The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

‘In the face of hate he did not hesitate to act with love’: A grieving mother’s letter to Trump

Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche (Vajra Alaya-Maitreya)
Placeholder while article actions load

Last Friday, two men were stabbed to death and one seriously injured on a light-rail train in Portland, Ore., after they tried to intervene when another passenger began “ranting and raving” and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women, police said.

On Monday, the grieving mother of 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, one of the two slain victims from the attack, penned a letter to President Trump asking him to formally condemn the incident as an act of violence resulting from hate speech and hate groups.

Though Trump did acknowledge the attacks in Portland in a tweet Monday, a family representative told The Washington Post that they were dismayed it took the president so long to speak out — and that the message came from Trump’s lesser-followed @POTUS account rather than @realDonaldTrump.

Below is the letter Asha Deliverance, Namkai Meche’s mother, wrote to the president, along with The Post’s annotations. To see an annotation, click on the yellow, highlighted text.

May 29, 2017

Memorial Day

Dear President Trump,

I’m writing to you today, Memorial Day, to share my heart after losing my son.

Taliesin died a hero, like many other Americans who have died defending freedom. He was just 23, a year out of college with a degree in economics, working, had just bought his first home and was thinking about starting a family. Our family grieves, but we are proud that through his selfless action he, along with the other two men, has changed the world, when in the face of hate he did not hesitate to act with love.

Two precious lives were lost this Memorial Day weekend in Portland and one more, nearly so. All three were strangers to each other, and to those they were defending. They fearlessly risked their lives for two young women who were threatened by an act of bigotry & terror. 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.

You have said that you will be President for all Americans. So, I ask you Mr. President to take action at this time. Your words and actions are meaningful, here in America and throughout the world.

Please encourage all Americans to protect and watch out for one another. Please condemn any acts of violence, which result directly from hate speech & hate groups. I am praying you will use your leadership to do so.

It would deeply honor Taliesin’s sacrifice, which has been amplified by the millions of voices who have supported our family in response to this tragedy.

With Peace In My Heart,

Asha Deliverance

Portland passenger who was harassed before attack: 'He told us to get out of his country' (Video: Reuters)

Read more:

‘Brave and selfless’ Oregon stabbing victims hailed as heroes for standing up to racist rants

Man accused of stabbing 2 on Portland train posted white supremacist views on Facebook

A neo-Nazi converted to Islam and killed 2 roommates for ‘disrespecting’ his faith, police say