Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather has penned a powerful open letter to President Donald Trump, urging him to address the brutal Portland stabbings and acknowledge the heroic victims who were murdered not by undocumented immigrants, refugees or “radical Islamists,” but allegedly by a deranged white nationalist hurling anti-Muslim abuse at innocent commuters.
Trump returned to the country after attending the G7 summit in Italy as part of his first big foreign trip since assuming the office and seems to have quickly fallen back into his old routine: posting aggressive and mostly unrelated rants on Twitter.
Since coming back, the commander-in-chief has found time to tweet about a dozen things — including tax reform, health care, Manchester leaks, the Montana congressional election, and of course, the “fake news” media that is out to get him.
While he relentlessly fumed about the anonymous “sources” in news stories, Trump failed to mention the massive tragedy that left the entire country heartbroken.
Over the weekend, 35-year-old white supremacist Jeremy Christian allegedly stabbed two men to death and severely injured the third, all because they stood up against his hate-filled tirade against two teenage girls who appeared to be Muslim.
The horror unfolded on board a MAX light-rail train and left the nation mourning for the brave souls who gave up their lives fighting bigotry and Islamophobia.
Those men were American heroes, but the president of America has yet to say a single word about them or the appalling attack.
“Their names were Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best. One was a recent college graduate. The other was an army veteran and father of four,” Rather began. “I wish we would hear you say these names, or even just tweet them. They were brave Americans who died at the hands of someone who, when all the facts are collected, we may have every right to call a terrorist. A third brave man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was wounded in the knife attack.”
In his open letter, which has since gone viral, Rather made sure the president knew how the victims chose to face the assailant rather than watch the scene unfold.
“This story may not neatly fit into a narrative you pushed on the campaign trail and that has followed you into the White House. They were not killed by an undocumented immigrant or a ‘radical Islamic terrorist,’” he continued. “They were killed in an act of civic love, facing down a man allegedly spewing hate speech directed at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab. That man seems to have a public record of 'extremist ideology' — a term issued by the Portland Police Bureau.”
The veteran reporter also mentioned Trump’s penchant for throwing around words like “extremism.”
“This ‘extremism’ may be of a different type than gets most of your attention, or even the attention in the press. But that doesn't make it any less serious, or deadly. And this kind of ‘extremism’ is on the rise, especially in the wake of your political ascendency,” the letter read. “Most people who study these sorts of things do not think that is a coincidence. I do not blame you directly for this incident. Nor do I think other people should. But what a president says, who he has around him and the tone he sets can set the tone for the nation at large.
“Perhaps Portland, Oregon, is off your radar. It is, after all, a rather liberal place. It's even a ‘sanctuary city.’ But it is still an American city. And you are its president. Two Americans have died leaving family and friends behind. They are mourned by millions more who are also deeply worried about what might come next. I hope you can find it worthy of your time to take notice.”
Hate crimes against Muslims hit an all-time high after Trump won the presidential election, and thanks to his inflammatory rhetoric and reluctance to address tragedies brought upon by white supremacists and domestic terrorists, the wave of Islamophobia only seems to get stronger.
It might be a bit too much to hope, but maybe Rather’s heartfelt words would implore the president to acknowledge the atrocity.
thank you dan rather - and all who served— ROSIE (@Rosie) May 28, 2017
god bless america
may we survive this horror of trump https://t.co/ytOYHsa997
Dan Rather again with the perfect words. ?? https://t.co/hRFnzg39tQ— Emily Schaffhausen (@silly_emily3) May 29, 2017
Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters