Political, community leaders condemn MAX killings, praise 'courageous bystanders'
Reactions poured from elected leaders and community members to Friday's slaying, praising the Good Samaritans who confronted Jeremy Joseph Christian as he spewed hate speech aboard a MAX commuter train, directed at two women, one wearing a hijab.MAX stabbing victim graduated from Reed College
One of the victims in the attack was identified by his mother on her Facebook page as Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23. He and others interceded when the suspect was verbally attacking two young women on the train. Two people were killed, one injured in the stabbing. Here is a statement released by Namkai Meche's family:
Taliesin Myrddin lived a joyous and full life. His enthusiasm was infectious. We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. He was resolute in his conduct (and) respect of all people. In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward. He will live in our hearts forever as the just, brave, loving, hilarious and beautiful soul he was. We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love. Safe journey Taliesin. We love you.The other person killed was identified as Ricky Best, 53, a Portland city employee, 23-year army veteran, and father of four:
These Are The Victims Of The Portland Train Stabbing Attack
Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was also stabbed, but is expected to survive.
These men are heroes.
I know there will always be those consumed by hatred for someone they define as 'other'. I firmly believe that love and brotherhood can win over such baser qualities, but it disturbs me that these sorts of things are on the rise. May these heroes rest in peace, and their families take some solace in their character, and my thoughts are with their families, the injured person, and those who experienced this horrible event.
Hate is the domain of no race, no gender, no nation. It kills the spirit, shrivels the heart, leaves us out of touch with our fellow humans and our interconnectedness, leading to monstrous spirits and deeds. Hatred killed so many in the terrorist attack on the Ariana Grande concert the other day in Manchester, on 9/11, in other terrorist attacks. But it also killed people worshipping in the church that Dylann Roof gunned down, and those victims of hundred of crimes where the body count might be smaller but is no less devastating to those left behind. It killed in Portland, consuming the perpetrator of these crimes and using him to spread fear and terror, claiming precious lives. But hatred does not live on its own in a vacuum. It must invade the human heart, and to do so, the person must let it in and nurture it. We can counter hatred with education, kindness, interaction, and love, but sometimes it must be countered directly, such as in Portland. I am just so sorry it meant death and that these good people had to lose their lives standing up to hate.