A Journalist with an aversion to facts knows exactly who to blame.
Andrew Buncombe is a reporter for the British newspaper The Independent. He has been dispatched to cover the ongoing events in Seattle surrounding the Black Lives Matter protests and the ensuing occupation of a section of the city by activists. We saw all of this play out as a compliant mayor allowed this illegality to play out and an avowed socialist on the city council actually worked on behalf of those inside the CHAZ/CHOP encampment. Buncombe was covering these activities and in the process found himself arrested and jailed.
His summation in all of this — it is because of Donald Trump.
This is a small side story in the country-wide level of outrage we are enduring, but there is a level of blind outrage at play that typifies the lack of pragmatic thinking which kicked off the outrage. For a journalist to leap to blame the president over his episode it required him to overlook a number of realities built into the story and ignore all of the players directly involved. It is easy to see where the removal of objectivity takes place.
The city is run by Mayor Jenny Durkan, a Democrat and by all evidence, a pacifist. Mayor Durkan spoke glowingly of the occupying protestors and called on her police force to step back and not evict the illegal gathering. The city has a militant socialist on its council, Kshama Sawant, who has been active in her support of CHOP. At one stage of protests she unlocked the doors to City Hall in order to allow protesters to gain access. It is in this environment that violence has taken place, and that Buncombe was arrested.
The effortless move is to have the reporter explain that any confrontations he experienced while under arrest prove out the complaints heard in the months of protesting. When Buncombe takes a look at the protests as they played out in Seattle we see all of the lack of curiosity we have come to expect from today’s journalists. He describes the occupation as, ”A Living experiment in how a community might exist without police’’, and then he blithely skims over the results.
The attempt is made to highlight the peacefulness seen during the day, but he does have to admit that evenings were a different story. There were half a dozen shootings which took place inside CHOP, with two of those resulting in deaths. Those occurred within one month, and the deaths of POC victims – one 16 years of age – is barely acknowledged. To most this ”living experiment’’ without police would be seen as a failure, but no judgement is forthcoming from the journalist.
Buncombe’s arrest was the result of being told twice to vacate an area the police were clearing out. He reiterated that he was a reporter, and the police maintained that he was to leave. Upon refusal he was detained and booked. Now arguments can be made over how needed this action was — the charge of ‘’failure to disperse’’ usually exempts journalists, for instance. But what is apparent is that this reporter had no interest in looking into the locals as far as assessing responsibility. If he was incorrectly arrested that falls on the Seattle PD, not the White House.
As the reporter looks at the penal system in the country he offers up this nugget; ”As recently as 2011, the Department of Justice accused the SPD of racial bias and use of excessive force.’’ For the sake of accuracy I did some research that Andrew seemed incapable of conducting; it appears that Donald Trump was not President at that time.
Also, Seattle PD – the oppressive force that abused Buncombe during his inappropriate arrest – which is positioned as having systemic issues, is overseen by a Police Chief who is a female POC. This follows the uncomfortable truth that Mayor Durkan is from a long line of Democrats running the city. The last GOP mayor seen in Seattle was over a century ago. So with all of the supposed problems and issues Buncombe encountered he looked for responsibility and could only place the blame in the White House.
This is the same thought process that launched this crusade, as the death of George Floyd was blamed on a racist system. However everywhere you looked in Minnesota you only found Democrats in leadership roles, many of them POC individuals. Naturally the system that has been operated on the local level for decades by one party was said to be the responsibility of the man who has been in office for a few years, and holds very little sway over the operations in the area.
The attempt to blame these issues on the name who has not imparted influence and has not been in place long enough to instill a systemwide standard means that all the talk of fixing problems is instead a hollow attempt to accuse for political gain.