BLACK OFFICER IN PORTLAND EXPERIENCES EXTREME RACISM FROM BLM
In one black Portland police officer’s frontline experience, the Black Lives Matter protests in his city are not about helping black people attain better lives. What this officer sees is privileged white kids infiltrating communities that don’t belong to them to burn stuff, break things, cause trouble, incite violence, and tell black people what they should do.
This officer, Jakhary Jackson, is a nine-year veteran of the Portland Bureau of Police. After working for Nike for 10 years, Jackson joined law enforcement to “make the most out of my life by helping others.” Both sides of his family have long Portlandian roots. Jackson works where he grew up, and his love for the people of his community is evident.
During a Portland press availability, Lt. Tina Jones interviewed Jackson, simply asking him to share his experience working these protests every evening for the last few months.
“I’ll say this. I got to see folks that really do want change like the rest of us, that have been impacted by racism. And then I got to see those people get faded out by people who have no idea what racism is all about, that have never experienced racism, that don’t even know that the tactics they are using are the same tactics that were used against my people.”
Jackson tells of a young black woman asking him one evening, while he held the line with protesters, why he wouldn’t talk with her and her friends, why he wouldn’t engage them. He explains that young black people often ask him what he thinks of all the unrest. They want to know what he thinks about the injustice, about George Floyd’s death, about the pain resulting from killings of black men. . . .
Warning: May include expletives below.
Jackson explains that when “a brother or sister” approaches him, wanting his perspective on things, white protesters jump in like clockwork to tell the inquirer, “F-ck the police. Don’t talk to him.”
“That was the most bizarre thing,” Jackson says, wincing as he tells the story. “Honestly, every time I try to have a conversation with someone that looks like me, someone white comes up and blocks them and tells them not to talk.” Jackson says the very moment he was explaining this to a young black female, “this white girl pops right in front of her” and told her not to speak. . . .
When asked about what he and fellow black officers have been subjected to by protesters who are supposedly fighting for racial justice, Jackson tells of protesters regularly threatening his life. He’s taken multiple incoming explosives thrown by rioters, some very powerful with marbles and rocks taped to them, intended to inflict maximum and sustained damage. He saved a female officer from being hit in the head with a massive projectile that he said would certainly have killed her had he not been present.
But to Jackson and his black peers, the most painful thing is white protesters’ words. “It says something when you are at a Black Lives Matter protest, and you have more minorities on the police side than you have in a violent crowd,” Jackson says. “And you have white people screaming at black officers, ‘You have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen.’”
Jackson says he is totally “cool” with people wanting to join efforts to achieve social change. What he’s seen at the Black Lives Matter events, however, “has been very strange to watch” precisely because, as he explains, so-called anti-racism tactics have come full circle: White protesters are telling black people what is best for them. Worse, these white kids are destroying black neighborhoods while they do it. . . .
Jackson explains how strange it is for angry white youths to come to his community, claiming they want to help, but telling him to quit his job without knowing anything about him.
“Once again, you have a privileged white person telling someone of color what to do with their life. And you don’t even know what I’ve dealt with, what these white officers you’re screaming at have dealt with. You don’t know them. You don’t know anything about them.”
Jackson tells how he watches his fellow officers serve the community year after year, risking their lives each day. They do whatever it takes to care for those who have been shot, not afraid to get blood on them. He knows these officers do what they do because they care deeply about all the lives in their community, regardless of skin color. . . .
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