It was in a place of mourning that we Portlanders learned an all-star lineup of the worst White America has to offer would soon decamp in our mild-mannered city. The new knowledge promised to transform the pain into something more useful. But what? All anyone knew is that the need for remedy was strong.
Roughly 1,000 of us, more brown and foreign-born than normal for this town, were expressing our collective sorrow, candles in our hands and hurt in our eyes, on the green, grand yard outside Hollywood Station on Saturday, May 27. We mostly stood a strong stone’s throw from where a worst-case scenario white male, Jeremy Joseph Christian, had stabbed three differently iconic American white males the day before. Christian killed a 53-year-old veteran, Ricky Best, and a crunchy Ashland scholar, Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23; he also severely wounded 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher. All of this for the crime of defending two young, nonwhite women — including one who wore a hijab — from Christian’s torrent of hate. They defended their fellow Oregonians on the car of a Tri-Met light rail train.