White Supremacist Jeremy Christian of North Portland brutally killed two people in cold blood on a passenger train yesterday. The first question of no surprise to many was “Is Christian mentally ill?” The second question is, why is that the question? Jeremy Christian is facing two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, two counts of intimidation and felon in possession of a restricted weapon. Hate crimes charges are anticipated as well.
The 35-year-old White terrorist–ironically with the last name of “Christian” was disruptive and unruly onboard a Metropolitan Area Express (MAX) light rail train, harassing and shouting at passengers. He turned his attention on two young women, one who was wearing a hijab.
As he focused on the two teenagers, three concerned citizens approached him in an attempt to get him to calm down. Instead of leaving them alone, he slashed the throats of the passengers who tried to help. One passenger died on the train, another was pronounced dead at the hospital, and a third is expected to survive. Per Heavy, the victims killed have been identified as Ricky John Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche. The third surviving victim is Micha David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland.
— Jaber Nyrabeah (@JaberNyrabeah) May 27, 2017
A Portland police spokesman said that Christian was “yelling a gamut of anti-Muslim and anti-everything slurs,” in what “would best be characterized as hate speech toward a variety of ethnicities and religions,”
Police responded to 911 calls and peacefully arrested the threat to society. This graphic and disturbing video shows he was covered in blood and clearly without remorse.
The United States is under the leadership of a president that wishes to resurrect “Law and order” and who appointed various leaders to help him, such as Jeff Sessions and Sheriff David Clarke. While Americans fear and deport undocumented immigrants and the country institutes a botched Muslim Ban, again the question remains: Who are the real terrorists?
This terrorist attack comes off of the heels of the random murder of Richard Collins III, who was poised to graduate from Bowie State University, and who was just commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Army. The University of Maryland police sought the FBI’s help after learning the ROTC student’s killer is a member of a Facebook group called Alt-Reich Nation. As such, it begs the question, who is the real threat?
Take a quick visit to Jeremy Christian’s Facebook page and one can clearly see that his hate for others was not a secret. As such, it would seem that he is a person who should be on a watch list. Or perhaps his repeated arrests would be a trigger? Is the goal to protect the Civil Rights of all people? Or just citizens that the Administration values?
In a report, the ADL analyzed 150 terrorist acts in the United States that were committed, attempted or plotted by right-wing extremists. “More than 800 people were killed or injured in these attacks,” the ADL said, noting that the attacks “surged during the mid-to-late 1990s and again starting in 2009” — the beginning of Barack Obama’s presidency.
And, reported the ADL, the hate and terror mongers choose their marks carefully: Jews, Muslims and — the most common racial target — African Americans.
The final question on many minds is whether or not those who are not deemed “terrorists” due to their ethnicity or religion should receive initial focus on their mental state. Which unfairly stereotypes those with mental illness as potential killers.
By the way this presumption unfairly stains those with mental illness as well as people of Muslim faith. https://t.co/eks2wGjsto
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 27, 2017
The presumption that the attacker is mentally ill and not “radicalized” is strictly based on religion and race, btw. https://t.co/onKJtOAog1
— Joy Reid (@JoyAnnReid) May 27, 2017
The FBI defines a hate crime as a “criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.” Per the website, “Hate itself is not a crime—and the FBI is mindful of protecting freedom of speech and other civil liberties.”