Two men fatally stabbed and another injured who tried to protect two teenage girls from a known White supremacist in Portland, Oregon are being hailed as heroes nationwide by Asian Americans.
According to Oregon Live the girls, described by one of their mothers as Black and a Muslim wearing a hijab, were on a commuter rail train when a man boarded and began spewing racist venom toward the teens.
“He was saying that Muslims should die,” said Dyjuana Hudson, a mother of the Black teen, Destinee Mangum,16. “That they’ve been killing Christians for years.”
Hudson said the suspect continued to come after the girls even as they tried to physically distance themselves from him.
Witnesses say three men tried to calm the man.
Hudson quoted them as saying “You can’t get at them like that — they’re little girls.”
That’s when the man pulled out a knife and fatally stabbed two of the men and injured a third.
The Los Angeles Times reports Jeremy Joseph Christian is being held without bail and has been charged with aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation in the second degree and felony possession of a restricted weapon.
Christian’s Facebook page includes many references to Nazis. “Yep, Im a nazi [sic], “Hail Vinland” and “I will defend the Nazis.”
KGW identified the victims as 53-year-old Ricky John Best, of Happy Valley, 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, of Southeast Portland, and 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland. Best and Meche were killed. Fletcher is expected to survive. A vigil was held for the victims Satuday.
“These men were not trying to be heroes, but they were,” said Rep Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-IL). “They witnessed something they knew was wrong, and they tried to stop it. In doing so, these men embodied the highest ideals of this nation and of our common humanity. May we hold their families in our thoughts and prayers and rise to their example.”
Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a coalition of five Asian American civil rights groups, extended its “deepest condolences” to the victims and their families.
“The brave actions of the men are a testament to their immense courage to confront hate, racism, and xenophobia,” Advancing Justice said in a statement. “We call upon the Trump administration to examine their rhetoric and to apologize for fomenting hate and discriminatory policies against Muslims apparent not only here but also in the sharp increase in Islamophobia and violence against Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities.”
Ironically Thursday night’s attack occurred on the first day of Ramadan, the holiest month of the Muslim calendar.
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