The band might be called Social Distortion, but the message a Donald Trump supporter got at a concert in California was loud and clear:
Your kind aren’t welcome here.
Tim Hildebrand, a 30-year-old Trump supporter in Sacramento, California, told reporters he had that idea pounded into him at a concert in July by the punk band’s lead singer, Mike Ness. Ness didn’t appreciate Hildebrand’s raised middle-finger protest of Ness’s mid-concert comments about the 45th president.
“I pretty much said, ‘I paid for your music, not your politics,’” Hildebrand, a farmer from the Sacramento County town of Galt, told KOVR during an interview this week.
“I was more worried and concerned about someone in the crowd starting something, versus it even crossing my mind that someone in the band would start something.”
A video of the concert on YouTube shows something definitely happened.
(Warning: Some implied violence, rough language that’s mostly bleeped out, and grating music that’s hard on the ears.)
Hildebrand said the attack left him with two black eyes and a concussion.
Hildebrand told the station he got no help from the crowd — in fact, just the opposite.
“I wasn’t able to defend myself because some people in the crowd were holding me back,” he said.
And security staff at the Ace of Spaces concert venue apparently blamed him for the incident. Hildebrand said he was put in a chokehold and escorted outside to where some police officers were stationed. When Hildebrand complained to the officers about the attack, he said, he got little sympathy.
“They didn’t seem like they wanted to do anything at all,” he told KOVR. “They kind of chuckled at it because, ‘yeah, you’re at a punk concert’… I don’t think they understood that it was the singer that attacked me.”
Eventually, he said, one officer agreed to file a report.
A Sacramento police spokeswoman told The New York Times that the department is aware of the incident and investigating.
One fan of the band who spoke to KOVR told the station he agreed the attack was unprofessional, but didn’t sound surprised that it had taken place, given the context.
“It was a little bit excessive,” said Social Distortion fan James Mauldin, according to KOVR.
Then he added an unsympathetic piece of advice for anyone who thinks like Tim Hildebrand.
“If you’re that into politics, don’t put yourself in a situation where it could become a problem for you,” he said.
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