Why Is the Media Branding the Portland Train Stabber a Trump Supporter? He’s Not

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By Ian Miles Cheong | 1:14 pm, May 28, 2017
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When Jeremy Joseph Christian was accused of fatally stabbing two people in a hate crime against Muslims in Portland on Friday,  the media quickly branded him an alt right Trump supporter.

But the reality is far stranger.

Jeremy Joseph Christian

Christian is accused of stabbing three men, two fatally, on a train in Portland on Friday after they tried to stop him from shouting anti-Muslim hate speech at two young women.

Local reports of the 35-year-old suspect describe him as a “known white supremacist.” The Portland Mercury and Portland-based Willamette Week published pictures of Christian attending the right-wing March for Free Speech on April 29 to push the narrative that he was a Trump supporter. Some twitter users, like the liberal conspiracy theorist @RVAWonk, even forwarded a theory that Jeremy Christian was “radicalized” by the alt-right.

Writing for Willamette Week, Corey Pein said he interviewed Christian during the march, and the alleged killer chanted the n-word and threw Nazi salutes. Pein writes that amid Christian’s rants about Jews on Facebook, he expressed support for Bernie Sanders and Jill Stein for president. The Willamette Week writer describes that as a “distraction” others will seize upon as they contradict the narrative of Christian as a real white supremacist.

While Pein says the organizers of the march “disavowed association” with Christian following the murders, it’s worth noting that they did a lot more than that: The marchers kicked him out of the march last month. Video footage shows a mixed-race group of marchers calling on police to remove him.

In Facebook replies dated May 10, the alleged killer admitted that he attended the free speech march to portray both the “faceless antifas” and “redneck peckerwood hillbillies pretending they ain’t racist” as equally in opposition to free speech. In other words, he attended the rally to make both sides look bad.

In short, Christian is a deranged nihilist who just wants to watch the world burn.

To be sure, it’s very clear that Christian is a horrible person. His alleged murders of two Portland heroes—Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, a young man who put his compassion for others ahead of his own life; and Rick Best, an Army veteran and dedicated public servant—require justice.  A third victim, 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, is reported to be in critical condition from his wounds.

Christian’s still-accessible Facebook page features a bizarre collection of viewpoints expressing support of both the Nazis and Ashkenazi Jews, as well as against them. While fervently anti-Antifa in recent months, Christian’s actual politics over the span of a year are difficult to parse as his posts appear confused and contradictory—but they can be explained with further insight.

Over the past year, Christian’s Facebook statuses included his hatred for Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, and support for Bernie Sanders and Black Lives Matter.

Most telling are his comments, where describes himself a nihilist.

In addition to liking a variety of news websites and favorite bands, Christian’s profile reveals a startling number of “likes” for nihilist pages, psychedelic drugs and Bernie Sanders. Besides a “like” for the Breitbart news page, there’s no interest in any pro-Trump, alt-right, white nationalist or conservative group.

Christian was previously arrested and charged with first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping in 2002, after he held up a convenience store with a gun. At the time, police managed to subdue him when he attempted suicide during his arrest. Christian’s court-appointed attorney for the case, Matthew Kaplan, told the Associated Press that his actions made no sense as he had no history of violence.

Like the fatal stabbings Christian was arrested for, his actions almost two decades ago make sense if you consider his nihilistic philosophy.

Ian Miles Cheong is a journalist and outspoken media critic. You can reach him through social media at @stillgray on Twitter and on Facebook.