Oregon is currently under fire with a brutal battle between police and the city’s residents—and has been since the death of George Floyd.
The residents are angry, frustrated, and fighting for justice, yet their voices and efforts continue to be met with brutal force. Now, the National Guard has added fuel to the fire with their tactical presence and combative force against protestors.
The scene is horrific, but it could have been prevented with the right leadership. This is where Oregon Gov. Kate Brown dropped the ball entirely.
Prior to the dissemination of the National Guard by the Trump Administration, the only leader in Oregon that attempted to find solace in the revolt was Mayor Dan Holladay who tried to find a medium that would both protect government buildings from rioters while at the same time respecting the rights of peaceful protestors.
The only problem was that he would not have been forced to do this job alone were it not for Gov. Brown’s consistent dragging of her feet on the problem.
According to The Oregonian, Gov. Brown did not actually make a public statement on this issue until June, long after the protests had gotten out of hand. By the time Brown made her appearance, the police were completely out of control and the protestors were getting angrier and angrier about their questions of justice being unanswered.
Governor Brown is a Democrat who states that she believes in doing what is right for all people. If this is so, why did it take her so long to make a statement about the unrest in her city?
To make matters worse, Brown did not come forth with viable solutions to the problem facing her territory. Instead, she came with typical political mumbo-jumbo that proved she had no idea how to handle the situation. That, or she just did not care to deal with the problem.
Solutions given by Brown that were meant to answer the problem of civil unrest and police brutality were “the launching of a listening session with Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the NAACP, and the Urban League.”
So, basically, Brown feels that the best solution is to simply promise Black people that their concerns about systematic racism will be heard…but not much else.
She then promises “to put the needs of the marginalized communities at the forefront of their recovery” but she fails to say how she plans on doing this.
Her inability to act not only exacerbated the situation in Oregon, but it also led to the federal government feeling the need to step in to try and control unruly protestors. Over 100 federal agents were deployed in Oregon early July, and needless to say, all hell broke loose.
Citizens were abused, arrested, detained, tear-gassed, and even beaten. To this, Brown simply stated that the actions of the agents were “unfortunate” and then she went right back to her silent and safe room.
Much of the civil unrest can be placed on the shoulder of the one leader who should have taken control of the problem prior to its becoming a massive monster. Many of the protestors were merely seeking solutions to a very bitter problem, and they were ignored.
Now they must face the consequences of one leader who chose to sit back and hide from the very people she promised to protect and serve.
By Audra L.