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We Need Stories of Everyday Heroism

In my PHILOPE classes last week, some of  the hard questions from students revolved around anxieties about the unknown, and the seemingly bleak future of the world amidst stories of hate, of terror and tasteless rape jokes.  This story from the US demonstrates that there are men (really, males!) who are willing to risk their lives to stop hate from spreading:

Coco Douglas, 8, on Saturday at a memorial in Portland, Ore., for two men who were killed when they confronted a man yelling anti-Muslim insults at two women on a commuter train. Credit Gillian Flaccus/Associated Press

An Army veteran, a recent college graduate and a student who once won a poetry contest by condemning prejudice stirred up by the Sept. 11 attacks intervened as a man screamed anti-Muslim insults at two women in Portland, Ore., on Friday.

In the days that followed, the three men were hailed as heroes.

Two of the men — Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, 23, and Rick Best, 53 — died in the attack, which occurred on a commuter train. The third, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, was treated on Saturday for injuries that the police said were serious but not life-threatening.

Jeremy Christian, 35, of North Portland, Ore., was charged with two counts of aggravated murder in the attack and could face additional charges when he is arraigned on Tuesday. Mr. Christian, who the authorities said had a history of making extremist statements on social media, was ranting at, and talking disparagingly about, the two women, one of whom was wearing a hijab.

One of the women, Destinee Mangum, 16, spoke to a Fox affiliate in Oregon on Saturday. She said she is not a Muslim.

Read more about the story in the Times.

Can we have stories like these from the home front?

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