This past weekend was the inaugural day of the “Gay Day” celebration organized by the group Tolerance, Equality and Awareness Movement (TEAM) to showcase the diverse community found in Grand Rapids, Michigan. During the event, however, they found themselves facing what appeared to be members of the Christian black supremacist group called the Black Hebrew Israelites. The Southern Poverty Law Center reports that this group embraces “a frightening, racist theology that says Jesus Christ is returning soon to kill or enslave white people, Jews, homosexuals, and others.”
In a video of the event, two men from the larger group can be found here:
Some of what was said on the video includes:
Protestor 1: “Back in the day there was no free power, there was no going to the mall. There was, ‘sit your ass in this house until I bring my ass home.’” Protestor 2:“And if your ass get to going out there like you said, guess what? You get raped. And that’s what’s going to happen to you.” he later added”Keep your pussy clean, that’s all you need to do. Do you understand?”
Attempts to debate or engage the protesters were met with ridicule and poor biblical scholarship, quoting Isaiah 13 out of context:
“Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished.”
To further elaborate, he then added his own commentary:
“What does ‘ravished’ mean? It means, we going to rape your ass. And I’m going to have fun doing that shit. And you going to like that. I promise you.”
This of course demonstrates the lack of Biblical knowledge by the protester, as Isaiah 13 is discussing the destruction of Babylon by the Medes and Persians and not giving instructions to anyone.
Yet, despite the violent rhetoric caught on tape, Police called to the scene said that there were no illegal activities happening. Lt. Mark Ostapowicz explained what happened next here:
“The Gay Day celebration group was upset that the Bible group was able to protest, but in their protest they weren’t doing anything wrong, according to the (responding police officer’s) report. When the officers got there they were not threatening each other. As long as they’re not breaking any of the protest rules, there’s nothing we can do.
“As of right now, we just have two groups in disagreement with each other. Nothing happened that led the officers to do more.”
Of course this was after the man in the video had already said:
“It’s going to matter when your clothes off and I’m going inside of you repeatedly. That’s when it’s going to matter. Because you going to enjoy yourself.”
After reciting the license plate numbers off of one of the event attendees boyfriend’s car he then proceeded to threaten to kill them.
TEAM has put out a letter calling for information to present to the police department in order to take this threat seriously. It has however been spread through the local media:
Hate groups are dangerous no matter their creed. It is up to the police to take any threat of violence seriously, no matter the source. Otherwise, the problem could grow out of control, and people can become seriously injured, or die at the hands of a madman.