We’ve spent this week doing a dive in to a point in history that could easily repeat itself if we aren’t careful. In some instances it already has, in some instances its still in its infancy and some things haven’t happened yet.
Trump has made it extremely clear that he is interested in dominating his political opponents. He said outloud last week exactly what we all knew already. He said he wanted Pence to overturn the election. The fact that is coming out of his mouth should mean something to everyone. He has it in his head that he’s going to come out of this unscathed with no repercussions. While he has lost some support, the most extreme on his side have doubled, tripled, even quadrupled down on their loyalty to him. It makes sense as to why. Another portion of his latest speech we have watched included a terrifying promise. If he gets elected, he will treat the J6 prisoners fairly. What do you think fairly means in his head.
In this past month, a local running for governor has done a few things that should be of concern. He has admitted to having friends in the dangerous extremist network that is peoples rights, he’s attack an elected official for speaking their mind on the group, he has showed his support for what the Redmond school board is doing which is continuously challenging OHA and common sense, and he is displeased with the raises low paid workers are receiving because he believes it is causing inflation.
Another local running for public office openly flies a gadsden flag from his vehicle, during a 4 of July parade he dressed up as a confederate and held up a confederate flag, he is in deep with peoples rights and is constantly spewing terrible information to the masses. Lately, he has spent hours outside of a high school asking kids to go with him somewhere so he can show them something. For someone that has told me on repeated occasions to get a job, the irony surely fails him.
This is just one side of the coin though. It took both sides to ensure what happened in history, not just one. Bend PD was given a higher budget despite our most recent elected officials agreeing the police budget should be smaller. This raise in funding was to help hire more officers. One of the officers hired has questioned someone and essentially accused them of being a commie for rallying for black lives. This has been brought to their attention and nothing has been said about. They have said they want to stand up for and help take care of the most vulnerable populations, but when the time comes to vote, they take the road that will inevitably hurt these same people. A disabled veteran died last summer when he was forced to move away from a centralized location in Bend and away from people who knew him best. All in the name of keeping the integrity of a road. There are plans on the docket to keep shuffling people around which will once again cause a lot of issues for some people. This council has also agreed that a lawsuit against the peacekeepers is warranted when we were just asking questions as to why multiple members of the community were assaulted by trump supporters in October of 2020. You can say little actions like these won’t make a difference in the long run but they clearly do. Silence is violence. We all had no problem saying that when it came to people we didn’t know. Now that people we know are doing it, its even more important we call it out so things can be adjusted.
A left leaning candidate for another local position has on multiple occasions breached trust with communities they claim to serve and care about. This clergy has used their platform to advocate against putting resources for houseless folks near their place of employment because they want to be nice, they wanted to consider the businesses in the area, and they don’t want to jump the gun. This same person has remained almost completely silent when it comes to shoving houseless folks around Bend. They are a part of a coalition specifically designed to help houseless folks and instead that organization has given information to the police so they can help them sweep our neighbors. This is without even bringing up the fact they tried to secretly force BIPOC individuals to work with the police without the individuals knowing that would happen.
Each instance wreaks of complacency, an unwillingness to stand up for whats right in the name of standing up for whats legal. People like this may not have jumped head first in with the fascists of history, but they sure spent more than enough time turning a blind eye. If we can’t call it out now, where will we be in 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? The energy is the same whether we want to admit it or not and we ALL play a role in making sure we learn from the mistakes. We all can do more including us. We all need to do more.
Trends are something we watch for heavily and the country as a whole is trending in a direction we can all agree is not good. In Tennessee this week, a local church led a book burning. Where have we seen that before and what has come afterwards? In Virginia, there is legislation going through that would ensure private schools and home schooling are used almost as much as public schools. On a surface level, this will clearly bring more options to the table when picking a school. When you dig further, you notice how it can be problematic. We described how Hitler used private schools to essentially build the people he needed to further his agenda. Now we have locals thinking of creating their own private school situation so they can keep their children from potentially learning real american history. In Florida, there were two separate rallies where swastikas were being flown recently. When asked to condemn them, Desantis blamed Democrats. In multiple states, voting rights are under attack again. All of these things are slowly creeping towards the west coast.
Why are we going to wait for it to be in our faces before we confront the issue? History says don’t do that. This community has done it before. When ICE came and tried to take people, we all collectively said no. Even though what was happening may have been legal, that does not make it the right thing to do. Just because its legal to clear sidewalks of people using them as a place to sleep for the time being, does not mean it is the right thing to do. When we as a community stop doing the right thing and are more worried with doing the legal thing, we are clearly starting to trend in the wrong direction. Luckily, like a lot of the issues we are facing in Central Oregon, there is time to do something before its out of control. Again, silence is violence. If we dont want to repeat what we have seen, we all need to do something. Just because it isn’t personally affecting you now does not mean it wont affect you in the future. What are you gonna do when there is no one left to stand up for you when your name is finally on their list?