Although President Biden’s election should have appeased those protesting in Portland his election has shown that regardless of the political identities of the administration, Portland rioters will continue to destroy their city.
By Lenin O’Mahony
In recent weeks, riots in the city of Portland Oregon have persisted. Windows are broken, fires are started, and the rioters continue to march and burn flags, even the Biden campaign flag. So, what is going on? You see, the people of Portland during the Trump administration rioted and marched regularly. They sought to encourage the removal of President Trump, who they despised. They wanted the destruction of ICE, and protested on behalf of the BLM movement, among other things. However, throughout the many protests that turned into riots, there have been firebombs used, commercial grade fireworks, and more. Rioters have not been shy in how they have used tools to fight police, and many officers have been hospitalized. Portland, unlike other cities in America, was trademarked as a center of both protest, and riots. Of activism, and violence.
Many expected this to calm down since the election of President Biden, but they were sadly mistaken. Riots returned to Portland even right after the inauguration of Biden. Now, violence was directed at Democrats, and hate for the federal government continued. As I mentioned, they burned the Biden campaign flag, they had signs stating that they were “ungovernable.” These individuals desired to perpetuate violence against the government, against the institution best able to start creating the institutional change these people said they wanted. But it seems instead of institutional change, they only want to destroy the institution of America. Our entire political landscape flipped with the election of President Biden. Republicans were on the defensive, Democrats were gaining traction across the country, the executive branch was Democratic! This was a huge change, and executive orders to undo many Trump-era policies were flying out of the White House. Yet, Portland continued to burn.
I recognize that I cannot say that all the people who rioted against the Biden administration in Portland were the same who stood on those streets to protest Trump. I cannot claim that all those peaceful protests were orchestrated by the same who threw fire bombs at federal buildings. But I can say that those who continue to riot, and those who attack the same buildings and institutions as were under threat with Trump as president, have shown that they do not care about America, or Americans. They desire only violence and destruction. They refuse to consider that there is a path to change through peace and cooperation, and that is because the change they wish to see is in this country as a whole. They do not wish to improve our country, they wish to tear it down, Republican or Democrat, Green Party, Libertarian or Independent, they do not care. They do not respect our Democracy, or our nation.
If you want to protest against the wrongdoings of the American government or Americans, that is fine. That should in fact be strongly encouraged. But it seems as if you can no longer do it peacefully in Portland. Portland is now considered to be a collection of violent anti-American rioters, who will continue to riot until God knows when. If you choose to protest in a city plagued by such rioters, you risk your association with them. Portland is the definition of the far left, the unsafe and violent far left. Are they the majority? No. Are they a legitimate threat to our country? No. But extremism exists on all sides of the political spectrum, and if the storming of the capital on January 6 was the far right, then the continued violence in Portland is the far left. We should encourage and desire neither. The Democrats need to separate themselves from the destruction in Portland the same as the Republicans should distance themselves from the January 6th violence.
Melanie Moyer '22,