In the wake of the May 26 MAX killings, Mayor Ted Wheeler asked the federal government to revoke permits for a June 4 "free speech" rally. The feds said no. Meanwhile, local and national publications have tried to piece together how exactly Jeremy Christian turned into a white supremacist and alleged killer ("Who Radicalized Jeremy Christian?" WW, May 31, 2017). Here's a sampling of the responses.
"Baneblade" on wweek.com: "Once again, we see the Left showing just how much respect it has for Freedom of Speech, which is to say none at all. Wheeler is such a hypocrite."
"Incogneato" on wweek.com: "'Free speech' has never meant anything to these bulletheads except their right to harass people. That's what it meant to Christian and that's what it means to the rest of these alt-right scum."
Editorial board, in The Washington Post: "Mr. Wheeler's concern for the raw feelings of his community is understandable, but he is completely off-base in trying to block the planned rallies and dangerously wrong in his reading of the U.S. Constitution. Speech, no matter how vile or distasteful, is protected in the United States."
Portland activist Gregory McKelvey, on Medium: "It seems obvious that if it were an ISIS-influenced individual to have performed a double execution-style murder in the heart of Portland, ISIS and their other extremist friends would not be granted permission to hold a troll rally in the heart of the city a few days later."
Jim Graham, via Facebook: "The desperation of the media to tie every lunatic to Donald Trump is getting old. Trump is merely a pendulum swing in the opposite direction from the momentum created by President Obama."
Patrick Blanchfield, on The Baffler: "The right wants to distance itself from the Portland attacks, since it has looked the other way at extrajudicial violence against minorities and Muslims in particular."
Michael Harriot, on The Root: "[Jeremy] Christian, like many of his ilk, has constructed an insane line of reasoning in his brain that makes him believe that an uneducated, homeless felon drinking Kool-Aid and tequila on public transportation is a superior human being simply because he is white."
Jamelle Bouie, on Slate: "All of this takes place against a backdrop of political intolerance. Donald Trump ran for president on a platform of ethno-nationalism, offering interested white voters a chance to express and vote their resentments against Hispanic immigrants, Muslim Americans, and groups like Black Lives Matter. His campaign brought explicitly racist groups, individuals, and institutions into the mainstream."
Scott Johnson, letter to WW: "Jeremy Joseph Christian wants to be a celebrity criminal, a martyr for his sick delusional cause. Our media should not accommodate him. Do not disseminate his name. Let him be the anonymous loser that he is."
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