PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The young man who survived having his throat cut in the MAX attack that left two other men dead, says he appreciates all the support aimed at him but people are focusing on the wrong victims.
In a Facebook video posted Wednesday, Micah Fletcher said Portlanders have a “white savior complex” and are quick to pile praise and donate money to the men who were injured. He said people should also be offering their support to the young girls who were being harassed before the stabbing.
Fletcher urged those watching to imagine what it was like for those girls, whose lives will never be the same.
“Imagine that for a second –being the little girl on the MAX. This man is screaming at you, his face is a pile of knives, his body is a gun. Everything about him is cocked, loaded and ready to kill you,” Fletcher said. “There’s a history here with this, you can feel this has happened before, the only thing that was different was the names and faces. And then stranger, two strangers, three strangers, come to your aid, they try to help you and that pile of knives just throws itself at them, kills them….”
Fletcher urged people to donate money to a fundraising campaign for the girls. He met with one of them on Wednesday night and pictures of the meeting were posted by the girl’s mother on Facebook.
“We need to remember that this is about them,” Fletcher said. “This is about those little girls.”
Fletcher and one of those girls met Thursday, according to a Facebook post shared by her mom.
Dyjuana Hudson wrote, “Finally got chance to meet one of the angels that saved my daughter’s life. Micah is one of the best genuine hearted people you will ever meet, my daughter was so happy but very emotional.”
Hudson said her daughter, Destinee, made a shirt for Micah to thank him. It says, “I love you and you are my hero.”
Fletcher didn’t discount the outpouring of support for himself, Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and thanked everyone who has donated to the fundraisers.
“I am not good at accepting help or gifts, it is something I am trying to learn to do,” he said. “I couldn’t craft a statue out of the right clay out of the earth to reflect the true gratitude shining inside of myself.”
Watch Micah Fletcher’s full video:
‘He’s just that type of person’
From the very start, music students and staff at PSU have admired Micah Fletcher.
A music major who plays percussion, Micah began classes at PSU in the fall. His professor, Joel Bluestone, told KOIN 6 News he sees determination when Micah is playing.
“He’s a hard worker and he has this drive and he wants to do it and he wants to do it quickly,” Bluestone said.
The professor said he’s not surprised Micah, 21, stepped up to help.
“He did it because it’s just the right thing to do and he’s just that type of person. I mean, 2 teenage girls are getting harassed. You just step up. It’s the right thing to do,” he said. “He’s that type of person, definitely, 120% that type of person.”
Fellow student Josh Gianola also said he wasn’t surprised about what Micah did.
“It’s amazing and I think what everyone hopes that they would do in a situation like that, and he did it,” Gianola told KOIN 6 News. “It’s not surprising that he would stand up to hate in such a way. Of course, its devastating that that’s how it turned out but it’s not a surprise that he would stand up like that.”
Gianola said when he spoke with Micah on Tuesday he wanted to start practicing again.
“We talked about the idea of him coming down and picking up some sticks and a practice pad so he can work on some of the repertoire at home while he’s recovering.”
Professor Bluestone said Micah told him he was worried that final exams are in a week or two.
“He wants to get back here as soon as possible and I hope he realizes we will tell him, of course, there’s no rush.”
Bluestone said one of the things he’s always admired about Micah is his honesty.
“I think it will just take some time to recover emotionally as well as physically,” the professor said. “But I really hand it to him. He’s always been so honest about everything, that’s why I’ve always admired him. One of the first things he said to us is, ‘I have Asperger’s.’ He was all upfront.”
Both Gianola and Bluestone had similar wishes.
“I’m looking forward to having you back around, yeah,” Gianola said. “Hope to see him soon, hope he gets better as quick as possible.”
PSU students have a card waiting for Micah. One of the students wrote: You are the hero this city deserves.