PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – The president of Portland’s NAACP wrote a powerful editorial in the Washington Post, calling the continued protests in Portland a “spectacle” that is redirecting attention from the Black Lives Matter movement.
E.D. Mondaine says he wants to be clear that he is appreciative of the efforts of white brothers and sisters on the streets of Portland, but says there needs to be a shift. He says this requires listening to the black community and putting it in the driver’s seat of the movement.
In the Washington Post editorial, Mondaine said:
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.
Mondaine also wrote about the presence and action of federal officers in Portland, writing that he knows it’s a violation of our Constitution:
This makes me fearful for the safety of everyone demonstrating in Portland. That’s why we need to remember: What is happening in Portland is the fuse of a great, racist backlash that the Trump administration is baiting us to light. We cannot fall for their deception.
FOX 12 on Friday asked Mondaine for what he thought the solution would be in terms of action. He said it’s a combination of factors – still holding our ground in Portland outside the courthouse, but also finding other ways to branch out in the community to help support the Black Lives Matter movement.
“We need to be in other places,” Mondaine said. “We need to go to Gresham where our constituency lives and let them know, ‘hey, we're here and there's hope’. We need to go into the white neighborhoods where our white sisters and brothers live and sit down and have that conversation in full force with them right there in their backyards. We welcome all of the help that we can get from our very well-meaning, and I call them sisters and brothers, and allies and accomplices, we need them. But we need them to show up like we need them to show up and not how they think is best.”
Mondaine said he’s not suggesting retreat, but instead taking the Black Lives Matter movement into places where tear gas and rubber bullets and federal agents can’t find them, like boardrooms, schools, city councils, and the halls of justice.
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