Footage showing a large crowd of white BLM supporters accosting diners in DC went viral, sparking widespread backlash. The group was seen aggressively yelling at the diners, demanding that they raise their fists to show solidarity with the movement.
Many have accused the group of acting like an “aggressive mob” and employing “intimidation tactics” to order the diners into submission. MSNBC host Joe Scarborough called the activists “horrible people.”
The footage, shot by a Washington Post reporter, shows Lauren Victor being shouted at by the white protesters when she refused to raise her fist.
The group crowded her table, and two female demonstrators leaned down and shouted in her face.
“Are you a Christian?” one woman shouts, angry that Victor was unwilling to raise her fist in solidarity.
“No justice, no peace!” the group starts yelling.
Post reporter Fredrick Kunkle discovered that freelance journalist Chuck Modiano was among the people yelling at Victor.
He claimed Modiano shouted: “What was in you, you couldn’t do this?”
However, Modiano took to Twitter to deny yelling at Victor, and stated: “Not true. We also spoke cordially for 20 min.”
Victor told Kunkle that she had felt “under attack,” and that although she is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, she didn't want to be “coerced” into showing support.
“In the moment, it didn't feel right,” she said.
“I wasn't actually frightened. I didn't think they'd do anything to me. I'm very much with them. I've been marching with them for weeks and weeks and weeks,” she added.
Many Twitter users took issue with the race of the BLM protesters accosting Victor. Almost all of the ones seen in the video were white, and several people accused them of undermining the positive work that has been done by black organizers in recent months.
“I see no black faces at all. These dopes will ruin this movement for all of us,” African-American TV anchor Derek McGinty wrote.
Others wrote that this would stop people from supporting the movement.
“You don't win supporters by screaming in people's faces and intimidating them. How many people have watched this video and been turned off? Is it about making a real change or just ego gratification?”
Another one wrote: “This gives Trump four more years.”
Other videos showed the protesters screaming at a couple dining in a separate restaurant, and calling them “trash” for not raising their fists.
The incident occurred after police shot 29-year-old Jacob Blake, an unarmed black man, in Kenosha, Wisconsin – an incident that has re-energized the Black Lives Matter protests.
Sources: America Now