A Black Teenager Shields A KKK Member From Violent Protesters
This is America: No matter who you are, you have a constitutional right to express your opinions -- even if said opinions are astoundingly stupid.
You do not, however, have a constitutional right to expect others to be happy about it. In 1996, the Ku Klux Klan held a rally in the unlikely town of Ann Arbor, Michigan, where they found themselves opposed by an equal but opposite force of protesters. Although police in riot gear did a bang-up job of keeping the two sides apart, one guy bedecked in SS tattoos and Confederate flags strolled through the wrong side of the crowd. It's unclear whether he meant to join the march, or if he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time (and by "the wrong place at the wrong time," we of course mean Earth, anytime in the last 70 years), but regardless, the chase was on.
Ah, a fine American tradition: The Running Of The Bullshit.
Mob mentality is an ugly beast. What began with simply chasing the man away soon transformed into a probably well-deserved, but certainly illegal, beatdown. And then, in an act of unbelievable courage and mercy, Keshia Thomas -- an 18-year-old black woman -- threw herself atop the man to protect him from the rampaging crowd.
"Maybe the SS stands for Super Sweet!"
The protesters, moved by the sight of Thomas putting her well-being on the line for the sake of a man who'd just as soon spit on her in return, backed off. Thomas never saw the guy again, but months later she was approached by another man, this one offering thanks. When she asked what for, the young man replied, "That was my dad."
By choosing compassion over bloodlust, she may have broken one family's chain of perpetual assholes. And that's how the world becomes a better place: by breaking one asshole chain at a time.
A Hate Crime Victim Sues To Save The Man Who Nearly Murdered Him
Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Mark Anthony Stroman gave his head a fresh shave, loaded up his shotgun, and went out seeking revenge against anyone with vaguely brownish skin. He gunned down store clerks Waqar Hasan and Vasudev Patel (who was, incidentally, neither Arab nor Muslim) before turning to Bangladeshi American citizen Rais Bhuiyan. Bhuiyan survived, but he lost sight in one eye and faced months of tortuous recovery after Stroman blasted him right in the goddamned face.
Which somehow stayed intact.