Future generations who first tune into “America: The Series” during the 2020 episodes might think that they’re watching a zombie series. I’m not saying that just because some contagion is ravaging the land. I’m saying that because we’ve reached the point where discontentment and unrest are turning into pointless violence and property destruction.
It’s not just toppling any statue of an old white man you can find, no matter what they did. It’s celebrating the video of a black man punching a Macy’s employee because he allegedly said the N-word.
Never mind the fact that Macy’s is actually claiming he didn’t say the word. Let’s celebrate physical violence in the name of anti-racism!
The attack took place in Flint, Michigan — a city that’s seen enough problems, what with the failure of its water system and the fact that it still has the shame of having produced Michael Moore. Things are opening back up there, including the Genesee Valley Center mall, according to MLive.
In a video posted to YouTube of an attack that took place June 15, a black man is seen punching and then hovering over a white man while using racial slurs to describe him.
WARNING: The following video contains graphic language and violence that some viewers will find offensive.
“Don’t touch me, n—–. Don’t touch me, n—–,” the man says before delivering another punch.
“I’m sorry! I’m sorry!” the man on the ground can be heard saying.
The 20-second video made the rounds on social media and was originally posted by an individual going by the name FT Quay.
The New York Daily News reported that the post has been shared over 4,000 times on Facebook.
There are questions about what exactly happened before the attack. “Quay,” whoever they may be, said the attack was inspired by a racial slur mumbled by the employee. The title of the video also seems to indicate the Macy’s employee somehow invaded the black guy’s space: “White guy puts his hands on a black guy. What happens next will shock you.”
Nothing, sadly, particularly shocks me these days. Social media personality Tariq Nasheed — who thought it was pretty keen this employee got beat up — came close, though:
— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) June 17, 2020
Nasheed claimed the man had been overheard saying the slur on his phone. “The Black man overheard him, then things went left. #CleanUpOnAisle3 #Ogun #NoAntiBlackRacism,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
One of the problems with the video, however, is the fact that you can’t actually see what — if anything — the Macy’s employee did. And, at least according to the store, the employee didn’t do or say anything that provoked the attack.
“We are deeply saddened about the incident that took place on Monday (June 15) at Macy’s Genesee Valley as the safety of Macy’s customers and colleagues is our top priority,” Macy’s senior director of media relations Andrea Schwartz said in a statement Friday.
“Violence in the workplace of any kind is unacceptable. All the materials from the evening have been reviewed and it is clear that the attack was unprovoked. We are working closely with local authorities on this investigation, and will defer any further comments about the case to them per policy.”
Keep in mind: Given the climate, it would be pretty easy for Macy’s to fly this employee to New York in the cargo hold of a Spirit Airlines plane and then throw him under every bus leaving Port Authority. That the company didn’t do that is testament to the fact that there might be a lot less to this clip other than a man assaulting an employee at Macy’s.
“We are looking for them as we speak,” Lt. Brad Wangler of the Flint Police Department said of the man who assaulted the employee and the mysterious Quay, whose Facebook account disappeared after the video started getting some media traction.
“It’s not something that’s been put on the back burner. We want to find out what happened.”
Damire Canell Palmer, 18, and Damarquay Jovan, 22, are persons of interest to the department, according to WSMH-TV.
“Officers learned an employee of the store was assaulted by a young black male who fled the scene with a second individual after the assault,” read a Friday police statement. “Store surveillance video confirmed the assault against the employee. Investigators also learned the assault was recorded by the second individual and shared on social media.”
So there’s no real evidence this employee used a racial slur aside from the claims of the mysterious Quay, who’s no longer on Facebook to answer questions about how they know the racial slur got uttered in the first place. (Quelle surprise.) Meanwhile, here’s social media, which never fails to disappoint:
Sometimes it’s not good to throw around the ‘N’ word. https://t.co/pTFbMnRtrW
— Ronald (@beaujack531) June 19, 2020
— Chicago’sFinest (@ChicagosFines10) June 21, 2020
Is there an Attorney in Flint that will do pro bo no work for the brother in the video? Even though that work needed 2B handled it is potentially an assault case. I’m sure there is a previous case regarding the use of that particular racial slur and someone getting knocked out
— Coach Mario Houston (@mariohouston) June 18, 2020
Let’s do some pro bono work for a racist because a guy on Facebook says this assault was precipitated by a racial slur that wasn’t recorded. That’s legit. Be better, Twitter.
This is the sickness of the moment. In certain corners where real life intersects the online world in a very unpleasant manner, it feels like we’re entering some kind of apocalypse phase. It’s like the bad parts of David Bowie’s “Five Years” without the accompaniment of David Bowie’s music, which isn’t a terribly palatable thing.
Thankfully, most of us aren’t going off our heads. However, this is the kind of mindless hate the media needs to start highlighting. It’s not the assault in the store that’s the scary part. Instead, it’s the fact people are cheering this guy on. I understand confronting racial hatred is the theme of the moment. That’s a good thing. This isn’t the way to do it.
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