Wild Things

The Gang That Couldn’t Punch Straight

February 27, 2012

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The Gang That Couldn’t Punch Straight

Is it ever permissible to find a “hate crime” funny?

Granted, “funny” 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 “Pittsburgh.” 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 “Pittsburgh Jack City” or “Jack 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 “let 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 “justice”—and managing to wriggle himself into nearly every ensuing TV report about the case—was a young gay black “activist” named Devin Barrington-Ward from a group called Change Atlanta. Ward effortlessly parrots moldy old civil-rights rhetoric in his quest to “empower this young generation” and to “fight 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 “monsters,” denied knowing them, and implied he was curb-stomped “for 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 “N” word (hint: It isn’t “nougat”) at him after he signed Obama’s healthcare bill.

A “social-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!