“We’ve heard this resolution is mostly symbolic, we’ve heard this resolution will solve nothing,” Wheeler said, making what he was proposing sound not very sweeping at all, a show of earnestness on the part of the government to keep its people safe, and who could argue with that? And if the details of the resolution were not in place, maybe that was OK, you could craft it as you went, could apply it as needed to anything you deemed hateful, a prospect that seemed to alarm only a few people in the room, who may have sensed the resolution could be used on a whim, or as revenge, or to limit personal freedoms.
“Who is going to determine who these [hate] groups are?” one member of the public asked.
Mayor Wheeler responded, “This last testimony does not reflect anything in the resolution.” The resolution passed unanimously.
This invitation to shut up for the greater good might seem quaint, compared with the liberties being sacrificed elsewhere daily, the publishers who pulp books based on fictional characters not displaying subjective standards of cultural verisimilitude, The New York Times ceasing to run political cartoons lest someone take offense, the designer Carolina Herrera being called out for designing a gown with a floral pattern inspired by indigenous weavings. I get we live in an overheated environment where words and food and flowers can get you burned, and have myself been burned in Portland. Still, a city can develop a cast, a tenor, and when that tenor becomes law, you might have reservations about where the place is heading, might sense people taking undue pleasure in stoking their suspicions, might not think the environment one you want to spend any more of your life around. Did I mention I am moving back to New York?
At the end of June a colleague of mine, Andy Ngo, was beaten by a group of left-wing activists at a rally here. I say “left-wing activists” because they were said to have shown up in reaction to a protest staged by groups the city considers alt-right. At this point people in Portland march to aggress the “other” side, to goad others into fistfights, to use milkshakes as weapons, the latter a trend bizarrely receiving celebration, the former evergreen, violence seen by people on all sides as somehow necessary to the times.
The attack on Andy, who spent the night in the hospital, was instantly politicized. Michelle Malkin started a GoFundMe that in 17 hours raised more than $91,000. Laura Ingraham misinterpreted a tweet enough to make it seem a fact that the milkshake thrown on Andy contained cement. Those seen as progressive insinuated that Andy had provoked people into hitting him; that he was asking for it; some variation of pulling a Jussie Smollett. A friend who posted photos of one of Andy’s alleged attackers online messaged me that people were telling her to “call Laura Loomer. … I personally want to pack up my kids and dogs and leave my house for a week. I have a bad feeling about all this.”
Me too. Nothing comes out of the blue, and if you don’t think Portlandization can happen to a place near you, you have not been paying attention.
Read the whole thing.