A Black man wearing a red sweatshirt, a black mask, a cap and with bloodshot eyes threatened to hurt me in line at the souvenir stand tonite, for pointing out the nature of a line or what British not brutish call a queue. A quick calculation of the likelihood that beyond combat prowess his bulky garments might conceal a gun or knife led me to wish him enjoyment of his evening rather than point out that his aggression refuted his claim that he didn’t remember me either in the previous 15 minutes.
Then a Latino woman five feet and three bodies away said I was wrong and the Black man wearing a red shirt and a mask was in line as rightfully as I was.
Maybe, maybe not I responded, but he used ”f-this” and ”f-that” and that’s what I’m complaining about.
Then a second assault occurred, to me, a large Latino guy, 6’2, 240 rushing over to say he was going to harm me in retribution for talking back to his wife.
Angel escorted me nearly all the way back to where my friend was waiting. My friend the high school football coach. Another friend, earlier, of mine had waived to us from the field when I shouted his name. (That is, my former Gunn classmate, our quarterback, Chris Strausser the O-Line coach of Indianapolis Colts of the NFL)
We left. We were soaked, it was halftime. The incident did not feel over even as I walked a half mile to my car.
Officer Morgan did not ask me to describe my assailants by race. I added the detail. I would call it a class chasm as much as race. But neither the rain nor Covid nor the score nor the moon explain or excuse the thuggery.
SF in Santa Clara need to step to the step of better security.
cc: to Lisa Gillmor, mayor, and SC Council, from their websites.
Answering a survey from the team:
I was assaulted – twice — in line at the 49ers team store. First by a Black male, age 30, after I pointed out that he had cut in line. Then a woman, Latina, said I was wrong for confronting the man about that fact. I said that he should not have used the “f-word” on me, multiple times. Then a Latino man, about 30, about 6’2″ and 240 lbs, meaning “large” and intimidating assaulted me by saying he would harm me because I was disrespecting his wife. When, minutes later, I was at the front of the line I told the clerk I wanted security. Instead “Angel” escorted me from the store and nearly back to my party — at my request. Although he also said he could not escort me completely back to my party, just so far. My party and I left the stadium at that point — partly for the incident, partly for the weather – -we were wet. When I got back to Palo Alto and had dropped my companion – who by the way was a 24 year old Latino football former HS player and current HS coach — I called Santa Clara Police. Later, from the command station, Officer Morgan took my statement. I also sent a note to Mayor Gillmore and City Council — I think part of the problem, as my answers above indicate, is that the gate security was weak. I think very probable that the young man — who looked very gangster– Red not 49ers – -ie “Blood” — had a concealed weapon. So I took very seriously that he would harm me if I persisted in my line of rhetoric – for example that his threats seemed to refute his claim that he had equal right to that place at front of line or that he did not remember me either, his word versus mine. I have no idea if the other two were his confederates or were just piling on along race or class lines. I’m a 57 yo white male. Maybe it was a diversion to aid shoplifting. There was no security in the shop, on top of the lax entry lines at start of game. Is there a camera in the store? — you can sort the whole thing yourself. But I’ve been to more than 300 games, between 1974 to now, and was a former ticket holder, and been to two Super Bowls – and was actually pickpocketed of my ticket in Miami — but have never been assaulted at a game, let alone being falsely accused as the instigator. Let alone twice in one set of actions. Its interesting to me that Officer Morgan did not ask me to describe the alleged perpetrators by race – -I think race or at least class was a factor. Doing it over again, I would rather have not pointed out that the guy seemed to jump the line. Yet I don’t believe society owes Blacks a special shorter line at 49ers concession, nor does that give him license to assault me. The people on both sides of me are people of color. My wife is a person of color. At the Stick, for 30 years, I saw next to Bob, and Larry, both Black former postal employees. I literally high-fived Larry — whose last name I never knew – 500 times for Joe Montana touchdowns and the like. Bob, I had his address and we’d sometimes swap tickets or transfer by mail. And I ran for City Council here and am a blogger and pretty well known as anti-racist. I produce concerts and manage musicians. I would say 20 percent of my work is with Black and Latino artists.
andandand: I think that the 49ers at Santa Clara and Levi’s stadium are, post-Covid, finding it hard to get good entry level workers. So it is entirely plausibly that systemically the security was worse than normal and someone could sneak a concealed weapon into the game. I go to hundreds of events, sports, concerts, theatre, political rally — I was at the Clinton inauguration on Anna Eshoo’s guest list – and always check out what security is doing. I have above average eye for trouble. In my room, whenever there is an incident, such as something that requires us to 86 someone, as matter of practice we always phone it in to police. At Lytton Plaza, Together Again Palo Alto, September, 2021, 15 concerts, there were two assaults, over parking. There was an alleged “assault and battery” but I told the police it was a false report and the respondent was the instigator. That “Andre” pushed “the guy in the blue hatchback, Virginia plates” but that the other guy caused the whole thing. (In fact, Andre’s insurance agent did reach me and take my statement, exculpatory)
As Stevie Wonder says, “heaven help us all”. But there is plenty we can work out for ourselves. I’m not perfect, but I am not a racist. Young brother in red needs to step to the step.