Finally, after several days of keeping mum, President Donald Trump has spoken about the macabre stabbing in Portland. The stabbing caused the death of two people and injured one person seriously. The three people were trying to save two young Muslim girls, one of them wearing Hijab as a White supremacist was trying to scare them by his racial slurs and threats.
Three good Samaritans who stood against him and supported the Muslim girls were viciously attacked by the knife wielding assailant, a felon. Two had their throats slit, while the third person could be saved by whisker when other passengers pounced on the attacker and handed him to police.
The news has shocked the entire US. White supremacists are on the loose following victory of President Trump in presidential polls. There is no denying the he left no opportunity untouched in created an anti-Muslim and anti-immigration atmosphere across the US.
Muslims are not the only victims of the increasing incidents of hate crimes in the US, many other communities, particularly the Indian American community that had supported Trump big time during elections have faced the ire. Half a dozen Indian Americans, many of them IT engineers have been killed and many others injured in hate crimes.
The entire US has been shocked by the Portland stabbing incidents. But it took several days for the President Trump to issue a statement through Twitter. Though, it was still not a formal statement as it was a Tweet from his official account.
President Trump in a Tweet said, “The violent attacks in Portland on Friday are unacceptable. The victims were standing up to hate and intolerance. Our prayers are w/ them,” Trump said in a Twitter message before taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
The fatal stabbing took place on the MAX railway this past Friday. The two victims who lost their lives have been identified as Ricky John Best, 53 and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23. Third person who also suffered major knife wounds is struggling for his life has been named as 21-year old Micah David-Cole Fletcher. NGOs with the Muslim community’s support have raised as much as a million dollar for the victims of Portland’s brazen stabbing attack. The community is simply speechless due to what happened. They realize that they are not without support in the land of freedom and free speech.
Meanwhile, one of the girls who faced 35-year old Christian attack, Destinee Mangum, told Fox 12 Oregon KPTV: “I just want to say thank you to the people that put their life on the line for me. They lost their lives because of me and my friend, and the way we looked.” Crying as her voice shook, she added: “I appreciate them. Without them, we probably would be dead right now.”
Portland has been grieving the death of the two good Samaritans for the last three days. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler called the two men who lost their lives while saving the girls as brave and inspiration to all. “They were attacked because they did the right thing…Their actions were brave and selfless and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes”, Wheeler said. Namkai-Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance, paid heartfelt tribute to her son in a Facebook post. “My dear baby boy passed on yesterday while protecting two young Muslim girls from a racist man on the train in Portland. He was a hero and will remain a hero on the other side of the veil. Shining bright star I love you forever,” the post read.
Reports suggest that Namkai-Meche had just graduated from Reed College in Portland in economics. The university’s president, John R. Kroger, issued a statement Saturday, calling him a “beloved young man.” “As we mourn together and seek ways to honor Taliesin’s life, we will provide information about any memorials as it becomes available…Our deepest sympathies go out to Taliesin’s family and friends, the other brave victims, and their friends and family”, the statement said.
Ricky John Best was one person who was looked at whenever his friends and family members were in need of support. He served 23 years in the Army, retiring as a platoon sergeant for Corps maintenance. After his military service, which included tours of Iraq and Afghanistan, Best ran for Clackamas County commissioner.
HuffPost quoted one of his friends as saying, “He would drop anything and help everybody. No matter what was going on for him. He had such a kind spirit and quiet humor and strength…He had a little sparkle in his eye. Just a great sense of humor”.
Other than the army veteran, the other two people who intervened are very young. 21-year old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, who survived the vicious MAX train attack is reportedly out of danger now. Micah Fletcher’s mother, Margie, said she knew her son was the type to standup to wrongdoing ― for better or worse. “Micah’s always done that,” she told CNN. “I’ve always worried about it.” His mother on Saturday said he was in “really bad condition.” Fletcher’s neck was punctured, his jaw broken and he had to undergo hours of surgery to remove bone fragments from his throat, according to CNN.
The young man, a student of Portland State University is a poet whose works have addressed racism, bigotry and social justice. As a high school student in 2013, Fletcher won the Verselandia poetry slam with work that included a poem condemning anti-Muslim hate.