It's Portland, people! Holy Hey Zeus!
I don't understand what is happening in my city. I can't wrap my head around the sharp escalation in terror, fear, violence.
Two weeks ago (although it feels like the day before yesterday), two men died and another was gravely injured at the hands of a white supremacist terrorist on a public train in my city. During the afternoon commute. On a regular Friday. Crazy broke free of the bonds containing it and tore a vicious and bloody hole in my neighborhood. My actual neighborhood. It's my dad's transit stop, and just one stop away from mine.
Crazy. That's a handy excuse. We hear that all the time from the gun rights people - 'It's not the gun. There isn't enough mental health help for these poor (white) people.' Fuck that. This guy used a knife. And, I also don't want to hear the bullshit from the prisoner rights people. 'He was radicalized in prison, it's the environment, it's not his fault.' Fuck that. It's a personal choice to pick up a weapon and kill someone when your life is not in jeopardy. So, fuck all that; fuck those bullshit excuses, fuck you to the people who would normalize this action. This is not normal.
We are all stunned. Gobsmacked. Reeling. Disbelieving and incredulous. How could this happen here? Portland is so mellow, so laid back, so easy going. Ha. That's just the image. Thanks, Portlandia! (Disclaimer: they are often spot on.) The seedy underbelly of Portland is white, ugly, and racist. There. I said it. There are a lot of creepy and scary people around here.
And, the level of violence is escalating. The fringe is emboldened and they are acting out on what had only been fantasies before. A train conductor beaten up, a woman held up at gun point at my local park, stabbings, mob violence. A bomb threat today at the transit center where the two men died. Holy fucking whatever!
It's Portland, people! Stop it!
I'm trying my best to be a force for good, but it is damned difficult in these times.