Racial Transition

Racial Tension in the 2016 Presidential Election | Politics | US News

Introduction

Throughout the world diversity is a very prevalent theme no matter where one finds themselves.  People of different races congregate throughout nearly every society, and are represented in many different ways. The biggest issue that has yet to be dealt with concerns the personal beliefs of individuals when it comes to race. Are you racist? Do you even know whether you are or not? This article is to help you determine just how open you are to other races, and if you might need help to adjust your thought processes.

1) How do you tell if you are a racist?

                One of the easiest ways is to take note of your reactions when around people of a different race than yourself. If you stiffen around them, think different thoughts based upon their color, religion, or ethnicity, then chances are that you do possess a racist streak.  If you play into believing the stereotypes about a certain race then yes, you do have racist tendencies.  If you judge another based on their race, then yes, you are a racist.  For those who are raised among cultures where racism is an ingrained part of their life this is not so much a choice as it is a habit, but it is still a state of mind that needs to change.

2) What do you lose by being racist?

                Different races are not a detractor to one race in particular.  Each race has something to offer the next in matters of commerce, relationships, and simple human decency.  By allowing racist attitudes to prevail an individual could possibly lose out on solid, lasting friendships, business deals that could elevate their life to new levels, and even relationships that might be long-lasting and quite happy.  The world in general loses out on the benefits that can be gained when people of different races work together rather than remain parted by racist attitudes.

3) The benefits of accepting all races.

                Through acceptance of all races humanity can accomplish almost anything.  The many different economies throughout the world could flourish, human relations between countries would be vastly improved, and civilization might become a much more harmonious concept.  Were humanity to ever come together as one, without prejudice, there is no telling how evolved the human race might one day become.  Without the need to divide based on race, equality would likely be a very attainable goal among human beings.

4) How do you change a racist attitude?

                It becomes possible for an individual to gauge their own reaction to peoples of different color, culture, and even religion when they are aware of how they act.  At that point it becomes necessary for the individual to think upon said reactions and actively change their ways. This is not a process that can be done in a single day, as it requires time and effort. But by taking note of one’s own words and actions an individual can eventually change their ways.

Positive Discipline in Schools

Positive Discipline | Dr. Jane Nelsen

Introduction

            Disciplinary action in the average school setting has become a rather problematic issue for policymakers and practitioners in the modern era. Where once discipline was instilled by the educators without fail, now there are rules, regulations, and even laws that have been set into place to protect the students from receiving any type of punishment that is deemed to be too excessive. It is widely believed by many that corporal punishment is no longer an effective tool, nor was it effective in its own time. Positive discipline in a school setting is swiftly becoming a preferred method of action when needed to combat unwanted behavior.

            What positive discipline does is substitute the use of discipline as a negative influence (Promote/Prevent, 2013) when a child breaks the rules or violates the regulations in one way or another. This process has become deeply integrated into the policies and regulations of many schools. It has become highly useful as it offers a more comprehensive and useful way to teach children what is expected of them in a social setting. Instead of punishing a student for their ill behavior it is becoming a common practice to instead create a valuable learning experience that can help to correct this behavior and help children to learn in new and innovative ways how to best channel their energies in a much more productive manner.

What is Positive Discipline?

            Positive discipline focuses more upon rewarding positive behaviors than punishing those that are negative. In effect it is the effort of a teacher or school staff to influence a student’s behavior by encouraging them when they meet school expectations and eschewing the traditional forms of punishment in favor of understanding a student’s behavior and its cause. By integrating this type of learning it then becomes possible to eliminate harsh and counterproductive punishments in favor of teaching the student to manage their own behavior in a safe, social, and open learning environment.

            Human beings are hardwired to be social, but in many instances this initial characteristic can become overridden by external factors that work to break down the ability to react to social cues. Trouble at home, learning disabilities, and many other factors can contribute to the decline in social skills and aberrant behavior that some children display. Because of these unforeseen factors a child’s behavior can be seen as either antisocial or a cry for help that takes the form of aggression.  In many cases the behavior is not addressed in favor of punishing the actions that are the result of the behavior. As is explained by Dr. Jane Nelsen (2017), this carries a positive short term benefit, but also includes a negative long term effect.

            Simply punishing a child for their behavior without seeking to understand why they act

out is likened to treating a disease without understanding the symptoms. Many educators and

adults make the mistake of punishing  a child without asking them why they have behaved in a

negative manner. They also neglect to present a more positive alternative to punishment that

could help the child to learn rather than endure their punishment.  Far too often teachers that are

overworked and continually stressed will look for an easy and effective manner by which to

teach their students a sense of discipline. Historically this has been seen to include referrals, trips

to the principal’s office, and even suspension or expulsion depending upon the level of the

offense committed. The unfortunate side effect of such punishments has been seen to weaken the

student’s desire to learn and their ability to act as a part of a cohesive unit within the school

system.

            Evantheia Schibstead (2009) points out that without cohesion between the students and the staff there is little chance that the system will be able to operate efficiently. Schools tend to rely heavily on the relationships that develop between teachers and their students. While the distance that is kept between them is necessary to maintain professionalism in a school setting, the teachers must still be able to relate to their students on a deeper level so as to better understand their needs.  By simply punishing the “bad” kids by kicking them out of class and possibly out of school, the system is seeking the easy way out rather than taking the time to educate and assist these children by helping to understand their place within the system.

            One very important and useful method that Schibstead speaks of is classroom management. This method is quite well known to many educators, yet is quite often eschewed in favor of the quick solution of punishment. To maintain professionalism and still fulfill the needs of the students educators are being encouraged to follow several useful steps, which are:

1) Develop rules for the classroom at the beginning of the year.

            Children of all ages will seek out a sense of order, as it allows them to feel safe and secure. By creating a set of well-defined rules at the beginning of the school year it becomes possible to create a positive atmosphere.

2) Talk to the students before class.

            By keeping an open line of communication concerning what the students want to learn and what they might be having trouble with an educator can solve many problems before they begin. This method is also useful in getting to know the students.  The more that is known about the students allow the teacher to recognize when something is wrong or when a certain behavior emerges that needs to be identified and discussed, preferably in private.

3) Maintain consistency.

            No matter which staff member a student goes to, they must be able to get a similar answer to their questions. Consistency can help students to believe that they are in fact being listened to. By remaining consistent a system can maintain a successful rapport between staff and students.

4) Maintain the student’s dignity.

            If a problem does arise it is important to handle the manner in a way that allows the student to save face and not be humiliated. This type of reaction can only cause more problems in the long run. Should the student be embarrassed in front of their peers it can create highly damaging emotional issues and other various problems that can eventually undermine the learning process. By speaking to a student as a person in a calm, composed manner it allows them to save face in front of their friends and peers and shows them that they are respected within the classroom setting.

5) Maintain neutrality and do not jump to accusations.

            Most individuals are known to become defensive when accused of anything. By remaining neutral and asking open-ended questions it becomes possible to coax answers from students concerning their behavior and eventually reach the root cause of their actions. In this manner it becomes possible to alleviate the problem without any unneeded escalation.   

Benefits/ Drawbacks of Positive Discipline

            In order to place a set value upon education, students must be informed in one way or another that they do in fact matter to the system and those that exist within it. A student’s self-esteem has been discovered to be vital to the continuance of their education, and as a result can be severely damaged by negative punishment.  However, positive discipline also has its own drawbacks, which are far less than what is experienced by negative punishment but can still be seen as an impediment. The negative aspects of positive discipline are due largely to human error and not by a fault within the system, but it is still possible for such a system to be seen as less than effective.

            Such drawbacks would include:

1) Parents must adjust to the type of discipline used.

            While this might not be a traditional drawback to positive discipline, it represents a challenge that must be met by parents in order to remain consistent with the type of treatment a student receives while in a school setting. Should the student receive harsher punishments at home there are several ways in which positive punishment could be perceived in a school setting. Consistency must be maintained between school and home if the student is to fully adjust to this type of disciplinary setting.

2) Who is really at fault?

            While positive punishment is still a preferable method it remains an alternative to normal

schooling in an attempt to help the student learn the consequence for their behavior through a

positive and educational experience. The issue that must be resolved is whether the student is

truly at fault or if the teacher is somehow in error.  Despite the positive aspect of the disciplinary

action it might still be detrimental if the student is not in the wrong. This alludes to the need of

creating and maintaining class rules that are agreed upon by teachers and students alike, with an optional contract to make certain that both teacher and students will follow the rules as they are set.

3) Teachers have a great deal of control over the students.

            This type of issue is highly dependent upon the grade level of the students. From middle

school on control seems to become a very real issue as students begin to exert their own manner

of control in the classroom as they continue to learn and test their limits. Teachers can become overwhelmed, frustrated, and can become highly dependent on the rules to the point that they might begin to exert too much control.  This can and has caused issues as students continue to learn and develop, testing the boundaries of those rules that have been imposed upon them in an attempt to show that they do have a larger measure of control over their environment. In this case teachers tend to over-exert their authority and positive discipline becomes more of a traditional punishment than a learning experience.

4) This type of discipline is not scientifically proven to work.

            Despite being an innovative and highly effective method used to identify and properly handle negative behaviors, positive discipline is still not a universally-accepted technique. It has shown merit and that it can be used to create a positive influence upon students, but thus far its use is not widespread enough to be considered entirely effective. Whatever roadblocks still exist within its development have thus far served to stymie the overall success it seeks to create within the educational system.  It can be argued that traditional punishment seems to be favored in taking care of a problem in the short term, but what positive discipline has shown thus far is that it takes a great deal of time and effort to accomplish.

            Positive discipline is seen as a step forward in educating students as how their behavior and actions will shape their educational experience, but it has yet to take hold fully. Its innovation has thus far been seen to produce a positive effect that is only slightly hampered by the issues it produces. Many would insist that discipline is still punishment, citing that any time or effort taken away from regular studies is still to be considered a detriment from the expected development of a student. However, it has been seen in more than one school that positive discipline has in fact created a change in the overall educational environment that has allowed students to feel an increase in how much control they have in their school experience.

Conclusion

            Positive discipline is not a new idea, but it has yet to take full effect in many classrooms.

The goals of such a discipline are simple but still have several issues to be worked through in

order to make it truly effective as well as accepted nationwide. While its precepts are well-

developed it still relies heavily upon the agreement of those that it will affect, and as a result has

yet to be seen as a suitable replacement for traditional disciplinary actions. When compared to those punishments and consequences it seeks to replace, positive discipline is seen as rather unconventional despite its preferable treatment of students.  

References

Nelsen, J. Ed.D. (2017). About Positive Discipline. Positive Discipline. Retrieved from

Promote/Prevent (2013). What is Positive School Discipline? Education Development Center.

Retrieved from

Schibstead, E. (2009). How to Develop Positive Classroom Management. Edutopia.

Retrieved from

Blind and Deaf Dog Abandoned by Bad Breeder

Why Breeding Dogs is a Problem, Even if the Breeder is 'Reputable' - One  Green Planet

Introduction

Dog breeding is a profession that is generally undertaken by those who want to spread the joy of owning a dog to others, breed champions, and even take full enjoyment in the companionship that any dog is capable of offering with no strings attached. Every now and again however a breeder will come along that shows little if any real compassion to their charges, displaying a level of ignorance and heartlessness that is borderline cruel and unusual. In the case of the two dogs that will be mentioned in this article the breeder has seemingly forgotten what it means to be a compassionate and trustworthy caretaker.

The two dogs in question are siblings that have been dubbed “double merle”. When a dog is possessed of the merle gene the pigmentation of their hair is the primary effect. This can create white or gray patches that can give their coat a spotty or patchwork appearance.  However, when a dog is dubbed as a “double merle” it means that they have received a merle gene from both parents. While this is not always a precursor to any problematic issues, it can cause deafness in dogs and, unfortunately, vision problems as well.

Dogs that are “double merle” tend to have limited vision as their pupils are deformed in some identifiable way.  This can even cause blindness in some dogs.

The pair that are the focus of this article are brother and sister, and were both born deaf, while one was born deaf and blind. Their breeder, no doubt deciding that the two “double merle” dogs were too much to care for, abandoned them without an attempt to find them an adequate home.  The callous nature of this act is horrible enough to contemplate when such a thing happens to a fully-functioning canine, but abandoning dogs with such obvious infirmities seems unforgivable by any standard.

There is no doubt that these dogs required much more patience and care than others, but given that they are still affectionate and playful animals it is cruel to believe that they are not worth the effort.  Their needs were not met by the breeder, nor were they seen as anything other than a genetic mistake to be discarded and forgotten.

Thankfully someone came along who saw the value rescuing the two dogs. This kind woman brought both brother and sister to her home, accepting them into her life without question as she saw to their care and well-being just as she does with her other pets. Now the siblings have a chance to experience full and active lives as they romp with their new playmates and are given the care and attention they require.  Despite their physical handicaps this kind woman has given them a life that was almost denied by an uncaring and unprofessional breeder that saw little to no value in their dogs.

A dog is a companion and a friend for life when given the proper care. For these two siblings, life has taken a definite turn, and all for the better.

Are Big Online Publishers Even Making Money?

3 Essential Considerations for Online Publishers | eXtra For Every Publisher

Introduction

The general consensus among those who don’t know much about online publishing is that the business is a veritable cash cow when it comes to being successful.  After all, the idea of online publishing is to get the attention of the general population throughout nation and hook them with interesting and need-to-know material. That alone makes it seem as though the industry would flourish no matter who was publishing the content.  However, the truth is not quite as simple as all that. In fact, it is quite the opposite, as many online publishers find out the hard way that attracting the attention of the people is easy enough, it’s keeping it that becomes difficult.

Why Do Online Publishers Lose Money?

Take a moment to think about it. Online publishers live and breathe by the content they produce, and the ads that guide people to that content. Over the past several years ad blockers have been on the rise, and as such those publishing firms are beginning to lose out on the revenue that these tend to bring. Now it’s not such a disastrous thing to lose ad space, as word of mouth and other solutions can work just as well to stimulate the public’s awareness of such sites.

But then the other shoe drops.

If people don’t pay attention to these sites then there is no buzz, there is no word of mouth, and as a result there is no market to pander to.  Online publishers tend to empty their pockets in order to gain the needed attention from the general public to stimulate their business, and in doing so begin to lose vast amounts of money that cannot be adequately replaced without making certain sacrifices. You might have already guessed that these sacrifices come in the form of losing employees due to their inability to meet payroll needs, losing ad space due to the inability to pay for such services, and even losing their domain for the same reason.

Online publishers rely heavily on the notice of the public, and without this in place they do not far nearly as well.  On a good day the number of subscribers and users on their sites should number in the millions if not tens of millions. This type of traffic can keep a publisher in the black quite easily, but depending on how big their brand is and how much overhead they have, they might still be just getting by.  Their numbers need to remain high in order to pay their employees and to pay for the often exorbitant amount of ad space they require to get the attention they need and desire.

Ad blockers are, to the average person, a rather good thing when considering how many ads simply pop up out of nowhere each time you visit most sites. To an online publisher however they are tantamount to someone sticking hand in their face and tell them that their presence is not welcome. If a publisher can’t find a way to get their ads seen then they must spend even more money attempting to find different venues that will allow their content to get out to the public. In doing this they continually sacrifice a bit of their company a bit at a time in order to stay relevant within their industry. 

The idea of losing money to make money is a very common notion in such an industry, as it is largely understood that a company has to, at times, take a noticeable loss to gain a bit of momentum. Sometimes however, that loss is so substantial that these companies will come to almost a dead stop rather than bounce back as they need to. When that happens they usually will have the option of selling what is left of their company to the highest bidder or tearing everything down only to start again.

No matter what happens, the truth of the matter is that online publishers exist in a feast or famine industry, where every ad they publish and every last line of content is crucial.

Who Makes Money and Who Doesn’t?

Some companies have actually figured out the formula to success and are currently riding high, while others have felt the definite sting of defeat when having to fold up their laptops and move on.  Here are just a few.

Making Money:

The Awl

                Founded in 2009, this smart-talking blog spot is made up of a small number of employees that decided to create their own little space away from those they felt had abused and misused their talents. As of now the company is still a small, tightly-knit group but has increased its readership to roughly seven million and counting. It is a bit smaller than the average online publisher, but it has gained a following of roughly seven million readers since its inception and those numbers are still growing. It is a very profitable company at this time.

Buzzfeed

                This company was founded in 2006 by HuffPost co-founder Jonah Peretti and has turned a nice profit during its tenure.  The company has around 40 million subscribers and counting, and is primarily known for its always popular “Top Ten” lists and other such articles that generate a great deal of interest among readers.

Not Making Money:

The Huffington Post

                Despite its 73 million subscribers this publisher has not been profitable since was acquired by AOL in 2011. It had a brief moment in 2010 when it was able to turn a profit, but ever since that it has been largely downhill. This is a bit surprising considering that most people know about this publication and use it quite extensively.

Elite Daily

                This is the perfect example of what can happen when a publishing site does not live up to its own hype. Founded in 2012 and fueled by Facebook, Elite Daily was set to become one of the hottest commodities around. But when it was bought by Daily Mail in 2015 the site went almost completely belly-up, generating a $31 million dollar loss that has been extremely trying for its new owner to deal with. Where once the Daily Mail believed they had a new and innovative publishing tool to reach millennials on their level, now they have little more than regret.

Conclusion

The next time anyone happens to blurt out that those online publishers that specialize in generating internet buzz are making bank on user-friendly content, remind them that this business is just as uncertain as anything. In an industry where getting people’s attention and keeping it is how you make a living, nothing is ever certain.

Black Lives Matter Will Eat Their Own

Black Lives Matter Holds Rally Supporting Individuals Arrested in Chicago  Looting Monday – NBC Chicago

Portland, OR

            The reign of BLM, or Black Lives Matter, is hitting a few snags as of late, wouldn’t you say? Their own people being killed accidentally, the idea that black people are speaking out against them, and of course the continuing thought that they’re more of a terrorist group than a liberating force is building in a way that’s hard to deny, no matter how loudly some try. Black Lives Matter is a cause that has been taken up since before the murder of George Floyd or Breonna Tayler, or any of the other names that have been added to the list. But the amusing thing about BLM is that, black lives really only matter to them when it fits their narrative.

            Oh yes, I did say that, because if one looks around the country, around the continent, and if you’re ambitious enough, around the world, a lot of people are looking askance at BLM these days since they’ve decided to pick and choose where they want to fight their battles, and which causes they’ll champion and push to further their agenda. Now being fair, it’s easy to think that an organization that believes that they’re doing this much good can’t be everywhere at once, and has to pick their battles carefully. But to attack those are seeking to remain peaceful in these tense times and then claim that they belong to ‘hate groups’ to justify the vicious beatings they’ve received, is an effective smokescreen that a lot of people aren’t willing to look beyond at this time.

            Are you willing to go against the status quo and state that BLM is just as racist and as violent as any other group? If not, don’t feel too badly about it, since playing the victim and pulling the race card appear to be valuable skills in this day and age. Being decent to people is just so damned hard after all.

People Don’t Care About “Offensive” Statues

Here's Everything You Should Know About The Problematic And Racist Statues  Being Torn Down Across The Country

Denver, CO

            If a statue offends you, don’t look at it. If you have to pass by it to go to work, or from one place to another, don’t bother looking at it. Unless you absolutely feel the need to acknowledge that it’s there, it can’t hurt you. People don’t have a need to tear down statues, they have a desire to play a macabre game of ‘follow the leader’. One person speaks out, and keeps speaking out, making certain to speak the right buzz words to aggravate those that they know they can reach, and a movement is born. Like a bad case of diarrhea though, some movements are less desired than others as they tend to leave a mess behind and an ill feeling that can’t be wished away, but has to gradually leave on its own.

            People didn’t care about these “offensive” statues this vehemently years ago. So what changed? What happened to make hundreds of people suddenly feel threatened by an inanimate object that isn’t doing them any harm and has suffered more indignities than many of these so-called ‘woke’ individuals have in their entire lives? Someone played the flute or the fiddle just right and they stepped in line like a band of lemmings or mice, or rats to make it more accurate. At one time they were content to go about their way and ignore these silent sentinels of a past that many of us likely don’t agree with, but know better than to forget lest we repeat it. But hey, being offended is so much fun isn’t it? Ripping down a statue because it stands for racism is a great way to exercise, even if it’s not exercising your right to freedom of expression since, y’know, it’s technically vandalism.

            What’s that? Why are we crying that you tear them down? Oh no, tear them down, go ahead. We’ll be around when history comes around to remind you just why those statues were important.

When the Cops Don’t Care

I don't care about your prayers': Montreal cop suspended 15 days for  insulting Muslim man | CTV News

Hillsboro, OR

            As the call to defund police departments around the nation continues, many cities are having to deal with anti-police sentiment that has made life increasingly difficult for those on the force. The problem of course is that people continue to rage against the cops and push for more and more regulations that make it harder for police to do their jobs and limit what they can actually do. At what point will it occur that people are left to fend for themselves? Some would scoff at this and state that of course they don’t want the police gone entirely, but want the funds that go to the police allocated differently so as to fund other programs and organizations that would alleviate the workload of the police force. Really? Do they think anyone is buying this explanation? It’s fanciful and actually interesting to start with, but the day that a social worker chooses to deal with a crack addict that’s running naked through the neighborhood assaulting people and damaging property, then it might be feasible.

            Apart from that, people calling out every cop and stating that they’re all bad because of a few don’t get it. ‘A few bad apples’ is a horrible analogy at this point since it doesn’t work any longer. Of course the bad cops need to be punished, of course they need to fess up and face the consequences. But the cops that are trying to do their jobs and are being lumped in with those that are abusing their authority are taking the heat as well and are finding it difficult to report to work each day. When you call the cops and their response becomes “We’ll see what we can do” instead of “We’ll be right there”, it might be time to admit that things have gone too far.

The Top 10 Reasons to Love the Pacific Northwest

What does a Pacific Northwest English dialect sound like?

Let’s be honest, there are usually a lot of reasons to love your home, and a lot of people might agree, no matter where they live. It doesn’t matter if people think your home is a hell-hole or a paradise, to you it’s home, and there’s no place like it. Today I can’t be helpful but to live in the Pacific Northwest for a number of reasons that some people might not understand. Those that live here might agree at least that there are good things here to enjoy, while those that don’t like it can always pick up and head on down the road.

So here we go, since the PNW is home, and we love it.

10. There’s a great deal of culture here.

 People might not believe it all the time, but there is. The PNW is an area that thrives on culture and, despite any disagreement, enjoys a wide range of cultural appreciation.

9. The local cuisine is a rich and diverse blend of many different flavors.

            This kind of goes back to the culture, but it deserves being talked about in its own way, since the food that exists in the PNW comes from just about everywhere, and there’s a taste for every palette.

8. It’s a very diverse place in a geographical sense.

            Some people enjoy the desert, some enjoy the mountains, and others love the natural greenery that exists all around them. The PNW is a place that thrives on ‘to each their own’.

7. If you’re into hiking then this is one of the best places to do it.

            From waterfalls to beach trails to long, grueling nature hikes, the PNW is one of the best places in the world to go get lost in from time to time.

6. The natural wonders are impressive to behold.

            We might not have a Grand Canyon or the Tetons but we do have the Columbia Gorge as well as other notable landmarks that are every bit as impressive.

5. Coffee, because coffee is life after all for many of us.

            There are a few other places that might vie with the PNW for their sheer quantity and quality of the precious bean juice that so many of us desire, but here on the western edge of the states we happen to enjoy our morning pick-me up.

4. Our wildlife is simply amazing.

            Everyone throughout the country has their own wildlife that’s impressive, amazing, and majestic, but in the PNW we take pride in our wildlife and how it’s handled.

3. Our coastlines are simply beautiful.

            There’s a reason why so many pictures exist of the PNW when it comes to coastal life after all.

2. The sense of community is stronger than people think.

            It’s been a rough year to be certain, and people are cranky as they can be. But in harder times folks do tend to pull together.

  1. It’s home, plain and simple.

That’s about the size of it, and we’re proud to call this place home.

Portland Isn’t Lost

20 HONEST Pros and Cons of Living in PORTLAND, Oregon | 2020

Recently I sent out a request to speak to POC’s and white people alike from various walks of life in order to get their take on what’s happening in the world at this point and what they might think about the current issues happening downtown Portland, Oregon. The screening process was necessary unfortunately, but after finding several individuals it was possible to sit them down, practicing social distancing and the use of masks of course, to get their take on just what’s happening in Portland.

            Mike Connell is a young, gay black man attending PSU, Janine Alsone is a transgender Latina woman currently working as a Multnomah County clerk, Adelaide McComb is an elderly Puerto Rican-American that immigrated to the USA when she was 6 years of age with her family, and has owned and operated a small family store for years following her parents’ retirement and eventual passing. Jonas Dillin is a middle-aged white male that works at a local production company making machine parts, and Elizabeth Onsatt is a proud feminist (not third wave) that is taking classes at PCC while supporting herself and two children while working online as a data entry clerk. The interview was conducted in Waterfront Park.

Interviewer: Thank you all for coming today. I think we’ll just get into it and ask: Do you think there’s any hope for Portland?

Mike (shrugs): I don’t know really. BLM is making a mess of things and so are Antifa. People just want to say what they have to say, but the groups are making things worse.

Adelaide: Portland will survive I think. BLM and Antifa are ridiculous, many people realize this, but some have to be reminded is all. There are plenty of people out there that still want to respect their home and keep it in one piece. This will pass, just like everything else.

Jonas: A lot of people are scared right now, but I think that fear is the wrong thing to show. It’s hard not to, I get it, but Portland isn’t lost. I think Adelaide is right, this will pass, but it’s going to take a while.

Interviewer: What do you think needs to happen for Portland to be seen as safe again?

Elizabeth (scoffs): People need to remember that they’re free to begin with. As a feminist I believe in equality for everyone. The city and the system aren’t perfect, but no one’s putting a boot to a person’s neck unless they do something stupid. I think people forgot that cops don’t generally kill a person or harm them at all unless they have a damned good reason. It’s horrible that some cops do take it too far like with George Floyd, but that message is pretty well lost at this time.

Janine: Yeah it has. Plus, Portlanders and everyone else around the nation took up a cause that wasn’t theirs in the first place. I’ve gotten hell for being transgender before, but I’ve never lost a job or a life opportunity because of it. People can look at me any way they want, that’s not my responsibility. If Portland is going to go back to what it’s been people need to remember that not everything is their damned business. It seems to be working for the lot of us, when the media and society is telling us that people like us shouldn’t be able to coexist in the same space. Right?

Everyone nodded at this point and agreed heartily, and as the interview continued I couldn’t help but smile as each person gave an honest answer and described in detail their experience within Portland’s borders and how the stereotypes pushed by the media were nonsense. In the end the agreement was that Portland was not lost, it was simply waiting for the knots tied by the media and public opinion to be untied.

            The general feeling of the group was “We’ll get there, together.”

Let It Go (part I)

If you want change, learn when to argue and when to stop | openDemocracy

“You don’t have any facts to back up your bullshit!”

“I’ve already used facts and evidence and you still don’t want to listen!”

“Because your facts are bullshit! They’re just garbage peddled by the hypocritical news sources you think are so great!”

“Oh, like CNN is such an expert site on what’s going on!”

“They don’t lie at least!”

He laughed uproariously, causing the cheeks of his friend to redden as the woman looked about ready to slap him. He saw it in that instant and turned his cheek, mocking her as he slapped it lightly on his own. Sitting between them, their mutual friend could only shake his head as he grabbed for his beer, wishing they would just let it go for once.

Disagreeing over politics was utterly pointless to him since no matter which side won, the government would be run by someone that half of the country wouldn’t approve of or want to follow. Even as his fingers were nearing his beer though his female friend, Kate, grabbed his arm and looked at him frantically.

“Tell him Nate,” she said, almost pleading, “Tell him that he’s wrong, that Biden won’t destroy our country!”

His only response that moment was to sigh and roll his eyes, shrugging her hand off as he reached for his beer again. It was the right response for him, but according to the widening of her eyes it wasn’t the response she wanted.

Oh well.

(to be continued)