Poetry News

In Portland, Micah David-Cole Fletcher Encourages Reporters to Shift Focus

By Harriet Staff

Portland, OR, light rail

The New York Times visits Portland poet and survivor of last week's brutal attack, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, who has been following news coverage of the incident, and in attendance at Jeremy Joseph Christian's trial. Fletcher recently recorded a video of himself, seated in a room, expressing concern about the young girls, "worried that while he was being lionized, two other very important victims of Friday’s attack were being largely forgotten," Times reporter Matt Stevens writes. From there:

“We need to remember, this is about those little girls,” Mr. Fletcher said in a video that he posted on Facebook on Wednesday. “Just remember that, you know, they got hurt too.”

During the approximately seven-minute video, Mr. Fletcher thanked supporters for their generosity, but worried that longstanding local attitudes and biases caused aid to flow more freely to him than to one of the girls. By Wednesday night, the video had been viewed more than 80,000 times.

“We in Portland have this weird tendency to continue patterns that we’ve done forever, and one of them is this same old, just to put it bluntly, white savior complex,” he said. “Suffice to say, I think it’s immensely, immensely morally wrong and irresponsible how much money we have gotten as opposed to how much support, money, love, kindness, that has been given to that little girl.”

Mr. Fletcher, who identified himself as a poet, expressed his misgivings less than a day after he attended the first court appearance for the man accused of the fatal attack.

An affidavit filed on Tuesday also laid out new details about what happened. Prosecutors said the man charged with murder in the attack, Jeremy Joseph Christian, had shouted at two girls on the train, one described as “African-American,” and the other as an “African-American Muslim who was wearing traditional Muslim dress.”

During Mr. Christian’s profanity-laced tirade, which appeared to be aimed at the girls, he told them to “go home” and referred to the Islamic State and Saudi Arabia, according to the court document.

Continue reading at New York Times

Originally Published: June 1st, 2017