On Friday in Portland, OR, a white supremacist man named Jeremy Christian threw insults at two Muslim women on a commuter train. Three men stepped in to protect the women from this Islamophobic hate speech. It was then that Christian killed Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche with a knife, and greatly injured Micah David-Cole Fletcher.
Since the attack, Trump hasn’t so much as mentioned it. He hasn’t spoken of the true heroism of the men who gave their lives to protect their fellow citizens, one of whom was a veteran.
Chastising Trump for this brazen lack of respect for the fallen and failure to recognize the extremism is none other than legendary news anchor Dan Rather.
In an open letter to Trump, Rather writes:
“Dear President Trump,
Their names were Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best. One was a recent college graduate. The other was an army veteran and father of four. I wish we would hear you say these names, or even just tweet them. They were brave Americans who died at the hands of someone who, when all the facts are collected, we may have every right to call a terrorist. A third brave man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was wounded in the knife attack.
This story may not neatly fit into a narrative you pushed on the campaign trail and that has followed you into the White House. They were not killed by an undocumented immigrant or a “radical Islamic terrorist.” They were killed in an act of civic love, facing down a man allegedly spewing hate speech directed at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab. That man seems to have a public record of “extremist ideology” – a term issued by the Portland Police Bureau.
This “extremism” may be of a different type than gets most of your attention, or even the attention in the press. But that doesn’t make it any less serious, or deadly. And this kind of “extremism” is on the rise, especially in the wake of your political ascendency. Most people who study these sorts of things do not think that is a coincidence. I do not blame you directly for this incident. Nor do I think other people should. But what a President says, who he has around him, and the tone he sets can set the tone for the nation at large.
Perhaps Portland, Oregon is off your radar. It is, after all, a rather liberal place. It’s even a “sanctuary city.” But it is still an American city. And you are its President. Two Americans have died leaving family and friends behind. They are mourned by millions more who are also deeply worried about what might come next.
I hope you can find it worthy of your time to take notice.”
Throughout Trump’s campaign and into his presidency we have seen many of his supporters show clear extremist white pride. Instead of condemning it, he gladly accepted their support and their votes.
If Trump doesn’t condemn these attacks then he condones it. It’s beyond disgusting and Trump should be ashamed of himself. If only he were capable of feeling shame.
Featured Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images