About that Beloved Community, Ted…

I wrote to Mayor Ted Wheeler in January about fulfilling MLK’s dream of the Beloved Community by dedicating efforts to promote peace and unity in our city. He never wrote me back, but I did hear him this morning recommit Portland as a Sanctuary City and proclaim the rejection of racism, white supremacy, sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, xenophobia, and all forms of discrimination.

Three quickly tabled agenda items later, and Alt-Right personality turned aspiring Republican Senatorial candidate Joey Gibson was giving testimony before City Council. For three minutes, Gibson sputtered and rambled about human trafficking in Portland. He alleged Wheeler has connections to one Terry Bean, demanded a “press conference” and a “team” be put together to combat the issue and raise awareness. He went on about Mr. Bean’s sexual proclivities (immoral and illegal if true) and demanded a public distancing from the man on the part of Portland political leaders. His time expired as Commissioner Amanda Fritz, whose grace deserves praise, warmly schooled Gibson on a task force being in existence for a decade. Wheeler was not so cordial, firmly stating, “Your time has expired. Next person.”

This man, who lives and pays his taxes to a different City Hall, a different county commission, a different state government, whose rallies in Portland have required the presence of over a half-dozen different law enforcement agencies, including actions for which the Mayor and the Portland Police Bureau are now being sued by the American Civil Liberties Union, made Wheeler and the City Council look like a rogue’s gallery of pedophiles and pimps, victims of gaslighting by an Alt-Right gadfly. Gibson didn’t bother to mention March 3 was International Sex Workers’ Day.

A small cadre of protestors were in the gallery, re-enacting one of the finer moments from Animal House as they slipped in shouts of “FASCIST” and “NATIVIST DOUCHE” during Gibson’s testimony, prompting a scold from Wheeler. (Ted, you’ve really got to learn to appreciate the small things.)

Terry Bean, a major Democratic fundraiser, was accused of sodomizing an underage boy in 2015. After the judge rejected his settlement offer, the victim declined to testify and the case subsequently dismissed. I’m not a lawyer, and thank God I’m not a Democrat, but that whole situation stinks. I hope it attracts some bloodhounds. If the Mayor of Portland or members of its City Council are receiving money from a sex abuser, in this era of #MeToo, a movement which has extended to our own state legislature with the scandals surrounding Jeff Kruse, they need to make this public and then they need to resign.

Why is it taking the presence of a man I consider a menace and recruiter for violent nationalist groups to bring such a volatile issue to light? Furthermore, assuming — which I don’t — that Mr. Bean is wholly innocent, why on Earth did our city’s leadership allow this buffoon from Vancouver, WA to waste everyone’s time?

Alex DiBlasi

Portland Green Party

Counselor, musician, and Saivite Hindu. I left academia to see 48 states and find God, and not once did I let schoolwork get in the way of my education.

Counselor, musician, and Saivite Hindu. I left academia to see 48 states and find God, and not once did I let schoolwork get in the way of my education.