Parker resident Ephraim McCowan went to Portland, Ore. Aug. 10 because he felt he needed to see what was happening there for himself. He said he found himself near a violent confrontation that evening, and he literally ran back to the airport. He said the shirt he wore that evening still smells of tear gas.
McCowan said he also noticed all the media attention given to Black Lives Matter protests and demonstrations, but little or no attention being paid to demonstrations against child sex trafficking that were going on at the same time.
A local activist, McGowan said he knows a lot of people think he’s a trouble-maker or a criminal. He says he’s just someone who wants to fight for and do what’s right.
“I’m just trying to do what’s right,” he said.
McCowan said he became convinced the media wasn’t showing the whole story in Portland.
“I wanted to see it for myself,” he said.
He arrived at the Portland airport in the morning, and took a cab downtown. He said he could see all kinds of damage in the area. He said stores were boarded up, a police station was trashed, and he saw damaged and burned buildings. He said the area was trashy and full of homeless people.
“Everything was messed up,” he said.
McCowan met up with a BLM demonstrator who called himself “Trey,” and they chatted for a time. He said Trey told him a lot about what was going on in Portland.
That evening, there were two demonstrations in local parks. Around 9 p.m., everything escalated with 200 protestors being confronted by 40 to 50 police officers in riot gear. The officers charged them, and Trey told McCowan to get out of Portland.
“I ran all the way back to the airport,” he said. “I changed clothes behind a bush because I didn’t know if they were coming after me.”
McCowan said he saw white people wearing BLM shirts and hoodies who were causing a lot of damage.
“I think a lot of racists were disguising themselves,” he said.
While CNN was at the BLM protest, McCowan said he saw no coverage of a “Save our Children” rally going on at the same time. This group protests against child sex trafficking.
“They were so eager to show BLM, but what about our children?” McCowan asked.
McCowan said pedophiles receive lighter sentences than those convicted of possessing marijuana.
McCowan said there is a lot to protest these days, and not just racism. He said people need to see the big picture. The problem, he said, is the system itself.
“It all goes to one thing, the system,” he said. “Don’t believe anything of what the government tells us. People are getting away with stuff.”
While calling himself a supporter of Black Lives Matter, McCowan said they need better leaders who won’t accept or promote the violence of many of the protestors. He said fighting back is good, but not to the point of people losing their livelihoods.
“People like Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Colin Kaepernick kept it peaceful,” he said.
Despite what he claims others may say about him, McCowan said he bears no ill will against any group of people.
“I’m all-racial,” he said. “I have nothing against white people. I have no problems with Trump supporters.”
McCowan said he will continue to do what he can to expose racism.
“There’s a lot I want to put out there,” he said.
He plans to go to college this December, where he wants to study film-making and play basketball. He also tries to keep things in perspective.
“I want to raise my kid right,” he said. “It’s a crazy world we’re living in.”