Oregon is at a crossroads.
People need to make a decision if they want more of the same that they have had in the last year, and actually going back for the last eight years, if they would like a continuation of that or not.
Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has been in office for the past eight years. Forcible rape is up 60% and aggravated assault is up 40%. Demonstrations have been going on in Portland for the past five months or so. Is this what we want a continuation of?
Honestly, I think that "demonstration" is not the most appropriate word to denote the events of late. "Demonstration" is defined as: the action or process of showing the existence or truth of something by giving proof or evidence.
The only thing that Portland has seen proof or evidence of, to be honest, is fascism through fear, intimidation and coercion. This is borne out by the recent toppling of Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln memorials as well as the looting, destruction and desecration of the Oregon Historical Society.
These monuments were of leaders that opposed tyranny and slavery. The Historical Society housed priceless artifacts and irreplaceable historical items that were handmade by slaves, African Americans and other ethnic minorities. These items that were in our care were either destroyed, stolen, defecated on or urinated upon.
Honestly, I am disgusted and speechless. Any message that the Black Lives Matter movement was hoping to convey at this point is wholly lost, which is tragic and sad. It seems that the BLM movement has been hijacked by some fascist foreign entity that cares not for bigotry, racial injustices or even Oregon at all.
Whoever this underlying group is, has become purveyors of fear and intimidation to foist their brand of authoritarianism on average people just trying to go to work, operate a business or raise a family.
Portland has become a war zone. To be sure, Oregon has its own share of bigotry and racism as evidenced by nonunanimous jury verdicts as acceptable until a higher court forced them to stop. Oregon was the last state in the country to use this absolutely racist Jim Crow law until told to stop.
All of these tragic events have persuaded me to run to be Oregon's next attorney general. I didn't have a choice; my conscience wouldn't allow it. But that's how I was raised, being in the Boy Scouts, then the military and then on to running my own businesses. I get it. I understand what's going on and the very extreme challenges that all Oregonians are facing right now.
I love Oregon, and I couldn't sit by and watch it be destroyed before my very eyes. I was taught to give back to the community to those less fortunate and to do my best to make the world a better place.
I am not perfect, not by a long shot, but the coming together of concerned leaders and acting from the mind-set that is above and separate from ourselves, that is what it is going to take to get us back on the path to equality, justice and safety once again in our neighborhoods.
Michael Cross is the Republican candidate for Oregon attorney general.
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