Dan Rather Pens An Open Letter To Donald Trump Asking Him To Recognize Portland's Heroes

"I wish we would hear you say these names, or even just tweet them."

On Friday, two men were fatally stabbed and a third wounded on a commuter train in Portland, Oregon. According to police, the attacker had been shouting anti-Muslim insults at two women, one of whom was wearing a hijab, and the victims attempted to intervene.

The public is hailing these victims as heroes, but there's one person who hasn't made mention of the attack — President Donald Trump. No official White House statement has been released, nor has Trump tweeted about the incident. 

Journalist Dan Rather would like that to change. On Sunday, he posted an open letter to President Trump on his Facebook account, asking him to recognize the victims. "Their names were Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche and Ricky John Best. One was a recent college graduate. The other was an army veteran and father of four," Rather wrote of the men who were killed, later adding, "A third brave man, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, was wounded in the knife attack."

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"I wish we would hear you say these names, or even just tweet them," Rather wrote to Trump. "They were brave Americans who died at the hands of someone who, when all the facts are collected, we may have every right to call a terrorist."

Rather went on to suggest that Trump's silence is due to the nature of the attack, and its contrast to campaign rhetoric that focused on crimes committed by undocumented immigrants and "radical Islamic terrorists." Anti-Muslim hate crimes are reported to be on the rise, and Rather suggests that Trump himself has had an influence.

"This 'extremism' may be of a different type than gets most of your attention, or even the attention in the press. But that doesn't make it any less serious, or deadly," Rather wrote. "And this kind of 'extremism' is on the rise, especially in the wake of your political ascendency. Most people who study these sorts of things do not think that is a coincidence. I do not blame you directly for this incident. Nor do I think other people should. But what a President says, who he has around him, and the tone he sets can set the tone for the nation at large."

"Two Americans have died leaving family and friends behind. They are mourned by millions more who are also deeply worried about what might come next," Rather wrote in closing. "I hope you can find it worthy of your time to take notice."

Plenty of other people seem to agree, as the letter has been shared more than 100,000 times. You can read it in full in the Facebook post above.

Cover image via Instagram / Facebook

(H/T: BuzzFeed)

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