An excellent editorial from USA Today. Click through and read the whole thing.
Heroism is instinctive, an action taken in a split second of crisis to save a life, defend deeply held values, or simply to stand up for what’s right.
Such heroism was on display last week in Portland, Ore., when the loud, ugly voice of hate drew three men to intervene as Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, ranted and verbally abused two teenage girls, one of them wearing a Muslim head scarf. The three men tried to calm the situation on the light-rail commuter train while Christian spewed his bile about blacks and Muslims.
Tragically, Christian lashed out at the women’s defenders with a knife, killing two of them with horrific precision and injuring the third, according to police…
All three put themselves at risk, seemingly without a thought for their own safety, to help two young strangers. The term “hero” is often tossed around casually, as in all those “sports heroes,” but here it is the perfect fit…
The incident has drawn prayers and tributes from across the shaken city, which was rife with conflict even before the horrific killings. And while Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler has called on citizens to honor the heroes, who died in defense of decency, he has turned his back on another American value: freedom of speech.
Wheeler asked Washington to revoke a permit for a rally planned for Sunday on a federal plaza in downtown Portland and has refused to grant a city permit for a “March Against Sharia” on June 10. Both events are sponsored by a group called Patriot Prayer, which bills Sunday’s event as a “Trump Free Speech Rally” in “one of the most liberal areas of the West Coast.” […]
Popular speech in front of calm, peaceful crowds is easy to defend. It is the least popular speech, often by those who are marginalized, that most needs protection. The best way to honor Portland’s fallen heroes, who stood up for their beliefs, is to stand up for this sacred America value.