Wild Things

The Gang That Couldn’t Punch Straight

February 27, 2012

Multiple Pages
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!

While Ward and likeminded Facebook Rainbow Soldiers—gay Atlanta scenesters have such super-fab handles as JaeMar Larue Kardashian-Thomas and Keith Tastee Dynasty-Dupree—were fighting the good fight, police rounded up the three beating suspects, all of them in their teens—Christopher Cain, Dareal Demare Williams, and Dorian Moragne. Both Williams and Moragne were charged with Aggravated Assault and Robbery—the latter presumably for snatching White’s cell phone during the beating.

But last week when Devin Barrington-Ward decided to interview Moragne’s family about the incident, the story took a queer turn indeed.

On Friday, Ward was again on local TV, but this time insinuating that Brandon White had lied about not knowing his attackers. Moragne’s mother and lawyer apparently told Ward that Brandon White had been assaulted because his cell phone contained video footage of one or more of the attackers performing homosexual acts.

Terik Jackson of Change Atlanta told TV reporters:

That’s why the cell phone was a target. They didn’t just beat him up because he was gay.

Another man featured on the broadcast claimed:

It’s a video of somebody performing a sexual act with one or a few of these young men….Brandon was basically agitating these young men about personally exposing them for being DL gay…on the Down Low, possibly gay. The young men responded because they don’t want their families to know.

Ward and his tireless civil-rights unicorns seem to be arguing that if White was attacked for revenge rather than his sexual orientation, it ceases to be a hate crime. I disagree. If the new account is true, this was an attack spurred on by self-hatred—the funniest kind of hate crime there is.

On Saturday, Change Atlanta and Moragne’s mother held yet another public rally urging for truth, justice, righteousness, healing, reconciliation, hope, hopefulness, change, and never-ending clichés. But according to Brandon White’s lawyer, her client was not invited. Change Atlanta has apparently shifted its sympathies from the beating victim to one of the alleged assailants. Brandon White appears to have betrayed a community far more important than the gay one.

America’s black community, such as it is, isn’t quite known for openly embracing white ideas of what constitutes “gayness.” And when it comes to identity politics and the all-important hierarchy of victimization, blackness seems to trump gayness every time. Reverend Al Sharpton still manages to have a career posing as an anti-hate warrior despite referring to Western Civ icons as “Greek homos” and calling a talk-show combatant a “punk faggot.”

No matter how it may make white progressives squirm out of their gold-trimmed paisley jockey briefs to hear this, polls and voting patterns show American blacks to be “the nation’s most homophobic population.” According to a report from the National Black Justice Coalition, blacks are “more likely than other groups to believe that homosexuality is wrong, that sexual orientation is a choice, and that sexual orientation can be changed.”

Professor Griff, former Minister of Information for radical black hip-hop group Public Enemy, once said, “there’s not a word in any African language which describes homosexual….There are no such words. They didn’t exist.”

This doesn’t mean that same-sex activity doesn’t exist (or—cough—isn’t rampant!) in black communities. It only means that blacks generally tend to deny the very existence of a phenomenon called “homosexuality.” According to observers of “Down Low” culture—the black version of being “in the closet”—a “faggot” is typically seen as a white male who acts like a girl. “Gay culture” is seen as the sole product of weak white perverts actin’ a fool again. But two butch black males can aggressively engage in the sweatiest sodomitical acts without either of them being homosexuals—so long as it’s kept on the “Down Low,” i.e., no one sees the cell-phone videos.

If there’s one thing worse among blacks than a “faggot,” it’s a snitch. It’s as if by threatening to “out” a few street-corner gangsta numskulls, Brandon White wanted to shame the entire black “community,” or at least its carefully cultivated self-image. Too late now. The fags are out of the bag.

Unfortunately for the “community,” Down Low culture is a primary agent of HIV infection for American blacks. One study revealed that among all groups of closeted males, blacks are more than three times as likely to be HIV-positive. In terms of HIV infection, blacks are overrepresented by almost 400%. So in terms of demonstrable damage to the “community,” the fact that Brandon White’s assailants could be HIV-positive and murderously infecting their unwitting female partners probably far outweighs an occasional gay-bashing that doesn’t even leave cuts or swelling four days after the attack.

Just don’t expect any of the activists to acknowledge it. If it’s a simple choice between defending “the community” and saving it, they’re acting a little defensive. Where things really count, I’d say the activists are being far too passive.


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