The Rev. Jesse Jackson on Friday called for a massive multiracial, multicutural demonstration in the Pacific Northwest to help Portland heal from the deadly MAX train attack and urged people to “turn this minus into a plus and not allow violence to be the brand of Portland.”
A week after race-fueled stabbings caused the deaths of two men and serious injuries to a third, Jackson stood inside Northeast Portland’s Augustana Lutheran Church with Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith and head pastor, the Rev. Mark Knutson, to denounce the attack.
The men stabbed while intervening on behalf of two teenage girls deserve a statue for their actions, Jackson said. He called them the “real definition of Portland” and said that the girls who were the subject of another train passenger’s tirade shouldn’t feel any guilt. One of the girls was wearing a hijab.
“This is a great city with such great people and we must not surrender the hope that’s here,” Jackson said. “But silence would be betrayal, some people must express themselves. We must not be silent as if all hope is lost.”
The Oregonian/OregonLive Editorial Board will host Rev. Jesse Jackson at 2 p.m. today to discuss how Portland can heal after the race-fueled stabbings on MAX last week. Tune in at Facebook.com/TheOregonian.
Jackson’s speech at the church kicked off a day in Portland with a schedule that included a breakfast with Portland-area faith leaders, a meeting with Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and a banquet to honor county officials from across the country before catching a red-eye flight back to Chicago. He was attending a conference of the National Organization of Black County Officials.
Jackson arrived at the church with Smith around 7:45 a.m. in a small motorcade of two Chevy Suburbans and a Chevy Caprice and greeted people with handshakes, hugs and smiles as he made his way inside.
He said he hopes President Donald Trump reaches out to the families of all the victims and considers hosting them at the White House, saying it would be a good gesture to help in the healing process.
The attack in Portland could have happened anywhere, Jackson said, and it’s up to everyone to work together to promote love, peace and co-existence.
“None of us are safe and secure until all of us are safe and secure,” he said.
— Everton Bailey Jr.
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