Link to video
When three self-styled white supremacists took on Jay Phillips in a confrontation widely viewed on YouTube, they got more than they bargained for.
Phillips, 38, a Courtenay landscaper who spends much of his spare time at the gym, held his own against the three young men, seen on the video yelling racial slurs and throwing punches. Comox Valley RCMP have arrested one man in connection with the Friday night incident, and say more arrests are expected.
As the attackers surround Phillips, who is black, he knocks at least one of the men to the ground.
“They kept yelling they were going to lynch me and kill me and my whole family and this is a white town and get the f--- out of here,” Phillips said yesterday.
“Once they figured out they had met someone who was not afraid, they didn’t know what to do. They were like little hyenas trying to dart in and out to engage the lion, but they wouldn’t engage me one on one.”
The video, captured by an onlooker, is being scrutinized by the RCMP as they investigate whether the assault constituted a hate crime.
Const. Tammy Douglas said in a news release police are interviewing witnesses to determine the cause of the incident. “Preliminary investigation indicates that there may have been a racial element involved.”
The video shows three white men, two of them shirtless, dancing around Phillips, kicking and hitting.
When he falls to the ground, the three leap on him, punching and yelling, while a Jack Russell terrier barks. The dog later jumps in a red pickup with the three men.
“I was so happy about the video [since] no one even got the licence plate,” said Phillips, who was left with two stitches to his head and sore ribs.
The incident has generated an outpouring of horrified reaction on YouTube.
“There is a real underlying sickness in Courtenay,” says one post.
“I am gonna keep my eye open for that red Ford and offer them another go at being tough,” says another.
Phillips, who grew up in Maple Ridge and has lived in Courtenay for six years, is heartened by the support.
Most people in Courtenay are great, but a small group causes problems, he said. “You always get a few in every town who are really ignorant,” he said. “I am pretty sure they haven’t had the greatest lives because they are very angry and, most of all, just uneducated.”
The incident is spurring Phillips to start speaking out about racism, to ensure no one else has a similar experience and that his son, now nine months old, will never face such ugly threats. “There are so many up-and-coming young kids of colour in this town and I don’t want them to have to go through this. I don’t want them to have to go down the street looking over their shoulder.”
I thought the human race was beyond this... guess not eh..