Women Show Up With Open Carry Weapons To Rip Kids' BLM Signs Off School Fence
Women showed up with open carry weapons to tear down BLM signs made by school children
A Portland, Oregon mom shone light on a horrifying situation that went down last weekend. A group of women carrying guns showed up to tear down Black Lives Matter signs made by children at the school her kids also attend. She caught video of part of the incident and shared it to social media.
“This is hard to experience,” Mindy King writes. “So much hate in the world. They showed up on my front doorstep today with hate and open carry weapons! I may not have been able to stop it but I couldn’t stay silent!”
The video footage she shared shows women carrying weapons and tearing down the Black Lives Matter children’s artwork from the school’s fence. King lives in an apartment across from the school and tells Scary Mommy how she and her kids noticed what was happening.
“My kids have gone to school there for 8 years, one child there every year for the last 8 years,” she tells us. The school is next to an ICE facility that is the scene of frequent protests, as was the case this past Sunday, October 18th. King’s son was looking out the window and noticed what appeared to be some people from that group ripping down the children’s artwork.
“We see our share of protests at night,” King says. “My kids are trained to go tell me so I can see if it’s safe. My son said, ‘something is going on outside mom,’ so I went to look and saw trucks full of people pulled up. There were Trump flags on the trucks and we saw them pulling out actual large weapons, long guns, handguns in holsters,” she shares. “It was terrifying to see during the day.”
King says this is the second time in about five months that the children’s BLM artwork has been taken down by protestors. She believes a resident who lives in her apartment complex is among those who have destroyed the posters.
“I noticed them cutting the signs and I’m in my bare feet and sweats, home with my kids. I grabbed my mask and keys and went out. By then they’d gotten quite a few signs and I tried pleading with them asking, ‘What are you guys doing, you can’t do this, it’s not your property.’ I tried to appeal to them, reason with them,” she says. But considering they all had weapons, King was afraid to do much more. “One of my neighbors who is a person of color had picked up the signs they’d taken down and put them on the side of the fence. He was trying to appeal to them about something and they were just arguing with people all over the place, with people who were just hanging out,” she says.
That’s when King decided the best thing she could do is document what was happening. “I know what happens when you escalate it,” she shares. “I picked up my camera and started filming.”
Although the incident was horribly upsetting, happily, the kids are now working on new artwork. “Another group already showed up ready to support them, with art supplies,” she tells us. “People want to donate for new artwork.”
King tells Scary Mommy about her eight-year-old son Jax’s friend Kamari, who is also a student at the school. She says he writes poetry about being Black that he reads at public events and that he “needs his voice celebrated.” She says he was one of the ones most affected by the posters being torn down. “His mom and I are really close. He’s really bothered by it,” she shares.
“It is important for our kids to be able to express themselves,” King says. “Kids were crying that their artwork was taken down.”
The school released a statement that King tells us is now posted on the very fence that the drawings were torn from. “The Cottonwood School of Civics and Science stands in solidarity with our Black families. Our goal is to nurture compassionate and confident students who possess the skills needed to confront racism in our community and beyond. We recognize that multiple perspectives and experiences can coexist in one place, and we hold firm in our dedication to racial justice. Hate has no place here. We are committed to fighting systemic racism, especially within our schools and neighborhoods, and we strive to model humility and non-violence for our children.”
“The school has been fortunate enough to receive support from communities all over the world,” King tells us. “If I had the chance to say something to these women today I would say, ‘Our community will not be silenced. The signs on the fence are our a representation of our community standing shoulder to shoulder with our BIPOC community and that cannot be torn down. Each one of those signs represented a community member sharing expressions of unity and support for those who are suffering. You tore down those expressions of love that the world was meant to see and attempted to silence our voices. Our voices will rise undeterred!'”