I’m disappointed that the Black Lives Matter protests in Portland have so fragmented the Black Lives Matter message. These protests are about everything from police brutality, to gun violence, to anti-war, anti-colonialism, and even anti-capitalism issues. I’m particularly disappointed in the latter. I’m a strong believer in the fight against stereotyping, profiling, and out-and-out killing of people of color by some or our countries police forces. But, sorry guys, I am a proud capitalist and see no relationship between trigger-happy cops and a free market economy. When you took all these other positions, you lost my support. I’ll fight for black lives forever but that fight has nothing to do with capitalism.
I also want to say is that you can’t be effective if you let people use your fight as justification for vandalism. Please speak out against those among you who would use the first amendment as license to destroy other people’s property. That does no one any good.
Lastly, I really don’t understand the purpose of having a protest to save black lives that involves keeping others from safely shopping at small businesses on the one day of the year that can make or break an entire year’s profitability. Keeping people away from Pearl District businesses on Black Friday does not help the cause of black people. It just makes life more difficult for middle class, hard working, merchants.
Now let me share a few images from today’s event.
- If you want to teach your kids that Black Lives Matter is an important message, I’m with you all the way. I’m proud of this photo and I’m proud of this kid and his parents.
2. I’m not sure what it means to “Resist and Protect”. I hope it doesn’t mean resist arrest because that’s a quick way to incite exactly what you are trying to stop. Nice colors though.
3.Here is what i call an effective sign. It actually says something understandable and important.The pumpkin hair is a nice touch too.
4. Standing still like a statue is not very effective in my book.Stop-motion Tai Chi doesn’t save lives when all you are doing is displaying random words about how bad profit is.
5. I will admit that I find the mean girl pouty look kind of attractive but that’s just because I’ve never shed my male biases.
6. Getting shitty with the cops probably is not the best way to protest. Gandhi had a better approach. But conflict does make for good news photos. So here’s one I like.
So, look, y’all. Protest all you want. I wish you kept your message focused on Black Lives; then I could support you. Fragmentation dilutes the message. Plus, you lose people like me who agree with the main message but don’t buy into all you have added to it. Please consider not taking your anger out on small businesses. That doesn’t help. And, please, please, please don’t use your gatherings to condone property damage. That’s all I ask.