Tears streameding down her cheeks, today sixteen year-old Destinee Mangum thanked the two strangers who stepped up to defend her on a Portland MAX train on Friday. Mangum and her seventeen year-old friend, who was wearing a hijab, were verbally abused by a man shouting racists insults at them. As the girls retreated to the back of the train, two strangers spoke up in their defense, and both died of their wounds after being stabbed by the man, later identified as 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian.
Destinee Mangum, one of the targets of hate speech on a MAX train, thanks strangers for saving her life. pic.twitter.com/sefmOAyIVt
— FOX 12 Oregon KPTV (@fox12oregon) May 28, 2017
“He told us to go back to Saudi Arabia and he told us we shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country,” said Mangum. “He was just telling us that we basically weren’t anything and that we should kill ourselves. This white male from the back of us was like he’s talking to you guys? You guys can’t disrespect these young ladies like that. Then they just all started arguing.”
“Me and my friend were going to get off the MAX and then we turned around while they were fighting and he just started stabbing people and it was just blood everywhere and we just started running for our lives.”
“I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me, because they didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look,” she said.
The Muslim community in Portland is raising money for the families of the two men who were killed – more here.