Please, no more martyrs


Two good men gave their lives in Portland to defend innocent women from a right-wing hate-monger.

Ricky John Best was a father of four and an army veteran. He ran for political office, saying, “I can’t stand by and do nothing”, something we should all be saying.

Taliesin Namkai-Meche was a college student. His last words as he was taken away by the medics were, “Tell everyone on this train I love them”.

The survivor of the attack, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, opposed prejudice against Muslims and said “I just hope that people are listening and try to do something about it.”

The women are horrified.

Republican party representatives, on the other hand, are looking at this situation and suggesting that maybe they ought to hire more white nationalist religious fanatics as security guards.

Multnomah County GOP chair James Buchal, however, told the Guardian that recent street protests had prompted Portland Republicans to consider alternatives to abandoning the public square.

I am sort of evolving to the point where I think that it is appropriate for Republicans to continue to go out there, he said. And if they need to have a security force protecting them, that’s an appropriate thing too.

Asked if this meant Republicans making their own security arrangements rather than relying on city or state police, Buchal said: Yeah. And there are these people arising, like the Oath Keepers and the Three Percenters.

Asked if he was considering such groups as security providers, Buchal said: Yeah. We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.

Hmm. Maybe if you don’t want to be thought of as like Nazis, you shouldn’t be identifying with murderous fascist kooks and suggesting that far right white nationalist groups and rabid anti-government militias like the Oath Keepers and Three Percenters are legitimate supporters of your political party.

But please, no more deaths of good people. Let’s destroy these goons at the ballot box.

Comments

  1. handsomemrtoad says

    The problem is:

    If we destroy these goons at the ballot box, then they will likely kill MORE martyrs.

  2. Siobhan says

    Well, I don’t know about Nazi, but I do think brown is an odd colour of shirt for your bodyguard.

  3. microraptor says

    cervantes @2:

    But the correlation between voting in white supremacist candidates at the ballot box and increased hate crimes against minorities is undeniable. If we throw the goons out of office, then the goons on the street won’t feel as empowered.

  4. starfleetdude says

    This seems odd give the following statement a few weeks ago from Buchal:

    “The bottom line is that Portland needs to choose between supporting terrorist thugs and protecting average citizens who want to participate in their community,” Buchal said. “The Multnomah County Republican Party is not composed of ‘Nazis’ and ‘white supremacists’ and those who think we would tolerate marching in a parade with folks carrying swastikas are delusional.”

    This was in conjunction with the cancellation of a Portland parade because of threats from the so-called antifa against the GOP:

    Portland rose parade canceled after ‘antifascists’ threaten GOP marchers

  5. komarov says

    “And if they need to have a security force protecting them, that’s an appropriate thing too.”

    I’d like to count this as a failure to ask the right questions in order to adress the actual root of a problem. Unfortunately I can’t. How do you even get from ‘Racists rightwinger attacks and kills people trying to intervene on behalf of someone he was harassing’ to ‘Republicans need protection in public’?

    Still, when you end up telling yourself that citizens – no matter who – need special protection in public you should ask yourself why this is. That’s the issue you should want to fix. But sure, if a warm recommendation for hobbyist gunslingers in a society that is already soaked in gun violence is the way Buchal wants to go, fine. As a practiced politician and responsible decisionmaker I’m sure he’s thought this through before even voicing such a notion.

  6. johnson catman says

    We’re thinking about that. Because there are now belligerent, unstable people who are convinced that Republicans are like Nazis.

    The republicans are the belligerent unstable people and they are Nazis.

  7. Siobhan says

    @komarov

    How do you even get from ‘Racists rightwinger attacks and kills people trying to intervene on behalf of someone he was harassing’ to ‘Republicans need protection in public’?

    Maybe they acknowledge on some level that they’re racist rightwingers?

  8. microraptor says

    cervantes @5:

    Have you looked at the statistics for hate crimes in the US in the last few years? There’s been a massive surge since Trump’s election. The last time we saw crimes against Muslims in particular hit this high was right after September 11th, 2001.

  9. says

    Actually it started before the election. In any case, that does not demonstrate that the rate will go down if Republicans are voted out.

  10. woozy says

    Multnomah County GOP chair James Buchal, however, told the Guardian that recent street protests had prompted Portland Republicans to consider alternatives to “abandoning the public square”.

    Well, the elicits a gigantic “huh” from me. What the fuck do the “recent street protests” have to do with a hate filled thug murdering two people on a train? … other than the hate filled diatribe was part of what the demonstrators were protesting.

  11. The Mellow Monkey says

    This has been a fascinating, albeit bizarre, little conversation thread to follow:

    microraptor @4

    But the correlation between voting in white supremacist candidates at the ballot box and increased hate crimes against minorities is undeniable.

    cervantes @5

    I’m afraid I don’t think the correlation is “undeniable”? You got any evidence?

    microraptor @11

    Have you looked at the statistics for hate crimes in the US in the last few years?

    cervantes @12

    In any case, that does not demonstrate that the rate will go down if Republicans are voted out.

    For clarification, a correlation is a measurement that indicates the degree that two or more variables fluctuate together. With the rise of public, vocal support of figures like Trump, we similarly see a rise in hate crimes. This does not indicate that the two are necessarily connected (it could be a coincidence) or that if they are connected what that connection is (the support of Trump and the rise in hate crimes could both be the result of another factor or multiple factors not considered here) or if the correlation will continue in the future or with the introduction of a new variable (such as bringing in new political figures), but there is indeed an observable fluctuation together and reports of bias-based harassment to the SPLC did spike following the election. Whether it’s a strong correlation or not may be argued; whether or not is a causative relationship may be argued; however, the existence of a correlation is an odd point to argue.

    But just as the complex web of factors involved in flinging Trump and other right wing authoritarians into power probably had an impact on the emboldening of bigots and fascists to act on their beliefs, the complex web of factors involved in vocally, publicly fighting back against this political climate will probably have an impact on emboldening those who oppose bigotry and fascism.

    So, yes: chase the fuckers out of office, while simultaneously opposing bigotry everywhere you can, fighting back as vociferously and loudly as possible, and supporting the marginalized and vulnerable. If we do all of those things, we might make a difference.

    But I guess it’s possible that having right wing authoritarians in power who will strip marginalized people of protections while pushing racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic, etc, etc, policies and spewing hate speech doesn’t actually have any effect on anything. I’d still rather do every single thing I can, everywhere I can, in hopes I can prevent at least one more terrible act.

  12. KG says

    A friend of mine argues that it’s a mistake to describe most of the far-right movements of recent years as “fascist”, because he regards the possession of organised gangs of street fighters as a necessary part of a fascist movement. (I’m inclined to disagree, seeing the absence of such organised formations as tactical rather than ideological, as the movements concerned still want to deny that they are fascist.) But he did note that the existence of “militias”, and such as the “Oath Keepers” places the American far right closer to classic fascism than most of the European movements – Golden Dawn in Greece and Jobbit in Hungary are exceptions, and are also the most open about their fascist pedigree. It sounds like Buchal wants to take the next step on that road.

  13. A. Noyd says

    Dear Oregon Republicans: Don’t cry about being called Nazis in the same breath you propose signing up some Brownshirts to protect you.

    ~*~*~*~*~

    Woozy (#13)

    Well, the elicits a gigantic “huh” from me. What the fuck do the “recent street protests” have to do with a hate filled thug murdering two people on a train?

    
There’s probably a link in their mind since rightwing propaganda sources are currently pushing the story that the Portland killer was a Bernie supporter and therefore his philosophy and actions can be pinned on the Left.

  14. ospalh says

    They want to convince people republicans aren’t like Nazis, and want to hire their own Security Squadron. Mmm-kay. Pro tip: Don’t call them “hall protection” either.

  15. Josef Sanders says

    I think this is an overeaction – nobody with the right mind would conclude that they are Nazis just because they have a paramilitary Security Section. Whats more, the older German party of the working people had a great success with such an organisation.

  16. Josef Sanders says

    (maybe there are fields in the cosmos that sync thoughts the same time …..?)

  17. says

    maybe they ought to hire more white nationalist religious fanatics as security guards.

    I hope their brown shirts are made in USA!

  18. says

    KG@#15:
    he regards the possession of organised gangs of street fighters as a necessary part of a fascist movement

    They’re called “cops”

  19. militantagnostic says

    cervantes

    Actually it started before the election. In any case, that does not demonstrate that the rate will go down if Republicans are voted out.

    I think testing that hypothesis would be a good thing to try.

  20. says

    AAAH, what the hell, WHAT THE HELL? I go to school in Portland. I *ride the commuter trains*. That could have been me! (assuming I’d have the courage to stand up to the guy)

    How does one defend one’s self against people like this? My first thought is to get my concealed carry permit, but could I even draw fast enough to do any good? Do I need to start wearing a stab vest?

  21. mnb0 says

    In a weird way I’m envious. These three heroes have send a powerful message: there are Americans willing to give their life to protect The Other. I’m very, very doubtful if any Dutchman (ie compatriot of mine) would. And muslimas have been harassed in The Netherlands for years now.

  22. says

    mndbo, I kind of get where you’re coming from on that. Everyone gets exactly one life and one death, but how many people get the chance to die a hero? They both died too young, but they died “with their boots on”, standing up for love and protecting the innocent.

    I can only hope that if, Freya forbid, I get the same opportunity that I can display the same courage.

  23. rayceeya says

    This happened in my fucking neighborhood. 20 (portland) blocks from my house. I use that train. I doubt I could have contained myself. Someone had to stand up and say “Stop”. I hope they put this prick away for life.

    Because, if they don’t he’s going to go to an Oregon prison, he’s going to find more like himself. Neo-Nazi tweakers, who are just going to soak him in even more hate. There’s no reforming a shit like this.

  24. KG says

    Marcus Ranum@21,

    Yes – that’s the very point I’ve made – that these parties could likely rely on police support for abolishing political pluralism if they gained political power.

  25. rietpluim says

    I second @microraptor.

    Correlation or causation, I don’t care. The right wing is gaining confidence and its ideas are gaining foothold among common people – seen the number of votes for assholes like Trump, Wilders and Le Pen.

    I’ve never considered the GOP a respectable party but boy, did they grow worse in the last decade.

    A large part of the the world is getting less and less safe for people not conforming to conservative standards. No doubt that this is a much more serious issue than the rise of Islamic terror. And it needs to stop.

    It’s up to us to expose the right wingers for who they are and show that their ideas are in no way acceptable.

    So yeah, vote those fuckers out of office. And punch one on the nose if you have to.

  26. komarov says

    Re: Siobhan (#9)

    Maybe they acknowledge on some level that they’re racist rightwingers?

    But that would still be completely backwards with respect to what actually hap… oooh, Republicans.

  27. Moggie says

    If any militia group does step up for GOP brownshirt duty, I don’t want to ever again hear about how the second amendment is for protecting citizens from government gone bad.

  28. antigone10 says

    @Eric

    This is still something incredibly unlikely to happen. A carry and conceal permit will not make you safer. It takes years of dedicated, disciplined training to get good as a marksman who can recognize and respond safely to a threat situation, and even that is not a reliable way to be safe in an unexpected situation. Stab resistant (no such thing as stab proof) vests would make you marginally safer, but I think you’ll find them to be uncomfortable.

    It is frightening when something happens that is not personally controllable. When I-94 collapsed here in Minneapolis a few years ago, all I could think was “My best friend was supposed to be on the bridge right then, but was through totally random chance picking up a friend”. I drive on that bridge every day to work. And that was a design flaw- a mistake, an accident. But I drive over hundreds of bridges every day. I rely on thousands of millions of things out of trust of my fellow citizens and fellow humans from big things to small. And I trust that there are more people who care than who hurt. 3 people cared more than 1 person didn’t. Trust your neighbors. And trust yourself.

  29. rietpluim says

    3 people cared more than 1 person didn’t

    That was very insightful.
    Thank you.

  30. lee101 says

    My teenage daughter has informed me she is seriously considering joining the military. Her reason is more a mental image than a well thought out conclusion: She sees an image of herself throwing herself on a grenade, or stepping into the line of fire, to save someone’s life. While I hope she thinks this out more carefully, and looks at other options, I completely respect her motives. She wants a meaningful life. She wants to die her way, protecting others.

    When I read about the incident in Portland, I had a similar mental image. I hope that if the time comes, I will be able to die such a death. With ruthless, narcissistic evil at the helm and at every level of government in our nation, there *will* be blood. There will be atrocities and carnage, but there will also be heroism, and people who believe that laying down one’s life for a friend or stranger is the best way of all to die. Hopefully there will be those among the hoards of people currently living in ignorance of the evil around them who will see this sacrifice and change their minds. Perhaps nothing short of that will suffice.

    But regardless, giving one’s life for others is a good way to die.

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