Washington statue toppled; have protesters crossed the line?


A statue of George Washington was toppled by Portland, Oregon protesters. (Screen snip, YouTube, Andy Ngo)

Have Portland, Oregon protesters claiming to be against police brutality finally crossed the line by toppling a statue of George Washington, the first U.S. president and general of the army that defeated the British while securing a n independent nation?

According to KOIN News in Portland, pulling down the statue marked the end of a “quiet evening” that reportedly began with “demonstrations for racial justice and police reform.”

The Portland, Oregonian reported that the 22nd day of Portland protests involved “several hundred demonstrators” who gathered at the city’s Jefferson High School while a smaller group showed up at the Justice Center downtown. A third group gathered at the statue.

Washington’s statue stood in the same spot since the 1920s, the newspaper said. After the heavy statue came down, vandals spray painted the base with various messages including “F—k Police.”

CNN reported that the graffiti included references to Black Lives Matter and George Floyd, the man killed while being restrained by Minneapolis police with a knee on his neck, but omitted a reference to the obscenity toward police.

However, unlike Seattle, where protesters have been allowed to take over several blocks on the city’s Capitol Hill for more than two weeks, when demonstrators in Portland attempted the same thing, they were quickly routed by Portland police, who declared it a “civil disturbance and unlawful assembly” early Thursday.

Of course, that might have something to do with the proximity of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler’s home, in the city’s Pearl District.

Also, Seattle’s infamous statue of Vladimir Lenin still stands. No conservatives have torn it down or otherwise trashed it in retaliation, which may speak more about the contrast between right and far left than anything else.

Statue of Chief Seattle. Historians say he was a slave owner. (Public domain)

Some conservatives are wondering what will happen when Seattle protesters realize that the man after whom their city is named, was a slave owner, according to a biography at Wikipedia and an essay by historian David M. Buerge. A statue of the chief may be found in a small square in the city’s Belltown area.

Weeks of protests that have habitually turned violent in Portland and Seattle are not helping the cause of justice, say critics.

But the question remains about Portland protesters. Have they gone too far by pulling down a historic statue of the man identified as “The Father” of the country?

This is no longer about injustice, say critics. This has become solely about property destruction, vandalism and tearing down the country, they say. If Washington were alive today, would he agree?


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