"Florida Man" comes to Portland

I see the Oregonian has a feel-good story up today about the demonstrations in Portland a year ago, immediately after the death of George Floyd. The article is behind their silly paywall, and I'm not one of the 47 people who actually pay to read their stuff, but from the headline, it seems to be about how folks from all walks of life were there.

It sounds like a lovely nostalgic tribute, but here in the real world, the kids are still breaking up the place, destroying downtown and chasing businesses away. The cops are still mostly cads and slackers. And a lot of central Portland looks like a third world country.

As for everyday Moms and Pops joining the marches, that is over. So is the connection between the marchers in the downtown streets and any meaningful social reform. Now it is a couple of hundred people, mostly social outcasts and many of them downright crazy, acting out destructive fantasies.

Case in point: Check out this "demonstrator," armed to the teeth and terrorizing a Tri-Met bus in the Burlingame neighborhood. This is who the "End Civ/Land Back" set is attracting to their nighttime act-outs these days. 

Portlanders, go ahead and have a warm, fuzzy moment thinking back on when we all braved Covid and stood up to Trump, Barr, Chad Wolf, and our own Billy Bob Williams. But don't kid yourself. Until the 2021 brand of "protesting" stops, the city will never come back. And every day that it continues, delays the recovery by two days, at least. Good reputations can be destroyed in an instant, but it takes a long time to rebuild them.