Public documents obtained by a Portland attorney reveal that Portland Public School staff, planned, executed and paid for what the media and the school district branded as a ‘student’ anti-Second Amendment protest last March 14th.
Willamette Week reported at the time:
Portland students at Roosevelt High School in North Portland, Lincoln in Southwest, Cleveland in Southeast, Franklin in Mt. Tabor and Sunset High in Beaverton were a few of thousands around the state, and nation, protesting for an end gun violence.
Many of the morning’s demonstrations included sitting for 17 minutes in silence—one minute for every person shot in the Florida school shooting. At Lincoln High, where Mayor Ted Wheeler was present, 17 desks were situated with 17 roses on them.
It was followed up by another one in April in which students were given time off to protest.
Portland’s protest community, or as I call them Portland Professional Protesters, Incorporated,™ permeate the community, especially in government – teaching – and quasi government non-profit jobs. I wouldn’t be too far off in suggesting that they leave school on Friday afternoon to join a drum circle by 4pm and then don a balaclava for the evening’s Antifa destruction. There is no chance they don’t bring their far Left politics to the schools. No chance. This is the state that adopted the law – offered by a teacher – to register underage voters. They call it “pre-registration.” Gee, I wonder what political organization they align with.
The Oregon Firearms Federation, a civil rights and education group, said that the local attorney who obtained the records found that the district had orchestrated everything:
In response to a Public Records Act request, PPS has now released documents showing that the demonstrations were organized by PPS, and involved a massive dedication of school resources. From the School Board (which passed a resolution calling for a ban on the possession of all semi-automatic weapons) on down to the individual schools (which reprogrammed class bells to create a special protest period, so no one would have to be marked absent from class), the entire Administration organized itself to undermine the core of our Constitutional republic.
Attorney James Buchal, who also serves as the Chair of the Multnomah County GOP, told VictoriaTaft.com that the school staffs are using kids as political human shields:
“The Portland Public Schools exploited students to manufacture political pressure for gun control, camouflaging their own anti-gun agenda as private speech by students.”
As OFF put it:
[Buchal] is seeking PPS parents and students who are willing to step forward and serve as plaintiffs in a lawsuit seeking to enjoin PPS from further political indoctrination at taxpayer expense.
Buchal says the political pressure on students in these “indoctrination factories” is onerous. He told OFF:
[U]nless parents rise to confront these indoctrination factories, America as we know it will be gone in another generation or two…
Buchal told VictoriaTaft.com that, so far, no parents have stepped forward to be plaintiffs in the case, but Buchal says they can reach him at jbuchal at mbllp.com.
Freelance journalist Mike Strickland faces 50-plus years in prison for drawing his gun to defend himself against a group of anarchists rushing him to assault him at a Portland protest last July. The group had already assaulted him moments before in an attempt to frighten him into stop him from recording the event.
Strickland never fired his weapon, but the mere presence of the gun caused the men and women coming at him to stop for a moment, giving him time to begin backing away in retreat before they threatened to come at him again.
For defending himself against the band of masked and armed thugs bearing down on him to beat him with their flagpoles (again), Strickland now faces a long stretch in prison.
The unspoken yet neon bright message from the Portland judge overseeing the case was ‘in Multnomah County you can’t use your gun in self-defense.’
That chilling message, and the fact that Strickland did nothing wrong in defending himself, is why the case will be appealed.
For many years, Portland has been indulgent to the professional protester class, allowing them to take over the streets, parks, freeways, sidewalks without permits required of other citizens as just one example. Politicians have even marched with them.
On the occasions when lawless and violent protesters are arrested, they are usually quickly processed around the corner from the protest and ticketed.
Not so with Strickland. He was processed, held for hours, his possessions confiscated, and ordered to present himself in court days later where the DA had magically transformed his attackers into ‘victims.’
Compare this to the treatment of a prominent professional protester, Jessie Sponberg, who was among the dozens of people blocking the Portland Airport recently. Thousands of people were inconvenienced by the antics of Sponberg and his cohorts.
A counter protester was shouting Bible verses at the group as they blocked the roads and pathways of people trying to catch their planes or get home.
Eventually, as Sponberg later admits it on this video, he couldn’t stand it anymore and cold-cocked the guy. He assaulted the man, knocking him out for several minutes.
The victim was taken to the hospital and treated for head injuries.
Here’s a video of the assault:
And here was his response to my question about his prosecution on a Facebook post:
There is a two tier system of justice in Multnomah County. One for protesters and one for everyone else.
Notice that the very second he saw the man identified as Kerensa coming, he immediately tensed and pointed his gun in his direction.
Why? Because the “big guy” roughed up Mike just minutes before. Read about that part of it <a href=”http://www.victoriataft.com/exoneration-portland-citizen-journalist-mike-strickland-laughing-liberals/”>here. </a>
Here’s Kerensa being arrested in October at City Hall:
Here’s Kerensa menacing and blocking a driver from getting to the airport:
Viewers of KOIN 6 saw his antics during a live shot by a reporter covering the airport protest:
Why would Kerensa go so far out of his way to hurt Strickland? Here’s part of the reason:
And here’s Ben Kerensa bearing down on Mike Strickland. He later boasted that he was the reason Strickland pulled his weapon:
Here is the man, identified by people as Benjamin Kerensa, bearing down on Mike Strickland as he tries to back away from the smaller group that broke off from the main BLM protest. This was in an apparent attempt to hurt him and keep him from filming. Watch the man believed to be Kerensa at the top right of this GIF.
This video has been out there for all to see on The Oregonian website. The paper stripped this video off periscope and youtube accounts of the incident.
Prosecutors in the Mike Strickland case suffered yet another embarrassing blow when they put their star witness on the stand, felon and ‘victim’ Ben Kerensa.
Kerensa was seen on several videos at the July 7th Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX protest charging Strickland. The 400 pound man and others rushing him caused Strickland to draw his weapon and point it at the men rushing him. The prosecution calls him a ‘victim.’
What became clear as soon as he opened his mouth was that the only ‘victim’ in that courtroom was the truth.
Under cross examination Kerensa was found to have lied about:
Talking to police July 7, though there was a police report.
Emailing police information, though the email was never given to defense attorneys during discovery.
How many times Mike pulled his gun. Kerensa testified Strickland pulled it as many as 5 times.
Shoving Mike in the protest crowd.
Kerensa is an ecumenical felon, having been tried and convicted at both federal and state levels. He went to prison for impersonating FBI agents, been accused of extortion by a former boss, spent time in federal prison for making bomb threats on yet another former employer and a huge tech convention in San Francisco.
He was arrested for theft during the take over of Portland City Hall by protesters in October:
Kerensa and others menaced and surrounded the car of a couple who were trying to get to the airport but blocked by protesters a couple of weeks ago.
Viewers of KOIN 6 saw his antics during a live shot by a reporter covering the airport protest:
Observers told me that during Kerensa’s testimony the judge looked shocked and disconcerted. I don’t know what they’re basing that on. It could have been a case of gas for all I know, but that observation came from more than one court watcher.
Kerensa’s unbelievable testimony was followed up by Portland Police Officer Brandon Combs.
The cop, who also had been called by the prosecution and who was undercover and in the crowd during the protest, testified Strickland pulled his gun once. He also testified that he didn’t see the initial assault by the anarchists in the crowd which precipitated the unholstering of Strickland’s weapon.
Another police officer Mihran Andonian testified that he had his gun out at “low ready” as Strickland made his approach.
This is how a court observer said his cross examination went:
He testified that Mike was compliant and did not resist. On cross-exam, the defense attorney was able to ask some hypotheticals against unsuccessful objections by the state. “What if Mike came running to you? Would you have used your gun?” Andonian’s answer, “No, because there were many officers around and Mr. Strickland would’ve been tackled to the ground.” Follow up hypothetical by defense attorney, “What if you were all alone and he came running at you? Would you then draw your gun?” Andonian’s response, “Yes, I would draw my gun.”
The last hypothetical in which the officer claimed he would have drawn his gun was the exact situation in which Strickland found himself.
The prosecution also called the downtown precinct commander at the time, Chris Davis, who testified they heard about the protest but didn’t have enough time to get uniformed cops out there in time.
This explains why Strickland couldn’t depend upon help from cops and why he felt the need to defend himself.
Day-2 of Mike Strickland’s trial saw a pivotal moment in the case.
Lawyers for Strickland waived his right to a jury trial and opted to be tried solely by the judge.
Strickland is on trial for pulling his legally licensed, registered gun at protesters and anarchists as they rushed him to assault him–again–at a Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX rally last July 7th in downtown Portland.
Court watchers reported Tuesday that the Portland jury pool had so many anti-gun, anti-second amendment members that Strickland wouldn’t get a fair trial. One of the prospective jurors belonged to a an anti-gun group whose leader was pushing for Strickland to be prosecuted.
The Oregonian reported that 30% of the jury pool was against guns.
Previously, Strickland’s defense team moved for a change of venue which was denied by the judge.
In day-2 testimony, the first prosecution witness was absolutely picked apart by the defense.
Court watchers reported that the cross examination was so thorough that the defense attorneys, Jason Short and Chris Trotter, were able to use the witness’s testimony to their advantage.
Witness John Slaughter is a local sports coach. He’s had gigs at Benson High School and PCC. He’s also a frequent protester and one of the organizers of the July 7 Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot PDX event.
Slaughter crossed paths with Strickland when the journalist was videotaping a ‘peaceful’ tribute to Orlando victims.
Activists gathered for the event immediately seized on Strickland, calling him names such as “white nationalist,” “racist” and other labels in an attempt to stop him from videotaping.
Eventually, one man grabbed his camera, explaining that it was a ‘peaceful’ vigil and that he should leave, but that didn’t stop the hate from being heaped on Strickland by ‘peaceful’ protesters.
A man wearing a dress began shrieking at Strickland and calling him, wrongly, a “white nationalist” and telling him to “get your white nationalist ass out of here”:
Activists who had gathered for the Orlando tribute were ‘triggered’ by Strickland enough to surround him, push him and try to take his camera away from him.
Let’s pause here for a second and take up the ‘white nationalist’ issue.
This white nationalist label and the left’s copious use of it to describe Strickland appears to come from the journalist’s coverage of the Portland Community College series on “whiteness.” The uncomfortable spotlight on one of the left’s pet issues–white privilege– angered them. Protesters began calling him a racist and white nationalist for showing (and sometimes mocking) the lectures on his YouTube channel.
Strickland’s stories made national news.
That infuriated the organized left.
After Strickland was arrested for drawing his weapon, PCC and Portland State University, places where he found endless story ideas, immediately banned him from campus. That ban continues today.
Prosecutor Kate Molina used the left’s ‘white nationalist’ and ‘racist’ labels to increase and enhance the charges against Strickland and keep him behind bars for a longer period of time.
Molina never provided proof, rather she relied hearsay reports–from people like John Slaughter, anti-gun crusader (and frequent Strickland object) Penny Okamoto, and, who knows, maybe that guy in the dress, to say Strickland was somehow a racist.
This game of prosecutorial ‘telephone’ cost Strickland plenty. And their adolescent group think cost Strickland his freedom.
Back to the ‘peaceful’ Orlando tribute. Eventually, one man told Strickland he could video him and even gave his job title and phone number for public consumption.
That man was John Slaughter. He was the prosecution’s first witness.
Slaughter testified that on July 7 a group of anarchists and protesters got together and conspired to go get Strickland. Their aim was to kick him out of the protest to prevent him from covering it.
Of course, he didn’t call it a conspiracy, but that’s what it was. Court watchers told me he also seemed to have no clue that planning an assault was illegal.
Slaughter was one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter/Don’t Shoot #PDX event.
He testified that Mike’s concealed Glock was openly carried. Wrong.
He testified that cops swarmed the place. Wrong.
He testified that some of their members were armed. Oops.
He didn’t know if his “event” was permitted.
He claimed Mike was a racist and troublemaker but testified that members of his group initiated the contact with Mike to get him thrown out.
Prosecutors are hanging their hats on the idea that somehow this protest was “family friendly” and that Mike came to disrupt it as a counter protester.
One warned protesters that if they saw him go somewhere he “was going in violence.” He menacingly followed Strickland up the street after the journalist put his gun away and was backing away to safety.
And here’s John Slaughter endorsing this ‘family friendly’ violence right along with them:
Actually endorsing violence, plotting a crime and carrying it out has not resulted in Slaughter being banned from PCC, by the way.
This post about the day-2 events is late because photos from my first post were reported to the court and got one our court watchers banned from the courtroom.
“Strickland drew his legally obtained and licensed concealed Glock pistol, never placing his finger on the trigger, but drew down on the people advancing toward him, stopping what he believed was going to be an attack. He withdrew, walking backwards away from the threat and holstered his weapon when he believed the immediate threat was over.
Since then, the Portland area journalist has been jailed, his tools of his trade–cameras, recording equipment and his own recordings, which are exculpatory evidence in his case, have been confiscated–and Strickland has been ordered to stop working in journalism, thus depriving him of his ability to make a living.
This heavy-handed attack on the rights on one man has been done by the Multnomah County District Attorney and deputy Kate Molina and is due to what some involved in the case believe is a political agenda.
Absurdly, the case is also based on the testimony by some of the very people who were rushing to attack Strickland.”
Judge Thomas Ryan will preside over the proceedings.
At a hearing this week, Strickland’a attorney Chris Trotter asked for several motions, including change of venue out of Multnomah County–Oregon’s most liberal and anti-gun county. The motion was denied.
Portland Police traditionally have had a hands-off approach to protesters until violence breaks out –which has happened at nearly every gathering of the leftists.
Multnomah County has a bias in favor protesters. Peaceful assembly is something our constitution protects. But, based on history, most of these assemblies are seldom, if ever, peaceful.
Now, Portland Police have added to their hands-off approach a ‘we’ll-hide-over-here’ and wait for violence to break out.
How’s that ‘we’ll be over here if you need us’ approach working?
At the Portland Airport on Sunday, protesters took over the airport, blocked traffic and threatened drivers. A loud and annoying street preacher was beaten. The police came only after the attack.
In fact, one of the ‘victims’ in the Strickland case, anarchist Ben Kerensa, was back on the streets intimidating and blocking this driver at the airport:
At a particularly odious anti-Donald Trump protest and riot, a protester was shot when police allowed the rabble to take over the Morrison Bridge over the Willamette River.
The day of the Strickland attack, the police had taken up their hands-off-we’ll-hide-over-here approach. They were not visible and therefore provided no visual intimidation to the attackers.
This was even though a ‘Don’t Shoot PDX’ rally at Pioneer Courthouse Square was given a pep talk by self described Black Panthers encouraging people to get their guns and commit acts of violence at the event (see post below).
When it was over, one of the only guys not in favor of violence had to pull his gun to stay out of the hospital.
The trial starts Monday and prosecutors will attempt to prove that Strickland wasn’t a journalist but an antagonizing counter protester.
Strickland is a paid journalist, so he’s far from the DA’s characterization. But, think about that for a second, if he were a counter protester, would it have been acceptable for the anarchists to attack him? That seems to be where they’re going with this.
Next: Why the anarchists at the July 7th protest were out to get Strickland.
Mike Strickland was indicted by Multnomah County grand jury on Thursday. The 21 count indictment alleges he “unlawfully used a” firearm and “menaced” when he unholstered his weapon and pointed it toward people on July 7th, the day of the Black Lives Matter protest. Another count of second degree disorderly conduct was added.
“Strickland was released from custody on July 19, after posting 10 percent of his $250,000 bail. He’s among 18 people who testified before the grand jury, according to the indictment.”
Victims are variously described as “a man wearing jeans, green cloth on his face,” “man in blue hooded top with messenger bag,” “man with tan pants … carrying an orange bottle,” “a man with tan pants … wearing a scarf around his neck,” “green top, dark backpack, white mask on his face,” “a female with a black skirt, black skirt and black cloth over her mouth.”
A person has a right to face his accusers, but it seems in Multnomah County you can neither know their names nor see their faces — literally. I say that only half jokingly. There’s a reason their faces are covered. They don’t want to be recognized by the cops.
More on point, however, is that there are ten unnamed people at whom the District Attorneys believe Strickland pointed his gun. They watched the video tapes out there — probably right here on this website — to come up with their victim list.
I’ll be going through the video tapes as well to see exactly which victims we’re talking about and whether they were among the ones advancing on Strickland, causing him to pull out his gun because — obviously –you won’t hear that from prosecutors.
Prosecutors are trying to make an example out of Strickland, using him as an abject lesson on how you can’t defend yourself — even if you feel in fear of your safety from advancing — by using a gun. They’re trying to move the goal posts for that law to further clamp down on gun ownership and use in Oregon’s largest city.
As one of his attorneys Jason Short told VictoriaTaft.com, the burden of proof at grand jury is much lower — it’s a prosecutor’s world:
“This isn’t a matter of whether the state can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. That high standard doesn’t apply at the grand jury level. The DA has 100% control over what evidence is presented before that “secret” grand jury. The witnesses are not subject to cross examination. If the witness or “victim” has a criminal history, that may not be discussed.
“These charges themselves mean nothing without evidence being brought forward before a judge or jury under a burden of proving that evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Keep in mind, evidence that is “clear and convincing” is not even close to proof beyond a reasonable doubt.”
They’re throwing everything they’ve got against the wall to see what sticks and hoping that Strickland will cop a plea. I pray he doesn’t. He’s innocent.
On his innocence, Short told VictoriaTaft.com:
“I’m very much looking forward to taking this case to trial. I don’t just believe, I know, that police officers believe he acted correctly and did nothing wrong. They won’t come forward for fear or being fired. We won’t have any problem finding use-of-force experts to testify that Michael acted in self-defense.”
These are serious charges carrying serious jail time should he be found guilty. Prosecutors are playing with a man’s life to further an anti-gun agenda.
Strickland’s in court today to answer to the charges.
A lefty Portland videographer, who goes by the nom de guerre “Mike Bluehair,” has told police for the second time that reporter Mike Strickland pulled a gun on protesters in self-defense. Bluehair told a detective at the scene the night of the incident at the Black Lives Matter protest that Strickland drew his weapon in self defense and reiterated the same in a follow up phone interview. Bluehair recorded the conversation which is below.
Bluehair has taken the most compelling video seen so far of the moments during and right after the Portland reporter drew a weapon and pointed it toward protesters converging on him. Strickland’s own video, which he says exonerates him, has been seen neither by the public, nor at this writing that we’re aware, by district attorney investigators. Strickland has been in jail since July 8th and will be in court tomorrow to answer to two felonies and two misdemeanors relating to unholstering his weapon at the protest.
The charges, which were increased at his first hearing, are being seen more and more as being transparently politically motivated by anti second amendment Multnomah County prosecutors.
In one exchange, Bluehair even drew a picture for Officer Sarah Taylor on why Strickland drew his weapon:
Officer Sarah Taylor: You don’t get the sense that he was out of control.
Mike Bluehair: No, he was being very measured. … If you look at my video off to the left, you can clearly see a guy, seconds before he pulls a gun out –rather large black gentleman — drop a back pack and move in towards him quickly.”
And, as I’ve reported previously, black bloc protesters also came at Strickland with their flagstaffs.
Here’s one guy showing how they’re used:
Mike Bluehair also told Officer Taylor that others in the crowd felt Strickland was in danger too:
“Some of the people who helped Strickland feel safe, believe it or not, were anarchists. I have a friend that was in black bloc attire that was there that turned around and helped me keep the crowd from Strickland.
Like I said, I think he [Strickland] was feeling the need for self-protection, but I didn’t see what happened leading up to that. There will be testifying that I know about the situation.
I think he was being very measured and controlled in his movements. He put the thing in his retention holster, or whatever, when he felt that there was no danger.”
Strickland also believes that Mike Bluehair was trying to warn him before the incident happened. I asked Mike Bluehair about that. Here’s what he said:
“I told him something to the effect of watch his ass or some such. I don’t remember the exact words I used. That said, I’m pretty sure his camera was rolling When I said that. People in that crowd looked more Agro than usual.Thanx Victoria for covering mikes story. I wish people would get to through their thick skulls that if we don’t stand up for mikes liberty we are ultimately eroding our own. [sic]”
Bluehair sent me his video of the conversation he held with a Portland Police Bureau officer. See it below.
He also told the cop:
“I can pass along the names of two individuals that saw the entire thing. And they’re both willing to, you know, testify as to what they saw.”
I asked him for information on the two and he demurred.
The officer on the call told Mike Bluehair that she was glad for his “impressions” of what happened but felt some of what he said was hearsay.
At this point, I have to shake my head. In court, the District Attorney used worse than hearsay — let’s call it derivative hearsay — to increase the charges against Strickland. She took the word of a leftist protester who was pissed off at Strickland over texts he sent. The protester labeled Strickland a “white nationalist” who sent him “possibly race based threats.”
Because of the protester’s conjecture about why Strickland asked them particular questions about a previous protest, he was labeled a racist and the district attorney’s office used that hearsay to increase the charges against him — perhaps destroying his career and livelihood. Worse, costing him his freedom.
Strickland sits in jail on $250,000.00 bail on trumped up additional charges because someone got their feelings hurt.
Strickland will be in court for a bail hearing Monday at 1:30.
The photograph — taken by the AP’s Charlie Neibergall — actually captured a background poster, with a large semi-blurred image of a handgun pointed at Cruz’s forehead, straight between the eyes.
Cruz was appearing Saturday at CrossRoads Shooting Sports in Johnston, Iowa. During his speech, Cruz, an outspoken proponent of Second Amendment rights, encouraged residents to adopt what he called a Texan approach to guns by simply “hitting what you aim at.”
A day earlier, the Republican presidential candidate accused Democrats of using Wednesday’s church massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, as an excuse “to take away the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens.”
Remember when Sarah Palin was blamed for the Arizona shooting of Gabby Giffords and the U.S. Federal Court Judge in Arizona for what she’d put on a website months before? Here’s what she did (first produced by the media, by the way):
Here’s one image that uses the GOP as ‘targets’ of the Democrats. Result? No outrage:
If not for double standards, the left would have no standards at all.
Wednesday night was the most unifying night of the week.
There are a couple of things that need to be said about the Charleston church shooting.
As we hear the voices of the politicians attempt to score political points about guns, ‘widespread’ racism, the need for more program money; the hand wringers who claim we need to talk more about race; and those who wish to make money off the deaths of these people; there are a few things that need pointing out. Call it a ‘duh’ factor, if you will.
A predominantly black church welcomed a white, young millennial into their Wednesday night Bible study. He heard the preaching and give and take with the nine people, four of whom were pastors, for about an hour. He heard the hearts of these people, heard their struggles and triumphs. He heard the truth.
The parishioners at the Emanuel AME Church Bible study Wednesday night were much older than the shooter. Only one, Tywanza Sanders, 26, was close to his age.
These strangers welcomed a young man into the fold because that’s ‘how we do’ at church. We’re all part of God’s family and we welcome our sisters and brothers regardless of race, age, ethnicity and social stratum.
The shooter, clearly suffering from mental problems and dark thoughts, some of which church folk might refer to as ‘demon possession’, knew when and where to go to find his victims because it was advertised on the Emanuel AME website:
BIBLE STUDY Is something missing from your life? Are you doing all you can to have a closer relationship with God? If you have a desire to learn more about God, then join us on Wednesdays at 6:00 p.m. in the lower level of the church. We look forward to seeing you!
I don’t know the Bible text at the center of the study, but there’s no question this study attempted to fill the void of those who ‘have something missing’ from their lives.
Everyone was welcome.
There was a call to accountability to those coming to the study. ‘Are you doing all you can to have a closer relationship with God?’
While that may be off-putting to some, there was no doubt this Bible study would have addressed how each individual could ‘walk the talk’ and be held accountable by their group in a loving way.
The elders were showing the younger members, including this killer, how to have a relationship with God because that’s what’s important. Because that’s just ‘how we do’ at church.
In short, Cynthia Hurd, a 54 year old library manager; Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, a professional speech therapist, coach and mother; the Reverend Dr. Depayne Middleton Doctor, 49; church sexton, Ethel Lance, 70; the Reverend Daniel Simmons, a 74 year old staff minister; 59 year old Myra Thompson, the wife of a vicar at a near by church; Susie Jackson, 87 year old church stalwart; Tywanza, a young man of God; and their leader, the Reverend Clementa Pinckney were doing that which people claim we need more of.
Holding a Bible study and learning about the word of God on Wednesdays is what millions of people do every week. It’s one way we live out our faith. Complete strangers are welcomed to these meetings.
These meetings don’t usually make the news.
The people at this Bible study Wednesday night were living out racial harmony. To Christians at Emanuel AME, there was something much bigger than what divides us. They arrayed themselves around the word of God every Wednesday night at 6pm and concentrated on what unites His people.
They didn’t need to talk about racial harmony because they knew that spiritual harmony, united under the God of the Bible, is what’s important and the only thing that unites people, be they Samaritans, Jews, Gentiles, Greeks or Israelites.
This church, called Mother Emanuel, has known great injustice. Members organized a slave rebellion in the 1800’s and some were executed for it. The church served as a stop in the underground railroad for runaway slaves. The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior preached there.
In the public square, the facile answer to this horrific shooting at the hands of a racist monster, is to assume government diktat or programs can do something to change people’s hearts.
There’s a role, to be sure, from the bully pulpit to help guide people, but I’m not hopeful the President can pivot to becoming a unifying voice. He’s shown too often he can only offer airy words of blame in his role as bystander-in-chief.
Al Sharpton, the President’s racial consigliere, has demonstrated he cares only what he can plunder and if he gets the credit for garnering headlines while fomenting violent clashes.
The organized left, led by paid protesters, has shown in city after city its aim is to create chaos, not unity.
These people who purport to show us the way to racial unity are some of the same who have conspired to take God out of the public square. Their aim is to replace a Gothic cathedral filled with God with a federal-style building somewhere in a capital city.
The thing that many people on social media and in legacy media won’t say is that we don’t need more government programs to force people into compliance with proscribed viewpoints, however meritorious.
They don’t need more Gov. They need more God.
The people at Emanuel AME showed the way. It’s up to the rest of us to follow their lead.
Godspeed. God Bless these people who knew where they were going and are now in peace.
And never forget: Joy comes in the morning. Because that’s just ‘how we do.’
Days after the Baltimore’s Freddie Gray riots, there was another incident that almost became another apocryphal ‘Hands up, Don’t Shoot’ moment.
A version of his post was originally published by Victoria Taft at PoliticalVanguard.com
Sometimes you watch the news or hear ‘man on the street’ interviews on the radio and later, when the truth comes out, wonder to yourself, ‘Where did that cockamamie story come from?’
In the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Missouri, interviews contained in both the Grand Jury testimony and the federal investigation revealed Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson, conceived of the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative and began to spread it around.
Investigators later deemed doubtful Johnson’s ability to see the last seconds of his friend’s life because of where he claimed to be hiding.
But, by the time he was finished, Johnson was on TV blatantly spouting the ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ narrative, and people, later ruled not credible by the authorities, picked up the story and lied under oath.
It was untrue but it was everywhere. And even after it was disproved, protesters still used it.
Protesters used the ‘hands up’ meme in Baltimore, well after the world learned it was bogus.
Just days after the riots in Baltimore, ‘the big lie’ almost happened again.
A man was stopped by cops and subdued after he pulled out a revolver at Pennsylvania and North — the flashpoint of the original riots.
MSNBC host, Joy Reid, was on the ground and spoke to the “victim’s” relative, who revealed the name of the man “shot” and the fact he was only reaching at his waist band.
Fox News was on live and reported the “shooting”, but walked back the story within minutes. Shepherd Smith apologized and said they’d “screwed up”.
MSNBC never recanted, and instead blamed Twitter for their story.
MSNBC went on the air, with a person actually on the ground, and reported a falsehood for which they never apologized. They also talked to the “victim’s” family member who lied about the incident and never apologized.
But MSNBC was right about one thing: They saw the story on Twitter. I know that because I did too.
The Tweet talked of a shooting and contained a link leading to a live-stream of the “shooting” scene.
And here’s what I saw:
After hearing a gun shot, people came upon the scene only to see a man lying on the ground. Police surrounded him.
Within seconds, a few people on scene began pronouncing the man face down on the ground had ‘been shot’.
Though there was no blood and angry people were close enough to see, the story caught fire.
Soon, a bigger group of angry people converged at the site and, within seconds, a couple of angry men began confronting cops within inches of their faces and accusing them of shooting the black man on the ground. You can hear their voices saying:
The police shot him! They done shot him, bro! They shot him? They shot in him the back, man!
Another voice rang out urging people to go after one of the cops:
He’s the cop! He’s the cop!
That prompted a man to confront an officer — as if picking a school yard fight — getting within inches of the officer’s face and taunting:
You shot my man, yo? You shot my man, yo? You shot my man, yo?
The man recording the event and putting it out over the internet pronounced:
Hey, police just shot someone! Police just shot SOMEONE IN THE BACK! Tweet it out, please? POLICE JUST SHOT SOMEONE. They just shot someone and they maced someone. They shot that man in the back. Tweet it out. BALTIMORE POLICE JUST SHOT A MAN IN THE BACK! Now they’re macing people for no reason!
Then he beckoned them to come riot:
Come to Penn and North now.
Soon, the woman caught on tape and who was used in several TV news stories came along to declare:
I watched that man shoot him! I watched it with my own eyes!
Guy taking video:
File a report on the M******F****r!
He escalated his rhetoric and urged riot again:
Come down to Penn & North NOW! Those M*****F*****r cops. They maced someone. Tweet it out!
And someone did. And that’s when I saw it and MSNBC News did, too.
But just when you think things could spin out of control, they got worse. Someone’s voice in the crowd authoritatively pronounced:
They just shot that man in the back.
The person recording the event embellished:
Baltimore police just shot a man in the back. Baltimore police just shot that man in the back. THEY HAD HIM IN CUFFS AND THEY F*****G SHOT IN HIM THE BACK!
Almost none of what they said was true. They just made it up.
Police did pepper spray some of the people who were getting out of control and pushed them down the street and out of the way of the take down.
A Baltimore police officer told anyone who asked him that the man was seen with the gun. WBAL radio reported he’d been spotted via the ‘City Crime Watch’ camera. When he saw cops, he reached for his gun, dropped it, the gun discharged and cops seized upon him:
A fleeing suspect pulled out a revolver, which went off, and no officers fired their weapons, police said, denying conflicting reports from people at the scene.
If that guy had been shot by officers another big lie would have gathered even more momentum. As it was, this was bad enough. Later, the paid professional protesters, of whom Deray McKesson is one, launched an assault on the media.
Deray was on the ground in Ferguson and won some fame for his activism there. Then he packed his bags and showed up in Baltimore. He was identified by Wolf Blitzer of CNN as a Baltimore community organizer. Deray, originally from Baltimore, is not.
I’d show you Deray McKesson’s original tweet, but he blocked me after I outed him as a professional peripatetic protester.
Wresting the narrative is important.
Trayvon Martin thought George Zimmerman was gay and was worried the neighborhood watch captain would sexually ‘molest’ him. We found that out in Zimmerman’s trial from none other than Martin’s girlfriend, Rachel Jeantel, who was on the phone with Martin as he eyed the man watching him.
The teenager was also high on marijuana, his toxicology tests showed THC in his system when he got into it with Zimmerman.
And he was coming back from the store where he purchased items to make ‘Sizzurp’ to get another high. But to the media and in the world of the Reverend Al Charlatan, Martin was a be-haoloed teen angel who was just trying to get home with his Skittles and Arizona Iced Tea.
Michael Brown was a 6’4″ 300lb ‘Gentle Giant’ who wouldn’t hurt a fly. He traveled the streets of Ferguson in his cap and gown, setting an example for all youth while readying himself for his college career. He was only trying to comply with Officer Darren Wilson. He put his hands up and innocently pleaded with the malevolent Officer not to hurt him.
Reality: He ‘jacked up an old Asian man at the store, took a bunch of Swisher Sweets to roll blunts and attacked a cop, going for his gun.
Things in Baltimore were bad enough. Six cops are under indictment. You don’t have to lie to make things look bad, they already are.
The left tried to make it worse, foment riots and create another urban legend and new narrative. And you saw it in real time.