Portland Kidnappings Continue as DHS Official Whines About Amazon

Few people would consider Amazon, the $1.5 trillion dollar online retail company well known for its abusive employment practices, as anywhere near the American political left. However, few people are like Department of Homeland Security’s Ken Cuccinelli.

Cuccinelli retweeted a video of protestors’ spraying graffiti on an Amazon Go store in Seattle, Wash. The video was originally tweeted by Andy Ngo, a self-proclaimed journalist who regularly works with far right activist groups and famously made a spectacle of himself in 2019 when counter-protestors threw a milkshake in his face.

In his tweet, Cuccinelli refers to the protestors as “anarchists” who are angry that Amazon isn’t “far enough left.” That’s either disingenuous trolling or straight up ignorance on Cuccinelli’s part. An exploitative, uber-capitalist retail company that pays its overworked employees terrible wages, denies bathroom breaks, and forces them to work through coworker deaths isn’t “left.” In fact, it’s quite everything the modern American left despises—but that wouldn’t fit Cuccinelli’s narrative.

The DHS deputy secretary’s tweet came after a weekend where unidentified federal forces under his department’s command—namely CBP and ICE—brutalized protestors and detained citizens in unmarked vans in Portland, Ore. It’s part of the Trump administration’s new strategy to fight “lawlessness” in American cities, and according to Cuccinelli himself, it’ll soon be going national. There’s something slightly more dystopian about badgeless, hyper-politicized police forces kidnapping people without cause than protestors targeting a ruthless capitalist machine’s retail store. Just don’t expect Cuccinelli to tweet about it.

Cuccinelli’s cognitive dissonance is perfectly on par for a Trump admin official. It also mirrors conservative lawmakers and media that have vilified racial justice protests and movements for generations. The Trump administration’s naked attempts to otherize Black Lives Matter protests (and the left in general) as a destructive, anti-American force were inevitably going to lead to overtly fascist tactics to suppress them. The administration simply doesn’t care about abusing its power to mute political dissidents and will lie directly to our faces as they do it. Still, seeing people in its employ crying about “anarchists” while secret police use a federal mandate to capture citizens without cause is a little too on the nose.