Northeast Portland resident Gerald Scrutchions says a white man used a racial epithet and threatened him with vehicular violence while he biked home from work in Irvington on Tuesday. Scrutchions, who is Black, claims the man drove his car into the crosswalk he was using and then purposely swerved towards him.
And he’s not going to stand for it.
After the confrontation on the street, Scrutchions recognized the car parked at a house around the block from his so he knocked on the man’s door to have a conversation with him. After a brief back-and-forth, Scrutchions claims the man called him “nigger”.
He then posted a video on Instagram to share what happened and warn his neighbors by sharing the man’s name and address.
Here’s more from the video:
“On the way home, this elderly man… he failed to stop at the crosswalk I was using.. He swerved his car at me once. I raised my hand on my bike — as any cyclist would do, like ‘What the heck?!’. Then I got over to the corner and he literally swerved his car at me… I confronted him and asked him to not use his car as a weapon. He told me he wanted to have nothing to do with me. Told me to get out of the neighborhood. I said I live here. I live in this neighborhood. We went back and forth and as I was walking off he called me a nigger. I’m posting this online because… What’s going on is these are the types of people I don’t want in my neighborhood. Fuck that dude!… He’s a danger to you, your kids, to me and my kids.”
Scrutchions is well known in the community and is a yoga instructor and Portland Public School teacher at Harriet Tubman Middle School.
According to sources who’ve contacted me about this incident, neighbors and friends say the man who threatened Scrutchions with his car and verbally assaulted him is “fairly unstable and regularly threatens to use his vehicle as a weapon.” Court records show that the man has seven traffic-related infractions since 1988 including two for violating the speed limit, one for Careless Driving and two for excessive use of his horn.
Reached for comment today, Scrutchions said he’s reported the man to the Portland Police Bureau (who said they can’t do anything because no crime has been committed) and the Oregon Department of Justice Racial Bias Division.
“I’ve been cycling around Portland and other urban areas for about two decades,” Scrutchions shared. “Of course peeps of all different backgrounds get upset in their cars. It is their reluctance to share the road. However, this one was different considering what happened moments later when I confronted him.”
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On the face of it, the PPB statement that “no crime was [alleged to be] committed” looks like a clear lie. (I say “lie” rather than “misstatement” because theoretically, the police should have an understanding of a good chunk of Oregon’s laws).
Is the evidence we know about sufficient to support a successful prosecution? Probably not. But they should say that, rather than claiming that threatening people with cars is legal.
I should say, “If Schrutchions’ account of what the PPB told him is accurate, the PPB’s statement to him was a clear lie.”
The problem in my opinion starts with the DA’s office, hard to get the cops to bother writing it up when they know that it won’t be charged, although the cops giving him a pass isn’t helping much either.
We have a new DA, so how could the cops know what would happen here?
Because the new DA made an announcement that the first thing he would do is not prosecute the laws we hired him to do.
Oh wow, thats a crazy lie you are telling. I wonder what your motivation to lie is?
Uncle Dan is lying.
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office will presumptively decline to prosecute a case where the most serious offense is a city ordinance violation or where the crime(s) do not involve deliberate property damage, theft or the use or threat of force against another person.
If Gerald’s story is true, this is a clear and obvious threat of force.
You pulled that quote out of context. The title of the statement you got that quote from is “Policy Regarding Protest Related Cases.”
Here’s the full statement from the DA: https://www.mcda.us/index.php/documents/policy-regarding-protest-related-cases.pdf/
In any case, menacing someone with a motor vehicle certainly fits under “use or threat of force against another person.”
The courts are so full that they need to triage cases by their severity. Also, there is not a ton of excess prison space to put people.
Give him probation, at least. Take his license away and impound his car. Do whatever it takes to make the streets safer. Even if it takes a year to prosecute the case, this person represents a clear and present threat to public safety.
Oh, I agree. There just isn’t enough bandwidth in the system to do that right now.
If the new DA intends to prosecute these he should communicate it directly to the police. From what I saw the old DA was not going to act even if there was property damage. It would be a sea change if the new DA wanted to pursue cases where no collision occured.
FWIW, this Oregon lawyer agrees with you 100 percent.
Unfortunately, the police in Portland are worse than useless. They promote violence in the community and want nothing more than to stir up violence and get paid overtime for beating civilians.
IMO, based on the data presented in the previous JM article, it seems that the PPB Traffic Division only deals with car drivers and their passengers, but never with non-car-drivers (so called “pedestrians” in PPB parlance.) The Patrol Division on the other hand focuses on crime, but doesn’t do much with traffic violations. The incident that Gerald Scrutchions describes, as well as many other incidents on this blog, seem to fall within a bureaucratic no-mans land within PPB. “It’s not a crime” in the usual sense of the phrase, so Patrol would list it as a low priority; and since the victim was a “pedestrian” (by PPB standards), Traffic wouldn’t deal with it either.
In other words, PPB is utterly worthless in dealing with anything other than a vehicle moving violation as witnessed by the PPB Traffic Division, or a serious crime. PPB wasn’t there as a witness, so the Traffic Division isn’t going to do anything. And no one was killed or severely injured, so Patrol isn’t going to do anything either.
And I bet you this isn’t unique to Portland either, it’s probably common everywhere, and likely explains lax enforcement of safety violations between car drivers and non-car-drivers in the USA.
One more reason to defund…
So, a perfect storm of bureaucracy?
More like a high-pressure system that brings sunny skies and a certain air-headed obliviousness to the bureaucrats.
I myself am leaning towards reorganizing the city police into an Italian or British-styled unarmed constables who do most of the policing, but call in the county detectives and armed police (sheriff deputies/Carabinieri) when needed. Or maybe just call in the Mounties (RCMP).
This. Thanks David
You nailed it, David, when you said:
“PPB is utterly worthless in dealing with anything other than a vehicle moving violation as witnessed by the PPB Traffic Division, or a serious crime.”
That has been my observation, also. I’ve had drivers swerve their cars at me while I’m cycling in the bike lane, been hit with full cans of soda (pop), etc. And the police have always said they can’t do anything b/c they didn’t witness it.
I would like to see police get a little creative in going after guys like Bob Lynch who feel entitled to drive while threatening others. Maneuvering a multi-ton hunk of steel, powered by 200-300 hp, requires playing nicely with others, and is a privilege, and anyone who can’t handle that shouldn’t be allowed to do it. Mr Lynch can walk and see how it feels to be targeted by drivers.
Harassment seems applicable too:
(1) A person commits the crime of harassment if the person intentionally: (a) Harasses or annoys another person by: (B) Publicly insulting such other person by abusive words or gestures in a manner intended and likely to provoke a violent response
I don’t understand the police statement. So the police are saying you may swerve your motor vehicle at any cop, or just bike cops?
This sucks. Racism meets motorhead. Yuck! I’m so glad that Gerald is bringing attention to this. Thanks for sharing this story! We have so much work to do to respond to the moment we’re living in. There’s a new example of that multiple times a day. BLM!
I am glad Mr. Scrutchions had a conversation with the man. He seems like a great neighbor to have.
Too many times people do things with the belief there are no repercussions. It’s also good to know where these people live.
so when confronted by a violent neighbor who appears to present legitimate concerns over mental health, are our only options to call the police or shrug knowingly (oh…he’s craaaaazy)?
Right on, Pruss. I had a neighbor who was – and I’m not kidding here – legally blind yet she insisted on driving. The police said they couldn’t do anything – she would need to be in an accident or commit a moving violation for them do anything. Clearly there is something not right about the way our system works (or mostly doesn’t work).
Pardon my language here, but….
How in the actual fuck does this asshole still have a driving license if, as his neighbors report, he’s repeatedly threatened to use his car as a weapon?
Driving is a fucking privilege.
This happened in Corvallis a few years ago. I field a PD report.
Within less than .5 hr the Police had went to the man’s (the guy who swerved his vehicle at a bike) home. The PD put him on notice – no more swerving. Then PD called me back with their follow-up report.
I lived in Corvallis for three years and riding in town was always a pleasure. Drivers were always respectful
It’s a long shot, but maybe check neighbors’ doorbells to see if someone has a Ring, or something similar, that caught the dangerous driving on video.
By saying no crime has been committed, the police made the situation much worse. Now the victim has to hope the guy who swerved at him doesn’t find out what the police said, because he’ll view it as confirmation that he didn’t do anything wrong, so the victim is harassing him. And how can anyone fault him for concluding that? It’s what the police DID say.
I’m quoting the Portland mayor’s office who responded to my email. I asked why no ticket was given to the driver( #DouglasJamesWalker ) who killed a pedestrian on the side walk ( #BenCarlsonPDX )
here is the city’s answer:
Re: “fairly unstable and regularly threatens to use his vehicle as a weapon”. Whoa! His family needs to talk to his doctor about this.
Re: ” Portland Police Bureau … said they can’t do anything because no crime has been committed.” That’s nonsense. Threatening to hit people with a car is a real problem.
But perhaps the right people to help are at the DMV. Has anyone reported the dangerous driver to them? The best person to do it would be the primary care doctor (or mental health provider), but someone needs to make a report.
Sorry, Joseph, but I think DMV will say they can only test the person when he comes in to renew his license. They will say they don’t have jurisdiction to go after “bad” drivers.
If you put in Bob’s address on portlandmaps.com, the owner appears to be someone else with the last name “Lynch,” possibly his daughter or another relative who lives at a different address. Might be worth it to contact her. If she’s ostensibly his landlord/lets him live there and he’s shown he is losing the mental facilities to drive a car safely and is a bigot towards his neighbor, maybe she could talk to him about surrendering his license/car.
***Comment deleted. Threats of violence are not tolerated here. Thank you for understanding. – Jonathan***
Jonathan, I appreciate you removing this comment, but it’s a great example of why this sort of article is a bad idea. No matter how awful this person is, publishing the name invites retribution, and that’s not good for anyone.
I didn’t do it without thought. I originally did not include the man’s name. But overnight I learned about his prior record and thought about it more and then decided to publish his name. Factors in my decision included the fact that his name and address are shared very publicly already in the video from Gerald. I am also weighing the feeling that he is a danger to the community.
Let’s assume that he is a danger to the community. How does publishing his name here help reduce that danger?
It gives people another tool to hold him accountable for his actions and take action to stop him from continuing to menace people.
There are established mechanisms for holding people accountable for their actions, including mediation, citizen citations, and the courts.
What additional tools do you have in mind that people in this forum can use to address his threatening driving and use of reprehensible language in an altercation? Taking all claims against him at face value, what would be an appropriate and proportionate “punishment” that we can contribute towards? Should he lose his job? His housing? Should someone torch his vehicle?
As it is, we’re all now in the position of being judge and, if we’re so-disposed, meting out punishment (probably anonymously), based on our own personal motivations and morality, driven solely by one second-hand account of a traffic-related altercation.
That someone else already shared the name is not a good excuse for spreading it further.
Thanks for the feedback Hello, Kitty.
One thing to consider–social media, and how it allows public calling out of bad behavior (from bad service at a restaurant to things like this to worse) in a way just returns us closer to how things were in the past, when communities were smaller and anonymity was less prevalent than a few years ago before social media.
Especially in the case of driving, which gives drivers some anonymity compared to other activities, you could say that the ability to out people on social media helps to level the playing field.
I’m not saying I’m don’t have some of your same concerns about outing people, just saying these are some arguments in favor of it–especially when it’s not done anonymously.
I agree that the anonymity of drivers is, in some cases, problematic (though so are the consequences of lifting that veil, so it’s not clear what to do about that).
However, in this case, the driver was not ultimately anonymous — he became known to the cyclist. They had an exchange at the driver’s house, which was (presumably) one-on-one, where the playing field was “level”.
The internet is not really bringing back small-town values, and even if it were, it’s not clear that would be a good thing. It’s much more akin to a scarlet letter or permanently marking miscreants, a type of punishment we rightly abandoned long ago.
My comment was just in regard to anonymity, not values. I agree, “small-town values” doesn’t have positive vibes to me.
Yes, the driver became known to the cyclist. And that was good, as you said, because the cyclist could have a talk with him.
But the real value in what the cyclist did by identifying the driver to me isn’t any impact it will have on the driver, but what it may have on future behavior of others. Seeing people–who may have thought they were protected by anonymity–get identified and called out for bad behavior can help dissuade others from behaving badly themselves.
I agree there’s a danger of vigilante mob justice when people are called out publicly. On the other hand, I’d guess the cyclist never would have called him out if, when they talked, the guy had apologized instead of ratcheting up his bad behavior. I also would guess the cyclist may not have called him out publicly if the police hadn’t shut off the legal route to justice by telling him no crime had been committed.
So… if the solution to bad driving is public excoriation (so as to deter others from similar behavior), how do you protect against false claims? (I’m not — at all — suggesting this claim was false, but if an accusation is sufficient to draw sympathy and rain scorn down on those you feel have wronged you, certainly some will misuse that power.)
That’s why having some sort of system with checks and balances and standards of evidence and neutral fact finders is so important. If accusation were sufficient to establish guilt, administration of justice would be so much easier.
I don’t think it’s THE solution, but it’s one tool. I agree, false claims can be a problem, as they are everywhere in life.
In this case, I recall Jonathan said he didn’t publish the driver’s name until he saw that he had several prior traffic violations, which to me showed a reasonable amount of caution in regard to publishing it. It looks like he has since removed it, and I don’t think not naming him detracts from the article (which we probably agree on).
Yeah, one of the “established mechanisms for holding people accountable for their actions” is called journalism.
I’m at a loss as to whether you’re so uninformed that you don’t see the absolute irony and inaccuracy of this comment, or is it that you’re just so supportive of the status quo that you will use any argument you can think of, no matter how nonsensical, to justify the ongoing hate and violence in our society?
Either way, Jonathan, comments by Hello Kitty and Middle of the Road Guy and others have ABSOLUTELY RUINED YOUR WEBSITE. Please reconsider the fact that you give voice to these fascist voices.
Thanks for the feedback The Dude. I will try to monitor their comments more closely.
I agree that journalism is an important mechanism for holding people in power accountable, especially when it responsibly explores an issue and presents different viewpoints, and I am a pretty unconditional supporter of the free press as a check on governmental and corporate power, support which I back with money (here and elsewhere).
That aside, your denouncement of me is pretty vague — I would love to know which of my views you consider “fascist”, especially in a thread where I’ve taken a fairly strong position against mob “justice” (a favorite tool of those on the right), suggesting instead mediation or various legal remedies.
I suspect you are using the term “fascist” to mean “someone who disagrees with The Dude”, but maybe I’ve overlooked something.
Calling Hello Kitty and Middle of the Road Guy fascist is a real insult to fascism. Whether I agree with those two commenters or not, they are both engaged, civil, and reasoned in their comments. Not sure I can say the same for your all-caps histrionics.
I’m really glad to know who he is and where he lives so I can avoid him. What would be *really* helpful is a full description of the vehicle he drives so I can dive off the road if I see it heading toward me.
It’s ridiculous that some people here are more worried about protecting that unhinged racist driver than protecting cyclists and all Black/BIPOC folks in the neighborhood.
Being concerned about one thing doesn’t exclude being concerned about the other thing. It’s not either/or; You can care about both.
Lisa, Agreed. Wanting to hide racist behavior is a white male value. Brown and black persons overwhelmingly want accountability and exposure of racist behavior.
More important, the *VICTIM* wants the offender identity exposed. We should respect Geralds wishes for justice and its not our call to judge him for that.
Racism is not merely a simplistic hatred. It is, more often, broad sympathy toward some and broader skepticism toward others.
To emphasize this white male attraction to protect racists, I am actually describing internalized racism:
“As people of color are victimized by racism, we internalize it. That is, we develop ideas, beliefs, actions and behaviors that support or collude with racism.”
You could also say this also a form of white supremacy, supporting systemic racism, and white people lacking empathy for POC.
“Collude with racism” here is to deny Gerald quest for justice by replacing his wishes (to expose racists) with opinions of what white people think is right….for black people.
Hence why my quote from Coates is so important. It beautifully describes modern racism.
White people on BP…we can do better. Be anti-racist….
Quoting a passage that focuses on alleged white supremacist behavior of people of color on a thread that focuses on the threatening and dehumanizing behavior of a racist white male is, perhaps, not the best way to make this point.
What I’m worried about is protecting society against mob justice. It is highly ironic that you would even obliquely condone it in the name of protecting minority groups.
I get why you deleted my comment. It referenced the probable location of the suspect’s vehicle and the possibility that it could be immobilized. I think I maybe also called him a racist chud.
I’m curious what part of that threatened violence? You seem to buying into the narrative that property damage is violence. It is not and frankly I’m pretty surprised that you’d frame it that way.
So then how do you define violence?
I am aware that Merriam Webster includes “violence” against both animate and inanimate in their definition. But I think that kind of smushes together two different uses of the word.
It seems pretty clear to me that in common usage, when a person is “violent” or performs “violence”, the subject is other people or I guess animals, not inanimate objects. Yes, for example a storm can “unleash violence” on an area including inanimate objects, but that feels like a different use of the word to me, maybe even a figurative one. If I went around chopping down trees or smashing car windows it would be weird to say I had performed “violence.” It would be more typical of common parlance to say I had “gone on a destructive rampage” or something,
The only common usage of “violent” referring to people doing things to inanimate objects that I can think of is the following: Someone (usually a kid) slams a door or punches a wall or something, and then a someone else (usually a grownup) says, “So violent!”
But that feels to me like a hyberbolic, or even in many cases a joking/humorous, use of the word, not one that falls into its literal meaning when applied to people. It seems to me that in this case, the exception proves the rule.
Who are you to define what violence is. If someone destroys my property I am certainly considering that a violent act. Listen, unless you know the man and his story it is not ok to publicly out him. Does it make his behavior ok? Certainly not. Not everyone is as enlightened as you seem to be. If it makes you feel better to destroy his property than that is a slight against you, it isn’t constructive in any way. Again, unless you know the man’s story. Stay in your own damn lane.
That’s fine for you to use the word that way, but you are redefining it in an unusual way that is almost never used currently [certainly was almost never used that way before right-wing media started using “violence” to refer to property damage/destruction by people at protests]. Scary, threatening, aggressive, or destructive are words you could use and actually be clearly understood by the vast majority of people.
If I ripped a woman’s clothing off but she was not physically harmed, was that a violent act? Only the property was harmed.
Um, it’s a little different if someone is *wearing* it. If her shirt is hanging up in her closet, then ripping it is destructive, scary, a violation of all kinds of norms/good things, but not *violence.* Seriously, would you term say breaking and entering as violence? I can’t recall anyone ever in my life using “violence” in that way.
(I am aware that people destroying partners’/family members’/ others’ stuff is included in domestic violence statutes in some jurisdictions. But I read that as legalese, not a normal use of the word.)
Oh, so here come the semantics…
This whole discussion has been “semantics” from the beginning. Doesn’t mean it’s not a valid and useful discussion.
Def. 2 “The meaning or the interpretation of a word, sentence, or other language form”
Straw man. In our society the clothing a person is wearing is very much part of them. Damage to clothing is very much part and prelude of cruelty and bodily harm. That was such a loaded question.
It’s common for car drivers to extend that personal boundary to include their entire motor vehicle ignoring the fact that it is commonly their weapon of choice. I’ve never had somebody try to brush me off the road with their shirt.
More semantics. It’s still an inanimate object. What if it is just a top layer and not anything touching the skin?
Middle of what road? What BS. If a person rips, opens, even pulls awry any part of a person’s clothing, in what region or society is that a safe and civil action? There are very many places in this town and elsewhere that any person who does such a thing will be immediately struck, or worse. If a person does not take offense for themself, their friends may not be so peaceable.
I am not an attorney, ask yours if you should go around ripping clothing that other folks are wearing at the time.
You must hang around a very different “vast majority” of people than I do, because it’s entirely normal among my circles for something described as a “violent outburst” to involve nothing more than words, for the swing of a baseball bat or golf club to be called violent even when it doesn’t cause any damage, for slamming something against a table or wall to be violent — especially if it breaks, for a jarring tug on a line to be termed violent, or for maliciously-intended damage of many varieties to be violent. Burning down a building, even if unoccupied, is a violent act. Angrily kicking a bicycle is just as likely called violent as doing the same to a dog. I’ve never encountered anyone with such a restricted use of “violent” as you seem to say the vast majority of people do.
That was why I asked how Pete S defined the term.
A) dogs are animate creatures
B) the rest of your examples fall into definition 2 of “violent” (“strong or powerful”) not definition 1 (harming a person or animal)
C) Would you really call any of the things you mentioned “violence”? I think there is a wider use of the term “violent” (associated with definition 2 above) than of “violence.”
I don’t consider the noun and adjective form of the word to have starkly different definitions, and I tried to select my examples in a way that highlighted the lack of boundary (or foggy, if it indeed exists) at the line you’re trying to make between “forceful” and “damaging”. I think we’ve nearly beat this horse dead, but I will say that I don’t think it’s gaslighting, nor even really unreasonable to use violent or violence to describe protests that have been happening. I don’t think, “Who got hurt?” when I read a headline, “Violence Erupts In Sometown Protests”. This doesn’t fit within a headline, but most of the media I read has been careful to point out in text that violence is a small part of larger happenings, to which the term “peaceful” is usually applied. Peaceful, I hope we’ll agree, excludes both property and personal harm.
Property damage IS a form of violence. How could you possible think otherwise?
Um, because nobody has ever used the words “violence” or “violent” in that way in my life to my recollection?
(Prior to the recent use mostly by right wing media figures).
My parents used it, I use it, I have heard many others of many creeds use it for decades, and people I’ve spoken to have clearly understood me when I have used the word ‘violent’ and its conjugations in the context of inanimate objects. It’s also used in non-physical contexts such as ‘economic violence’ or ‘information violence.’ Attempts to try and deny such usage sound to me like attempts to deny meaningful discussion.
I have honestly never heard it, and “economic violence” or “information violence” only rarely. (And I think almost everyone would agree those are non-standard uses, like “traffic violence”). Can you give an example of “violence” being used to refer to humans doing harm to concrete, inanimate objects? I have always, only, heard/seen “damage” or “destruction.” I have done a fair bit of Googling to try to find other uses, and I have found dozens of uses where “violence” is to people, and none where it is (only) to inanimate objects. I have found a few where there is both violence to people and damage to objects, and “violence” is used in kind of an unclear way that could refer to just the people or both the people and the objects.
Even a FBI Director or assistant director, in 2005 testimony about the ELF, drew a clear distinction, only using “violence” for harm to people. I bring this up because the FBI was very concerned about the ELF and would presumably speak about its “ecotage” attacks on facilities in the most serious way it felt was accurate.
My friend has proposed “property violence” as a phrase that people who want to bring attention to the sometimes large social impacts of property damage could use. But I think, in fact, that calling protests in which no harm was done to humans’ bodies “violent protests” does harm to meaningful discussion and public awareness about them. I think most people reading a headline about “violent protests” would assume someone’ body was hurt, and that is not always the case in recent protests that have been covered in this way.
As does calling them “not-violent protests”, which most people would probably not think included breaking windows, looting, and arson. (By a minority of protestors… most, especially early on, were peaceful by any definition).
If the protests were not violent and also not non-violent, what were they? (I use the past tense deliberately because the tone of the protests seems to be changing.)
I agree, Hello Kitty. I think “protests including property damage” or “property-damaging protests” is probably the best way to describe them in news articles and most discussion. It is purely descriptive and stays neutral on the question of to what extent they lose the societal license to operate that non-property-damaging “non-violent” protests have (sort of) achieved.
I found examples of various use cases with simple searches for “violent agreement,” “violent remodel” (a term I used with construction buddies in the ’80s), and most interestingly, under “violence against inanimate objects,” this article from June of this year related to this very subject: http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/syndicated/definition-violence-distinction-destroying-people-inanimate-objects-matters/
I agree with your friend that distinguishing “property violence” from “violence against humans,” or whatever other descriptors are needed, is appropriate in plenty of cases, and riots might be one such case, but I think that BOTH cases then deserve the modifier. Such distinctions are made by the speaker (or writer), and their intent may be gleaned by the context in which they use – or misuse – it. You cite right wing misuses (“spin”) which I totally see and agree with you, but I also see left wing spin using the word (and insisting it only means a narrow, self-serving definition), and it’s the spin that raises my skepticism.
I’m suggesting that listeners (or readers) be more willing to look for meaning in the word “violent” in the context in which it is used here.
Ok… “violent disagreement” and “violent remodel” are a different definition of “violent” entirety (meaning “very strong or powerful”).
Honestly, I still don’t think both cases deserve the modifier. I still think “violence”, with no modifier, performed by a person, is physical harm against a person or animal, full stop. That is how the word is essentially always used, and in numerous discussions here and on Facebook, no one has come up with a pre-2020 citation of a use of “violence” to mean solely property damage. If people want to use it in non-standard ways, it is up to them/us to add the modifier so they/we don’t misinform others. “Property violence”, “economic violence”, whatever modifiers. But I still feel gaslit by the right wing claiming they think it’s perfectly clear, normal, and within standard use when they write headlines using “Night Of Violence” to mean solely property damage with no harm to human bodies.
Are there left-wing narratives around this that I have a problem with? Yes, definitely. But they’re not around word use. It’s the narratives that minimize the impact of destruction of small business buildings on entire extended families, that claim that all property damage in supposed service of a good cause is fine, it’s those that bother me.
In the absence of agreement about the meaning of a word, I think it’s reasonable and proper to defer to the dictionary definition. Meanings (such as your own) that don’t match the dictionary definition are the ones that need clarification or some kind of modifier attached.
Mad hatter, the dictionaries disagree. I think Merriam Webster was sloppy in their definition. Collins was not – “ If someone is violent, or if they do something that is violent, they use physical force or weapons to hurt, injure, or kill other people.”
Read the rest of the definitions in Collins.
Alan 1.0 – yes, the other definitions could apply. But, I feel using “violent” under one of those definitions in the context of protests, or in the context of slashing someone’s tires, is misleading in many cases because most readers will think you’re talking about the first definition.
Also, we were mostly talking about the definition of “violence” not “violent”, and there are fewer additional definitions of “violence” listed in Collins. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/us/dictionary/english/violence
Only other definition there is: “If you do or say something with violence, you use a lot of force and energy in doing or saying it, often because you are angry. ”
If you think right-wing new outlets are using “Protests erupt in violence” to mean “Protests erupt in a lot of force and energy”… well, my opinion is that you are wrong. They are trying to imply that harm to humans surrounding the protests exists, when in many cases it doesn’t.
[I am aware that most/every night in Portland lately, there is harm to humans. But Portland is not the whole world. I live in Albuquerque now, and despite a really sad shooting at one protest, there has been no harm to human bodies at many or most of our protests. I think that is true of at least many, and potentially most, places in the country where protests have occurred.]
(Thanks for the article you linked to, it is really good.)
You’re welcome, glad it’s of interest. Beyond the dictionary, I don’t think we’ll come to agreement on this, but I respect your comments and opinions enough that I had to speak up.
Maybe you, or others here, might find Beau of the Fifth Column (AKA Justin King) interesting, too, such as today’s vlog about the Portland protest shooting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3KJQ-Cckdg . Or Heather Cox Richardson, historian, day-by-day diary of current events: https://heathercoxrichardson.substack.com/
(They’re both on F-book, too.)
Agreed, we probably won’t come to agreement on this… even the dictionaries disagree! 🙂
(Now I’m imagining a future aspect of our dystopia in which there’s a “liberal” dictionary and a “conservative” dictionary, like we have for online spice ordering companies. Gahhhhh!!)
So what we have here is a racist Lynch who threatened a Black man with death. Just, Wow.
I’ve had people driving threaten me with their cars before while I was cycling, and that is extremely traumatic. As a white dude, I can’t even imagine how much more awful it would be if there were also racism involved.
Looks like the house is in the wife’s name.
Maybe I’m the only one, but I think doxxing the accused person in this manner is morally wrong. Internet mob justice rarely comes to any good.
If you really want to sort this out, hire a lawyer for Mr. Scrutchions and issue a citizen citation.
Threats have already been made on this site and fortunately deleted. But yes the antifa doxxing tactics are wrong.
You imply that antifa are the only people who doxx? Have you heard of Gamergate? WTF does this article have to do with antifa?
Doxxing is practiced by people across the ideological spectrum. It was not invented by antifa and they are not the primary practitioners in the field of doxxing.
Unfortunately, due to complete apathy and lack of action by the local law enforcement, there isn’t a lot else that citizens can do to protect themselves from dangerous individuals.
Does police apathy justify vigilante action? Is that really the road you want to go down? Will that result in more “justice”?
I don’t think anyone sees that as a positive direction, but we all know that those who use their vehicles as weapons essentially get a free pass from our legal system, and especially from law enforcement. When the state with its monopoly on law enforcement says “we will do nothing against the violence / threats of violence you face”, it seems pretty guaranteed to eventually prompt vigilantism.
It’s a great idea until it happens to me.
The idea that this guy could have his grievances redressed through official means is laughable and proves that you have totally missed the point of the last three months of protests.
The protests have been about encouraging “mob justice” when the police don’t respond to your accusations against someone? I took away a different message completely.
Ah. Cool. A very good faith argument.
No, people are protesting the fact that racism is baked into American systems of justice and public safety. So when a man is a victim of racist violence and is failed by the police and you’re like “wHy DoNt u fIlE a cItiZEn CotaTi0n???” you’re demonstrating that you either haven’t been listening or you are willfully ignorant.
also the protests have been about defunding the police and reorganizing community safety protocols.
in light of this, its somewhat darkly ironic that, attempted assault aside, that the demand here is for a police response to something that seems a mental health issue.
Not sure if you’re referring to me but my demand is definitely not for a police response here. I was pointing out the lack of police response as supporting evidence for what we already know: that PPB is 100% incapable of protecting black and brown people and should be abolished in favor community safety structures that actually work for the people that need protecting.
Scrutch, thanks for making the video and for bringing attention to this. I’m glad you’re physically safe and I hope you recover from this racist mofo’s actions quickly. Thanks also for the work you do in our schools and with youth in the community.
Jonathan, thanks for amplifying the video.
Clearly, we can not rely on the Portland police to protect us from racists. Community care is our best tool. These dangerous racist dipsticks are all around us.
Narratives or simple speak are superfluous one perceives your
behavior as abusive, violent, or traumatic.
I am very sorry this happened to one of my neighbors. I know Mr. Lynch very well, it is a sad, decades long story. This man is profoundly deaf since early childhood. As a result, authorities denied him public education and he was, instead, sent to live in the state lock-up mental institution in Salem for the majority of his life. In recent years he has been hit by two cars (while walking) and has suffered two traumatic closed head injuries for which he was hospitalized for many months. He continues to have many mental, emotional and physical illnesses. His four siblings all have (or have died from) advanced Alzheimer’s. There have been so many issues over the years, all stemming from Bob feeling disrespected or slighted in various ways. His behaviors and beliefs reflect racist and homophobic and sexist attitudes that were commonplace in the 1950’s ~ he has not had the thought evolution as a result of contact with media, education, movies, etc. He has never had a TV or computer or cell phone. He cannot hear his doorbell or telephone. He has anger management problems and his social mindset is a sad relic of the past. I would be happy to discuss privately with those directly impacted. I would be available to try and mediate/de-escalate, as Mr. Lynch trusts me to some degree and I have done this in the past, with varying degrees of success. Over the years he has had many disputes and lawsuits with neighbors, about cracks in sidewalks, property lines, street parties, maintenance & repair jobs, fireworks, etc. I am sorry our new neighbor has been a target of Bob’s wrath and ignorance. I would like to help get this on a better track, if possible.
Thank you, Susan, for providing some important context. It does not excuse the behavior that was reported, but implies that underlying systemic failures have contributed. This is more impetus for increased funding for mental health services.
Oh, how utterly sad, for everyone involved. Thank you for the context, and more importantly for doing the piece you’ve been able to do over the years to help the situation a little bit.
Maybe Jonathan and the rest of the woke people here will read this and understand what they are dealing with here instead of outing where he lives so some nitwit can destroy his property. Good reporting Jonathan? Next time get all your facts first!!
outing where he lives opens the door for vigilante/mob response….but u have to give some props to BP for having formed a community where someone like Susan can be allowed to step forward and help
He should have been outed. How does someone with these issues have access to drive a vehicle around?
The problem is not this person per se, it’s the laws that allow people to drive who shouldn’t.
Focusing on an individual will do nothing to fix the larger problem (and maybe nothing to fix the smaller one, either). Instead of “outing” him, call your legislator.
Yes. The problem is this person. Per se.
Sure there’s a bunch of things that lead to institutional racism and individual people being racist jerks.
The problem is still this person. Per se. Right now. He is in a neighborhood literally attacking people of color in the community.
“He is in a neighborhood literally attacking people of color in the community.”
I feel that someone who has suffered severe TBI and associated behavior change may be less culpable for their racism than the average white “progressive” Portlander.
The cops went after Demetria Hester the night she was attacked by a white supremacist, and they let him walk. The next day he did a mass murder and terror event on the max. The night demetria ( black woman) was attacked even the Trimet staff had to take her side, and the cops still let him walk away. Of course the cops changed their story days later.
Jonathan, please text or email Gerard this link to report hate crimes in Oregon
Report hate for adults or issues outside of schools:
Use a web browser and report hate below:
Trauma-informed operators are standing by, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday – Friday. After hours? Leave a message and we’ll return your call.
Hearing Impaired? Dial 711 for Oregon Relay
for full details you can see page 3 of a google doc we use for our local family walks in honor of Black Lives Matter. They do a similar event at Sunnyside School in SE once a week too. Google doc below:
The article now notes that the driver got 7 tickets over the past 32 years (about one every 4 1/2 years). This is far more than I’ve had, but does anyone know how unusual this record is? Does it suggest a singularly bad driver, or just someone in, say, the bottom half or bottom quartile?
I have repeatedly asked State Representives in Salem, including Karen Powers, Tina Kotak and Gov Brown to take up legislation to address traffic violence at the State level so police can actually charge these violent aggressors. Vehicles are weapons. I don’t like calling in the PoPo but we need to address aggressors like DUIs. If u hit a vulnerable road user your car gets confiscated, fined $10k, revoke license and make then take a year of remediation and community service.
Just like everybody else in this town they are choosing to ignore and censure me. Democrats don’t care and neither do the police. Was he wearing a helmet ()?
Oregon already has a vulnerable road user enhancement when someone is actually hit and injured. I would think that non-injurious but threatening behavior like what’s described here fits under menacing — a class A misdemeanor.
I question how much the laws can even help if a class A misdemeanor isn’t sufficient to get the attention of police. That’s in the same class as first degree assault, vehicular assault, third-degree sexual abuse, stalking, and criminal trespass, to name a few examples. If police turn a blind eye to that, what would it take!? A felony?