Black Protester Hugs Squirming Nazi, Quips, ‘Why Don’t You Like Me, Dog?’

By Breanna Edwards, The Root

The black protester who was caught on viral video hugging a squirming and uncomfortable neo-Nazi outside white supremacist dump truck Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Thursday is acknowledging that he could just as easily have hit the guy (an act in which someone else had earlier indulged) but decided to go a different route in order to bring about change in his own way.

(Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

“I could have hit him, I could have hurt him … but something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love,’” Aaron Alex Courtney told the New York Daily News. “It’s a step in the right direction. One hug can really change the world. It’s really that simple.”

The unidentified neo-Nazi was seen at Spencer’s speech location wearing a T-shirt covered in swastikas. His not-so-subtle outfit obviously drew the attention of the crowd, which included protesters who screamed, punched and spat on him before Courtney wrapped his arms around him.

“Why don’t you like me, dog?” the 31-year-old high school football coach out of Gainesville could be heard asking the man. “Give me a fucking hug.”

Courtney could be seen attempting to get the man to hug him back, but the man just stood there, limp and uncomfortable, as Courtney embraced him.

A nazi and a black man…..America 2017 #SpencerAtUF pic.twitter.com/sSaG36EuOr

— Politics 4 Dummies (@Politics4dum) October 19, 2017

Surprised to learn that Spencer was a person and not an impending hurricane, or that the notification wasn’t about a kidnapping or something of the sort, Courtney started to do research.

“I found out about what kind of person he was, and that encouraged me, as an African American, to come out and protest. Because this is what we’re trying to avoid. It’s people like him who are increasing the distance … between people,” Courtney told the Daily News.

Courtney gave about four hours of his time Thursday protesting and was getting ready to leave when he saw Mr. Nazi himself causing a commotion among the other protesters.

“I had the opportunity to talk to someone who hates my guts, and I wanted to know why. During our conversation, I asked him, ‘Why do you hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My dreadlocks?” Courtney recalled.

“After beating around the bush and avoiding my questions, I asked him, I pleaded with him, I almost broke out in tears, growing increasingly angry because I didn’t understand,” he said.

However, Courtney, whose father is a bishop, decided to take some of his father’s teachings and offer the man a hug.

“Something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love. Maybe he never met an African American like this,” Courtney said.

It took some cajoling, but, Courtney said, “I reached over, and the third time, he wrapped his arms around me, and I heard God whisper in my ear, ‘You changed his life.’”

Courtney then said he asked again, “Why do you hate me?”

The neo-Nazi’s response, according to Courtney? “‘I don’t know.’”

“I believe that was his sincere answer. He really doesn’t know,” Courtney added.

The man was eventually escorted away by police, but not before taking a photo with Courtney’s friend.

“I honestly feel that was a step in the right direction, for him to take a picture with a guy that he hated when he woke up this morning,” Courtney said.

Read the full article here.

Read more about racial reconciliation here.

Read more Breaking News here.

How Do We Fight Back Against Trump and His Fake News?

From: The Root

By: Monique Judge

Amidst the drama and craziness surrounding the Trump presidency, the concept known as “Fake News” has been at the heat of President Donald Trump’s frustration. Monique Judge defines what fake news really is as she writes, “fake news is something that is created intentionally to deceive; that it not happening in any legitimate mainstream media I can see.” Judge clarifies that news that someone does not agree with is not considered fake news, and this may be where the President is confused.

Judge further explains the definition of fake news and its misrepresentation by the President. In order to fight back against the President and his propaganda against media Judge advises the following,

“Not only do we have to present the truth, we have to do so repeatedly in order for those facts to stick. The same way in which Trump is repeating his “fake news/fake media” mantra to get it to stick in people’s heads is the same way in which we need to come forth with facts that debunk the propaganda he is putting out there.”

 

To read more about this article follow here.

To read more of ABHM’s Breaking News look here.

Join Us on February 25, 2017 for ABHM’s Founder’s Day Gathering!

 

 America can heal from its troubled racial history.

Join us to learn how.

The Gathering for Racial Repair and Reconciliation

Our annual Gathering celebrates the legacy of America’s Black Holocaust Museum founder, Dr. James Cameron. In his honor, we bring together people from all corners of Greater Milwaukee for learning, dialogue and fellowship.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Centennial Hall • 733 N. 8th Street • Milwaukee WI


 

This year’s topic:

Let’s Face It: How Communities Remember and Repair Racial Trauma

We’ll explore these questions:

 

 

 

MORNING SESSION

9:00 -11:30 am Open to General Public & Sponsors. Tickets on sale here.

 

Introduction: Let’s Face It!

Listen to a short talk by ABHM Head Griot Reggie Jackson about the importance of truth-telling, remembrance, and ABHM’s role as a memorial museum in healing our city and nation.

 

 

 

 

Sneak Preview of a New Film, Always in Season

Experience a premiere preview of a new film that documents how lynching still impacts Americans to this day. It shows how descendants of victims and perpetrators in four communities are working to acknowledge the victims, repair the damage, and reconcile. View the film trailer here and the film website here.

Audience Talkback with Film Director and National Community Experts

Interact with film director Jacqueline Olive.  Jackie creates documentary projects that tell stories underrepresented in mainstream media. She coordinated the production of the Emmy award-winning PBS series, Independent Lens, and the internationally-themed documentary series, Global Voices. She will be joined on stage by members of the communities represented in Always in Season. Additional experts from around the country and Greater Milwaukee will also introduce their restorative projects. All presenters will then take questions and comments from the audience. (See the list of additional national and local presenters below.)

 

 

In addition, there will be:

 

AFTERNOON SESSION

12:15 – 4:15 pm – Open to Event Sponsors and their guests only.

(Organizations and individuals wishing to become Sponsors, please click here

for Sponsorship Opportunities, Benefits, and Response Form.)

Luncheon Keynote Address: Why Commemorate?

Listen to public historian Doria D. Johnson address the impact of remembering of racial trauma on victims and the ethics of doing such memory work.  An expert in US and African American history, Doria’s great-great-grandfather Anthony Crawford was lynched in 1916.  In 2005 she successfully pressed the US Senate to apologize for failure to enact federal laws against lynching. A memorial to her grandfather was recently dedicated in the town where he was murdered.

 

Roundtables (Small Group Dialoguing and Networking)

Attend two different roundtable discussions of your choice during the afternoon. This is a chance to talk in depth with two of the expert presenters and to network with other attendees who share your interest in particular topics.

(Preview the presenter/topic list below.)

 

 

Action Plans and Closing Ceremony

We’ll gather as a full group to reflect on:

 

Our Roundtable Facilitators

Henry Banks (Duluth MN) – Mr. Banks co-founded the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Project in Duluth, MN, the downtown memorial plaza built by this small city built to commemorate the infamous lynching of three circus workers. Henry is also the host of the regular weekly People of Color talk show on Wisconsin Public Radio.

Karen Branan (Washington DC) – Ms. Branan is the author of the Pulitzer Prize nominated memoir The Family Tree: A Lynching in Georgia, A Legacy of Secrets, and My Search for the Truth. Karen has long been active in Coming To The Table, a national organization that pairs descendants of lynching perpetrators and victims, as well as slaveholders and enslaved people, for the purpose of repair and reconciliation.

 

Randy Gamble (Memphis TN) – An anti-racism activist for many years, Mr. Gamble is a leader of the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis. LSP is part of Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative to memorialize over 4,000 known lynchings in our country between 1877 and 1950 through local community remembrance projects and a new national lynching memorial. The Memphis lynching of three black men launched Ida B. Wells on her anti-lynching campaign; Randy and the Downtown Clergy Association are organizing a 125th anniversary commemoration of those victims.

Cassandra Greene (Atlanta GA) – Ms. Greene is Director of the Moore’s Ford Bridge lynching re-enactment, which has, for the last seven years, commemorated the victims of that lynching in a small town in Georgia. That re-enactment is featured in the film Always in Season and can be seen in its trailer. Cassandra is also founder/CEO of the W.I.T.N.E.S.S. PROGRAM/ W.O.W.W. where she teaches communications and serves as a minister in Georgia’s State and Federal prisons.

 

Pardeep Singh Kaleka (Franklin WI) – A former Milwaukee cop, after his father was killed by a white supremacist in the Sikh Temple massacre, Mr. Kaleka paired up with a former violent white power extremist to found Serve2Unite, which teaches schoolchildren peacemaking through the Sikh principles of Chardi Kala: fearless creative compassion, service to others, and relentless optimism in the face of adversity. Pardeep is also a psychotherapist at the D & L Healing Center, where he specializes in treating trauma.

Brad Lichtenstein (Milwaukee WI) – An award-winning documentary filmmaker, Mr. Lichtenstein is developing a feature film that digs into unsolved Klan murders of black men in Mississippi. Despite the 2007 Emmett Till Act giving the FBI $100 million to investigate these crimes, their families have no answers. The murderers walk free. The film explores whether and how the trauma of unresolved violence can be healed.

 

Erin McCarthy and Colleen Perry (Greendale WI) – Middle school teachers in a white suburb of Milwaukee, Ms. McCarthy and Ms. Perry persuaded their principal and students’ parents of the value of regularly teaching African American history as a part of – not a sidebar to – American history. Erin and Colleen present history as a complex story of complex people in America’s complex society and teach it by building empathy, defining race and developing the whole child.  Through their inquiry-based curriculum, they build responsible citizens and communities.

Warren Read (Seattle WA) – Author of the memoir, The Lyncher in Me: A Search for Redemption in the Face of History, Mr. Read offered public apologies to each of the families of the three circus workers lynched in Duluth on the occasion of the dedication of the memorial to them there. Warren is also an elementary school teacher and educational leader/administrator.

 

Maria Cunningham and Jordan Davis (Milwaukee WI) – Active volunteers with the Dr. James Cameron Legacy Foundation, Maria serves as the Foundation board’s Vice-President and Jordan as a Public Programming Administrative Assistant. Milwaukee Public Library’s Rare Books Librarian, Ms. Cunningham led the project to digitize the dozens of booklets on African American history and race relations by Dr. Cameron, and created and manages a traveling exhibit about his life and writings for the museum. Mr. Davis is a Distinguished Graduate Student Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in the Master of Sustainable Peacebuilding program. His research interests center on public and local history, heritage resource management, and the museology of Africa and the African Diaspora.


 

EVENT SPONSORS

(as of 1/4/16)

VISIONARY SPONSOR

This event is funded in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Humanities Council, with funds from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the State of Wisconsin. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this project do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities. The Wisconsin Humanities Council supports and creates programs that use history, culture, and discussion to strengthen community life for everyone in Wisconsin.

 

 

HISTORY SCHOLAR SPONSOR

 

 

 

FREEDOM-LOVING SPONSOR: BARBARA STEIN

 

 

WITNESS TO HISTORY SPONSORS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

KEYNOTE SPONSOR

 

 

 

 

FILM SCREENING & AUDIENCE TALKBACK SPONSORS:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TABLE SPONSORS:

Dr. Russell Brooker

Bev Colton

Marquette University’s