100 year old U.S. Navy veteran Dario Raschio was scheduled to receive some long overdue medals for his service in World War II this weekend at a town hall in Portland, Oregon arranged by Senator Ron Wyden. The veteran of five campaigns in the Pacific Theatre was the subject of many stories, having done multiple observational flight runs, taken gunfire from the Japanese and even being shot down once, finding himself stranded in shark filled waters. The multiple medals he was to receive were all in recognition of various aspects of his service to our nation. Unfortunately, before the proceedings could get fully underway, things took a turn.
Shortly after Wyden began speaking, though, protesters erupted in the back of the room, shouting “hands-up, don’t shoot!” More than 100 pushed through the doors, banged on the windows from outside and hoisted signs.
Raschio and his daughter, Pam Brown of Portland, had a front-row seat to the spectacle. Raschio’s smile faded.
Demonstrators across the country have used “don’t shoot” and “hands up” as rallying cries following the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, last fall. “I can’t breathe” references the death of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man who died in July following a chokehold by a New York City police officer…
The feisty centenarian quickly responded, “Give me a chance” which brought chuckles from the audience. He further chastised the shouters, saying “Let’s show a little respect for this occasion,” to which the crowd applauded.
Fortunately, things calmed down enough for Raschio to receive his awards and say a few words. But just barely…
But before Raschio could even sit down the unrest resumed. A protester at the front of the room announced that “for 4.5 minutes we are going to take time to pay respect to everybody who has been killed by police in this nation.”
With that, the chanting began again. At 3:15, after waiting 45 minutes for the meeting to begin, organizers called it off.
While the disrespect shown for Mr. Raschio is beyond the pale, this is fairly characteristic of the latest rounds of anti-cop, “peaceful protests” going on around the country. One of the defining characteristics of these schemes is that they are so completely outside the realm of the issue they are purportedly out there to correct. If you are angered about perceived injustice by police against minorities, what could that possibly have to do with Mr. Raschio? This theme is repeated in the so called Black Brunch protests in Oakland and New York City this weekend. Protesters invaded various businesses to disrupt service and dining in what they referred to as “white spaces.”
This is simply a continuation of the theme we saw when more allegedly peaceful protesters blocked traffic and tried to shut down the highways. What on earth do people eating french toast in a diner have to do with police practices? How does stranding thousands of motorists in rush hour traffic convey any sort of relevant message? The disconnect is obvious, but these protesters may be doing the rest of us a favor. By demanding an end to “business as usual” and screwing up the daily lives of regular working people with an off tune message which is inappropriate for the situation, the nation will tire of them even faster than they did with the filthy homeless camps of the Occupy movement.
The vast majority of the nation is not anti-cop. The further these agitators push the rest of the rank and file citizens, the quicker they will find that out.