The Man Beaten And Choked At A Donald Trump Rally Tells His Story
#BlackLivesMatter activist Mercutio Southall Jr. the man who was beaten and thrown to the ground by Donald Trump supporters at a campaign rally in Birmingham, Alabama, speaks out.
In an interview with ThinkProgress Southall said he thought to himself , “I can’t die today. I’ve got shit to do. I have little kids. Fuck these people.”
The single father of three, has been active in the movement for some time now. He told reporters that he had gone to Trump’s event with two friends in order to speak out against the frontrunner candidate’s “racist” rhetoric.
“The things that he’s been saying about black people, Latino people, immigrants, refugees — we felt it was very disrespectful,” he said. “This is a city where some of the biggest battles of the civil rights movement happened, where four little girls got bombed up, so we aren’t accepting of anything like that kind of talk down here. I mean, this man came to our city a couple of weeks before Christmas, saying we should not let in Middle Eastern refugees. If I’m not mistaken, I think Jesus was a Middle Eastern refugee. So we were not going to stand idly by and see the rise of the next Hitler. We knew we had to stand for something.” Said Southall
Immediately upon Southal's arrival at the event he felt unwelcome, as Trump supporters physically recoiled from him and his friends. “There was like a six feet space on either side of us,” he said. “The message was: this was not our town. This was not our place.”
The three tried to get close to the stage so they could have a chance to ask Trump a question. Before the event started, Southall’s friend began livestreaming himself, saying to his camera, “We want to show [Trump] he’s not welcome here.” Upon hearing that, a nearby man knocked the phone out of his hand, prompting Southall to come to his friend’s defense. The three started chanting, “Black lives matter.”
What happened next was captured on video by a CNN reporter: a crowd of Trump supporters converging on Southall, punching, kicking, and choking him while chanting, “All lives matters"
Bellow video of the moments before Southall's violent removal
On Sunday, the morning after the rally, Trump said on Fox & Friends that Southall deserved what he got.
“Maybe he should have been roughed up,” he said. “It was disgusting what he was doing…This was a very obnoxious guy, a troublemaker, looking to make trouble.”
Local police seemed to agree police spokesperson Lt. Sean Edwards told CNN: “I would be a little cautious with Mercutio Southall. He has been an agitator from day one. Mercutio is always the agitator.” words reminiscent to the days of the Martin Luther King Jr.
Many have raised the incident with Robert Kiger, the leader of the pro-Trump super PAC “Citizens For Restoring USA.” Kiger told CNN that the Black Lives Matter movement is a “farce.”
“They don’t really have a cause they’re trying to bring to the forefront,” he said. “If they did, they’d go to Baltimore or Chicago.”
When the CNN anchor challenged him, saying, “So they don’t have the right to protest at a Trump rally?” Kiger responded: “No they don’t, really. Look, I wouldn’t go into a black church and start screaming ‘White Lives Matter.'”