Portland MAX update
Various sources, including Willamette Week, The Portland Mercury, The Washington Post, and The Oregonian, continue to report on the May 26th incident on Portland’s MAX. Not only were two men killed, but a third ended up in the hospital, all while defending young women from racist slurs and possible death themselves.
Now, fundraising continues to pour in for the families of the stabbing victims, reaching over $1 million according to David Emery of Snopes.com.
Notably, a good portion of this is from Muslims who have developed fundraising accounts, with projects like LaunchGood being used to raise over $500,000 within 5 hours, according to Niamh McIntyre, a writer for Independent (UK News Source).
Destinee Mangum (17), one of the women targeted, tearfully stated on KPTV, “I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me, because they didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look.”
Neither of the girls could have anticipated that a simple ride on public transport would turn into such a harrowing experience, nor could Portland citizens, who are now showing their love and support for the bravery of these men with GoFundMe Accounts.
For the family of Rick Best (53), which includes his wife Myhanh Duong Best, and their children, Erik (19), Isaac (17), David (15) and Tramanh (12), scholarships are being set up to get them all through school and college. Rebecca Esau of the Portland Bureau of Development Services started that fundraiser through GoFundMe, which can be found here.
As for Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche (23), his last words were “Tell everyone on this train I love them.”
His family released the following statement, as reported via the OregonLive website by contributors Allan Brettman, Fedor Zarkhin, Eder Campuzano and Elliot Njus:
“Taliesin Myrddin lived a joyous and full life. His enthusiasm was infectious. We lost him in a senseless act that brought close to home the insidious rift of prejudice and intolerance that is too familiar, too common. He was resolute in his conduct (and) respect of all people. In his final act of bravery, he held true to what he believed is the way forward. He will live in our hearts forever as the just, brave, loving, hilarious and beautiful soul he was. We ask that in honor of his memory, we use this tragedy as an opportunity for reflection and change. We choose love. Safe journey Taliesin. We love you.”
To assist in raising money for Meche, and the other victims of May’s fatal incident, go to Nick Zubin’s fundraiser at this link.
While there is much beyond the control of American citizens nowadays, our generosity and courage is very much in demand, and these are relatively easy avenues through which we can uplift those who have proven that decency is not lost.
Megan Wallin is a young writer with a background in the social sciences and an interest in seeking the extraordinary in the mundane. A Seattle native, she finds complaining about the constant drizzle and overabundance of Starbucks coffee therapeutic. With varied work experiences as a residential counselor, preprimary educator, musician, writing tutor and college newspaper reporter/editor, Megan is thrilled to offer a unique perspective through writing, research and open dialogue.