Saturday, May 27, 2017

White Supremacist Terrorism in Portland

I hear the murders in Portland, Oregon, aren't getting a lot of attention, so despite having had a lovely day away from my computer, I feel as though I have to write something about them.

Basically, yesterday at 4:30 p.m. Pacific time on a light rail train, a 35-year-old white man was harassing a woman who was wearing hijab. Three other white men who didn't know each other stood up to him and told him to stop. The harasser then stabbed all three men, killing two of them and severely injuring the third.

As I understand it, the woman was not physically harmed, but I don't know how it all went down.

Tonight I learned this about the dead and injured men, and it made me cry. One was Daughter Number Three-Point-One's age, the other a veteran and father of four. The injured man is just 21.

Then I read this about the killer, Jeremy Christian, and it made me angry. It appears he was a hard-core white supremacist, well known as such, with a criminal history and lots of weapons charges along the way. Will he be seen as a terrorist? Probably not. Most people won't even hear about his crimes.

He's an anti-Semite but was a Bernie supporter. He's not a Trump supporter, but Trump has given him license to take his bile to a deadly level. His worldview is bizarre and clearly grounded in violence as the solution to everything. Yet he's just a more extreme version of the Minnesota woman who laid open the face of a hijab-wearing woman in an Applebee's restaurant because she was speaking a language other than English.

If you don't think this fits the definition of terrorism, think how it feels to women who wear hijab. Just because it isn't terrorism for everyone, doesn't mean it isn't terrorism.

The suppressing effect it may have on people being willing to stand up to defend Muslims or others being attacked or harassed is another obvious possibility. There's already way too much looking the other way happening. I hope this doesn't add to it.

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