On August 29, a "Trump 2020 Cruise Rally" drove from suburban Clackamas County, Oregon, to Portland, land of the lawless anarchists. Participants in the caravan were filmed shooting paintballs and pepper spray at the protesters they didn't like. The violence escalated until rightwing extremist Aaron "Jay" Danielson was shot and killed.

The suspect in the shooting was Michael Forest Reinoehl, who later received the full Dillinger treatment from a fugitive task force sent to arrest him. Reinoehl claimed in a Vice interview that he'd acted in self defense. Kyle Rittenhouse, who's still alive and will actually stand trial, also claimed he acted in self-defense.

Guns make everything worse.

The reason we're dwelling on the past right now is because it seems like this is our endless present. Hundreds more Donald Trump supporters gathered for a clown car caravan in Oregon this weekend. They reportedly wanted to show their "support for the president and the police." That's their constitutional right as Americans. Although, if they really wanted to support modern policing, they should let the cops beat the crap out of them without complaint. That's one job Black people are fine with losing to less-qualified white guys.


The caravans are an obvious response to this summer's protests against police brutality. They are intended to stir shit up. The Labor Day “Cruise Rally" that began in Oregon City was organized by the Facebook group Oregon for Trump 2020. Good luck with that. Hillary Clinton cleaned Trump's clock in Oregon and Joe Biden will probably expand her margin of victory.

Like most violent white men, a Trump supporter gave a speech about Jesus loving "the little children" and how we all “bleed the same red blood" before declaring outright war on more than half the nation.

TRUMPIST: It's time that we stand up and be the voice of God that he has called us to be. We cannot be a quiet voice any longer.

Oh sweet Christ, you guys NEVER SHUT UP!

TRUMPIST: ... while the enemy of wickedness tries to destroy our freedoms. Amen!

Then there was a chorus of “USA!" which doesn't sound patriotic and uplifting coming from an unhinged mob.

TRUMPIST: We're not only here for Trump. We're here for blue lives.

There's no such thing as “blue lives." That's my critical race theory. Politely asking the police to avoid killing Black people is not quite as inflammatory as Trump supporters saying that pro-LGBT Democrats “need to be shot dead." Liberal “blue lives" apparently don't count.

The caravan moved on to a Trump rally in Salem. They were joined by the Proud Boys, a far-right group local police seem to dig. Counter-protesters showed up, which is also their right, and the Trumpists had prepared for a vigorous debate. They were armed with guns, baseball bats, sticks and pipes. If they love “blue lives" so much, they should let the police protect them. They're white after all. If you show up at your favorite restaurant with your own food, it's not a compliment to the chef.

From the Oregonian:

The Salem Police Department, supported by Oregon State Police, made multiple arrests after rally goers attacked some of the counter-protestors. Videos on social media show right-wing protesters chasing, tackling and assaulting left-wing protestors with weapons, fists and pepper spray. Paintballs were also fired between the two groups.

After unfolding a large American flag on the steps of the Capitol, right-wing protesters charged counter-protesters, leaving several injured. Right-wing protestors made a second rush later, tackling and beating at least one person, leading to two arrests.

Conservative "Never Trumper" Tom Nichols suggested the counter-protesters should've stayed home and not given “these pathetic dorks someone to argue with." That implies that Trumpists only want attention. That's part of it, sure, but Trump's Dalek brigade also wants to intimidate and silence everyone different. When fascists are actively protesting against your existence, running and hiding isn't the ideal response.

This is especially true in Oregon. Conservatives in rural parts of the state and the cop-burbs outside Portland resent the growing liberal dominance. Oregon's history is hella racist, and so is much of its present. Ignoring the unpleasant underbelly won't make it go away.

There is no legitimate connection between Joe Biden and the so-called “violent Left." That exists only in Ted Cruz's imagination, like his personal charisma. The violent Right, however, openly supports Trump and acts in his name. It's fair to hold the “law and order" president accountable for their lawless actions this weekend.

[Oregonlive.com]

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).

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