Hometown = municipal pariah

PORTLAND, Ore. — I have returned to the very city where I was born … and which has become a whipping boy for those on the right who believe it has become some sort of “woke” haven.

Whatever that means!

You’ll remember the “defund the police” movement that flared after several incidents involving Blacks who had died in altercations with law enforcement officers. Portland became a sort of ground zero of that movement.

Protests got out of hand in some neighborhoods here. There were reports of violence, of government office buildings burned, of arrests made by cops.

One could surmise that Portland had gone rogue, that it was a city in flames, that its streets are filled with homeless people sleeping in tent cities under bridges.

I’ll speak briefly to the last point, which is that I saw few tents under bridges as I made my way through Portland along Interstate 5.

I glanced out the truck windows as I whizzed along the interstate and noticed that the city is still mighty pretty, even with the low overcast sky and the drizzle that persists here.

I am looking forward to examining the city, to reconnecting with family and friends, to receiving hugs from those who want to comfort me in my time of grief.

Moreover, I intend to see for myself what the city looks like — up close and personal — as I visit neighborhoods throughout this lovely place.

I’ll get back to you on what I find.