February 27, 2012

Brandon White

Brandon White

Is it ever permissible to find a “€œhate crime”€ funny?

Granted, “€œfunny”€ is in the eye of the beholder, and I”€™d wager that any pair of eyeballs not irreparably stained by armchair sadism would likely not find the attack itself to be a laugh riot.

What I find hysterical here isn”€™t the cowardly lopsided beatdown, but the colossal bloody smoking flaming 20-car freeway pileup of ugliness, vanity, lying, sanctimony, and flailingly befuddled identity politicking that followed in its wake.

Professional hate-crime hunters are now reevaluating the three-on-one filmed attack”€”which went down outside an Atlanta grocery store where accomplices yelled NO FAGGOTS IN JACK CITY as perps pummeled the victim into a fetal ball”€”as to whether it was a hate crime at all.

The beating happened on February 4 in a rundown Atlanta neighborhood known as “€œPittsburgh.”€ In the video, one of the suspects is seen wearing a sweatshirt that says JACK GANG on the back. The crew suspected in the beating alternately calls themselves “€œPittsburgh Jack City”€ or “€œJack City 1029,”€ the latter in reference to the corner grocery store (1029 McDaniels St.) where the beating took place. In a 2010 reprazentin’ video, Jack City members are shown milling outside the store acting as if they couldn”€™t recite the alphabet even if forced to do so at gunpoint.

“This was an attack spurred on by self-hatred”€”the funniest kind of hate crime there is.”€

Beating victim Brandon White, 20, told an interviewer he had gone to the JVC Grocery & Deli to buy a humble piece of chicken on a sunny Saturday afternoon. He says he initially decided not to press charges and to “€œlet it blow over”€ until he unwittingly became an Internet celebrity over the next couple days.

Whatever genius filmed the beating thought it wise to upload it to WorldStarHipHop, which serves as a sort of YouTube for hastening Western Civilization’s demise. The footage quickly went viral, inspiring the sort of predictably holy outrage from the usual suspects.

Leading the stampede for “€œjustice”€”€”and managing to wriggle himself into nearly every ensuing TV report about the case”€”was a young gay black “€œactivist”€ named Devin Barrington-Ward from a group called Change Atlanta. Ward effortlessly parrots moldy old civil-rights rhetoric in his quest to “€œempower this young generation”€ and to “€œfight for justice, equality, safety, and change.”€

Ward stood behind beating victim Brandon White looking resolutely concerned as White held a press conference only four days after the assault. White himself looked, well, not exactly permanently disfigured. (Apparently the Jack City Gang members didn”€™t land many solid head shots.) Seeming a mite prissy and impertinent, White called his attackers “€œmonsters,”€ denied knowing them, and implied he was curb-stomped “€œfor just being a gay male.”€

Saying he feared returning to the scene of his beating, White was absent from a rally held the following Saturday at a church across the street from the chicken-wing joint. The rally’s most famous guest speaker was Congressman John Lewis, who apparently lied about Tea Party members barking the “€œN”€ word (hint: It isn”€™t “€œnougat”€) at him after he signed Obama’s healthcare bill.

A “€œsocial-justice minister”€ who claimed he had also been gay-bashed in the past told the rally members:

At the end of the day, I am Brandon White and all of you are Brandon White.

A woman named Holiday Simmons representing an organization called Lambda Legal told the crowd:

We are Brandon White, but we are also the attackers.

Nuzzling himself into a seat on the Everyone-in-the-World-is-Brandon-White bus, Devin Barrington-Ward wrote on his Facebook wall:

I stand with Brandon because in some way we all are Brandon…

Ward also told the rally members:

I thank God for giving me a passion for public service and the ability to express myself through oratory.

Oh, I”€™ll bet you do, Miss Thang!


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