After the shooting of a man determined to be a right-wing voter in Portland, Oregon, following a clash between an influx of Trump supporters and Black Lives Matter supporters met in the city, Mayor Ted Wheeler gave a press conference on the previous night’s events. The speech he gave was not favorable to Trump, which is quite an understatement.
Mayor Wheeler: "President Trump, you bring no peace. You bring no respect to our democracy. You, Mr. President, need to do your job as the leader of this nation. And I, Mr. President, will do my job as the mayor of this city. And we will both be held accountable, as we should." https://t.co/Q6QqVFUI6w
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 30, 2020
Wheeler said that the shooting last night followed the arrival of Trump’s supporters, encouraged by Trump himself to go and address protests that have included vandalism and damage. Those supporters didn’t bring a chance to reach a peaceful resolution; instead, they created more problems for officials and residents in Portland.
‘Yesterday’s event began with hundreds of cars filled with supporters of the president rallying and driving through downtown Portland. They were supported and energized by the president himself.
‘President Trump, for four years, we have had to live with you and your racist attacks on Black people. We learned early about your sexist attitudes towards women. We’ve had to endure clips of you mocking a disabled man. We’ve had to listen to your anti-democratic attacks on journalists. We have read your tweets slamming private citizens to the point of receiving death threats, and we have listened to the attacks on immigrants. We have listened to you label Mexicans rapists. We’ve heard you say that John McCain wasn’t a hero because he was a prisoner of war, and now you’re attacking Democratic mayors and the very institutions of democracy that have served this nation well since its founding.
Wheeler responding to Trump: You’ve tried to divide us more than any other figure in modern history and now you want me to stop the violence you helped create. pic.twitter.com/7fWcaBjJnj
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) August 30, 2020
After weeks of listening to Trump sow hate and division while accusing Democrats of stoking hate and division, Wheeler had a few words to say to him. No matter how many times Trump says the violence is happening in Democratic cities, the violence is happening all over the country and has been for years. The violence is the reason for the protests, and Trump has never once stood for the victims of that violence or said the words “black lives matter.”
‘It’s you who have created the hate and the division. It’s you who have not found a way to say the names of Black people killed by police officers even as people in law enforcement have. It’s you who claimed that white issue supremacists are good people. Your campaign of fear is anti-democratic of anything you have done to create hate and vitriol in our country.’
Trump, predictably, went on an insult fest in a Twitter tantrum against Wheeler, but the mayor’s words will resound for some time. The violence happening today is happening under Trump and because of him, and Wheeler did not hold back in saying so.
‘President Trump, you bring no peace. You bring no respect to our democracy. You, Mr. President, need to do your job as the leader of this nation. I, Mr. President, will do my job as the mayor of this city. We will both be held accountable as we should. I’m calling out every other elected official in Oregon to join me. Not only in defeating racism but helping me to stop the violence as we are and will continue to be held accountable by all of our residents.’
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler says his heart is heavy. He denounces violence.
"The tragedy of last night cannot be repeated." pic.twitter.com/vloGJs8Dch
— Mike Baker (@ByMikeBaker) August 30, 2020
Featured image screenshot via Twitter