A Portland mom’s spontaneous and furious speech shouted at police and federal agents behind the fence surrounding the Justice Center — the location of over 60 nights of protest in Oregon — has gone viral as people cheer both the message and her passion.
“I’m so tired of this!” she shouts after whipping off her protective goggles, which many protesters have purchased to protect their eyes from tear gas, pepper spray, and projectiles. “I am so tired! I am sleep deprived because I’m a single mom and I work full time and I have to come and spend my nights with you because I can’t stand in my own streets and say Black Lives Matter!”
In less than a minute, the member of the original Wall of Moms lays out what the protests in Portland, as well as many other cities across the U.S., are really about.
“Black Lives Matter. That’s why we’re here!” she says. “We’re not here because of some f***ing building. We don’t care about the building, we don’t care about your stupid fence! We care about Black lives. And I’m a mom, and I heard George when he called out ‘mama.’ That’s why I’m here.”
The Wall of Moms and other aspects of the Portland protests have caught some criticism for seeming to focus on white people rather than Black lives, though it can be difficult to appear to center Black individuals in one of the whitest cities in the country. Many of the moms and other protesters, however, have repeatedly reaffirmed that the battles against both Portland police and the federal agents supposedly sent to protect federal property comes back to the fight for Black lives.
“You all have moms,” the woman continues, now openly crying. “Your mom loves you. George’s mom loved him. And my kids love me and I want to go home to them, but they agree that this is important.”
She then turns to the individual filming her to make sure everyone knows what she’s really yelling about.
“And it’s not about some white ladies, it’s not about me, it’s about Black Lives Matter. There are so many amazing Black women that have been doing this fight for years, and I showed up late, I’m so tardy to this party, but I’m making up for it because I’m so angry!”
“And Black people are allowed to be angry,” she says, turning back to the officers behind the fence. “And who cares if some graffitis on this stupid building, we’re talking about human lives.”
This mom’s impassioned speech quickly went viral on social media, with the NBC News video gaining 1.5 million views in less than two days. While a number of figures on the right have attacked her for her physical appearance and called her “crazy” among a number of worse names, many people, including other mothers, are praising her for her passion and truth-telling.