While Portland has been at the forefront of national attention for the Black Lives Matter movement, activists and supporters are dissociating from anarchists that destroy for racial injustice and their far-left ideals, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Following the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, these "activists" committed arson, got into fights with police and did other acts that kept them in the headlines this year. Skip to the drawn-out conclusion of the 2020 Election, where Joe Biden and Kamala Harris claimed victory over President Donald Trump; that's where a rift started forming between anarchists and the Black activists they claim to support.
"Black activists and community leaders, who generally view the defeat of Trump as an opportunity for change within the system, said the anarchists are hijacking the movement and undermining the push for racial justice by continuing to commit violence," LA Times wrote. The anarchists think Biden is no better than Trump, calling for the decimation of the many of the systems governing our lives -- from politics to the economy.
Mingus Mapps, a Black resident who won a seat on the Portland City Council, told the newspaper that setting fire to a building doesn't liberate him.
“It does the opposite. It fuels the political culture that makes racism possible," Mapps said. The councilman-elect also peacefully participated in several demonstrations, advocating for police reform beyond budget cuts. “We’re going to get out of the game of smoke bombs and rubber bullets and dressing cops up like they’re Marines as we stand outside public buildings and yell at each other,” he said.
While the LA Times said their ruckus had drew attention to racial issues, their violence has caused overall problems for the Black Lives Matter movement. Back in June, protestors launched an arson attack on a building which held a police station and Black-owned businesses on Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Black community leaders denounced the incident.
“When I hear about somebody burning something down, I think about that as an act that’s always been used against Black people,” longtime Black activist Ron Herndon said. “You are not helping us.”
Herndon was not the only one calling for anarchists to cease their violence. Several interviews show other Black community leaders condemning these actions and dissociating the anarchists from the movement. The anarchists, however, were emboldened by the attention from politicians and the media; and so, they continued their violence.
“I don’t know what their goal is other than just destruction,” Officer Derek Carmon said, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman. “My hope is that we’ll see less of this, but it’s difficult when you’re dealing with a group of people who don’t want to engage the police in a conversation about change.”
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