It's still a tragedy, mind you, just not a tragedy tragedy if you know what I mean.
The man who was killed was a white male in his 30s, according to three sources with knowledge of the investigation. The Oregonian/OregonLive is identifying the man's race in light of social unrest prompted by police shootings of black people.
The paper quickly discovered that suggesting it was okay that police shot a white man to death was not going over too well, and so swiftly deleted the tweet and added this clarification.
We included information in an earlier tweet about why we identified the victim's race that was poorly worded. It was not intended to minimize what happened, only to provide context. We generally do not identify race in news stories but often do when reporting police shootings.
If your business is conveying information through the written word, one has to assume that it was worded exactly as intended. The problem for The Oregonian was not that it was poorly worded, it was that it was poorly received.
In fairness to the Oregonian, a crowd had turned out immediately but given this is Portland, the protest was less about social justice and more about primarily white people screaming incoherently. (Language warning.)
Some choice excerpts:
This from a lady with a bullhorn.
How many people do you kill people? How many times do you pull out your trigger? How many times do you bang bang bang.
I listened to it about ten times to make sure I was getting it right.
Can you imagine the people they wouldn't give a bullhorn to?
Your $#%&ing coworker just murdered a person!
The person saying this had no idea what happened. No one did at this point. (It has since been reported that the man was waving around a gun replica of some kind and was first shot with non-lethal munitions.)
Abolish the police!
The quality of the high-pitched shrieking here and parroting of mindless slogans with no real understanding of the consequences to people who are not her, strongly suggests to me a gender studies major who lives in a nice upper-middle class neighborhood.
This was from an obvious moron.
Which was immediately echoed by his equally moronic but marginally less imaginative friend.
Hey, some people were born leaders, some born followers.
It was all like that, "quit your job," "murderers," "boooo," etc.
Why on earth would anyone want to police this city?
Oh, right, they don't.