Once upon a time, Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba and spent two years saying that he was not a communist or intent on turning the system upside down. He even arrested people like General Huber Matos and others for calling him a communist. It was illegal back then for anyone to claim that the bearded fellow was a communist. One of those who called him a communist was Dr. Ignacio Segurola-Canto, my father’s cousin, who spent 14 years in prison.
We learned later that he was. He admitted it in a long speech months after The Bay of Pigs. So much for believing a communist!
So I can forgive some in my parents’ generation for not seeing the communist threat. They wanted to believe that the best was possible and then many were executed, left the country, or spent their lives disillusioned with the system.
I can’t say the same thing for what we are seeing on our streets.
Up in Portland, the mob is at least honest. They are telling us up front what it’s all about. It has nothing to do with making the U.S. a better nation. On the contrary, it’s about destroying the nation:
Lilith Sinclair is leading the marches that defy City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s order to stay home. She describes herself as an Afro-Indigenous-Non-Binary Local Organizer in Portland. Personally, I wonder Sinclair fits all that on a business card. But more important is the rest of what she says.
Sinclair, 25, is an activist who works with with the workers’ rights group Portland Jobs With Justice. (That group is not directly connected to organizing the past week’s protests.) Sinclair, who wishes to be referred to by the gender pronouns they and them, has been involved in activism for years, including volunteering at the Portland Occupy ICE Camp in 2018. Sinclair was an organizer of a march May 31 that drew thousands of demonstrators.
During Sunday’s rally, they led the group of over 1,000 demonstrators from Laurelhurst Park in Northeast Portland to downtown at the Justice Center. “We’re not here for apologies,” Sinclair said into a megaphone Sunday. “We’re here to dismantle, defund and completely destroy the police.”
It does not get clearer than that.
So forget George Floyd and marching in his memory. Forget police brutality and any injustice of the past. These people are telling us where they are coming from and it’s not a pro-U.S. orientation.