May 262017
 
Hate Crime In Portland

Heroes Of Portland: Taliesin Namkai-Meche (L) and Ricky John Best (R)

On the first night of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan which coincided with the beginning of the Memorial Day weekend this year, Portland’s resident Jeremy Joseph Christian, took on two American-born and raised teenage girls (one of whom was wearing a hijab) on a commuter train. He screamed at them Islamophobic slurs, threatened them and ordered them to get out of the United States.

Three white men (Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, Ricky John Best, 53, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21) came to the defense of the terrified teen girls.

The allegedly pro-white and pro-American, white supremacist Jeremy Christian (35) attacked the men with a knife, aiming at their necks. The attack resulted in the death of Ricky John Best (53) and Taliesin Namkai-Meche (23). The third man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher (21) is recovering from the injury he sustained.

The killer who didn’t stop talking even during his arraignment said (among other things): “You call it terrorism. I call it patriotism.” Christian was charged with two counts of aggravated murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of intimidation, one count of felon in possession of a weapon and hate crime.

According to reports, Jeremy Christian is a high school dropout with a criminal record – which includes robbery, kidnapping and possession of a weapon – who had difficulty earning a living. Christian was active in Portland’s white supremacist movement and ranted about his Nazi convictions on Facebook. Some sources speculate that he might be mentally ill. But enough about a killer whose failures don’t deserve attention. An adult man attacking helpless teenage girls? That’s not patriotic, that’s contemptible!

The good Samaritans who came to the rescue of the young girls threatened by Jeremy Christian are the true heroes. They deserve recognition and tributes.

Taliesin Namkai-Meche (23) was a son and an older brother. He recently graduated from Reed College with a degree in economics. He died a hero.

Ricky Best (53) was a military veteran with 23 years of honorable service who retired in 2012. He worked as a technician for Portland’s Bureau of Development Services. Best left behind 4 teenage children. He died a hero.

Micah David-Cole Fletcher (21) is the Portland State University music student and a budding poet. He is recovering from the injury he suffered. He is the only hero who survived the horrific attack.

These three white men – two of whom sacrificed their lives – are true men, true heroes and true American patriots. They will be honored and remembered long after the name of the crazed killer is forgotten. (We can only imagine the love, regrets and gratitude of the saved girls and their loved ones!)

Anything L.A. doesn’t stand alone in recognition of the Portland Heroes. Oregon’s Governor, Kate Brown condemned the hate crime. Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler commended sacrifices of the men who were willing to risk their lives to protect others. The Portland community came together to honor its good Samaritans. No wonder that once crowdfunding campaigns for the victims and the survivor were created, donations poured in. No amount of money can replace a loved one, but the shocking and unexpected deaths and injury, respectively bring immediate and long term costs which the caring donations will help cover. And the donations came from everywhere. America is strong and even against many odds, America didn’t lose its moral compass. The donations already topped one million dollars. (A small portion of the money will be used for mental health services for the two teenage girls who were the intended targets of the white supremacist killer.)

*

As horrific as the actions of Jeremy Christian have been, hate crimes are on the rise since President Trump was elected. According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations, hate crimes against Muslims in America rose by 44 percent in 2016 alone.

Muslims are not the only victims of hate crime. White supremacists target also racial minorities. The latest target of a suspected hate crime – at the time of this writing – is basketball superstar LeBron James. During LeBron’s absence, the gate of his West Los Angeles home was spray-painted with a racial slur. The vandalism / suspected hate crime has been photographed and reported to the police. The slur has been painted over.

LeBron (32) who has legions of devoted fans, is a three-time National Basketball Association’s champion and has been named the league’s Most Valuable Player several times. Still (in the words of LeBron James):

“No matter how much money you have, no matter how famous you are, no matter how many people admire you, being black in America is tough.”

If fame and fortune can’t protect a celebrity from discrimination, hate and crime, what’s in store for regular people of religious or racial minorities during the time when the worst elements of our society feel entitled to exercise their misguided “patriotism”?

For the record, hate crime isn’t patriotic. It is akin to ethnic cleansing (genocide!) and / or religious prosecution. Had the white supremacist “patriots” bothered to familiarize themselves with the American Constitution they would have known that both are illegal in the United States of America.

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Very tragic and very inspiring

★★★★★
5 5 1
There are angels among us. We are mourning the heroes. They'll be remembered. They belong in American history books. The coward who attacked teeneage girls is a pitiful excuse of a man, #NotAPatriot. The coward doesn't represent America.
Nov 102016
 

Anti-Trump Protests Across The Country

From the East to the West Coast Americans took to the streets to protest the outcome of the 2016 Presidential Election. Hashtags #NotMyPresident and #HeIsNotMyPresident took over Twitter.

Anti-Trump rallies were held in most States including California, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, Nebraska, Texas, Virginia, Oregon and in front of the White House. There were prayers as well as fear, anger, disappointment and outrage across the Land.

In cities with Trump buildings the protesters made a point of gathering in front of them. In other places, people gathered in front of local landmarks. In many areas, streets, highways and freeways were blocked by protesters. Students at colleges and universities nationwide were exercising their right to protest.

At one point, in Los Angeles there were so many protests taking place simultaneously, the LAPD didn’t have enough manpower to control them. Hundreds of people brought 101 freeway (between Downtown L.A. and Hollywood) to a halt last night. According to latest reports 28 people were arrested in anti-Trump rallies in Greater Los Angeles.

There were Trump piñatas, masks and puppets as well as burnings of the American flag. The prospect of #CalExit (cessation of California from the Federal government) was raised.

L.A. Mayor, Eric Garcetti said in a statement:

“One of our greatest privileges as Americans is the right to free expression. Last night, thousands of Angelenos came together publicly to make their feelings known.

I understand that the results of Tuesday’s election are painful for many of us, and this kind of engagement can be a meaningful part of the healing we need after such a long and divisive campaign. But walking and throwing objects onto freeways is dangerous for pedestrians and drivers — and it puts a heavy burden on people just trying make it home to their families or get to work safely.

I am proud that the demonstrations in Los Angeles have been mostly lawful and peaceful, and that our officers are working with demonstrators to keep people out of harm’s way. Protests can, should, and must proceed in that spirit — and I urge everyone to look out for their fellow Angelenos and put safety first.”

Several days after the Election and the first meeting between the First Family and the family of the President Elect the nation remains bitterly divided.

UPDATE: Anti-Trump protests continue in many States, including California. A large protest is scheduled for Saturday 11/12/16 in MacArthur Park in Los Angeles. (10,000 people are expected.)

There is nothing wrong with protesting. However the time for self-expression was the election. Continued protests, some involving vandalism of property (ours, not the President Elect’s!) and violence against police officers (our city’s, not Federal government’s!) are not only futile but senseless. No protest can change the outcome of Presidential Election.
Social activism, civic initiatives – both of which are peaceful – might moderate the impact of some federal policies on Los Angeles and California.

The time for expressing our preferences has ended once the polls closed. Now it’s time to get ready for a new era with President Trump at the steering wheel. We and the President Elect will have to make some compromises. It’s time to look for the positive and focus on values we can agree on. It’s time to move on.

 

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