What the hell happened at Portland's protest yesterday? ...
I am SO TIRED!
I am tired of being told to vote when when I have voted in every cycle. I have been forced to stand up and fight for political issues since I was 14. I'm tired of it always failing. I'm tired of being trapped in a rigged system where a wealthy lobbyist's money not only overturns and fully muddles my vote, but creates mass amounts of completely avoidable suffering and death. I'm tired of wishing for vigilante justice knowing that the system is so broken, you'd have to be criminal to fight back.
What I'm even more tired of is the internet fueled citizens who confuse vigilante justice with property destruction and riotous behavior.
As I joined the march in Portland yesterday, I had a huge rush of emotions. I was elated to see our community members out in support, and overjoyed by the marching band that had come with a positive vibe, then it hit me just how much trouble we were in as a country and I started to weep. I brought along my camera in order to document such a monumental and incredibly important moment in history.
I stopped to take some photos and two women saw the tears leaking out of my eyes and walked right up to me to give me a hug and very graciously affirmed to me that everything will be ok and that I am loved. It was special, although it's so very much not about me. I am the least significant piece of this puzzle! I am only one of just so many.
Through the next few blocks I was overwhelmed with the feelings of sorrow for so many millions of women and citizens alike that deserve the respect of having the right to govern their own bodies along with the very personal, intimate, and often most frightening decisions of their lives. I was not at all able to hold back my tears. It was a very emotional space to be in.
We came by the park blocks and I decided to film a small video. A couple people in all black wearing face masks came up and told me not to film faces and I had a hard time not overreacting to that with the thought in my head that we're here for a peaceful protest and that is a right we have that is protected by the First Amendment of our country's Constitution, but I came to find out that they weren't there for peaceful protest at all.
As we turned the corner of Madison and first, the march abruptly stopped and BANG! Members of the crowd had started smashing widows and throwing firework mortars at buildings and many of us in the crowd started looking at each other in confusion. At this point I started to get very upset.
For the second time protesting in Portland I found myself in the middle of a large crowd not scared for my safety, but scared for my country and deeply conflicted by the rhetoric and actions of the demonstration.
During the George Floyd marches my big red flag was the chant "All Cops Are Bastards." I, personally vehemently disagree with any kind of vast generalizations and when I heard them chant that, I felt the progress digressing in that very moment.
This time it wasn't a chant it was property destruction. A very flagrant open crime and one thing I learned during the Black Lives Matter movement is that when you see something, you aught to say something, so I crossed the crowd and started screaming at the small crowd of six or seven people not only responsible for but actively continuing all the vandalism. I immediately said "You are not our advocates! Destroying property will not get us anywhere! This is not how we do this!"
I got a lot of mostly male-presenting people really mad at me and I, myself was furious and decided I had to remove myself from the crowd which was already dispersing at that point and everyone I ran into who were walking away (almost all female-presenting) had the same shared mixture of distain, disgust, and shear sadness as I did. It really was awful.
We did all hug it out as perfect strangers and one group even stayed and let me talk out my hysteria, so I started going into my own personal views and the fact that I had brought up ideas that they hadn't considered is the biggest reason why I am writing this out today...
We've gotten very comfortable with and outdated and inherently flawed political system. We have claimed it as superior because we were able to make enough progress to retain the right to free speech and the open market which is honestly as much of an illusion as "Liberty and Justice for all."
Meanwhile the law books have grown large enough to fill warehouses and our rights have slowly but surely been dismantled by the very people we've elected to protect them. Through complex and convoluted rules, laws and ordinances they have made us subject to such a complicated system that somehow always winds up skewed against us.
I never studied politics and only have lived through high school level economics, but let's go ahead and open up the debate about a voting system where we voted on the issues ourselves rather than and elected official or supreme court representative; where the government runs much like a non-profit and runs of the consensus off the people rather than representatives elected by the people.
I personally feel like it's time to cut out the middle man and let this be a true democracy where our vote actually does count and majority actually does win. Yes, I do understand that I just opened a huge can of worms, but it's food for thought.
Feel free to debate it out in the comments section below, but I do request that you keep it civil and respectful.
Thank you for reading and doing whatever you can to help foster change in our world.