“I don’t know why I feel I’ve got to tell you this.”
Like most Portland protesters, she’s young and fully committed to fixing the broken world we’ve handed her. Brave enough to take to the streets despite the brutality of Portland Police and federal agents alike. She’s been protesting from the start. She’s seen too much.
Let’s call her W.
It is early August and I am not doing well. Four hours of sleep is a luxury I barely remember. It’s not nightmares exactly, just a failure to fall asleep and waking up wide-eyed three hours later. …
“My daddy served in the Army, where he lost his right eye
But he flew a flag out in our yard ‘till the day that he died”
Toby Keith’s daddy isn’t the only one. I’m idling on a sun-baked Oregon interstate just south of Portland, surrounded by lifted trucks carrying on the Keith tradition. The light summer breeze makes the countless flags dance in the shimmering heat. Trump 2020. Blue Lives Matter. American. Punisher. Gadsden. Confederate.
This article first appeared in It’s Going Down
In the beginning, we were many. We were thousands. Exploding into the street after watching a video of horror both strange and all-too-familiar: a video of a nine-minute murder, of a killer indifferent to the pleas of the bound man he choked and crushed to death. Broad daylight, on film, unprosecuted. Another police murder. Another black person dead.
As the video circulated, things began to shatter. Hearts. Trust. Restraint. Patience.
We marched through these streets — our streets — to the sound of shattered windows. We screamed the names of the dead to the heavens as though they might be able to hear, as though we might rouse them and reverse the brutality that ended their lives. From above: silence. Some crimes are unforgivable, irreversible. But the future is not yet written: we could stop this from happening again, we must stop it by any means necessary. …
This is the script for my YouTube video of the same name. Although this was written to be heard, not read, I know some people would rather read than watch a video, so here you go.
Who is Jordan Peterson?
Until June 25th, when I attended a live Peterson talk in Portland, Oregon alongside 2,500 screaming fans, I had never heard or read anything the professor has produced. I have not seen his YouTube lectures. I have not read either of his books.
I’d seen social media conversations, of course, and I’d read articles. A great deal of ink has been spilled on the subject of Jordan Peterson since his book crashed the Amazon’s bestsellers list party.
The New York Times sees a humorless acetic, father to Men’s Rights activists, upholder of the biological patriarchy. Katie Herzog of The Stranger sees a psych-101 self-help guru: “It’s hard to see what’s so controversial.” Rich Smith from the same publication sees a lying huckster making money by riling up the alt-right with ridiculous lies. Reason Magazine sees a would-be prophet who wins friends by intellectually attacking the Left and their SJWs. The LA Review of Books sees a snake-oil salesman exploiting white male rage. An LA Times editorial sees a man plugged into the zeitgeist who isn’t always right but nonetheless points out real flaws in the feminist worldview. …
“Congressman ______’s office, how can I help you?”
This is my summer. I am a congressional intern: a small and life-altering miracle for an aspiring political science major. Sometimes we get to do policy research. Sometimes we do organizational data projects. Always, we process faxes and answer the phone. We represent the congressman as best we can.
Today, in this article, I do not represent the unidentified congressman I intern for. Today, I represent only myself.
“How can I help you?”
Last night I couldn’t sleep. …