Portland is hurting … and so am I

It hurts me terribly to watch the city of my birth going through what is occurring at this moment.

Portland, Ore., has become the scene of a terrible, heavy-handed and tyrannical response from some sort of secret security force that is rounding up protestors and taking them … oh, somewhere.

The Oregon attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the Department of Justice, saying that the secretive security force is violating the civil rights of those who are protesting peacefully.

At issue, of course, has been the response to the death of George Floyd, the man who died at the hands of police of Minneapolis, Minn. Portland became one of the cities where protestors rose up in a “defund the police” movement.

In recent days, though, the situation has gotten out of hand. Security forces wearing unidentified uniforms have been collecting protestors, throwing them into motor vehicles and taking them to undisclosed locations; the protestors then are released.

It’s a bizarre, frightening and dangerous response from the federal government. Donald Trump has referred to the protestors as “anarchists” and hurled assorted other epithets at them.

Why does this trouble me so much? Well, for starters Portland in many ways no longer resembles the once-sleepy city where I spent the first 34 years of my life … minus a couple of years I was away serving in the U.S. Army.

I got married there. We brought our sons into this world in Portland. We moved away in 1984 to pursue my journalism career in Texas. My family and I have been back many times over the years and I have watched my hometown become a cosmopolitan, vibrant, busy and socially conscious city.

Now this has occurred. We have the president of the United States declaring his intention to “dominate” the streets to make sure the “anarchists” no longer protest. Really? This is happening in the city of my birth?

Watching this kind of jack-booted tyranny erupting in Portland simply hurts my heart.

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