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January 14, 2021
Reporter Challenges Portland Mayor: Did He Help 'Normalize' Political Violence?
It's a rough week for Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler. He has activists interrupting his date to yell at him for "finally speaking out" against violence in Portland. Now he has reporters asking if him if ignoring that violence for so long may have encouraged what happened at the Capitol. I'm using a healthy amount of hyperbole there. But he was asked a somewhat hard question by a reporter.
Portland mayor @tedwheeler is offended when KATU reporter @GenevieveReaume asks the obvious: Did Portland's tolerance of months of riots help provide a new normal that political violence against government property is okay? #antifa pic.twitter.com/mC23qPS47P
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) January 13, 2021
There's a hard cut at the end of the clip, so please allow for missing context. I'm sharing it for two reasons. The first is that the look on his face caused me to squirt coffee out of my nose. The other is that I was impressed by the reporter even asking the question in the first place. Others who are, shall we say, trying to be more intelligently honest about what happened on January 6 are asking similar questions. People spent all year watching political violence on their television. A lot of which was in Portland. People saw what they felt was people breaking the law with no consequences for doing so. Over eighty of them from last Wednesday are finding out they aren't so lucky.
Wheeler isn't to blame for what happened on January 6. But while some of us have been screaming about it all year, others only seem concerned with political violence now that it isn't their side doing it. If we're ever going to actually "lower the temperature" in this country, we need to be able to ask why that is.
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