Seattle commuters reflect on Portland train stabbings
As commuters rode the Seattle Link light rail on Tuesday, still reeling from the news of the fatal stabbings about Portland’s MAX light rail on Friday, they said they won’t allow hate to define or intimidate them.
Just a few hours north, Seattle riders expressed solidarity with the community of Portland after two men were killed and a third was injured while defending two teenage girls against a man spouting anti-Muslim rants.
“I’m so heartbroken that we lost two people that were doing the right thing,” said Tia Jones. “Such a loss of life, it’s really sad the more I think about it.”
Jones said she didn’t feel less safe riding public transportation. “It’s the reality we live in, whether we are on a train or not.”
Faduma Farrah said she spent her morning commute worrying about an upcoming test at Seattle University. But on her way home, no longer distracted and now riding in an almost empty car, her mind began to wander back to the stabbings.
“Subconsciously I avoided the train this weekend,” she said, fiddling with her black hijab. “Those two men that died were heroes.”
Several commuters said they were preparing for violence on public transit by carrying weapons or taking self-defense classes.
“I felt less safe after the election,” said Laurie Kriesel-Roth after boarding a southbound train in Pioneer Square. “As a minority, as a lesbian, it could totally happen to me.”
“It didn’t make me feel unsafe; it made me feel more worried about the direction our country is headed, that people are so intolerant of other people.” -Ryan McCloud
“No one really messes with me on the train. I’ve seen other people have problems on the train.” -Michele Mitchell
“I’m this white dude. I feel pretty safe. I’d like to think I would have stepped in, but you never really know until it happens.” -Sean Gilligan