The above is what happens when you dedicate a song to Trayvon Martin and someone who doesn't like it decides to do something about it. Given his age and place of birth, I'm sure Lester Chambers has seen his fair share of stupidity in his life. I wonder if he ever suspected it would meet up with him up close and personal on this day:
Chambers, 73, was performing at the Hayward Russell City Blues Festival in Hayward, California, when a 43-year-old woman, identified by police as Dinalynn Andrews Potter, jumped onstage and knocked Chambers down. Chambers' wife, Lola, told the Mercury News that the singer had just dedicated Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions' "People Get Ready" to Martin, saying that if Mayfield were alive today, he'd change the lyrics from "there's a train a comin'" to "there's a change a comin'."
Andrews Potter was wrestled to the ground and subdued by stage hands, and Chambers was wheeled away to an ambulance. As the video shows, he was still in good spirits, even flashing a peace sign. Chambers was treated at the hospital and released. A photo posted to Facebook by his son, Dylan, shows Chambers' injuries: a "bruised rib muscle and nerve damage and he is sore all over," wrote Dylan.
Andrews Potter, meanwhile, was arrested on suspicion of battery, cited and released. According to Billboard, Chambers' family is pushing authorities to file hate crime charges.
Fuse spoke with Chambers following the incident. "I was asking for peace," he explains. "She got in my face and called me all kinds of MFs, saying that I started all this."
After the attack Chambers was "totally out of it," he says. "I've never been so shocked and traumatized."
Dinalynn Andrews Potter had absolutely no right to assault Mr. Chambers, but nevertheless felt it was within her privilege to. Of course, if Mr. Chambers had been 40 years younger and built like a stack of bricks, she would have been too cowed to even contemplate an attack. If she had a husband or boyfriend with her, she would have sent him up there in her stead. If Mr. Chambers was white just like herself, would she had bothered to approach the stage at all?
When people claim that there was no racial component worth mentioning in the George Zimmerman case, when people want to pretend to be colorblind and skip over the racially-motivated rationale that caused Zimmerman to exit his vehicle and roust a young man minding his own business, when those same people claim that Trayvon was responsible for his own death, give Zimmerman a pass and plenty of sympathy for killing somone and then become furious when you call them out on their pretend colorblindness, tone-deafness and self-serving attitudes...I point to the above video and other incidents like it.
When people are scared shitless over the black community "starting a riot" over the injustice that unfolded in that Sanford, Florida courtroom, yet happily gloss over and dismiss racially-motivated actions like the above, it reveals the staggering amount of hypocrisy involved. Of course, when the black community is rightfully outraged, mainstream America responds with cries over "black on black" crime and how the community can't seem to get a handle on it, as though it is supposed to make the community fall silent and contemplate its own so-called hypocrisy.
This is why we're pissed. This is why we get upset whenever there are attempts to have our voices silenced.
There are calls to see Potter charged with a hate crime. I hope the authorities do just that. These things simply cannot stand without some serious repercussions being formed in response.
Again, this woman felt it was within her privilege to clamber on stage and assault a 73-year-old man because he, in her own words, "started this." She saw someone who she figured couldn't fight back. Oddly enough, George Zimmerman saw the same in Trayvon Martin.