Video of a vile, racist tirade directed at an East Village security guard made the rounds on social media Tuesday and Wednesday and is serving as yet another example of bigotry and hate existing within our society.
“I was raised better than that,” said Rodney Jackson, a black man and security guard at the Pinnacle on the Park apartments. “I was raised to respect everyone no matter their skin color. That's just not my character."
That was Jackson’s response to the ugly, incendiary berating he took Tuesday morning while he was just tying to do his job. He said the woman was thrown out of a party by a tenant and took her anger out on him.
“I can tell by how angry she was and how she was acting that it came from deep inside her,” Jackson said. “She really meant it."
Jackson pulled his phone out and pressed record moments after the woman began to unleash her slurry of hate and ignorance. He then put his phone in his shirt pocket to keep his hands free for protection.
Thankfully, no blows came. Just the same hateful word.
Over and over again.
Jackson’s mother Shani Crawley couldn’t believe what her son had to go through.
“You never wake up thinking I may be the next headline, my child may be the next – you know,” Crawley said. “And that is the scary part."
Crawley first wants an apology for her son, and she also wants this type of behavior to stop for the sake of all who face discrimination based on the color of their skin.
Jackson said he invited the woman into the building lobby and called her a cab. In the video, calm and collected, Jackson can be heard telling the woman that he did her a favor even after she hurled slurs at him. The woman went back outside but got into a confrontation with others, and Jackson was forced to intervene.
“Especially with the times going on right now, it really hurt me as a black man in America," Jackson said Wednesday.
Jackson’s ability to keep his composure throughout the tirade is on full display in the video, and thousands on social media outraged by the encounter made sure to let him know they had his back.
“That means a lot to me,” he said. “That shows me that there is change being made and I really do appreciate that."
Despite twice calling a cab for the party guest, Jackson said she left on foot. He had never seen her in the building before the confrontation. While he did report the incident to his supervisors and the property owners, Jackson told NBC 7 he decided against calling the police.