A black man, Aaron Courtney, hugged a neo-Nazi, Randy Furniss, outside white supremacist Richard Spencer’s speech at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, on Oct. 18.
Courtney told the New York Daily News: “I could have hit him, I could have hurt him … but something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love.’”
Furniss was wearing a T-shirt with swastikas when he was surrounded by protesters who shouted, punched and spat on him before Courtney gave him a hug and said: “Why don’t you like me, dog?”
Courtney said he was protesting Spencer, who helped plan the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended in several deaths:
I found out about what kind of person he was and that encouraged me, as an African-American, to come out and protest. Because this is what we’re trying to avoid. It’s people like him who are increasing the distance … between people.
I had the opportunity to talk to someone who hates my guts and I wanted to know why. During our conversation, I asked [Furniss], “Why do you hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My dreadlocks?”
I reached over and the third time, he wrapped his arms around me, and I heard God whisper in my ear, “You changed his life.”
Courtney asked Furniss again, “Why do you hate me?” and Furniss finally answered, “I don’t know.”
“I believe that was his sincere answer. He really doesn’t know,” Courtney concluded.
(Source: New York Daily News)