Perspective from Seattle – June 12, 2020

I just want to set any records straight about what’s going on here with the Black Lives Matter issues. In essence there is non-violent protest going on, and has been for almost 2 weeks. Early on the protests al started out non-violent, then the police would show up and try to clear the streets in the most violent manner possible short of outright shooting into the crowd. No attempts to engage or contain. They just wanted everyone off the streets, and they did not want to be observed doing it.

With that violence we experienced a lot of individuals among the people protesting who wanted to be violent too, and there were fires set, storefronts vandalized, and objects thrown at the police lines. Some of these people were violent left-wing radicals, but they petered out pretty quickly, and instead these white guys who could be traced back to the police department started showing up doing the same things. Apparently they got tired of being outed because almost all of that kind of behavior has ceased now.

Recently the police have pulled back from a clear-the-streets strategy and the various ad-hoc leaders of the protesters have promised no violence. So far things are calm now that the police pulled back.

The protesters set up a Capital Hill Autonomous Zone in a part of the Capital Hill section of the city where police are not patrolling. This started after the police pulled out of the East Precinct Building. Protesters closed it off after the police left, intending to prevent any damage to the inside. There were right wing rumors started by some a-hole on AM talk radio claiming that protesters were extorting business owners in the area but that rumor has been shut down by the business owners themselves who have denied that anything like that has happened. Even the Seattle Times has printed retractions.

I hope more and more people begin to understand that there are sources that used to be regarded as reliable news sources that are now following a line of falsehoods provided by weirdos who feed the QAnon movement. I would advise that most AM radio is radically untrustworthy. The “One Network” is a total mouthpiece of this movement and absolutely unreliable. Even Fox News is becoming split between its news reporting and opinion functions, with the news people decrying the lies being spread by individual opinion show stars like Tucker Carlson, etc.

I went into Seattle yesterday for chemo and found nothing out of the ordinary, aside from a marked increase of traffic due to businesses slowly reopening. Seattle is doing fine. It is working to reduce or eliminate some long standing and increasingly destructive policing policies, as well as beefing up outreach social services and new roles to take the burden off the police of having to be everything to everybody. Some serious discussions and investigations are going on about police training as well, which over the past few years has veered sharply into total confrontation and immediate escalation into violence. Finally, the police union is being examined closely, with its president pushing a hardcore no-cooperation stance. At the state level there are discussions about lifting most of the secrecy around disciplined officers, who in the past have literally been getting away with murder with no consequence.

…and the simple fact remains, that people of color, Black people especially, are being abused and even murdered at rates like nothing white people have experienced. The white population here is out on the streets as much as people of color, for the first time. Enough proof has come to light to overwhelm any sense of denial. Starting with Black Lives Matter we need to yank our society out of its pervasive idiocy of thinking that people of color somehow are anything less than white people. Get over it, humans are humans and all deserve respect, decency, and safety.

In my opinion, while some people have been advocating the end of policing, they are a minority. The majority of Seattle still wants police presence but without the fear of abuse. People recognize the burdens they have and the dangers they face, but also doubt very much that the danger to police is anything like what is described by both the union leaders and the sellers of current police training.

Anyway, just don’t believe the right-wing news. They are drifting far away from reality. They are causing insane behaviors from those who do believe their stories. Please do not become one of their suckers.