May 31, 2017

Tuesday night, Chris Hayes paid tribute to the two men who lost their lives defending two teens' right to be women of color, ride the train, and identify as Muslim from a White supremacist harassing them on the train.

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best were polar opposites, politically, but both of them died defending their common belief that all men (and women) are created equal, and that this country allows them to worship as they choose.

Chris Hayes' tribute highlights how it is that two men with little in common, at least at first blush, became heroes and martyrs, forever linked together by their common values and beliefs.

He said it better than I can, so I'll just leave the video and the transcript here.

The only survivor in a horrific attack by a white supremacist in Portland, Oregon, is out of the hospital tonight. 21-year-old Micah Fletcher is now back home recovering after he was stabbed in the neck. His alleged assailant, 35-year-old Jeremy Christian, was arraigned on murder charges today.

Christian is a self-avowed white nationalist who posted hateful sentiments on his Facebook page and attended a free speech march in Portland last month, where he was seen giving Nazi salutes and shouting, "Die Muslims."

On Friday night, according to witnesses, Christian boarded a light rail train in Portland and began yelling slurs at two young women, one of whom was black, the other wearing a hijab.

Micah Fletcher and two other men intervened and Christian stabbed all three of them in the neck.

53-year-old Rick John Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche lost their lives.

Rick John Best was a veteran serving 23 years in the Army. He ran for County Commissioner in 2014 as a Republican and worked for the city of Portland. He was on his way home Friday night to his wife and four children when he was murdered.

One of Portland's City Commissioners said as a veteran, he served our country with honor and distinction. He stood up for two young women and others he didn't know because he wanted to help.

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche was a 2016 graduate of Reed College in Portland, where he majored in economics.

His mother posted a letter to President Trump on her Facebook page saying, "These brave men saw the immediate injustice and didn't hesitate to act. They recognized the truth. We are more alike than we are different. To ride the train home without being assaulted because of the color of your skin or your religious beliefs is an inalienable right."

At a time when this country feels more polarized than ever in recent memory at least, the victims of this unspeakably heinous attack, one a Republican veteran, the other a graduate of one of the leftyist colleges in the country, together in this moment acted with bravery and decency in a way that transcends whatever political differences they might have had, had they ever had the chance to talk about them.

And in the midst of this horror, they, these men, are martyrs for a shining vision of our shared country that can make us all proud. May they rest in peace.

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