This video from Haroun Rashid made the rounds on Twitter this week. I responded with a gif, “I just love violence.” I thought more about this later, and reconsidered whether I really did.
The man who was harassed was identified in the tweet as Asian, but in Rashid’s original, he’s identified as Pakistani American. The video is gratifying in that an aggressive person expects to hurt someone, and is instead, knocked unconscious.
I’m glad that the Pakistani man was not hurt and that he was able to protect himself. As I discovered when I watched it again with the sound on, he’s trying to defend himself with mace, before falling back on his training in self-defense. For this to happen in an American city is profoundly disturbing. If it happened to me, I would consider moving out of the city. If I were visiting the city I would probably not return.
The aggressor appears to be healthy, fit, and well cared for. What would make him attack a person? A man who does this has very little respect for human life or regard for the rule of law. He is profoundly angry for reasons that I suspect he can’t articulate.
While my initial reaction was triumphant, my stomach sank as I considered that I watched a young man sustain a traumatic brain injury while committing a hate crime, a racially motivated assault and battery. The aggressor has all the makings of a “true believer,” the same sort who would strap a bomb to their chest and walk into a stadium.
What rough beast slouches toward Bethlehem?