Fissures have developed within the protest community over actions by some that have harmed communities of color. That has caused support for protests to dwindle within the movement itself, some observers say, with several of the city’s most prominent and respected activists alleging some of today’s protesters are no longer aligned with the original goals of the Black Lives Matter movement.
The movement has fractured and no longer represents anything coherent. Violence is not the answer. There was a multipart failure in the original conception of the Black Lives Matter organization, but what has damaged it most is not renouncing violence and not removing anarchists from their midst.
Protesters, activists and organizers for the past year have been unified in one of the movement’s primary goals: the significant defunding of the Portland Police Bureau. And protesters who organize direct action events go further, demanding the abolition of law enforcement.
Defunding the police is among the worst things one can do to minorities. It is an incredibly heavy-handed, blunt way of achieving police “reform.” To cite but one example, the enormous rise in murder in Portland is tied directly to the defunding of the Gun Violence Task Force last year.
The main thing these protests do now politically is point out how incompetently managed the City of Portland is, providing real-world video footage for Fox News to buttress the argument that we need a strongman GOP president in 2024.
If minorities feel somewhat betrayed in all this, and it’s clear from the article that many of them do, its understandable. We do need policing reform. Violence won’t bring that about, however.