Black Lives Matter protester Mercutio Southall Sr.’s thoughts as he was at the bottom of a pile, allegedly being punched and kicked by GOP frontrunner Donald Trump’s supporters at a rally in Birmingham, Alabama, last month, were simple.
“I’m not about to die today,” he told INSIDER. “I have stuff to do.”
Southall recently filed a formal police report related to the incident, which was filmed by a CNN reporter and drew enough attention that Trump himself responded, telling Fox News, “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
Trump also retweeted a factually inaccurate crime statistic from a white nationalist group the following day, claiming, “81% of whites killed by blacks.”
Southall said he should hear back on whether the incident will be investigated by the Birmingham Police Department as a hate crime within the next few days.
In the video, Southall can be seen struggling on the ground as a group of people surround him. One man can be seen in a karate-type stance, backing away from the pile after appearing to have kicked Southall. As Southall was being taken away from the event, people in the crowd could be heard chanting, “All lives matter. All lives matter.”
“If anybody else was ever confused about what ‘all lives matter’ means at this point, it means ‘shut up n—-r,’ ” he said.
There have been numerous clashes between protesters and supporters at Trump rallies this fall, and Trump’s campaign recently released a new plan for how supporters should alert security of protesters without resorting to violence.
For Southall, his protest of November’s Trump rally in Birmingham will likely be his last.
“I’m not really feeling like protesting,” he said. “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results.”
He wasn’t surprised by the sentiment of Trump’s supporters toward him once inside the rally, where he felt obviously unwelcome. However, he wasn’t at all expecting the altercation that ensued after he alleged a supporter slapped his friends phone out of his hand.
“I was thinking about my children,” he said. “I was thinking about grab a foot, grab an ankle, kick a knee. I was thinking, just trying to pull people down. I was trying to push people off. I was fighting, man. Like it was a fight.”
He continued “You’re exposed to racism on a level that most people don’t really get to see. It’s the most honest racism that there is. We know how it is here. The Trump supporters are the ugly truth, they’re not the beautiful lie. America is the beautiful lie, not the ugly truth.”
Story by Allan Smith and editing by Stephen Parkhurst
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