Hate in Donald Trump’s United States isn’t letting up, and the past week is proof.
On Friday, the eve of Ramadan, two men were murdered and another severely injured following an altercation with a white supremacist in Portland, Oregon. North Portland resident Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, allegedly screamed Islamophobic and racist slurs at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a hijab, while riding a commuter train. When Taliesin Namkai-Meche, 23, Ricky John Best, 53, and Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, intervened, Christian attacked them with a knife — killing Best and Namkai-Meche in the process.
The incident was widely covered, but it’s only the latest in a series of reported hate crimes over the course of the past two weeks.
On Saturday, Anthony Robert Hammond, a 34-year-old white man, was arrested after violently stabbing an African American man with a machete in Clearlake, California. According to Hammond’s victim, whose identity has not been released, his attacker screamed racial slurs before going into an apartment building and returning with the weapon — at which point, the victim says, Hammond began to strike him. Police summoned to the scene faced a stand-off with Hammond, who surrendered only after several hours. While en route to Lake County Jail, Hammond also reportedly threatened to kill the transporting officer along with his family.
According to Lake County News, Hammond is now in jail with a $1 million bail and facing felony charges for aggravated mayhem, battery with serious bodily injury, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting an executive officer, and a hate crime, in addition to two outside agency felony arrest warrants — two misdemeanor charges of battery on a person and obstructing or resisting an officer.
Two Native American men in Washington were also reportedly targeted on Saturday. According to Native News Online, two members of the Quinault Tribe were attacked while celebrating a birthday party at a campground in Taholah. Witnesses told the publication that Jimmy Kramer, 20, and Harvey Anderson, 19, were violently hit on Saturday morning by a man driving a truck. Kramer died of his injuries while at the hospital, while Anderson is reportedly suffering from serious injuries.
A statement from the Quinault Indian Nation (QIN) described the attacker as a white man in his mid-30s who reportedly screamed “racial slurs” and “war whoops” before turning his large car on the two men and striking them with it. An undersheriff contradicted the statement to the Associated Press, maintaining that none of the witnesses interviewed mentioned slurs; a search for the driver remains ongoing.
Fawn Sharp, president of QIN, said that while not much is known about the attack, the tribe is concerned and devastated.
“Once the suspects are identified, Quinault will prepare a motion to permanently exclude the individuals from ever entering the exterior boundaries of the Quinault Reservation,” she told Native News Online. “Our entire Tribe is distraught over this incident. We work hard to be good friends with our neighboring communities. If it is, in fact, determined that this was a hate crime it will add even more distress and sadness to our loss of this outstanding young man and the injury of the other.”
Both attacks came just one week after the fatal stabbing of an African American student. On May 20, Richard W. Collins II, a 23-year-old student at Bowie State University, was murdered by a white man on the University of Maryland’s College Park campus. While police have said it is too early to draw conclusions, Collins’ suspected killer belonged to an “Alt-Reich: Nation” Facebook group, where a number of racist and anti-Semitic postings have been reported. University of Maryland Police Chief David Mitchell also noted that the attack has been closely monitored by students of color on campus.
“If I’m a person of color, I would certainly look at this as something that could happen to me. In fact, I know on Facebook our students are saying that,” Mitchell said following the killing.
The reported Portland attacker shared similar extremist views on social media. A closer inspection of Christian’s Facebook page later revealed a history of extremism and white supremacist sympathies. In April, he attended an “alt-right” free speech rally, where he was filmed giving a Nazi salute and saying “Die Muslims!” (Editor’s note: ThinkProgress does not use the term alt-right, which is used to describe modern white nationalism and white supremacy.) In another post he ranted, “If Donald Trump is the Next Hitler then I am joining his SS to put an end to Monotheist Question. All Zionist Jews, All Christians who do not follow Christ’s teaching of Love, Charity, and Forgiveness And All Jihadi Muslims are going to Madagascar or the Ovens/FEMA Camps!!! Does this make me a fascist!!!”
ThinkProgress has documented the explosion of hate crimes in the United States following Trump’s election. According to our findings, people of color, queer people, immigrants, and religious minorities have been the main targets of the violence and vitriol. The violence over the past two weeks speaks to this pattern — Muslims (and those perceived to be Muslim) have been repeatedly singled out by those who identify with the language of white supremacy and white nationalism, as have African Americans. In what the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) calls the “Trump effect,” many of those perpetuating the violence are inspired by Trump’s rhetoric — a phenomenon that, if recent tragedies are any indicator, is becoming more frequent.