Video from a Republican campaign event Saturday in Arizona appeared to show U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters helping put a man wearing a “Black Lives Matter” T-shirt on the ground.
The meet-and-greet event with GOP candidates took place at the Continental Shopping Plaza in Green Valley, about 30 miles south of Tucson, according to the Green Valley News.
Democrat Peter Jackson showed up at the event wearing a T-shirt that read, “Black Lives Matter More Than White Feelings, Check Your Privilege,” with a “Fully Vaxxed” button pinned on it.
Jackson also had an N95 mask on his face and sported a “Jail Trump” hat.
The 73-year-old was asked to leave the event but did not comply, according to Dan Shearer, editor of Green Valley News.
In a video posted online, a woman can be seen telling Jackson to put his GoPro camera down. Another then reached out and tried to take the camera from him, or push or punch him, or some combination thereof.
Shearer reported that she “balled up her fist and delivered a right hook that snapped Jackson’s head back.”
Jackson countered with a punch or push, although Shearer claimed he did not hit her and it was “clearly a move to protect himself.”
That’s when Masters, who has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump, and others stepped in and grabbed Jackson and forced him to the ground.
In the video, a man can be heard telling Jackson, “You can’t hit a woman. What the hell.”
Masters tweeted afterward, “This guy hit a woman in the jaw. I saw it, clear as day. He should not have done that!”
This guy hit a woman in the jaw. I saw it, clear as day. He should not have done that! https://t.co/o1tTLgaxCu
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) June 8, 2022
The 35-year-old venture capitalist also addressed the tussle when speaking at the Green Valley event.
“He hit a woman, and that is not something that you do,” Masters said. “So me and a couple of guys, you know, just intervened a little bit and took him down to the floor.
“And now he’s being wheeled out on a stretcher, so you know what The New York Times’ headline is going to be: ‘U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters punches a peaceful, elderly protester.’
“That’s the kind of treatment that the left-wing media has been giving me lately — which tells me that I’m over the target.”
Masters in fact tweeted the headline from the Tucson Sentinel, which ran Shearer’s article: “Shearer: GOP Senate candidate Blake Masters roughs up 73-year-old Dem. protester in Green Valley.”
“LOL I called it — the media tries to make *me* the bad guy, for defending a woman after she was punched. 10/10 would do again,” he said.
— Blake Masters (@bgmasters) June 8, 2022
Multiple media outlets — including USA Today, NBC News and the Arizona Republic — ran stories this week saying that Masters had blamed black people for gun violence in America during a podcast in April.
Discussing the gun violence problem on “The Jeff Oravits Show,” Masters said, “It’s gangs. It’s people in Chicago, St. Louis shooting each other. Very often, you know, black people, frankly. And the Democrats don’t want to do anything about that.”
It seems pretty clear what he was saying is that black-on-black crime is a major problem, given he used the words “very often” within the context of what’s happening in Chicago and St. Louis.
The Chicago Sun-Times reported that 2021 was the deadliest year in the Windy City since the mid-1990s, and the neighborhoods most impacted by violence were predominantly black or Latino.
There were 836 murders in Chicago last year, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.
“Blacks were victims of more than 80% of homicides in 2021, though they make up only about a third of the city population. About 3% of the victims were white, according to CPD records,” the Sun-Times noted.
The point is often made by conservatives that if Democrats really cared about black lives, they would do more to address the violence in cities such as Chicago.
Based on the evidence available, Masters acted appropriately at the Green Valley event, seeking to end a scuffle a Democratic activist precipitated by showing up looking for trouble and refusing to leave.
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