A black man and a Nazi might not seem likely to become fast friends -- which is why a video (below) of the pair hugging during a protest is going viral.
The interaction happened on Oct. 19, while there were some 300 people protesting white nationalist Richard Spencer's appearance at the University of Florida in Gainesville, reports the Miami Herald. Spencer's supporters clashed with protesters, people got punched in the face, and at least one shot was fired surrounding the controversial event, notes The Gainesville Sun.
But as tensions rose, there was one act that stood out amid all the skirmishes.
Powerful footage captured by reporters at the scene shows a swastika-clad white supremacist in a crowd of protesters, many of whom are yelling expletives at him. He has blood on his face from being punched and no doubt expects more altercations.
Instead, a black man standing directly in front of the skinhead says: "Give me a f***ing hug" and pulls him in close.
"Why you don't like me, bro?" the black man asks. "Huh? What is it? What is it?"
The Nazi stiffens and pulls away before giving a small smile and reaching in to hug the protester back as people around them cheer.
"This could not have been easy," one Facebook user commented on a New York Post article describing the black man initiating the unexpected embrace. "I know I could not have done it. Cheers to this amazing guy for not adding to the violence, and stupidity. We need more people like him."
Many others praised the protester for literally reaching out to a Nazi.
"That's about 100x more effective than punching the guy," another person wrote. "Also, you don't go to jail after. Good on this man."
A third commenter echoed those sentiments: "See this is how you handle things. Bravo to the man who hugged it out. Violence didn't solve anything. I bet that skin head was in more shock than anyone else. Hope it changed his mind too. But this is what we need to heal as a country. More hugs, more understanding, more dialogue. we can disagree on everything, but in the end, we are all Americans despite the skin tone we are born with. Bravo to the men brave enough to hug out their differences."
But some felt that displays of kindness aren't effective and that violence would have been more effective and appropriate for the situation, in order to take a stand and show the man that advocating genocide is never tolerable.
"Id never," wrote one such person. "Why is that black people have to babysit white people's insecurities. No thank you."