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  • Andrew Casteel

Can I Just Do This?


Sometimes when we ask Francis to put on his mask, he just pulls his shirt over his head. This is amusing before we leave the house, scary when we're outside in the crosswalk.


When I read the news, I feel like pulling my shirt over my head too. The country seems to be speeding up as we slide down the slippery slope into authoritarianism. The president sent federal troops into Portland against the wishes of local leaders and they're detaining people without arresting them or giving them a reason why. He has announced his intention to send them into other cities where Democrats are in charge like Chicago, New York and even here in Oakland.


I know we're all suffering from outrage exhaustion. Everyday there's a new horror coming from the white house. A lot of them are disgusting, but few of them are as dangerous as setting the precedent that the president can use federal troops to occupy cities held by his political opposition. The NY Times has a great piece about it: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/07/20/opinion/portland-protests-trump.html (link in bio).


That's why this week for #givingtuesday I've donated $500 to the PDX Protest Bail Fund. The General Defense Committe Local 1 in Portland, Oregon, has established a fundraiser to cover bail and other legal expenses for protesters arrested in Portland, Oregon in connection to protests against George Floyd's murder by Minneapolis police, along with general police brutality. If you donate to them by July 28th and message me @dadkupoetry, I'll match your donation. Donate at: https://www.gofundme.com/f/pdx-protest-bail-fund?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link-tip&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet (link in bio)


Another way you can help is to sign the petition demanding the president remove federal troops from portland at http://chng.it/Z5RZbrb42N (link in bio). If you sign and message me @dadkupoetry by July 28th, I'll donate $10 to the PDX Protest Bail Fund.


Conserve your outrage for the real injustices. The president is counting on you taking the bait and wasting your energy on the horrible things he says. The horrible things he does are what need your outrage, your action.


I think the classic poem by Martin Niemöller needs to be updated


First he replaced all the judges, and I did nothing.

Then he took kids from their families and put them in cages, and I did nothing.

Then he sent troops into Portland, and I did nothing.

Now the troops are here, and there's no one left to help me.

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© 2019 Andrew Casteel