There’s been thousands of miles of destruction all across the west coast. And as agitated and polarized as we are, political narratives have emerged—the wildfire being a fresh setting for a well known story.
Backgrounded by a year of riots, protest, Molotov cocktails, and destruction plenty, the right-wing story is that Antifa have began setting forest fires. Of course, if you’ve been watching clips of rioters throwing firebombs all summer, that’s not a particular difficult story to believe. In fact, that would make perfect sense. This tweet about sums it up:
The left wing story, on the other hand, is that there are swaths of right-wing QAnon conspiracists terrorizing the community (either out of malice, stupidity, or both).
Multnomah Co Sheriff @MultCoSODeputies have contacted several groups of residents in Corbett who have set up checkpoints and are stopping cars. While we understand their intent is to keep the community safe, it is never legal to block a public roadway or force other citizens to stop.
Part of the story I’m seeing on the left is that the right-wingers are poor whites who buy into this because they’re gullible and/or uneducated. The New York Times’ characterization of one such person shows this frame quite clearly:
“I’m protecting my city,” Troy McNeeley said as he stood in front of the 900-square foot home he shares with his son, his son’s partner and several cats. “If I see people doing crap, I’m going to hurt them.”
Here’s a rough breakdown of these narratives:
It’s not my place to take any normative position with this project, but I think this wildfire disaster is, in reality, a non-partisan tragedy. So you’re so inclined, here’s a link to where you can donate to the relief fund.
That’s all for now!