In the wake of more left-wing violence and destruction in Portland over the weekend, left-wing Mayor Ted Wheeler was asked during a virtual news conference why "white supremacists" share the blame with "anarchists" for criminal behavior in the streets of Portland — even though all the lawlessness consistently points to Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants.
Wheeler admitted as much in his response — but made sure to emphasize the huge problem of "white nationalism" on a national level.
What are the details?
KATU-TV noted that Monday's conference concerned "ongoing criminal destruction, violence and intimidation small groups of self-described anarchists and white supremacists continue to inflict on local businesses, neighborhoods and people."
Alex Zielinski, news editor of the Portland Mercury, asked Wheeler why a news release announcing the news conference mentioned "anarchists and white supremacists" as a problem when only far-left militant criminal activity had been detailed during the news conference.
Wheeler began by saying he'd defer to the Portland Police Bureau for examples of "recent white supremacist actions" in the city — and then acknowledged the accuracy of the reporter's assessment while offering a response only a politician could give.
"We are in a time of political extremes," Wheeler began, admitting that during the news conference city leaders are discussing "criminal destruction coming from self-described anarchist left."
Then the mayor dropped the bomb on white supremacists — just not white supremacists in Portland, apparently:
"But we also have to acknowledge that in the United States the number-one public safety threat according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation is white nationalism. And we certainly saw elements of that coming to bear during the insurrection at the United States Capitol, and we certainly have to keep up our vigilance here in the City of Portland. I would expect that given that we are largely seen as a progressive community, we will continue to not only have the type of activities that we saw on Friday night continue to some degree, but I would also expect that we will continue to see those who are engaged in intimidation or violence against immigrants, refugees, and people of color to also continue here in the City of Portland because they know they'll get a reaction. We have to be vigilant regardless of the politics involved. There is no room for violence or criminal destruction, and I don't give a damn what your politics are nor should anybody else. It's about the behavior."
It isn't clear if there is any evidence of lawlessness by "white supremacists" in Portland of late, and Wheeler didn't provide any examples.
The reporter's question and Wheeler's answer can be found in the video of the full news conference at the bottom of KATU's story. The relevant portion begins just after the 35-minute mark.
Elsewhere during the news conference, there was plenty of anger at the violence and destruction carried out by the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter.
"The misguided and miseducated anarchists reject civility and instead intentionally create mayhem through criminally destructive behavior tearing up our city, and this must stop," former state Sen. Avel Gordly said, according to KATU. "You are not helping. You are hurting Black people. We need peacemakers and peacekeepers."
Wheeler also said. "I'm just hearing loudly and clearly from the community, as I have for months, that they're sick and tired of this criminal destruction. The community at large has already figured out that this has nothing to do with BLM or any other noble causes. This is just about people getting together to break stuff," the station said.
Nothing new, really
Despite being barraged by Antifa and Black Lives Matter militants for the better part of 2020, Wheeler invoked the scourge of apparent "white supremacist" violence on the eve of November's general election.
"Given the heightened concerns about potential violence, particularly from white supremist [sic] organizations and the divisive rhetoric from Washington, D.C., the need for coordination and partnership takes on statewide significance," the mayor said at the time. "Oregon is likely to be a flashpoint."
And despite Antifa militants in Portland last year physically attacking law enforcement, destroying property, ganging up on regular citizens, bullying elderly women, setting fires to buildings, and engaging in numerous forms of mayhem — including murder — on a nightly basis, Portland officials in October got "anti-white supremacy" training due to the "threats" the alt-right and white nationalists apparently pose.