How far are you willing to go to speak your mind?
Write to the Editor? Attend a protest?
Vandalize a school?
No, that last one goes too far.
But according to a video captured by a woman outside of the Cottonwood School of Civics and Science in Portland, Oregon, a group of ‘Blue Lives Matter’ supporters thought this was a reasonable course of action.
The video began with an argument between the videographer and a woman in tactical gear, dubbed “Tactical Karen” on the “Public Freakout” subReddit.
Tactical Karen has since been identified as Ashley Latay McCauley, an active member of the COPS NW Organization, a community of police supporters.
McCauley was ripping taped artwork down and using pliers to cut the zip-ties on others while arguing with the videographer.
Another woman appeared in the shot, standing between McCauley and the videographer, while pulling down some of the artwork herself.
As McCauley exited the shot, she said:
“I feel bad for your children that you would teach them s**t like this.”
The videographer attempted to ask McCauley why she felt the need to tell her how to parent her children, when she wasn’t telling McCauley how to parent hers, but “Tactical Karen” wouldn’t reply.
Turning her attention back to the ruined artwork, the videographer addressed the other woman who had approached the shot, this one wearing an oversized black hoodie with illegible writing.
This woman has since been identified as Monica Noble, also an active member of COPS NW, and who has been caught on camera alongside McCauley in the past, participating in similarly destructive protests.
The videographer continued to ask Noble the same questions, wondering why they were forcing their beliefs on other people’s children. She also pled to have the artwork back to return to the children.
Throughout her commentary, Noble refused to respond, first kicking the shredded art into a pile, and then folding it up into a bundle and taking it with her.
The videographer came around her side and said:
“You’re littering. In fact, you tore down all of our work. Now the children are going to cry.”
“But now I’m going to show the world who you really are. Now just let me get this…”
The videographer got in front of Noble, who at first tried to hide her face behind the art.
The videographer taunted:
“It’s embarrassing, isn’t it?”
But then, furious, Noble stepped up into the camera and cried:
“Look at my face! Look at my face! I got a pretty face! Look at my pretty face!”
“I know, I’m picking up your garbage, I know! Anything else?!”
The videographer continued to address the group as they left. Those who responded continued to call the artwork “garbage” and “s**t,” and none would agree to give any of it back to the woman filming to return to the children.
You can watch the full video here:
It’s been upvoted on Reddit more than 6-thousand times and retweeted 470 times.
Redditors in particular had a lot to say in response to the video.
Some couldn’t imagine stooping this low.
“Imagine being so intimidated by children’s art that you need to take action against them.” – WhoDataBoi
“Imagine hating black people so much you vandalize a school.” – twstdrose
“Gotta love armed, violent outsiders coming into a community to destroy the artwork of children.” – Beta1548
“It seems to me that ‘Blue Lives Matters’ or ‘All Lives Matters’ supporters have evolved this unspoken idea that Black is the new racist.”
“They don’t care about context, proportionality, rationality, or fucking plain human decency.”
“They now seem collectively like walking dickheads, trading conspiracy theories with each other, while tripping over their overly sensitive indignant selves.”
“It’s pathetic.” – rondeline
Others were just really upset about the school and their student body.
“This is the sweetest little school next to Oregon Health and Science University. It’s called the Cottonwood School of Civics and Science.”
“Real apt target, s**tbag.” – jgnp
“This should be moved to the top. There’s a donation link on the site for the school. Sent a few bucks for more art supplies to replace the signs these idiots tore down.”
“Imagine being so filled with hate you tear down children’s artwork.” – freckledpeach2
“Imagine that one quiet art kid who put a shitload of work in his art just to get destroyed” – throwaway1817183
“I guarantee that this incident is going to affect those kids for the rest of their life. Whenever they think of ‘conservative’ or ‘right-wing’, they’re going to think of the people who destroyed their art.” – cynical_enchilada
One took a moment to compliment the videographer’s poise.
“The woman filming is a hero. She never once insults or loses her cool. She remains factual and accountable for her actions while simply filming.”
“These a**hats want a confrontation – I mean, they are tearing down the artwork of children in broad daylight. They are itching for a fight. This woman robbed them of the opportunity, and documented the stupidity all in one fell swoop. Go Team Sanity.” – DeathbyGoldfish
The Cottonwood School launched a campaign on their website, asking for donations of art supplies or money for art supplies, so the students can recreate their lost artwork and more.
It’s disturbing how far some people will go to get their point across.
By vandalizing this school, not only did this group show what it means to disrespect someone else’s opinion, but they also potentially taught these children that they could be harmed for having a different opinion than the person standing next to them.
It’s been said that children are particularly resilient. We only hope that these kids will take from this moment whatever they need to learn, while also continuing to be brave, express their opinions, and create new art.