Before all the national focus shifted from Black communities — whose lives depend on intelligent nuanced activism, and who have been putting in hard, unglamorous work into coalition building for some 200 years — to Portland and a bunch of spoiled white kids with no skin in the game (no pun intended) or informed knowledge of the issues, there was a national conversation on police models and the history of policing. For a second there I thought we were on the verge of real important change.
Then Portland, the whitest city in America, stole all the focus from those conversations and seriously set things back. Of course, once Portland’s spoiled white college kids get bored, the actual work will continue because for Black communities this is a real issue, a fucking life or death issue and not a chance to look cool on Facebook. Still, it’s super sad and makes me really ashamed: Once again white privilege has fucked things up.