By now, you’ve all heard about the domestic terrorist attack that took the lives of two amazing Portland men (heroes, to be exact) who were stabbed to death by a white supremacist piece of shit, when they intervened to protect two young, Muslim girls from his targeted, racist tirades.
They stepped in to protect these young women and to publicly stand up against racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. They knew they were putting themselves in harm’s way, and they made the ultimate sacrifice. The Portland community, along with the rest of the world, is devastated and mourning.
And believe me, it feels like there isn’t even a glimmer of anything to be found here beyond fury and disgust and outrage. Like, maybe we should just lock up all of our precious children inside the walls of our loving, safe homes and never let them leave, so they don’t have to be exposed to the hate and intolerance in this cruel world.
Alas, that is not a feasible solution. We can’t let the garbage people of the world, like the deranged beast who stabbed these innocent men, dictate our lives. They can’t win.
We have to raise our babies to do better, to be better, to rise above, and to call it out. I know it’s scary — believe me, I know it’s the scariest thing a parent can ever imagine in light of tragic news like this — but our babies will grow up and leave our nests, and the world desperately needs them to be kind, accepting, loving human beings.
And who better to take advice from than Asha Deliverance, the mother of Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, one of the victims of the MAX train attack. One of the heroes. One of the helpers.
At his vigil, she spoke to the crowd, and shared these words:
“Love is what it’s about,” said Meche’s mother, Asha Deliverance. “We taught him to love everyone and that’s what we should be doing and that’s what we all should be doing and that’s why we are all here, so give it up for love.”
Let that sink in.
It’s a gut punch.
A shock to the heart, that you can physically feel all the way to your bones, when you realize a grieving, devastated mother is telling you that we should not shrink back in fear, but instead teach our kids to “love everyone.”
Let’s heed her advice.
Because if we teach our kids to love everyone, then they will go out into the world and spread that love. They will advocate for those less fortunate. They will extend kindness before judgment. They will defend vulnerable people. They will stand up against hate. They will make this world a better place.
Taliesin was a true testament to these ideals. He took the lessons he learned at home, and he shared them with the world. He was a treasure. His last words, to the kind Samaritan who was holding and comforting him while they waited for help?
“He said, ‘Tell them, I want everybody to know, I want everybody on the train to know, I love them,'” Rachel Macy said.
We love you, too, Taliesin.
Micah David-Cole Fletcher, a young Portland man, was also critically injured in the Portland attack while heroically standing up against hate. I’m happy to report that he is recovering well.