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White supremacists spark hate and fire shots

by Shelby Toth - Copy Editor
Tue, Oct 31st 2017 10:00 pm
Photo taken from slate.com
During a protest against the active white supremacist Richard Spencer, a group of protestors engaged with three men in a Jeep passing by. The incident jumped to headlines after one of the protesters struck the Jeep with a baton, and the drivers responded by firing a shot from a handgun, luckily resulting in no injuries.
Photo taken from slate.com During a protest against the active white supremacist Richard Spencer, a group of protestors engaged with three men in a Jeep passing by. The incident jumped to headlines after one of the protesters struck the Jeep with a baton, and the drivers responded by firing a shot from a handgun, luckily resulting in no injuries.

Does ignorance ever take a day off? Three men took it as their job last week in Florida to remind us that no, it does not.

Tyler Tenbrink, 28, William Fears, 30 and Colton Fears, 28, all of Texas, were involved in an altercation with protesters in Florida sitting outside a Gainesville bus stop. The protesters had been rallying against a speech given by Richard Spencer, a known white supremacist.

According to USA Today, the protesters reported that a silver Jeep pulled up and a passenger began to praise Adolf Hitler. They were threatening the group, shouting chants about Hitler while giving Nazi salutes. This provoked one of the protestors to take a baton and strike the Jeep’s back window. After this, Tenbrink shot a single round from a handgun at the protesters before driving off.

Luckily, no one was injured. Police later found the Jeep on Interstate 75, where they apprehended the three white stooges. Now, it’s worth noting the backstory of these three men.

The “cleanest,” or more accurately, least dirty, of the men is Colton Fears. According to HuffPost, Fears has been a part of the Charlottesville rally and an April counter-protest of a Houston Socialist Movement, as well as at the Spencer speech, appearing in all cases alongside other white supremacists.

William Fears, self-described “Internet troll,” has a little more dirt on his hands than a computer-based loudmouth. Fears pleaded guilty in 2009 to the kidnapping of an 18-year-old University of Texas student, who he held at knifepoint and “wounded several times.” Additionally, he’s been convicted of criminal trespassing and possession of a controlled substance. That’s only the tip of the iceberg for him, though.

According to The Washington Post, he told the newspaper that he became “racially aware” while in jail.

“I don’t think any race experiences racism in the modern world the way that white people do in a jail,” Fears said. “In jail, whites come last.”

Fears is also known for antagonizing groups that he should otherwise align with, such as the far-right militia movement known as the Oath Keepers and anarchists.

The smoking gun belonged to the third man arrested, Tenbrink. While he’s participated in many white supremacist rallies and marches, his real damage is his felony assault charge in Texas in 2014. His possession of a gun as a convicted felon will bring him additional charges in this case.

The sweet irony in all this is best represented by the quote William Fears gave The Gainesville Sun, not long before the shooting. 

“We don’t want violence; we don’t want harm. But at the end of the day, we’re not opposed to defending ourselves,” Fears said.

The amount of times I’ve heard of white nationalist men claiming they don’t want to get violent before doing exactly that is plentiful enough that I don’t have the slightest hesitation in arguing these men want violence.

White nationalists are more than just screaming, whiny children, they’re people who have the means and the will to cause brutal altercations in order to spread fear and intimidate those who stand directly opposite to their views. They embrace names like neo-Nazi and aren’t afraid to hold that title. According to HuffPost, Colton Fears himself was wearing a Nazi pin, claiming it as his heritage.

Only in America will you find people donning Nazi titles and attire. After the election of President Donald Trump, and under the leadership of people such as Richard Spencer, these groups are not afraid to show their true, hideous colors. Spencer himself, according to Slate, gave an infamous speech filled to the brim with Nazi slogans to celebrate the election of Trump. He also spoke at the Charlottesville alt-right rally.

How have we come to the point where people are more willing to accept people for being literal Nazis than for supporting equality?

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