Sunday, May 28, 2017

White Supremacist Kills Two in Portland

The new face of the GOP

The Washington Post has a lengthy piece on the brutal murder of two good Samaritans in Portland, Oregon who sought to assist two Muslim women under harassment by a white supremacist - and I suspect Trump supporter.  Sadly, the event is symptomatic of the manner in which first Trump's campaign of hate and division and now his continued anti-Muslim efforts have made racists and extremists feel empowered to attack other citizens who differ in skin color, religious belief, sexual orientation, etc. What is frightening to me as a former Republican is the sad reality that individuals with views nearly identical to those of this murderer have been welcomed with open arms into the GOP.   Here are brief excerpts from the Post story: 
Two men were stabbed to death and one injured Friday on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., after they tried to intervene when another passenger began “ranting and raving” and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women, police said.
Portland police on Saturday identified the two slain victims as 53-year-old Ricky John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche.
A third victim, 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, is being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said. Police identified the suspect early Saturday morning as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, of north Portland. Christian is being held without bail on two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation in the second degree and one count of possession of a restricted weapon as a felon.  
The Portland Mercury, a local newspaper, reported that Christian was a “known right wing extremist and white supremacist” who had attempted to assault protesters at local demonstrations in the past. Video from April 29, shot by Mercury reporter Doug Brown, showed Christian arriving at a “March for Free Speech” draped in an American flag and carrying a baseball bat. While there, Christian yelled to the crowd that he was a “nihilist,” shouted the n-word at people and gave Nazi salutes, Brown reported.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, a Facebook page they said belonged to Christian showed he held racist, white supremacist and extremist beliefs. On that profile, the Facebook user said he supported creating a “White homeland” in the Pacific Northwest and declared on April 9 that he had “just Challenged Ben Ferencz (Last Living Nuremberg Persecutor) to a Debate in the Hague with Putin as our judge. I will defend the Nazis and he will defend the AshkeNAZIs.”
On April 19, the anniversary of the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, the user praised bomber Timothy McVeigh in another status update.
On April 28, the same Facebook user shared a meme that showed a picture of Confederate statues being removed.   “If we’re removing statues because of the Civil War, We should be removing mosques because of 9/11,” the meme stated.

Words do have consequences and frankly, I am over pundits who describe Trumps appeals to hatred as "hyperbole."   It's hate speech plan and simple and the GOP seemingly believes it's just fine. 

P.S., for Fox News viewers, "hyperbole" is defined as exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.  Obviously, many are taking Trump's statements literally and acting on them.  As for the "good Republicans," if you don't want to be lumped in with people like this killer, there's an easy solution: stop voting Republican. 

No comments: