E.D. Mondainé, president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP, published an opinion piece in the Washington Post Saturday about the protests in Portland and arguing that they’d become little more than “white spectacle” when they were supposed to be about black lives. We’ve never been sure why the mob there thinks burning down the federal courthouse will advance the cause of Black Lives Matter. And don’t get him started on that “iconic” image of Naked Athena facing down a line of cops on the other side of an intersection.
President of Portland NAACP: “Portland’s protests were supposed to be about black lives. Now, they’re white spectacle” https://t.co/c5nnrChqFK
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) July 25, 2020
Images of “Naked Athena,” as the protester has been labeled, have gone viral, her unclothed confrontation with police earning her accolades as a brave ally of the cause. But I see something else: a beneficiary of white privilege dancing vainly on a stage that was originally created to raise up the voices of my oppressed brothers and sisters. In this, she is not alone. As the demonstrations continue every night in Portland, many people with their own agendas are co-opting, and distracting attention from, what should be our central concern: the Black Lives Matter movement.
Unfortunately, “spectacle” is now the best way to describe Portland’s protests. Vandalizing government buildings and hurling projectiles at law enforcement draw attention — but how do these actions stop police from killing black people? What are antifa and other leftist agitators achieving for the cause of black equality? The “Wall of Moms,” while perhaps well-intentioned, ends up redirecting attention away from the urgent issue of murdered black bodies. This might ease the consciences of white, affluent women who have previously been silent in the face of black oppression, but it’s fair to ask: Are they really furthering the cause of justice, or is this another example of white co-optation?
Remember when this was all about George Floyd, whose death was considered horrific and unjust by black and white liberals and conservatives?
Bill Maher said it best.
There's this thing where white folks are culturally appropriating how mad they are about racism.
Folks came in and took over events and made it about themselves and THEIR suburban outrage. Not the outrage of the folks being impacted.
— Mike (@MikePossibly) July 25, 2020
Jake, trying to separate protestors by race serves no one and only undermines movements.
— 𝖆 𝖕𝖆𝖑𝖒 𝖙𝖗𝖊𝖊 𝖆𝖙 𝖓𝖎𝖌𝖍𝖙 🇹🇹 (@chuchukian) July 25, 2020
Perhaps you should tell that to the author of the article.
— Bill Schtinkwater (@Big_Jazz_Boy) July 25, 2020
The Portland protests may have felt nominally related to black lives at the beginning. They have focused on anti-police (appear to be against police reform or re-doing how we envision and implement public safety) and anti-capitalism long before introduction of federal forces.
— Alex C Stewart (@CuriosACStewart) July 25, 2020
The moms are the first to admit it’s not about them. They are there to amplify the message of black lives matters
— Share (@ShareD47) July 25, 2020
They’re doing a terrible job.
They were always a spectacle
— Steph (@steph93065) July 25, 2020
They are about summer, bored white kids, gender confusion, college debt, unhappiness and a desire to feel part of something important while not really working hard or taking care of others.
— Lex Jurgen (@Lex_Jurgen) July 25, 2020
If there was a point to the Portland protests/riots, it’s long been forgotten by the rest of the country.
— I am Baker Mayfield (@Thewbert3) July 25, 2020
NO KIDDING!!!! And it only took 60 plus days to reach that conclusion….
— Dan Nassimbene (@DanNassimbene) July 25, 2020
They always were Jake
— I'm paying attention (@ColtrainRobert) July 25, 2020
You mean they weren't about getting a little bread to eat, Song of the South, or Trader Jose's and Trader Ming's? What ever TF?
— Little Larry Sellers (@SpawnOfDanelaw) July 25, 2020
Is that what these people were going for? https://t.co/A5m6x2pFZ1
— Winston Wolfe (@winstonwolfe_1) July 25, 2020
If it helps, anyone I’ve seen interviewed tries to reframe the protest and point it back to the original protestors. The media is doing #BLM a huge disservice by focusing on the white faces new to the march.
— Chris Thompson (@Chris_librarian) July 25, 2020
They're a spectacle alright
— Jemma ︻╦╤─ (@Donadeedooda) July 25, 2020
It’s always been about changing the narrative!
— Veronica Jackson (@FabFiftyy) July 25, 2020
With the help of the media.
It stopped being about black lives along time ago.
— chris d (@crsmik1) July 25, 2020
Hard to disagree with that analysis.
— TahteesSzn (@matilackisback) July 25, 2020
Newsflash from the department of "duh".
— RedHairBlackLeather (@smoothtoquer1) July 25, 2020
Where the F have you been Jake? Take an honest look at what is happening.
— Ray (@girlydrinkdrunk) July 25, 2020
They were never about black lives. Wake up people.
— Shawn Gebbia (@esjebs) July 25, 2020
And they perfectly match the BLM objective to push Marxist ideology.
— Gray God (@GrayGod8) July 25, 2020
They just noticed this?
— Eduardo de la Goya (@Falconeddie1) July 26, 2020
😂 no shit.
— Brad Crockett (@pizzapimp812) July 25, 2020
— This is A Parody Of A Parody Of A Parody… (@NoJustNo143) July 25, 2020
This just in from… us.
— Fed Dept of No Sh*t (@NoShitDept) July 26, 2020
He’s not wrong
— Albert Thomas (@alberto_VO_5) July 25, 2020
They're trying to burn down a courthouse. It's not a protest.
— Dale Cooper 🇺🇸 (@AgentCoopr702) July 25, 2020
Has anyone asked what the plan is once they do get into the courthouse…?
— Firas Durri (@firasd) July 25, 2020
Letting these white radicals use the BLM movement for their own agenda. Can anyone say plantation
— Michael J Rotter (@rotter_michael) July 26, 2020
Those "protests" in Portland have never been about helping the lives of blacks. They are about politics. Extreme politics.
— Man Without A Party (@HimJ2020) July 25, 2020
Anyone following this last 57 nights is like welcome to the story. This is domestic terroism tolerated by woke Dem leadership.
— 3Bet99 (@3Bet99) July 25, 2020
Have we run out of holes. If not I certainly wish they would crawl back into them. I was done with the naked lady doing yoga.
— james (@jraymondbrown01) July 25, 2020
LOL white suburban privileged kids have taken over! You don’t say 🤷🏻♀️
— VeronicaCorningstone (@andreaUSA7373) July 26, 2020
Can someone explain what the goal of these protests are?
— Toasty (@Toasty84822150) July 25, 2020
How many unarmed black men are killed each year?
It was always political theater.
— catduck (@kingxerocole) July 26, 2020
Portland Terrorist actions have never been about Black lives, it has always been about anarchy led by Antifa. Antifa has treated any peaceful protesters as stooges, to set a peaceful narrative to mask the intended violence to come.
— Ralph Miller (@ralph_spud79) July 25, 2020
There sure are a lot of triggered white people in the comments saying that there’s no way blacks could achieve what they’re trying to achieve without their help. Like doing naked yoga.
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 25, 2020