonna Taylor’s apartment, burst through the drywall on the other side, and trespassed in an apartment not belonging to Taylor.

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Tuffy the Snowflake (Content Warning)

Was a hateful, hurtful soul.

No, seriously folks, I don’t get a lot of hate mail, but I do get some occasionally and I just got the most delightfully horrifying piece of violent thuggery that I’ve ever had sent to my FreethoughtBlogs comment queue.

It was sent to me by someone calling themselves “Tuffy”, and if you choose to read it, be forewarned: there’s the racism and some more racism and violent fantasies before mixing it up with some anti-semitism, more violence, the racism again, and oh, the direct threats. But what makes it worth posting is that this snowflake is responding to my post about how BLM in Portland won some valuable if modest concessions. And boy, did the idea that BLM has made some progress towards creating a society in which Black lives matter really upset the poor, widdle Tuffy. (I kid you not, that’s the actual screen name they chose.) There’s really no other way to say it but that this Tuffy is the most precious, delicate snowflake in the whole intertubes. He is just foot-stompin’ mad:

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BLM and the state of the USA’s constitutional protections in Utah

Portland has been my focus, because I was on the ground there (I am now away from the city for a week, but I’ll be back). But Portland isn’t the only place where Black lives don’t matter nearly enough, and it’s certainly not the only place where Black Lives Matter is getting into some good trouble:

Black Lives Matter protesters in Salt Lake City have been accused of splashing paint on a road and smashing the windows of the district attorney’s building at a July protest — and now, the charges they face carry a maximum sentence of life in prison.

Madalena McNeil, the woman who committed the crime of – get this – buying red paint at a store that was later sloshed on a street by a completely different person, is now facing life in prison.

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BLM Won – Just wait til they win some MORE!

Hey, folks! It’s time to PARRRRR-TAY!

BLM and their supporters have managed a major victory in Portland. Not only did Fed presence almost entirely disappear from Portland (we saw one FPS vehicle – a clearly marked SUV – anywhere downtown last night, Thursday the 30th, and it was parked and empty about 5 blocks from the Hatfield courthouse), but we ourselves did a good job of stopping any antics. One small fire was set, but protesters acted quickly to put it out with bottled water.

Although I don’t think that small fires or launching fireworks can possibly excuse the behavior of the Feds, in the PR war being waged in the media about whom to blame for the Portland catastrophe, making that first night without Feds as peaceful as possible was an important victory. For that PR victory, I’m quite glad.

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Interview with a YOUNG HOT GAY

So, you don’t believe your friendly, neighborhood Crip Dyke that the protesters have, yes, in the past thrown fireworks and set small fires of wood or trash on concrete (where they could not spread), but that we were getting more peaceful over time, the BLM organizers were calling for more peaceful activities every day she was there, and that they’d even gone so far as to call on people to just go home after the rally and skip the courthouse protests (though they did not repeat that call last night, I can’t say why, but seemed instead to endorse staying in the park and partying over the fact that the worst of the feds were in town for only one more night)…

…and that therefore all this violence by the feds was majorly, unutterably, supremely fucking undeserved?

Well maybe you just don’t like hearing things from a woman. This is why I gots you a REAL MAN and a YOUNG HOT GAY to boot to ‘splain the same things I been telling you, only this time on camera where your Crip Dyke will not put her face.

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