If you’ve been paying attention to what’s happening in Portland, OR, you’ve probably noticed that it resembles something you’d see in 1990s Somalia or 2000s Iraq. Parts of the downtown have been decimated while government buildings, including federal buildings, have been targeted for burning. For over 50 nights now, anarchists flying Antifa flags have committed acts of violence and destruction.
One person has the power to stop all this. The Mayor of Portland, Ted Wheeler, could simply allow his police force to do their jobs. Is he holding himself accountable, given he’s clearly allowing this to happen? Of course not. He’s blaming Donald Trump.
In a bizarre answer to a press question, Wheeler attempted to proclaim that the rioting was a result of Trump daring to send in federal agents to protect federal property and make arrests. It was then that a local journalist interrupted him to point out that the rioting had been going on for almost six weeks.
In a press conference today, Portland mayor @tedwheeler blames @realDonaldTrump & @DHSgov for the antifa riots in Portland. A reporter then points out the riots were already happening for 5 straight weeks before DHS came. https://t.co/mapGK7zRGx pic.twitter.com/rwIZobnYdV
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) July 18, 2020
Wheeler predictably had no good answer. Instead, he pivoted to a claim that the rioting had come close to fizzling out until Trump stoked the flames. That’s false as well, as a quick check of Any Ngo’s Twitter will show video after video showing continued violence and destruction over the last week. It was not going away or stopping. Trump’s move simply served as a future deterrent, but even if it were the case that Trump’s move incensed the rioters, what kind of mayor blames law enforcement for enforcing the law instead of those doing the rioting? The answer is apparently: Ted Wheeler.
What really stood out to me about this clip, though, is how rare it is to see a journalist call someone out like this who’s on the left. This is especially true in regard to the nationwide riots we’ve seen. Would a CNN anchor have corrected Wheeler to point out the anarchy had been going on for 50 days before Trump’s move? I’d bet a lot of money they wouldn’t have and I’d almost certainly win that bet. How many times have you seen any national journalist push back on the idea of “peaceful” protests? More often then not, they’ve been founding encouraging such, not questioning the narrative, which is supposed to be their job.
I’m not sure what the answer is for Portland, except for the people there to wake up and elect better leaders who will use the resources available to stop this nonsense. If Wheeler refuses to act, they will continue to be held hostage. The choice is truly theirs.