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A non-white male veteran intervened after a black woman began berating a white family on a Chicago beach for using a Confederate battle flag-themed towel, telling the women she hasn’t “done s**t” for the country.
The confrontation began when LaShandra Smith-Rayfield approached and confronted a group of Evanston, Ill., beachgoers while taking video of the incident, which she posted on her Facebook page, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
Smith-Rayfield can be heard saying in the video that she was not comfortable by the presence of the Confederate battle symbol on a towel.
“That flag right there is my swastika,” Smith-Rayfield is heard telling the group of beachgoers, further claiming she would be unable to feel comfortable in her own neighborhood because of the design on the towel.
“You put it up on this beach, yes, I’m going to come out every single freakin’ time to tell you they lost the damn war. This is the United States of America, not the Confederacy of America,” she said, in the since-deleted video, according to The Blaze.
“That right there is a racist symbol of hate. My question to you is, how does that flag hold any relevance to you today in this country today? You vote in elections that have 50 stars on the flag. What does that flag have to do with today? If you aren’t a racist, then why are you holding that flag up?” she further claimed.
But as she continued to berate the group, a man she described as a person of color came up and began to defend the group’s right to use that particular towel or any other towel designs they chose.
“Let’s not do this. Let’s not do this,” he can be heard saying, adding at one point that he served in the military “to defend this flag.”
“No you didn’t, you fought to defend a flag that had 50 stars on it,” Smith-Rayfield shot back.
“I’m not going to argue with a man of color about that flag, it’s stupid,” she continued.
The man pointed out that she was the one causing the problem, not the white family, because she was harassing them.
“Just leave them alone,” he can be heard saying. “People like you haven’t done s**t for this country.”
After it became clear that Smith-Rayfield would not be deterred, the man left, and she continued berating the family, who eventually took down the towel after it had been hanging on a fence behind them.
At one point, Smith-Rayfield offered the family $20 for the towel but they refused to sell it, The Blaze noted.
**Warning: Strong language
A friend of Smith-Rayfield, noted activist Leslie Mac, also shared a portion of the video, writing, “TBH the more I think about it — the more I want to find that NB man of color — who TF is he? FR FR [for real].”
No for real. Look at this shit. pic.twitter.com/mBWE6WJGy7
— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) July 29, 2020
Mac said Smith-Rayfield, whom she described as a public school teacher, became irate after seeing the towel.
“F***,” Mac wrote in a post last week. “I am shaking right now. A college friend was just live on FB confronting a group of white people at Lighthouse Beach in Evanston (IL) that had a Confederate flag on display. She’s a Black public school teacher & drove down when she saw the flag posted on social media.”
Y'all can watch it here – TW for when the LONE person of color a non-Black man attacked my friend because "she's the one causing the problem", the Confederate flag holders were "minding their business" and he "fought for their right to display that flag" https://t.co/b44aQ2qbPB
— Leslie Mac (@LeslieMac) July 29, 2020
It wasn’t clear if the towel was put ‘on display’ or of the family had merely hung it on the fence to dry.
“Y’all can watch it here – TW [trigger warning] for when the LONE person of color a non-Black man attacked my friend because ‘she’s the one causing the problem’, the Confederate flag holders were ‘minding their business’ and he ‘fought for their right to display that flag,’” she continued.
She added that there was a “f***ing whole beach full of white people” who “weren’t saying s**t about that flag being on display.”
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