Portland Dispatch January 31: Great Reset PDX

The Portland City Council voted last Wednesday to take over the city’s designation of historic properties to allow in more development that will densify and diversify Portland’s historic neighborhoods.

The changes include more flexibility for developers to build affordable housinog in historic districts and adapt existing historic properties to accommodate more residents. They also require a stricter review of proposals to demolish property within those districts…

Under the new rules, the City Council would locally decide which landmarks or neighborhoods are historically significant and given special protections under city code. Until now, those protections were conferred to properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places, which is administered at a national level.

Some proponents of the code amendments said it would allow the city to recognize landmarks significant to communities whose history in Portland has received little recognition — including the city’s Black, Indigenous and LGBTQ communities.

“I’m eager for a new era of historic inclusivity,” said Commissioner Carmen Rubio, who also oversees the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.

The new rules will allow more housing density in historic districts than a typical Portland neighborhood, by permitting multiple homes on the same property or multi-unit plexes not otherwise allowed by the zoning code. It will also make it easier to build rent-restricted affordable housing in historic districts for low-income residents.

The changes were four years in the making and will go into effect on March 1…

In the near future, he said, the city expects to discuss making historic designations for places that are significant to Portland’s LGBTQ community.

And while there are no immediate affordable housing projects that have been proposed, he said there are a few ongoing developments that offer a blueprint for how developers might use existing buildings and adjacent vacant property to build affordable housing. He cited the Anna Mann house, a historic building in the Kerns neighborhood that is being redeveloped as apartments for low-income residents.

The Anna Mann House project is adapting what was originally the Anna Lewis Mann Old People’s Home, donated by settlers and which resembles a well-tended insane asylum, into housing to give 128 low income residents access to the resources of an affluent neighborhood:

The Anna Mann House is a historic Portland property located in the amenity-rich Kerns neighborhood, adjacent to Laurelhurst. Redevelopment of the Anna Mann House will provide low-income households, including immigrants and refugees and other communities of color, with the opportunity to live in a location packed with supportive amenities offered by the Kerns/Laurelhurst area, including grocery stores, highly rated public schools, three city parks (Oregon, Laurelhurst and Grant) and the Northeast Community Center. The site is steps away from the Sandy high-frequency bus line and three-quarters of a mile from the 42nd Avenue MAX station. In addition to bringing much needed affordable housing to the neighborhood, the project will also drastically increase density and ease the impacts of gentrification. Luke-Dorf, Inc., a community based mental health provider, will provide supportive services on site and Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization (IRCO) will provide outreach and referral services. The Anna Man House redevelopment is targeted for completion in three distinct phases: the South Addition in mid-winter 2023, the East Addition in late-winter 2023, and the existing Anna Mann House in early spring 2023.

Portland previously valued and celebrated the settler (read: colonial) history that is now officially anathema and was targeted first with violence by rioters in 2020 and then with legislation by their political allies in power. Politicians wrote into policy the goals and even tactics–such “social justice oriented graffiti” and vandalism–of anarchist rioters. Their means and goals will guide the city in the removal of offensive works as they are identified, as we replace our old history with our new one, which is BIPOC and LGBTQ and Black! all over.

The original draft proposal for the now official Historic Resources Code Project is typical of policy documents now, invoking Equity heavily in pressing for ever-more density and development in “white” neighborhoods and the preservation of black neighborhoods and historic landmarks from gentrification.

People and federal money still migrating to Portland fund the continuing project to remake the city through re-zoning and development despite the city’s hollowed-out downtown core and bruised image. High rise apartment projects, always with a low-income component, are still going up around town. Meanwhile the cost of housing seems unaffected, and Portland is looking at an increase of about ten percent this year–which is “slow” relative to other cities in the US right now, according to the above-linked report. But unlike most of those other cities, Portland saw no declines in the cost of residential real estate during the Covid and George Floyd campaigns despite the collapse of downtown business and retail leases.

The reset proceeds here.

As Seen on TV

For years Black Lady Judge has been a fixture in film and television, a negro of extra numinousity* and implied wisdom, as part of the more than half-century long and continuing propaganda campaign conveying black people as more capable and humane than they are in real life–the cultural tyranny long preceding the present social and political tyranny it has been essential in effecting, and which is now wildly, Wakanda-ly, out of control.

Those of us of a certain age have long known Black Lady Judge, near relation to Black Police Chief (gruff but fair) and Black High School Principal (familiar enough to be parodied, when such things were still allowed): here she is pursing her lips at an insolent attorney; there she is raising her eyebrows and lowering her glasses to warn a line of questioning is straying, but she’ll “allow it” for the moment. See her? Serenely dignified, she always has the best posture.

We grew up with this cast of virtuous characters; for our own good we had to be nurtured on this noble lie. So goes the charitable version–that it’s mere stupidity and not malice by which it was decided the least accomplished of us must be elevated, celebrated and privileged, precisely because of that lack of accomplishment, because it’s our fault, you see, because racism.

The remedy to the mediocrity we’ve somehow forced on black people has long been to ignore mediocrity and force blacks onto institutions, consequences be damned (whatever the case they won’t be known, since to suggest they exist would be racist). Biden’s clown-crash of an administration is a case study.

The practice of equal representation resembles the practice of a cargo cult, whereby the image of ability and character is expected to spontaneously produce the real thing–taking no account of how the real thing is produced, or even what it actually is. This notion occurred to me when considering the musical Hamilton. The rapidity with which that recent cultural phenomenon has lapsed into the quaint, well on its way to being considered problematic, follows the overall course of society–condescension and tokenism within “white systems” and values has yielded less, not more, peace and more, not less, anti-white resentment. Access to the institutions gives way to their destruction.

And we had every reason to see it coming–through the decades Hollywood and New York have been consciously applying a strategy on behalf of black Americans: we’ll-fake-it-til-you-make-it. They’re still faking it and blacks are still not making it. As blacks cannot be found wanting–not against anything–naturally our institutions and ideals must be found wanting. This is precisely where we are–though it would be naive to think, still, that the welfare of blacks is the end goal here. No; it’s the destruction of the institutions that is the end and black people–despite the religiosity of their worship–the means. But that’s a longer story.

Long before today’s seemingly sudden tyranny of color one reigned on TV. First you can’t represent things as they are, then you can’t have them as they are.

All of this came to mind when I saw the latest clown-burst taking out another institutional pillar:

President Joe Biden delivered remarks Thursday on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer – and confirmed he would select a black woman to be Breyer’s replacement, which prompted Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell to immediately stoke fears the president would select someone endorsed by the ‘radical left.’ 

‘Our process is going to be rigorous. I will select a nominee worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellence and decency,’ Biden said. ‘While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity.’ 

‘And that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the Supreme Court,’ the president added…

Biden said it was ‘long overdue’ and noted how he had made that commitment during the 2020 campaign – as part of a pledge to secure a key endorsement from South Carolina Rep. Jim Clyburn, the most powerful black member of Congress. ‘And I will keep that commitment,’ Biden said. 

Whoever the nominee is, she’s got big shoes to fill. Black Lady Judge wears clown-size.

*This link is to an essay I wouldn’t normally recommend, for it’s actually kind of awful, but the “numinous negro” insight it made must be recognized–just, in reading it now it’s hopelessly naive and wrong in its argument; its original full title: “The Numinous Negro: His importance in our lives; why he is fading“–the author had no clue.

Portland Dispatch January 17: The Big Grift Cycle

Ten years ago today I triggered Seattle with this post on MLK Day in the progressive-decadent free weekly The Stranger after someone unwisely gifted me a week guest-blogging there. Life goes so fast.

Washington State has moved to limit elective surgeries, ostensibly in anticipation of a covid surge

WASHINGTON (KPTV) – Patient volumes at some Northwest hospitals are soaring with the latest surge in COVID-19 cases and health care staffing shortages.

Washington Governor Jay Inslee announced a pause on non-urgent medical procedures for four weeks to get the state through the predicted peak in hospitalizations. Some hospitals in both Washington and Oregon have already started scaling back non-emergency procedures to help with the resource strain.

“This is difficult, but it is a necessary decision to make sure people get access that is life-saving right now,” Gov. Inslee said during a news conference Thursday.

Inslee said staffing problems stem from both an increase in COVID-19 patients needing care and more health care workers getting sick…

Governor Inslee’s emergency order – announced Thursday – gives physicians the discretion to determine what is a “non-urgent” procedure.

In what has become standard in news reports about Covid, KPTV above makes no attempt to quantify the proportion–how much is it too few workers and how much is it too many sick? It appears to be standard practice to deliberately obscure the details to always create the impression of Hospitals Overwhelmed by Covid Patients.

Inslee said staffing problems stem from both an increase in COVID-19 patients needing care and more health care workers getting sick.

Washington State Hospital Association Communications Director Tim Pfarr said the situation has escalated at some Washington hospitals to the point of “crisis levels of staffing,” meaning medical facilities are asking employees to come back from sick leave “sooner than normal.”

Meanwhile here the Oregon Health Authority, which oversees the state’s medicaid program and has its own office of diversity and inclusion, of course, was not lax in September 2020 in taking advantage of the crisis to promote anti-white bias; at the height of the Covid hysteria OHA announced it would write “equity” into decisions of life and death (boldface added throughout):

Since 2014, Oregon health care providers, ethicists and emergency preparedness experts have invested significant time and effort to plan for this scenario as captured within Oregon’s former crisis care guidance. In September 2020, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) announced its decision to no longer reference or depend on previously established guidance, due to its potential for perpetuating discrimination and health inequities. Over the past month OHA has begun meetings with community partners and health care experts in order to co-create a new and inclusive process with the goal of developing revised crisis care guidance centered on health equity. Further engagement and planning are underway to co-create that process.

(…)

Crisis care plans should take an additional equity-based approach to resource allocation by considering longstanding disparities and proactively work to reverse those inequities in concert with policies of non-discrimination protections.

(…)

As we issue this initial statement of principles, OHA remains committed to urgently continuing our parallel work to co-create new crisis care guidance with our community partners and healthcare providers in Oregon. We recognize that extensive work lies ahead to produce not only a new guidance document, but to ensure that health equity is systematically at the center of our health system’s response in the time of a public health crisis and beyond.

(…)

While decision-making as informed by crisis care guidance must align with nondiscrimination laws, these legal obligations may not go far enough. Rather, crisis care guidance must also take into account the longstanding systematic racism and health inequities that have contributed to poorer health for communities of color, tribal communities, and individuals with disabilities. Crisis care plans should take an additional equity-based approach to resource allocation by considering longstanding disparities and proactively work to reverse those inequities in concert with policies of non-discrimination protections.

Operating on the always dubious now ubiquitous theory that “racism” is a “public health crisis”, OHA appears to be identifying illnesses associated with black and brown people (and their habits) and removing them as factors in quality-of-decisions and the like (it’s notable that none other than Dr. Fauci has embraced the dubious theory, at least publicly, even giving a timely interview at the height of the Summer of Floyd promoting the notion as justification for the nationwide rioting that he had previously criticized as “super spreader events”–and he’s now taken up the theme with what passes for enthusiasm in his bland, self-satisfied manner.

Like all theories of white supremacy’s ill effects on non-whites, this one takes no account of the fact whites haven’t had the best health outcomes in the country in a long time, and are now the only group facing declines in health and life expectancy.

Know this, ye weak-kneed boomer reading some other boomer: the propaganda and dispossession of which this latest lie–white racism is killing Black! babies–is part, is the cause of white death, and it follows a model wherein the malice and stupidity of (primarily) black people is weaponized against whites and monetized for blacks (and the grifter class advocating for them). Their criminality, being ascribed to racism, is now being used to carve out privilege in a two-tiered system of justice. Likewise, the general carelessness of black America is cashed-in by its advocates to create a two-tiered system of healthcare. The “Spic-Nig Cycle” comes to mind.

The trend is national, if not global, and it’s no longer the case that locales like progressive Podunk Portland are alone in cutting their own throat to correct imaginary crimes. New York state, once too important to live by the rules it decrees, is in. NY Post:

Prominent medical organizations and the Biden administration are pressing for rules that will move “disadvantaged” populations to the front of the line for scarce medical resources — think vaccines, ventilators, monoclonal antibody treatments. That means everyone else waits longer, in some cases too long.

If the public doesn’t push back soon, getting fair treatment in the hospital will become as hard as getting into college or getting hired on your own merits can be. 

Last week, The Post reported that the New York City Taskforce on Racial Inclusion & Equity prioritized the distribution of COVID-19 testing kits to 31 neighborhoods. Staten Island’s racially diverse North Shore got 13 testing sites while the mostly white South Shore got none.

I’m beginning to sense a little hostility here, guys.

Portland Dispatch December 29

A gunshot victim found in a tent in North Portland set the city’s annual homicide record at 86 early this morning, but with an accelerating race to the finish, his hold on the title is in no way assured with just a day to go:

If the man’s death is confirmed to be a homicide, the incident would mark Portland’s 86th homicide of 2021, a record, and the city’s fourth such killing in less than a week.

Two of the homicides came last weekend.

In the first, a man was shot dead Saturday in North Portland’s Eliot neighborhood. Then a man unintentionally shot and killed his cousin after getting into a dispute with others in the parking lot of a Southeast Portland strip club early Sunday, according to police and prosecutors.

Black parents really should give “the Talk” about strip clubs; maybe they’re too busy staffing and patronizing them to make time.

Record traffic accidents have been recorded so far this holiday season due to inclement weather, though I’m finding total traffic fatalities for the year not so easy to find. I suspect the city at least will establish new records there, following a national pattern.

Earnest liberal Oregon farm boy Nicholas Kristof leads the field in fundraising for Oregon’s next gubernatorial election and is attracting other earnest liberals hoping to moderate their fiery progressive allies:

Democratic candidate for Oregon governor Nicholas Kristof has now raised more than $2.5 million, far more than his two more established competitors in the Democratic primary, House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and State Treasurer Tobias Read.

Kristof, the former New York Times reporter and columnist who grew up in Yamhill, has reeled in checks from a number of prominent sources, most of them from out of state. One interesting name in his latest haul: Brian W. Ross, a U of O grad turned Wall Street software entrepreneur, who gave Kristof $7,500. (Ross is married to another journalist with Oregon roots: Ann Curry, the longtime NBC reporter and former Today Show host who grew up in Ashland and graduated from the University of Oregon.)

Of perhaps more note to Democratic primary voters: a $100 check from former U.S. Rep. Les AuCoin (D-Ore.), who represented Oregon’s 1st Congressional District for nine terms from 1975 to 1993. AuCoin supported Gov. Kate Brown in 2018. His contribution to Kristof, though modest, is another signal of the voter dissatisfaction that has buoyed Kristof and former state Sen. Betsy Johnson (D-Scappoose), who is running as a nonaffiliated candidate and has raised $2.9 million this year.

Tina Kotek is a BLM-antifa fellow traveler and Read is a former Nike shoe designer who succeeded Ted Wheeler as state treasurer. He also carries the white guy handicap, despite the promising name, Tobias. For the dominant radical progressive faction in Oregon, enjoying favorable media gaslighting a shell-shocked public, a moderate of course simply will not do but–statewide at least–the public is quietly, I suspect, panicking about the radical direction of things, and Kristof is probably about as far to the right a correction as we’ll be allowed to make–for one thing, the media won’t commit to taking him down at all costs, as they would if the state’s pathetic Republican Party managed to nominate a Ron DeSantis.

How the radicals deal with the Kristof challenge will be interesting to see.

Portland Dispatch December 28

On December 10 of this month a Multnomah County judge sentenced a man to ten years in prison for fighting with antifa on streets the Portland police had abandoned in August of 2020. Deputy District Attorney Nathan Vasquez convinced a jury to convict Alan Swinney on 11 of 12 assault counts, two of them level II assault, drawing the long, consecutive terms Judge Heidi Moawad leveled on the hapless Swinney for shooting paintballs and pointing a gun at black bloc anarchists chasing right wing “patriots” out of town.

The ambitious prosecutor out of woke Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt’s office and the liberal judge combined to use an Oregon law from 1994 establishing mandatory minimums–part of the wave of legislation around President Clinton’s 1994 crime bill now deemed racist and which progressives attempted to overturn the same summer of 2020 for which Swinney committed his supposed crimes–to effect a highly selective political prosecution criminalizing right wing dissent.

I was on scene for both days and may have captured one or two of the lesser offenses on camera (indeed, I swallowed some of Mr Swinney’s bear mace myself that day) and the dynamic you see in play on both days, of Swinney’s smaller group being chased off the streets, somehow was lost on the jury. I’ll be posting a longer analysis of this deeply disturbing trial later.

Innoculate, Infect:

The Boys and Girls Club, for the moment still bearing the name like a relic of our evil past when trans folx were hunted in the streets alongside Blacks! and immigrants, is, in Portland, where random tendrils of Globo Homo converge, so they’re hosting a combined Kwanza celebration and vax clinic. The word “chimera” will have to serve double duty, here in its original meaning as monster combining elements of different animals and as hopeless cause of the imagination. Chimera.

No Vaccination No Education:

Oregon State University is requiring students to get booster shots while acknowledging the lack of necessity:

“The university’s decision is intentional,” said Becky Johnson, OSU’s interim president. “We are mindful that classrooms, where students and faculty are vaccinated and wear face coverings, have not been a significant source of virus spread.”

School officials continued saying they believe their campus can avoid a COVID-19 surge as 93% of their students and faculty are vaccinated.

Excuse me, I didn’t go to university, but by “intentional” does she mean unnecessary? Because what follows certainly says as much. In which case she seems to be admitting this is a gesture, as part of the broader effort to vaccinate the world, and has nothing to do with protecting students or staff.

From the Vault

OCT 27, 2007
POINT DEFERENCE, WA (UNS*) — Civil rights leaders in this Seattle suburb are up in arms over what they say is the latest incident in a nation-wide trend of hate crimes involving the public display of nooses, a symbol of lynching in the Jim Crow south.

A noose was discovered hanging from a tree in a remote corner of a wooded park early Friday morning by two children, ages twelve and fourteen. Doug Beedle, head of Seattle’s NAACP chapter, said he is considering seeking damages against the city for not moving more quickly to deal with the apparent hate-crime.

“The city is engaged in a white-wash, treating this as a minor incident. If we hadn’t been notified by an alert citizen, the whole thing would’ve been swept under the rug and treated as something other than what it was.” Mr. Beedle did not rule out filing a complaint with the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. “We’re opening a dialogue with the city, but if they refuse to come around to our way of thinking, we’re prepared to take it to the next level. No justice, no peace.”

The childrens’ mother, Misty Handringer, who is white, tearfully related that she initially didn’t realize the significance of the noose. “At first all I could think about was the other aspect of it. I’m not proud of this, but I was more concerned about the fact that the kids had found a dead body. I was mortified when what was gong on was explained to me. I really thought we were above that sort of thing here. I’m not very proud of my community right now. I guess nowhere is safe.”

Police say it appears the man, who is white, acted alone in stringing up the noose before using it to hang himself. Officials haven’t ruled out bringing posthumous charges.

“Allowing this to simply die with the perpetrator would be wrong. Suicide is just the sort of transgressive act that brings out the underlying racism inherent in our society.” Tanyika Balder-Dash, professor of Afro-American studies at Northwest College and author of The Myth of Merit, said, explaining why the man chose the inflammatory racial symbol for his apparent suicide. “People feel liberated to express their darkest impulses.”

The children who discovered the noose are receiving counseling. “First we have to make them aware of the trauma they’ve suffered, then we can begin to deal with it.” Professor Balder-Dash said. “Most distressing of all is that these kids have no idea about the profound image of hatred and oppression they encountered. People don’t realize that racism is in fact far worse now than it ever was, due to faltering awareness. I fear we are allowing this image of America’s racist past to slip into the past.”
A march is planned for this Monday. The man remains unidentified.

(*Untethered News Services; Additional reporting for this story was provided by Dennis Dale, who is white.)

In related news, the U.S. Army has retroactively legalized lynching.

Statuary Rape

Portland anarchists crowned a season of monument destruction in October of 2020 when they pulled down the city’s Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln statues and attacked the nearby Oregon Historical Society–despite its having been so woke and feminist for years it could be called the Oregon Hysterical Society; this on what antifa organizers billed as an “Indigenous Day of Rage” (that was about as genuinely “indigenous” as the Boston Tea Party), coinciding with Portland’s official (anti-)holiday refuting Columbus Day, Indigenous People’s Day, which promises to grow more strident and violent, if no more indigenous, annually.

Last October the nation and the city weren’t so far gone as now, and Mayor Ted Wheeler felt compelled to stand with the police chief and denounce the rioters’ actions. But he followed the same pattern by which he and the city had just acquiesced to anarchist and BLM political terror over the summer: denouncing the violence, affirming the anarchists’ right to speech, even sympathizing with the goals of anti-police rioters, and conspicuously not defending their targets–then it was the police, now it’s our history.

With virtually no defenders in Portland, the toppled presidents were quickly forgotten while the activist/government Combine currently remaking the city quietly and quickly moved to consolidate the gains achieved by their antifa vanguard, following their own model–just as lawmakers responded to riots attacking police with laws–written by their activist allies behind the violence–defunding and limiting police, including in their tactics against violent rioters, the city has responded to the taking down of white monuments with laws expediting the taking down of white monuments–and replacing them with anti-white monuments.

Oregon politicians and the activist organizations they fund with tax dollars follow in antifa’s train to claim captured territory, and where one ends and the other begins is not clear. Many arrested rioters work for activist organizations, of course.

Portlanders subsidize the Regional Arts and Culture Council through a 35 dollar-a-year Arts Tax; the city empowers it with overseeing Portland’s public art and monuments. The city council member assigned as liaison (with attendant lack of authority) to the, naturally, very woke council is radical newcomer Carmen Rubio. Beyond that RACC’s private nature shields it from public oversight, though it is subject to audit.

Without public input RACC revised its policies last August, recommending the removal of any monument identified through “sustained and overwhelming public objection…[to] include regular social justice oriented graffiti, vandalism, or defacement…[or when the] subject or impact of an artwork is significantly at odds with values of antiracism, equity, inclusion.”

Then this September, a little less than a year after the “Indigenous” Day of Rage, RACC recommended not restoring four statues under its purview: Lincoln, Roosevelt, a statue of a settler family arriving in Oregon called “The Promised Land” and a statue of longtime Oregonian editor and power broker Harvey Scott, who came to Oregon as a settler in 1852, losing his mother and a brother along the way. Aside from being an actual settler (and thus a “colonizer”) he opposed female suffrage. Fittingly, he was an expert on Oregon history, though it’s doubtful antifa saw the irony.

A 2018 city audit found RACC rudderless and unaccountable:

Auditors pointed out no one’s keeping tabs on the value of RACC’s public art assets. Take the famous Portlandia statue. Sculptor Raymond Kaskey got paid $348,000 by RACC to make it for the city in 1985. Today, it’s worth something like $4 million to $5 million. In case of a disaster, without an updated valuation, the city might not be able to recoup the full value.

Furthermore, the RACC contract is riddled with vague language about the agency’s mission, public records procedure and workings. At the top, the agency lacks a strategic plan to guide operations.

At the same time no one could be found to replace the outgoing director. The city council liaison at the time was Nick Fish, liberal Democrat from a venerable old political family. Fish passed away in 2020 and was replaced by radical Carmen Rubio.

The “trans, queer, neuro-diverse artist, alchemist, and Marine Corps veteran” from Georgia Tech with they pronouns brought in to lead RACC in 2018 revamped and repurposed the council as a social justice agency; last week they announced they’ll be moving on to a gig in San Francisco, having dispatched with Portland’s problematic history in a timely fashion.

Such rewriting of policy to accommodate and accelerate the rewriting of history was going on throughout Portland city government in 2020. In June, when the police station and jail were under nightly siege, the city passed a resolution declaring the city’s “core values”:

The City of Portland is an anti-racist institution.
Addressing issues concerning anti-Blackness is a priority for the workforce and city.
Actions to dismantle institutional and systemic racism are the responsibilities of every employee and resident.
Racism, discrimination, and bias are not tolerated within the workplace or in our communities.
The City of Portland condemns oppression, violence, and hate speech toward people of color.

The unanimously passed resolution changes no law, but is cited repeatedly now by various grievance groups demanding the city “live up to” these “core values” and hand over something from the city treasury– and by RACC when effecting their cultural revolution-style policy changes.

Regarding the “Indigenous Day of Rage” (which indifferent anarchists scheduled one day ahead of “Indigenous People’s Day”, overshadowing it into oblivion) the actual indigenous of the region were the only group whose shock and disapproval can be taken as genuine–they thought Indigenous People’s Day was going to be about them:

…member of the Portland Indian Leaders Roundtable…Paul Lumley was upset by the destruction for a few reasons, one being the damage done to the Oregon Historical Society. He said they just opened an exhibit that does a beautiful job of showcasing Native American history that has been appreciated by tribes across the Pacific Northwest.

Lumley said he remembered the day in 2015 when City Council made the declaration [recognizing Indigenous People’s Day].

“It felt so good,” recalled Lumley. “It felt like finally I didn’t have to keep fighting so hard for tribal rights, that we were going to be embraced by the city, and it just felt so warm and welcoming.”

The Indians are as ignored as they are invoked by white anarchists attacking white history. Indigenous Americans came to terms with the same history antifa are trying to obliterate, after all, and it’s clear the anarchists clearly prefer the loud charisma of blacks to the laconic dignity of American Indians.

As the statues came down Portland police stood down; the chief later claimed a shots-fired call across the river required too many cops, and the small force remaining could only watch the destruction. Eventually a man from Washington state, Brandon Bartells, was arrested for driving the van that took down the statue of Roosevelt; two others for breaking the Historical Society’s windows and throwing lit flares inside. Brandon was previously arrested for violating the curfew in Kenosha. He and one of the flare-throwers, another out-of-stater identified as Malik Fard Muhamad, were turned over to Portland Police by federal agents.

Muhamad drew federal charges for traveling from Indiana to riot in Portland; he was arrested by US Marshals after the Portland Freedom Fund, which only posts bail for “Black, Brown and Indigenous folks”, broke its bank to put up the ten percent on his 2.1 million dollar bail for state charges. Brandon appears to have melted back into post-America. Let’s go (underground) Brandon. Whatever impulse in Portland there is to prosecute those responsible appears to have been sated.

No one seemed to notice the mayor dared not defend Teddy Roosevelt or even Abraham Lincoln, much less the culture and history they represent. It was just the violence and illegality of it all that upset him (though the mayor/police commissioner didn’t dare threaten anyone with arrest) and, if much less so, “antifa candidate” for mayor Sarah Iannarone, with whom Ted Wheeler was locked in a close election battle; each gave statements repudiating the tactics of the rioters. While Wheeler left implicit his acquiescence to the anarchists’ goals Iannarone was explicit in her support, and promised, once mayor, to move swiftly in taking down statues identified as objectionable, but in an orderly and legal fashion:

As your next Mayor, I’m ready to talk about how we move this city forward, from rethinking public safety to changing names and removing statues. If someone would like a statue removed, they can engage our public process to register that complaint and I’ll push City Council to listen and act swiftly. Our systems of government have long ignored problematic symbols and impacts of institutional racism, I am committed to changing that as mayor. People are hurting and that pain is valid.  But anonymous acts of destruction outside of any agreed-upon process are toxic, unaccountable behavior that has no place in our city. We are not going to be governed by shooting paintballs. That’s not democracy, nor is it fair to those of us who believe in our public process.”

Iannarone lost but the Combine saw her policy of expedited dismantlement and raised her one, with their clause recognizing the authority of monument-defacing “social justice oriented graffiti”: so, yes Sarah, we will be governed by “shooting paintballs”.

Settler to refugee: The Promised Land, removed in 2020 due to sustained social justice oriented graffiti and vandalism, not to be restored, by the authority of “sustained social justice oriented graffiti”.

Also by way of taking over the process of replacing monuments, among other things, last July the city passed a new “master plan” for the city’s park blocks where the Lincoln and Roosevelt statues stood, a plan with no public support (and so far unfunded, at least) and among its goals the replacement of monuments with “public art representing more diverse cultural identities and histories” and the making of the park blocks more “accessible” to “the diverse”, somehow, despite the parks’ open spaces being the very definition of accessible.

Supposedly the aforementioned lack of token monuments, the “Eurocentric” linear layout (for which there’s no fix, sadly) and, even, the lack of indigenous trees–the blocks feature deciduous trees, many imported, rather than evergreens, allowing in more light in winter and dressing the blocks up with color in the fall–all serve to dissuade non-whites from filling and ennobling the blocks, like in the sketches for the new master plan.

(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

The plan’s drawn opposition from influential Portlanders and the public lined up to denounce it before the council voted on it, to no avail; the council unanimously voted to open the blocks up to redevelopment, promising to ruin them with a “central promenade” connected to a broader bike loop routing bicycle traffic through the parks. The plan as a whole looks designed to adapt the parks to a denser city; indeed, it’s impossible to imagine the blocks keeping their present character of quiet refuge in the much more crowded Portland they plan to build around it.

Because the parks, originally donated in 1852, were for a time fronted by mansions today’s progressives include in their critique the notion they were created as a “backyard” for the city’s rich (and thus need to be redesigned). But the eventual design of the park blocks are partly a product, like Teddy Roosevelt whose statue is no longer welcome there, of the original progressive era, their layout and the monuments that graced them influenced by the “City Beautiful” movement of earnest wealthy white progressives whose naive optimism and generosity stand out in stark contrast to the cynicism of today’s self-styled progressives, who cheer on, oblivious, the dismantling of their legacy. Yesterday’s wealthy denizen of progress gave land to the common man; today’s gives him indigenous land acknowledgements.

The park blocks are representative of whiteness, and thus are an affront to the new progressive and his very different idea of Progress. They also connect present day Portland to its white history. Of course the park blocks have to be remade, toppled like the statues; they stand as a sort of nature preserve of the white history of Portland that the Combine is abolishing as fast as they can. Who knows, people might get nostalgic, imagine alternatives.

Last January the Downtown Neighborhood Association, one of the last bastions of resistance to total progressive control here, submitted a 100-page nomination of the blocks to the National Historic Registry, which would greatly restrict any changes to the parks. “A formal designation may help motivate retention of this valuable public space”, a Portland architect involved in the nomination understated.

Elsewhere a former dean of Lewis and Clark law school wrote an opinion piece recommending returning the statues so as to not reward vandalism and create a precedent–a little late for RACC”s “social justice oriented graffiti” clause. While the city council is expected to follow whatever RACC recommends it’s not required to, and Carmen Rubio has at least consented to take public comments on the policy change.

Meanwhile the Combine is moving forward to retrofit Oregon history in Portland with the reasonable expectation none of this is going to make a difference. RACC’s Monuments and Memorials Project:

In 2020, Portland witnessed the removal of several monuments, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, The Promised Land, Harvey Scott, and others. Many more have been removed by activists and government officials across the country. As we enter into a national dialogue and reckon with historical narratives, contending with the monuments that have been created, we question not only who or what gets memorialized, but how we go about it. The questions and responses that arise from this moment are long overdue and ask what else is possible. It reminds us that public art can play an integral role in our society, activating and reflecting who we are and what we value.

Portland’s Monuments & Memorials Project will feature a series of talks with artists and scholars centered on various case studies of past, present, and proposed projects in public space. PMMP’s inaugural discussion, held online on March 30th, will focus on Alison Saar’s sculpture York: Terra Incognita, located at Lewis & Clark College.

As an integral part of the project, PMMP will issue an Open Call for Public Pedestals. Ideas for new and reenvisioned monuments and memorials will be solicited through an open call for proposals. Submissions will be gathered and shared in an online gallery and with civic leaders. A selection will be included in a culminating curated exhibition of regional and national artists exploring alternative perspectives of current and future monuments & memorials. PMMP will conclude with a publication generated by the design team Omnivore, who will chronicle the ongoing activities as visual scribes, collecting, collating, and synthesizing the project’s findings.

The Public Art Collection has the power to create spaces that are inclusive and welcoming to all the communities living in the city. Conversely, public art in the form of historic monuments and memorials in these spaces frequently depicts figures or events seen through the lens of privilege, failing to recognize the nuance of history that contains dispossession, enslavement, and discrimination. The legacy of the people or events depicted can change over time and it is therefore imperative that these artworks be regularly reevaluated, taking into account new information that comes to light during research or based on the evolution of a changing community. Monuments and memorials may be considered for deaccession based on careful and in-depth evaluation of the artwork and are subject to the criteria stated above.

The “pedestal” project appears to be part of a broader theme of pedestal appropriation and may be inspired by the case of the Harvey Scott statue, toppled in Portland’s Tabor Park in another antifa direct action, being briefly replaced by a “bust” of York, the slave who participated in the Lewis and Clark expedition; an unknown artist posted what looked like an oversized model head of a rather smug looking York on Scott’s pedestal. City council member Carmen Rubio declared herself “instinctively supportive” of the new statue.

Naturally at least one crazy not already on Portland city council was drawn to it; a woman was arrested and cited for painting the pedestal purple; video of the incident suggests mental illness. The city apologized that the polyurethane head would not hold up in the weather and would have to come down eventually. Things came to a head when vandals toppled York’s head; Portland’s Parks and Recreation head promised to look into salvaging the head:

Adrienne Flagg, who has helped facilitate public art in the past, said she’s disappointed.

“This was a really exciting piece of public art,” Flagg said. “Although it didn’t come through official channels, it seemed to be very organic for our community and it was beautifully done.”

Lynda Martin-McCormick lives near the statue and said good art is meant to make people uncomfortable, but tearing the statue down was a political statement.

“This was a political act by a faction of white people who want white people to stay on top, no matter what,”  said Martin-McCormick.

The director of Portland Parks and Recreation, Adena Long, said staff will inspect the bust to see if it can be salvaged.

“Unfortunately, the numerous racist responses to the memorial of a Black man forced to participate in the Corps of Discovery Expedition have not been a surprise,” said Long.

The pedestal of the George Washington bronze taken down from the lawn of the German American Society (who aren’t going to dare return the statue, taken down just a few years shy of its 100th birthday) was used in an aggressive work of propaganda that loomed over a street downtown for a time.

“George Washington” is crossed out on the overturned pedestal. An impressively “afro indigenous” looking model is rising up from it, fist raised. The text reads:

“I choose to prepare a place and a future for our grandchildren, a place where they will live outside of oppression, a place where they will know it’s okay to be black, native and afro indigenous.

I see you ancestors.”

One statue will be returned, the inoffensive Elk statue donated by a former mayor, which had to be removed because it was the center of antifa bonfires nightly in the summer of 2020; eventually the fountain around it was removed by the city after antifa had taken to pick-axing it into projectiles. But city planners have already signaled they covet the choice plot on an island in the middle of a two-lane street in the center of downtown where the 120 year-old work stood, so the Elk statue may soon be displaced by “progress”, just like the live elk it commemorates, that once roamed here. But it will be a very different definition of progress than that which raised the statues and the parks.

T
Still standing, for the moment: Soldier’s Monument, 1906, Lownsdale Park, memorializing Oregonians killed in the Spanish American War. The small cannons pointing north and south at the base are from Fort Sumter. Behind is the federal courthouse, still barricaded.
Broken Promise: the city’s acquiescence to the desecration and removal of The Promised Land surrenders an inherited legacy to its unworthy enemies

RACC subsidizes public art that is overwhelmingly woke, of course.

From a public art series on immigration
Fist, Kyra Watkins, 411 NW Park Ave

In 2020 at the same time the federal courthouse and police station were under nightly siege by what was already being fashioned a “racial reckoning” in the media, the new Multnomah County Courthouse was being completed a few blocks over. Heavy wood barriers went and remain up to protect the building and its tall glass front.

Similar plywood barriers throughout town had become canvases for BLM and associated graffiti art already. Many murals of varying degrees of crudeness remain up as of this writing; Apple reclaimed its downtown store only after spending a year wrapped in and then donating the impromptu George Floyd mural that went up on its protective barriers, to a local BLM outfit, so as not to be seen as desecrating the art. The store now resembles a prison gate, behind tall, steel-framed fencing anchored by concrete blocks.

A black judge invited schoolchildren to paint a mural on the boards put up to protect the new courthouse from peaceful protest vandalism. Thus was born the “aspirations for justice” mural project (because the current system of law can only be seen as aspiring to, never serving justice):

Inspired by art popping up around the city in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Judge Oden-Orr called for a mural centered on racial justice to fill some of the space on the temporary walls outside the courthouse. Judge Oden-Orr said he feels strongly that, in all moments but particularly this one, it is the responsibility of the court to educate youth on their civil rights and to encourage engagement and activism. So, in fall of 2020 he began hosting conversations with youth from organizations across the Portland metro area.

“Apple stands in support of the artists and all who are fighting for social and racial justice,” 
“…but we’ll be standing behind this”
Multnomah County Courthouse, 1200 SW 1st Ave

Grotesque Diversity kitsch increasingly replaces the old settler history aesthetic here; the city leads the nation in historical self-abnegation. It’s difficult to imagine a greater betrayal of a city’s founders and settler stock, with the comfortable decadents of the present tossing aside their sacrifice with an expression of distaste and giving their legacy over to the malicious and mediocre.

Still, the field for the statue-toppling and school re-naming legacy levelers remains target rich. Why, I just passed a street named “Custer” the other day. So much work still to be done!

Down and Out in Portland October 22: Misery under the New Order

Old Town
Central Eastside Industrial District
Third Avenue and Alder, downtown
Fourth Ave, downtown. This person remained in place like this for at least two days.
Downtown
Downtown. She is rising from the overturned pedestal of a George Washington statue toppled in summer 2020. Behind her is the German American Society of Portland where the statue stood since 1926
Downtown riverfront
From before the 2020 rioting; downtown
Resistance. Apple Store, 2020
Chapman Square; Justice Center in the background
. From 2020. After the city removed a 120 year-old elk statue and fountain here to save it from antifa’s nightly bonfires, the anarchists erected makeshift replacements, beginning with their “Evil Elk”, which was taken as a trophy by patriots. This was the last iteration, toppled here by black thugs during their shakedown of the “Jail Support” tent encampment nearby.
From before 2020, near PSU across the street from a former antifa house.
Louis Vuitton, store downtown, 2020
Chapman Park downtown, 2020
Pre-2020; Such graffiti claiming Portland for antifa’s “4th Brigade” disappeared with the ascent of George Floyd and BLM
.”The Promised Land” statue commemorating settlers, since removed. Lonsdale Park, with the Justice Center in the background. 2020