Trump’s attempts at Mr. Hero Man
The Black Lives Matter Protests rocked the nation. But, as usual, Mr. “Gotta be alla’ ‘bout me,” is perpetually found ways to redirect the ugly, tanning light back upon himself like a laser beam.
As his deeds grows darker, white America bleaches out Black America’s cause. It’s infuriating.
I was in Portland during the protests. The good fight goes on. But I saw and heard comment after comment, and article after article, about Him. He ordered the troops. He fights the “anarchists.” He alone, can solve racism.
Literally, Trump is doing a bang-up job.
This national disgrace, our inability to stay focused, began when the heinous murder of one George Floyd shook even comfortable white middle-agers into the streets. Yes, late to the cause, for sure, but trying very hard, I think, to reveal racism in all its many toxic forms.
But almost overnight, what has been more or less non-eventful protests became frightful after-dark displays of young agitators hurling insults and tear gas canisters back at federal agents. Had the stormtroopers never been sent in, to “quell the violence,” the focus would have stayed on BLACK LIVES MATTER.
Trump is good at bad PR
Trump is good at very few things, but publicity shots of his dominating the streets, offer any susceptible patriots’ reasons to believe that these protests are overwhelmingly riotous. First hand, it is easy to see they are not. But on the nightly news shape-shifted into scenes of destruction and looting, it is no wonder that right leaning voters think the Fed Force is necessary.
Like holding up a bible, that surprisingly didn’t burst into flame, Trump knows how to use a photo op for all right leaning propagandists to display just how out of control our liberal cities are, SEE?!
We walked all over beautiful Portland, Oregon’s downtown and waterfront for hours. People are biking, dining, chatting, walking dogs. In short, the city is not on fire, but doing even better than expected during a global plague. Given the influx of both protesters and curious gawkers who wish to see what all the fuss is about, we saw plenty of lattes sold, and bar keeper’s kept busy.
There was some early on violence in Portland back in May. Just as in Seattle — my other beloved home base in the Pacifist Northwest — waves came and went in all the confusion. But there is no doubt to city officials, and to citizens here, that you can create far more trouble by threatening violence with para-military troops than what was happening before their arrival.
Trump is bundling up bullying and packaging it up as heroism.
In Portland, most store fronts are boarded up and the added plywood gave demonstrators and street artists plenty of canvas to make elaborate memorials, and beautiful pleas. Yet, you will see only clashes and bitter vitriol, not art, or the dancing, singing, drumming and more, that is actually happening for far more hours here.
We saw exactly three broken windows, and that is not proportional to the force being aligned against the many people here who did not break them. We know some business is suffering due to these negative messages about our beloved cities. We also know, but are not being heard in the mainstream media, that this has been made all about savior Trump and his goons to go straight for the heart of America’s MAGA greatest fears.
If the uninvited federal agents are helping in Portland, Seattle, or any other destined city of doom, it’s not visible. But what is visible is that Trump is desperately clutching and clawing at votes from people he tries to keep terrified with his dangerous liberal cities trash talk.
Doctor my eyes
My eyes stung all the way home from Portland. I felt encouraged by the continuing bravery of those beginning the third month of demands for police to protect and serve. It was wonderful to join hundreds of women of every color, (Even White!) to offer to protect and serve the truly threatened demonstrators putting their lives in the fire of federal troops.
Yet, I was sad, too. In America we are seeing the most bizarre and conflated images of carnage that Mr. Trump can release through his gas bag head, sprayed on moms, vets, doctors, clerks, hairdressers.
A few of these everyday Americans may have anarchist leanings, but most of us just want the focus back on what matters: Black Lives and equality.
A few agitators may throw water bottles, aim laser pens at lookout sentries, and, yes, even disrupt the focus of our being here with their whining, and often profanity laced demands to not be murdered.
Of all the things that Trump could excel at; he can identify elephant drawings, say five words in a sequence, (and of course, is the greatest mind ever to tackle a worldwide pandemic) he is hurting innocent people, disinfecting a great movement with white-washing bleach, and of course, as usual, he is keeping Americans scared, amused, entertained, and distracted.
Will the great white bread and circuses campaign last until election day? I don’t know. My eyes have seen too much, and they still sting from smoke, tear gas, and lies.
Previously published on “Equality Includes You”, a Medium publication.
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo credit: Christyl Rivers