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Portland shooting sparks political blame game

by Onize Ohikere
Posted 8/31/20, 03:52 am

A man belonging to the far-right group Patriot Prayer was fatally shot Saturday after a caravan of 600 vehicles filled with supporters of President Donald Trump drove through Portland, Ore., and clashed with Black Lives Matters protesters. It is unclear if the shooting is directly linked to the skirmishes as authorities investigate. Joey Gibson, the founder of Patriot Prayer, identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson. Portland has had nearly 100 consecutive nights of protests since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota in late May sparked a nationwide response against racial injustice.

How are leaders responding? In a series of tweets on Sunday, the president praised the supporters of the caravan and said the “dummy running Portland” has failed to deliver law and order in the state. Portland Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler in return blamed Trump for inciting hate and division, calling instead for collaboration. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden also waded into the matter, saying Trump’s response lacked presidential leadership and basic human compassion.

Dig deeper: Read Marvin Olasky’s analysis of the Portland protests.

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Onize Ohikere

Onize is WORLD's Africa reporter. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate and earned a journalism degree from Minnesota State University-Moorhead. Onize resides in Abuja, Nigeria. Follow her on Twitter @onize_ohiks.

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  • Cyborg3's picture
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 11:11 am

    As Christians which side should we be on? Law and order or anarchy and rioting? It is very clear to me - law and order.  If the local governments will not address it, we will see open fighting in the streets with live ammunition. Let us pray that this is not the case and that rule of law is upheld. 

  • My Two Cents
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 11:13 am

    Dare I say I agree with Joe Biden on this one. 

  • voiceofreason
    Posted: Tue, 09/01/2020 12:39 am

    I am extremely disappointed in the wording which World continues to make when referring to the rioting and destruction which has been taking place in Portland for nearly 100 consecutive nights - as well as rioting and killing elsewhere.  It is anarchy pure and simple.  It should not be dignified by referring to it as "100 consecutive nights of protests since the death of George Floyd in Minnesota".  (Do we really have to give that 'reason' every single time?) 

    The truth is - that event has proven to be the jumping-off point for looting and destruction and killing, and is fueled by a group (BLM) which has less to do with black lives than it has to do with destroying the foundation of the family, which is the foundation of our society.  It's easy to look up BLM goals online - they make no secret of what they stand for.  I was shocked when I read them.

    Additionally, that event has become the jumping-off point for destroying law and order in our nation.   

    Even if the rioting was still directly related to what happened to George Floyd, everyone knows about that, and the repetition of that phrase over and over again feels like World is trying to legitimize what is currently happening.

    So - why does World use the above quote every. single. time. there is rioting and killing and looting and destruction somewhere in the United States????

    (This is not just a rant.  I am really and truly mystified as to why World is doing this.) 

  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 12:35 pm

    Just out of curiosity, I used World's handy search feature and found that the term "far-right" has been used 18 times by Onize Ohikere on World but she has never used the term "far-left"... presuming the search feature was functioning correctly.  She has also used the term "right-wing" 14 times, but only used "left-wing" once (not including one reference to an airplane)... related to an Austrian Green party.  She has also never used the term "antifa".  Onize has been writing quite a bit of World's American political content lately.

    Hmmm... could there be a slant in this coverage all at a time when some American streets have been embroiled with left-wing agitators and terrorists burning, looting, and rioting in the name of antifa and BLM... as well as Marxist revolutionary groups?

    Come on "World Magazine", you can do a lot better than that!

  • not silent
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 07:11 pm

    I guess I'm not sure why it's a problem to use the term "far-right"? It's one thing to call a group "alt-right" or to refer to them as a "hate group," but doesn't "far right" just describe where a group is on the political spectrum?  

  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 11:25 pm

    "not silent", I just looked at the Wikipedia entry for the common understanding of the term "far-right politics" (see below).  Also, the point of my comment is not just that "far-right" should be used more carefully, but for some reason the same author makes no reference to a far-left while the American political left is taking extreme and violent actions across the nation with very harmful and traumatic results and the Democratic politicians are largely either turning a blind eye to it or encouraging it.  And almost all of the far-left craziness we are witnessing is playing out in places under the wonderful leadership of Democratic governors and mayors.

    Perhaps the lack of reference to the far-left is just a recognition of the sad fact that today what we are seeing represents the new mainstream of the left in American politics.

    From Wikipedia on the term "far-right":  "Historically used to describe the experiences of fascism and Nazism...  Far-right politics can lead to oppression, violence, forced assimilation, ethnic cleansing and even genocide against groups of people based on their supposed inferiority..."

    Now do you understand the problem?

  • not silent
    Posted: Tue, 09/01/2020 11:18 am

    For Steve SoCal, thanks for your explanation. I guess I have found it rather discouraging that what I see in the comments is often a targeted critique of the writers which is then used as a comment on the issue.  There's no rule that comments have to be a certain way, but I guess what gets to me is that a lot of it seems to be driven by the opinion that World is not representing conservatives positively or equally.  I think it's true that they don't present news from a "conservative" perspective, but they never claimed to represent a "conservative worldview."  They represent a "Christian worldview."  To me, a centrist, they have been the most balanced source I have found ANYWHERE; and I value that very highly in today's world where it's so hard to trust information. 

    The tendency to focus on the wording used and the writers as much as the issues (or even more than the issues) feels rather "personal" to me.  What I mean is that there seems to be a growing tendency to address issues indirectly by attacking the PEOPLE who are trying to bring us the news-attacking the messenger, as it were. 

    I suspect one reason this bothers me is because I've felt personally attacked by conservative fellow believers for my own centrist views.  (By "attacked," I mean I have been shouted down, not allowed to speak, and told I was wrong if I didn't vote a certain way. After I  commented that I didn't think the church should promote political candidates from the pulpit, a leader in my church who disagreed began sending emails to the entire ministry which contradicted whatever I happened to have said that day-regardless of the topic-as a clear attempt to discredit and smear me. I had to stop attending a "bipartisan" prayer meeting because it openly promoted the republican party, which was a violation of church policy.) This has not been true with everyone or every ministry, by any means but it has happened enough that I've realized that there are believers who seem convinced that "conservative" views are the only biblical ones and who will attempt to purge or silence any beliefs that don't perfectly align with their own.

    Sorry if this seems like a "rant."  But, for me, it ALWAYS comes back to the gospel.  I don't like feeling attacked; but I am a believer, and the way others act is not going to drive me from the Body or from the Lord. I've learned to keep my mouth shut about politics in most church settings. But it concerns me that sometimes a focus on "conservative" politics seems to take the place of focusing on the gospel and becoming more like Christ. (I realize that some may feel they are the same, and I agree that some parts of them ARE the same; but even the best human political system can never be equal to the gospel.)  

  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Tue, 09/01/2020 01:27 pm

    I have no problem at all with Onize's writing in general, but this piece just doesn't seem at all balanced.  And I don't intend to target any particular person.  But we do live in a world where there is massive pressure to tow the line of the left and to make caricatures of people on the right... whether Christian or otherwise.  In this piece, it just struck me that the phrase "far-right" was thrown out so easily to describe this murder victim.  I think the searches I did for the use of certain phrases tell the story by themselves.  BTW, I fully agree that some people on the right can be every bit as hateful as anyone on the left.  But somehow the left too often is protected and tends to get a pass in reporting... even for their burning, rioting, and looting... or even shooting.

  • not silent
    Posted: Tue, 09/01/2020 02:41 pm

    For Steve SoCal, I believe that you didn't mean your comments personally.  And thanks for your additional clarification.

    I think you made some very valid points-namely, that there is massive pressure to conform to certain "norms," to use the right words and terminology, and to compromise in various ways.  We have seen that those in the media (and also the entertainment industry) must deal with pressures that are EXTREME. They are not allowed to be silent on major issues; they are required to speak out on the right issues and to do it in the right way or they may be "cancelled," "doxed," or harrassed in other ways.

    My personal experience is obviously coloring my viewpoint; but, as I said in my previous comment, I felt pressure to conform to "conservative" views for a number of years. I may not have been "cancelled," per se; but I've been shouted down and silenced.  I may not have been "doxed," but emails have been sent out to purposely discredit me. As a result, I am very sympathetic to individuals who are trying to stand up for what they believe.  

    I think we, as Christians are called to present truth; but it's very important HOW we do it.  Unless we use love, grace, and kindness, it won't matter.  The fruits of the Spirit which we have in Christ can set us apart from everyone else who claims to represent the way of virtue, the moral high ground, or whatever they call it.  

    I am struggling to figure out how to live in these current times, and I'm sure I have made many mistakes. I pray we may all continue to encourage one another and also to "spur one another on to love and good deeds."  (Hebrews 10:24) 

  • Steve SoCal
    Posted: Tue, 09/01/2020 07:34 pm

    "not silent", thanks for your thoughtful comments.  I understand where you're coming from, and I agree.  These are challenging times where followers of Christ are faced with a real challenge as to how we live out our faith with both truth and love... wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  We need the Lord's help!

  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 11:53 am

    Trump's mouth ( and tweets) are his big problem. As we say around here, "the man's got an attitude." But is that the real problem in this country? 

    The simple fact is, a lot of liberal mayors and governors, even police chiefs, and yes, national politicians, have said waaaayyyy too many things that sound like condoning the violence, and have condemned actions taken to stop the violence. 


    Does that set well with you?  It sure doesn't get applause from me. I sure don't want to see a bunch of spoiled entitled "social justice warriors" breaking windows, looting businesses, and assaulting police in my town. I don't want to worry that they will come into my neighborhood to throw rocks at the home of someone they have decided to "peacefully protest."  I would probably do what that couple in St. Louis did. Except, I think in my neighborhood, several of my neighbors would be out there with me, with guns, telling the protestors to get out NOW!

    Sooner or later, we are going to see Cyborg3's predictions come true somewhere in America. When that happens, I just pray it doesn't spread into some kind of all-out war. 

    And if it happens, I know exactly who the liberals will blame. And I know exactly who I will blame, and I think, who a majority of the voters will hold responsible. And Mr. Trump will be re-elected! 

  • not silent
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 02:32 pm

    For some reason, after reading this and some of the comments, I thought of an old Veggie Tales movie: Josh and the Big Wall.  That led me to the book of Joshua in the Bible.

    Joshua 5:13-15: "When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand.  And Joshua went to him and said, 'Are you for us, or for our adversaries?'  And he said, 'No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD.  Now I have come.'  And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshipped and said to him, 'What does my lord say to his servant?'  And the commander of the Lord's army said to Joshua, 'Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy.' And Joshua did so."

    This ends Joshua 5.  Joshua 6 begins by telling us that Jericho is under seige.  Then the LORD tells Joshua that he will defeat Jericho and outlines the strategy to defeat Jericho, "with its king and its mighty men of valor" (Josh 6:2).  I can just imagine Joshua's face as he is told his army is to march around the city once a day for six days with the priests and the Ark of the Covenant then, on the seventh day, to march around seven times with the priests blowing their trumpets of ram's horns; and, at the sound of one loud blast, to shout.  And the walls would just fall down. (They still had to do SOME fighting, but not from outside a wall and not after a long seige.)       

    I can't help imagining this scene and how tense it would have been for Joshua to run into a man with a drawn sword just as he is getting ready to invade a powerful city.  Since Jericho was under seige, I can see why Joshua was confused about who it was.  To me, one of the most amazing things about this story was that, when Joshua asked if the man were for them or for their enemies, he said, "No." (In the Veggie Tales Movie, he says, "Neither, but as the commander of the army of the Lord I have now come.")

    I think we like to believe that God is on our side, and he has certainly blessed us in this country; but he is not bound by our view of "sides."   He helped Israel when Israel was following HIM but not when they disobeyed.  (They found that out the hard way when they got defeated by Ai in Joshua 7!)  Sometimes the way to victory is not the most obvious one, and we will never have any kind of lasting victory without falling down before our God.  

  • JerryM
    Posted: Mon, 08/31/2020 07:52 pm

    I would have to agree with some of the concerns raised in the comments.  Words are powerful weapons/tools: why use the term "far-right", not "conservative" or "right-leaning".  What makes this group extreme as the term used appears to imply?  While I do not doubt many/some are simply protesting, are these "far-left" protests?  Is the net effect of "nights of protests" some form of "anarchy"?  I think of Jesus words: "I tell you the truth".  Is World telling the full truth?