Once upon a time in a place I still live, I used to be a brainwashed banshee liberal activist. Nowadays I feel way more like the grumpy old guy played by Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. My patience with the “movement” has officially worn thin and I’m praying a lot these days to remain neighborly. I sometimes hear Conway Twitty from the song “The Big Man Above” in my head telling me:
Got to help your neighbor. Show more love. Lend a hand. Don’t push and shove.
He’s right of course but I must admit after our car got keyed for having an apparently oppressive Jesus fish on it two days after the election, I have had to pray a little extra for those who “know not what they do.” My guess is whoever defaced our vehicle thought some terrible conservative zealot white guy drives our Corolla (yes I’m a Rolla Roller). Unbeknownst to the defacer, it was an interracial same-sex couple. Well shucks!
Prior to the recent election, I hardly watched the news…in fact I should say read the news as we don’t have TV channels (more on being a luddite in another post some day). This whole fake news business I’ve been aware of for years because really, if the issue doesn’t directly affect one’s home or family, than it’s pretty much bread and circuses. Anyway the only reason I started listening to the news again was because my hard working wife couldn’t get home during the post election protests here in Portland.
Traffic was blocked and the anarchist contingent of the
parade protest was busy breaking windows and threatening good people simply trying to get home from work. One of those people headed home was my wife and quite frankly I was scared for her safety along with those in and out of the scene in downtown Portland. When I worry for my family I get a little mad. Being a Christian is sometimes a practice and not a shortcut easily arrived at….so yeah I had to pray for my temporary enemies because I don’t like anyone messing with my family.
Then came day two and then three, then four of this crap. I myself had already missed an appointment to talk to a counselor about grieving for my recently departed grandma because of a Black Lives Matters protest blocking my bus route weeks prior and now this. I spoke with one woman who on day three of the post election marches said she had been delayed by two hours each night trying to get home on the bus. So a working class woman…supposedly the very person this protest was supposed to be for, was denied precious time safe at home in the name of “peace” and “safety” for the downtrodden. So much for “safe” spaces!
I took some pictures to demonstrate just who is “being helped” by these protests.
As you can see (I blocked out the faces for privacy) you have a disabled man, a black woman, and a female Muslim immigrant…the very people these protesters claim to be “supporting.” These folks luckily didn’t have to wait too long that day because the protest was cancelled at the last minute. But how many other people, minorities and other vulnerable folks included, were forced to be held hostage to a mostly white young able-bodied 1st amendment freak-out in the streets. This is not how we create or foster social justice. Instead what is brought out of the shadows is anger, resentment, and fear. This helps no one. And believe me when I say, the elites funding the likes of BLM, etc. know this and are certainly smiling.
My concern, as a former banshee liberal, is that people are going to get hurt. With inauguration day protests calling for willful chaos and mayhem I pray that parents who think they want to show their kids what the democratic process looks like by having them attend these protests think twice. These events always have random anarchist/communists hijack the routes and lead followers to confrontations with police. I’ve seen this one too many times (20 plus years of protesting thank you very much) and even blacks against police brutality are starting to notice unaffiliated radicals invade and infiltrate. As Dave Chappell once said “better not bring your kids.”
As for the rest of us who are not thrilled with how the presidential election turned out (by that I mean the whole thing from top to bottom seems like a farce) I suggest we do our best to ignore these bullies and stay out of their way. The collective tantrum that I suspect may be unleashed in my home town and other cities will be ugly. Let’s not be ugly too. There may be a lot of folks stuck in the middle of something they don’t understand because they have been brainwashed as I once was about how to advance the minority class. So let’s not meet hate with hate, foolishness with foolishness, and a mess with another mess.
The point of these shenanigans has not one iota to do with making things better for anyone. The point is chaos, divisiveness, and confusion. No we don’t need to be One (please I hope not) but we do need to be neighborly. My Bernie Sanders supporting next-door neighbors have pretty much the opposite of our beliefs, but we still exchange Christmas gifts with them. They are respectful and kind as are we. They stay out of our way & vice versa. We don’t fall all over each other to be nice nor do we admonish them. Regardless of how misguided we think they are, they have a right to think freely. We want them to get home safely whether they were in a protest or trying to escape one.
I encourage my fellow Portlanders, neighbors, and fellow earthlings to listen to Conway Twitty’s advice as these uncertain days for us all pass by.
Got to help your neighbor.
Show more love.
Lend a hand.
Don’t push and shove.
There is something more to all this than we think we’re seeing. Let’s discern our real enemy and not lead ourselves into evil. I for one on inauguration day just want to watch “They Live,” drink good beer, and not have to worry for my wife (or my car for that matter). As a queer woman of color, it seems I deserve at least that much from the social justice warriors (but I won’t hold my breath).