“License, registration and pronouns please”

Local news media are scandalized by anonymous feedback given by police officers forced to endure the Portland Police Bureau Office of Equity and Inclusion’s recent “2022 LGBTQIA2S+ and Queer Policy” online training course (per PPB’s Directive 640.38, Interacting with Members of the LGBTQIA2S+ / Queer Community).

The law firm overseeing the PPB’s compliance with a federal consent decree says the overwhelmingly negative reaction is white supremacist and proof of the necessity of further training.

Unidentified Portland police officers left derogatory remarks on an anonymous survey seeking their feedback about online training regarding how to refer to and interact with people in the LGBTQ+ community.

The statements revealed “racism, ableism and white supremacy,’’ and the need for more and better equity instruction, according to city-hired consultants.

The bureau’s Equity and Inclusion Office, which works out of the police chief’s office, developed the training last year.

Dennis Rosenbaum of Rosenbaum & Associates, the firm monitoring the Police Bureau’s compliance with a federal settlement agreement, said the chief’s office was alerted about the problem during the second quarter of 2022.

Staff in the chief’s office and city officials promised to address the “problematic ideologies” expressed in the surveys, but the consultants said in their latest report that they had “yet to see a response.”

Rosenbaum said the police chief and city leaders must emphasize that such ideologies “have no place” within the bureau, while not infringing on any member’s First Amendment rights…

“None of that surprises me,” said Debra Porta, executive director of Pride Northwest.

Rosenbaum and Associates has served as Portland’s “Compliance Officer/Community Liason” overseeing compliance with federal consent decrees since 2015, when they were picked to monitor the city’s settlement of an Obama era pattern and practice suit alleging the PPB used excessive force against the mentally ill. In February 2020 the Department of Justice announced the city had satisfied all 190 terms of the six year-old settlement agreement. But the decree was not yet formally lifted.

With Biden’s election and Merrick Garland’s appointment as Attorney General the Department of Justice announced it would return to the Obama-era policy of aggressively using federal consent decrees against police departments that don’t toe the line. For Portland that meant lawsuits on behalf of antifa rioters and reneging on releasing the city from the decree. DOJ attorneys argued police had violated it by using excessive force against rioters (And no, the DOJ did not argue the decree applied because antifa are mentally ill).

To be freed from the settlement agreement and the accompanying federal oversight, Portland must be found in compliance and remain in compliance with the settlement’s terms for one year. The city in February 2020 was found in compliance for the first time since the agreement took effect in 2014.

But the Department of Justice and the independent group overseeing the agreement, found the police bureau’s forceful response to racial justice protests later that year exposed significant shortcomings and the city fell out of compliance.

Under the decree in 2015 the PPB created its Office of Equity and Inclusion which produced the queer policy online training. The OEI seeks to “center equity” and “lead with race”.

In alignment with OEHR and the City of Portland we believe that it is critical to lead with race. Centering on Race means that race is at the forefront of equity considerations throughout decision making processes. We center race because of the harmful history of color blind policy and lack of attention to the most marginalized. Centering race does not mean that the Equity Office does not seek to remedy other forms of marginalization such as sexism or homophobia nor does it mean we are not invested in positive outcomes for all peoples. It merely means that we purposefully focus the critical impact of race in our society.

But what about that OEI training video? It’s a doozy.

PPB’s masked, hapless Chief Chuck Lovell introduces the program using the full “LGBTQAI2S+ and queer community” description with the demeanor of a hostage. After he and three assistant chiefs genuflect in various ways, the EIO’s “equity training specialist” Lauren Rosenstein leads us through the identity labyrinth.

Queer: A word to encompass members on the LGBTQIA2S+ spectrum and sexual minorities such as people who engage in kink, polyamory, and sex work.

“I know there’s a lot of vocabulary here, but remember, the test isn’t if you got all of the letters of the acronym right or if you can recite the definitions, the goal is to respond with humility and empathy, when a person shares their identity with you…[L]anguage is a tool we can use. Theres nuance and it’ll change again at some point, and when it does, we’ll be there to say ‘got it, thanks for letting me know.'”

We are instructed eventually these identities will all be combined as “the Queer Community”. The only identity not included will be monogamous straight people without a sexual fetish or an arrest for prostitution. Officers are taught how to ask for pronouns and gently promise to work at it when they get it wrong. “We aren’t telling you to ask everyone for their pronouns. Best practice is to say ‘how would you like to be addressed?'”

Difficulties beyond pronouns arise. In one scenario police officers are investigating a trans “woman” who doesn’t want to be searched by a man, citing his legal right as a woman to request to be searched by another woman. Officers are instructed to radio for a female officer if one is not on the scene. In the scenario the no lady-cops are available to answer the call (imagine that). The male cops are instructed to proceed gently and apologetically. No word on whether female cops have been consulted or considered.

It begs a few questions: what about trans cops? Presumably a biological female suspect is allowed no such objection to being searched by a trans woman (and wouldn’t it be funny if one was produced for the suspect in the scenario to satisfy “her” request to not be touched by a man? I suspect our suspect would be more than a little disappointed). And if a female cop is on the scene, does she have to search any suspect claiming to be a woman? “Let’s go, officer, and be thorough…”

Somebody filed a FOIA request for the anonymous negative feedback cops provided, and even if you squint it’s hard to discern the “white supremacy”.

“Too much time and effort into a subject that is extremely rare, and uncommon. No class will change [over 30] years of English learning to call a singular person They.”

“I find the use of the house with a “Black Lives Matter” poster in the window highly inappropriate and offensive. This video is supposed to be about LGBTQ2+ and the presence of the chosen background is out of context and has no place in this video. Black Lives Matter is a political organization that funded the assault and attack of officers nationwide as well as officers here in Portland. The insertion of this background in this video pushes a political agenda and once again, is highly
inappropriate. No officer or member should be forced to accept a violent political
organization’s agenda or it’s representation to prove that they care about ALL people. In addition to inserting a political agenda this also undermined the messaging of the LGBTQ community who put themselves out there in an effort to strengthen relationships within the organization. The mere presence of that screenshot detracts from the true messaging of the queer members represented.”

“This training is vile, God made male and female. Not hard to figure out, Quit being sheep and placating to a few mentally disturbed, Pure stupidity.”

“The only thing this training does is hurt the transcommunity”

This is the most ridiculous and demeaning training I have ever had to sit through. The assumption that I need to be TAUGHT this information because you think I am going to treat people worse or better due to their orientation is insulting. FYI it’s either male or female…period.

Stop wasting our time focusing on the emotional fragility of a minuscule population that’s offended by everything.

“This socio political garbage is a waste of time. We have interacted with this community without issue for decades. This is a nonsense policy looking for a problem, and serves only to discipline officers. I also find it interesting that during the two animated scenarios, the only white male depicted is an ignorant bigot. This apparently is what you think of a vast majority of our members. Portland and the bureau is in a death spiral, and you devote how much time and money to this crap? DECK CHAIRS ON THE TITANIC.

This training seems to have a very condescending tone to it.

Condescension–and your reaction to it–seems to be the real point. As the man said, the point of communist propaganda is to humiliate. Woke propaganda, adopting modern means, also seeks to troll, and to use the reaction as pretext for more punishment. If the anonymous cops had just kept their thoughts to themselves, the PPB as a whole would not be coming under fire. It’s like in boot camp, where someone has done something wrong but no one will cop to it and the whole platoon is punished.

We can all anticipate much more condescension, and punishment.

2 thoughts on ““License, registration and pronouns please”

  1. At least the police are sane. You have to wonder how far the madness will go. I don’t mean you at all because you are highly critical but I do think the elites behind this really like it and like to see this from a safe distance. And for the average schmuck trying to make a living it’s too much to contemplate. I don’t view these people as sheeple at all. They are making a rational choice because the outliers get picked off. It’s better to stay in the middle of the herd. Things will only change if enough of the elites begin to feel uncomfortable. This may take a long time, or if they import enough third-world chaos, never.


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