Black Lives Matter & CHAZ

June 13, 2020An important development for those who don’t name Seattle as their home. As a photographer this is a disgusting low ball strategy that is unethical as well as dangerous. Just yesterday a certain news outlet was caught doing some fancy Photoshop work to give the wrong impression of the protests in Seattle, and in particular the movement on Capitol Hill where the police pulled back to diminish confrontations. Yes, there was initial looting in the first week but most of this was downtown. Not on Cap Hill. More importantly, the police pulled back voluntarily. Secondly, the editor of this “news” outlet cut and paste several images, superimposing a man with a scary gun slung over his shoulder, as if he was guarding the entrance to the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. Talk about spinning the narrative. Geeez. This was totally fabricated and gave an impression of chaos and anarchy (see this story in the Seattle Times: “Fox News runs digitally altered images in Coverage of Seattle’s Protests.”) I plan to visit Capital Hill sometime this weekend and take some pictures. Please be informed and use your brain when you read the news. As my history professor taught me, the way to do good investigative research is to have at least 2, independent, non self-deceived sources when talking about any historical event. Fox “entertainment” has a history of running roughshod over facts but this even lowers the bar, creating altered photos to support a narrative that is not even close to the truth. This matters! I’m not saying that all other news sources are always right or never play with the facts to support a story but we’re getting further and further away from reality with this kind of stuff. I still believe that truth matters. “When they go low, we go high” ~ Michelle Obama

June 14th — We felt lots of love, important conversation, hope, energy and commitment to carry change forward tonight on CHAZ (Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone). There was not one iota of the chaos and anarchy portrayed by Faux (Fox) news just yesterday. Cari Conklin-Larsen and I had a longer conversation with two young gentlemen (1 white 1 black) who found connections with what’s happening in Palestine! It was a fascinating, but more importantly, crucial conversation. It’s no longer one crisis situation or conflict over the other, each competing for people’s attention. Many are finding common denominators and solidarity in combating injustice and disregard for human life–wherever it is happening (Here’s a good article addressing this intersection. I agree with the author’s conclusion btw). We found much to hope for this evening. We found ourselves tearing up frequently.

June 16th post to a friend — “Some important dynamics going on these days Steve. Felt like I was ready to alternate between worship and lament, prayer and action! Other than feeling like this is where we need to be as followers of Jesus Christ, it was also just fun. Wrong word perhaps…the evening was certainly inspiring. I’m starting to feel like the idea we studied in church history is being played out in front of us–it was the blood of the martyrs that became the seed of the church. Not big “C” institutional church but certainly the gathering of the people where God abides and is transforming the world.”

More stories from the Seattle Times and other sources, CHOP Creating its Own Narrative, Police officers Responding the CHAZ (or CHOP) with Caution. Monday morning Updates. Don’t Listen to FOX Politio article.

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