I read the Aug. 25 article by Rebecca Ellis of Oregon Public Broadcasting about the concerns of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler toward the First Amendment rights of the Portland protesters, and how to deal with them.

He feels that the rights to demonstrate are extremely important, and this article dealt mostly with his hand-wringing and angst about what to do about complaints of disorder and damage, and how to handle them.

A lot of us are puzzled about his vision of priorities, and the lens through which he sees what is actually going on. He sees blame for disorder falling on President Donald Trump and federal police aggravating the crowd, who are peacefully protesting about systemic and structural racism.

What many of the rest of us see is property damage and lost business, fires set to buildings, personal property and enterprises burned up and people injured. The most egregious crime was the attempt to burn down the police union building with three people in it.

This was a bland and lame article, whose only enlightenment was to spotlight a cowardly mayor who cannot address the real concerns of burning destruction all over Portland and the rest of our beautiful land.

If he and other progressive leaders had brains and guts, they would acknowledge the death and destruction going on, and do everything in their power bring it to an end. Then we all could proceed with peaceful discussions.

If we don't do this, we’ll just be buying a one-way ticket back to the Dark Ages.

KENT A. SMITH

Gearhart

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