The man who survived a brutal triple-stabbing last week on a Portland MAX train today posted a video on Facebook asking Portlanders to re-direct their generosity toward the two teenagers of color who were initially targeted in an anti-Muslim rant.
Micah Fletcher, a 21-year-old poet, was released from the hospital on Monday, three days after the stabbing. This morning, he posted a Facebook video thanking people for their financial support but saying the focus on donations and attention should be on the teenagers he was trying to protect.
The teenagers, one of whom was wearing a hijab, drew a bilious anti-Muslim rant from Jeremy Joseph Christian, according to multiple witnesses and a court affidavit.
"Yes, two men died," Fletcher says. "Yes, I was injured. Yes, yes of course we need to support all three of us. But we need to remember this is about those little girls.
"There is a fundraiser in their name, I'm going to link it in the description below," he continued. "I need you, if you really want to support me, to like this to share it or whatever and spread this like wildfire. Because these people need to be reminded that this is about them, that they are the real victims here as well."
Fletcher described Portland as having a "white savior complex" that kept attention on the three men who intervened, and not on the teenage girls.
One of the teenagers, 16-year-old Destinee Mangum, has publicly issued thanks to Fletcher and the two men killed for coming to her aid. "They lost their lives because of me and my friend, and the way we looked," she said. "I just want to say thank you to them and their family, and that I appreciate them. Without them, we probably would be dead right now."
Fletcher's new video was reported by multiple outlets earlier today.
It comes in the context of heated online infighting about the priorities of crowdfunding campaigns in the wake of the May 26 slayings.
Social and racial justice activists have argued that not enough money and attention was going to the two teenagers initially targeted by Jeremy Joseph Christian, the white supremacist suspected in the attacks.
Portlanders have donated more than $1.2 million to campaigns to aid the families of the two men killed, pay Fletcher's medical costs, and pay for counseling and alternate forms of transportation for the teenage girls. About $51,000 of those proceeds are specifically dedicated to the teenagers.
Fletcher says that's skewed.
"I think it's immensely, immensely morally wrong and irresponsible how much money we have gotten," he says, "as opposed to how much support, money, love, kindness that has been given to that little girl."
Here is the full text of Fletcher's video.
Good morning, everybody. This is Micah, of course. It’s funny, as a poet you would think I would have the words, right, it’s kind of my job and it’s not something I’ve ever really had a problem with. But for once, I don’t. I’m going to make it brief because this video, much like really in my opinion this entire event, isn’t about me. I’d like to thank all of the people who have supported me, donated to any fundraiser attributed to me and to the other two victims who lost their lives. Thank you, sincerely from the bottom of my heart. I am not good at accepting help or gifts, it is something I am trying to learn to do. And I, I couldn’t craft a statue out of the right clay from the earth to reflect the true gratitude shining inside of myself. So thank you. So look, there is a problem when it comes down to this. We are forgetting what is, in my opinion, the most important part of this entire series of events. Now anybody who knows me, I am a firm supporter of youth. Our children need as much help as humanly possible. I got an immense outpouring of support from various different mentors and things as a child, and because of that it stopped me from going down a very, very dark and dangerous road. The little girl who had the misfortune that day to experience what happened on that MAX, her life is never going to be the same. I want you to imagine that for a second, being the little girl on that MAX. This man is screaming at you, his face is a pile of knives, his body is a gun, everything about him is cocked, loaded and ready to kill you. There’s a history here with this. You can feel that this has happened before and the only thing that was different was the names and faces. And then a stranger, two strangers, three strangers come to your aid. They try to help you, and that pile of knives just throws itself at them, kills them. I’m probably not remembering correctly but I’m pretty sure my blood got on at minimum one of the so, so brave young girls that experienced that and still find ways to wake up the morning with smiles on their faces and trudge through the day and make their parents proud. And we need to remember that this is about them. Yes, two men died. Yes, I was injured. Yes, yes of course we need to support all three of us. I mean, I personally, I’m fine. And I, I can’t really say that but those two gentlemen, their families, there is no amount of money that will ever bring back the lost loved ones. And anything you can donate, your time, your energy, your money, food, whatever it doesn’t matter. Anything you can give to them you should. But we need to remember this is about those little girls. There is a fundraiser in their name, I’m going to link it in the description below. I need you, if you really want to support me, to like this to share it or whatever and spread this like wildfire. Because these people need to be reminded that this is about them, that they are the real victims here as well. We in Portland have this weird tendency to continue patterns that we’ve done forever, and one of them is this, just to put it bluntly: white savior complex. And so then, there’s a lot that could be said on that point and I’m not going to edit this because I have no interest in being dishonest but suffice to say I think it’s immensely, immensely morally wrong and irresponsible how much money we have gotten as opposed to how much support, money, love, kindness that has been given to that little girl. And I’m not saying blow up the mother’s phone and her emails and her mailbox. That family needs time. They need privacy. They need to breathe. Again I’m going to link to the fundraiser I do know of of theirs below. Please like this video, share this video, share that link, donate to that link, donate as much as you can to that link. Maybe make a status about the thoughts and prayers you have for them. Just remember that they got hurt too, and that when it comes down it when a kid’s hurt like that we as a society, as a world—as a world—have a moral obligation to do something about it and to help. Thank you.