I’m out of town for the weekend and just heard about the fatal stabbings in Portland. As someone who recently moved back to Portland and consider it home, this is deeply disturbing to me.
The incident started when Jeremy Joseph Christian, who has a history of posting white supremacist screeds on social media, started screaming anti-Muslim insults at two young women on a light rail train, one of whom was wearing a hijab. It makes me proud to know that at least three men tried to intervene to protect the women. But Christian pulled out a knife and stabbed them. One died immediately, and another one died later at a hospital, the third was injured but is expected to be ok.
The two women were unharmed, but in a statement they thanked the men who intervened for saving their lives.
One of the things I have always loved about Portland is that people look out for each other. They show kindness to others, even if they are strangers. I too have personally intervened in a situation where two people were angry and yelling at each other in a crowd and it felt like a fight might break out.
Will that now change? Will I, and others, be afraid to stick up for other people? I feel like I have no idea how I will react in a similar situation in the future.
That makes me very sad.
I hope that our president sees fit to speak out about this, as I’m sure he would have if it were a Muslim who had done the stabbing.
Otherwise, if we accept this as the new normal, the terrorists have won.
Also published on Medium.