Deandre Harris on Attack by White Supremacists in Charlottesville
Deandre Harris, a 20-year old hip-hop artist and educator, speaks out on surviving an attack by white supremacists in Charlottesville
Eze Jackson: Here with Deandre Harris, who was here in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday, and was attacked by Neo-Nazis, folks from the alt-right. How you’re doing, man? How’re you holding up?
Deandre Harris: All right man, just trying to recover. Thank God I’m still here to tell y’all the story.
Eze Jackson: Can you tell me about what happened?
Deandre Harris: Yeah. Basically yesterday as we was at the parking garage, a bunch of Nazis and more white supremacist groups and KKK was marching through the road and we was all exchanging words back and forth. Then as we walked down further with them, they just ambushed us into the parking garage and we were definitely outnumbered. It was just me, him, him, and they got me by myself, hit me in the head. I lost consciousness. In and out of consciousness, falling down, getting back up, falling down, getting back up. I opened my eyes last time, they beat me with poles, flags, sticks, kicking me, spitting on me, calling me names, N-word, telling me I wasn’t supposed to be here, telling me to die, macing me.
Eze Jackson: And you’re from Suffolk, Virginia, right?
Deandre Harris: Yeah, right.
Eze Jackson: What brought you to Charlottesville yesterday?
Deandre Harris: Well, I work out here. I live in Charlottesville now. I’ve been out here for probably two years after I graduated. I just moved out here two years ago.
Eze Jackson: What’s it normally like here for you, being a black man, in Charlottesville, Virginia?
Deandre Harris: I’m just out here trying to get all this money they’re trying to offer me and make music, man. That’s all I’m trying to do is make my music.
Eze Jackson: Typically, do you run into racial tension here in Charlottesville?
Deandre Harris: No, never.
Eze Jackson: What’s it like generally, just getting along with folks here?
Deandre Harris: It’s actually pretty all right. I’ve got my little crew and that’s all I need. I don’t need no big circle. I keep my circle small. Keep the people that’s gonna stay loyal to me around.
Eze Jackson: How do you feel now, today, just in general about what took place yesterday? Did you expect that to happen?
Deandre Harris: No. I didn’t. I just expected to go out there and voice my opinion just like everybody else. I didn’t expect to be attacked. If I ain’t got hit in the head, man, I could have defended myself at least a little bit, but I mean, hey, God’s still given me the grace to be here today. That’s all that matters, God. Fuck all that other stuff.
Eze Jackson: How many did you say there was?
Deandre Harris: It was probably like five or six on me.
Eze Jackson: Just on you?
Deandre Harris: Just on me, beating me. It’s a video on Twitter, Facebook, it’s all on the social media.
Eze Jackson: Anybody else in your crew get attacked?
Deandre Harris: When I got attacked, they were fighting as well, and then they came over to me and cleared out me and got me to safety.
Eze Jackson: All right, man, well thanks man. Sorry that happened to you. Thanks for being brave.
Deandre Harris: No problem, man. I appreciate it.
Eze Jackson: Thanks for talking to us about it. I appreciate y’all.