The brutal violence that erupted on a Portland MAX streetcar on Friday, May 26th was a shocking reminder that the Alt Right is a movement centered on genocide, terrorism, and violent revolution. This may seem hyperbolic when applied to a largely Internet phenomenon built on the Chans and /Pol/, but they are the latest in a lineage of white nationalist organizations that, in their failure to build meaningful political movements, inspire the fringes to engage in some of the most disgusting bouts of mass violence imaginable. From the Brotherhood to Timothy McVeigh to the shootings at the Holocaust Memorial Museum and various Jewish community centers, this is the result of white nationalist politics, and the Alt Right is no different as we have seen in recent months.
In Portland, a man named Jeremy Christian was known for frequenting Alt Right affiliated “Free Speech” rallies, complete with an American flag cape and chain around the neck, engaged in one of the most shocking acts of public violence in recent memory. He was photographed Seig Heiling, yelling racial slurs and Alt Right jokes, and even shaking hands with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, all while focusing his hate on its primary focus: Muslims.
On Friday, Christian got on the train at rush hour and began accosting two women wearing Hijabs, telling them they were criminals and “didn’t pay taxes.” Three men got up to intervene and Christian stabbed all three, killing two with wounds to the throat and leaving one in the hospital. One of the men killed was a father an an Army veteran who was attempting to stand up against Islamophobia in one of the real-world situations that have become so prevalent in Trump’s America.
We are sharing the GoFundMe for the third victim, the 21-year-old Micha David-Cole Fletcher of Southeast Portland. While he was hospitalized for his stab wounds he is in stable condition and will survive, but still has a long recovery and a heap of hospital bills ahead of him. Hopefully, his bravery will be supported by a community that is coming together to say no to Islamophobia and the Alt Right.
This is the Alt Right’s fault, plain and simple. The blame for this rests on the shoulders of people like Mike Enoch, Richard Spencer, and Jared Taylor, who have stoked the flames of violent hatred until it exploded. This will unfortunately not be the last time that this type of brutality will surface, which is why it is critical to create community support/defense networks to keep us safe from attacks. The coming appearance of Kyle Chapman (Based Stickman) on June 4th in Portland is being counter-organized by a coalition of anti-fascists, and will only swell to massive proportions now that the consequences of Chapman’s ideas and model can be seen.
As fundraisers for the families of the two people who died in the attack become available, and in support of the women who were targeted, we will share those as well.