For some strange reason, it seems that an April spring is allowing racism to bloom across the country in the era of Trump. Most recently the story of a racist thug grandmother in Macon, Georgia went viral in social media. Many were shocked by the outrageous behavior of Judy Tucker as she and her son verbally and physically assaulted two active-duty female soldiers in uniform. Now there is another story of a White racist and a well-liked high school teacher.
The situation occurred in the city of Johns Creek, Georgia, about 30 minutes from downtown Atlanta. Terrance Stover noticed that a car was tailgating him and driving aggressively. The White driver of the vehicle drove up to the side o Stover’s car, stuck out his middle finger, cursed and threw an object towards his car with no provocation. Stover became concerned and drove into a public shopping center and was confronted by the driver, identified as Erik DeKeyser, 49.
DeKeyser confronted Stover and repeatedly called him the N-word. When Stover asked why he told him he wanted to get a rise out of him so he could legally murder him. Stover posted the following on Facebook:
“I am a high school educator and football coach. I also happen to be a gun owner who leaves the weapon in a secure place in my home. It is there for me to use only in the event that I need to protect my wife and children from an armed intruder. This week, however, I met up with the type of gun owner that makes people question the point of the Second Amendment and gives fuel to the gun control movement.
“I was driving in the Johns Creek area, on my way to an appointment. About halfway there, I observed a man aggressively driving in traffic. He slid his vehicle behind mine and started riding my bumper. Then he passed me on the driver’s side and flipped me off. He threw an object out his window in my direction and screamed obscenities at me. I shook my head in disbelief and continued on my way. Then, I looked in my rearview again, only to see the same guy swerving out of a turning lane and start riding my bumper once again.
“Looking back at what happened next; I realized that had I not practiced the patience I teach my students, I might have ended up being the subject of a tragic news story. It would have been a story with racial overtones because I am a large Black man, over six feet tall and over 350 pounds, and the aggressive driver was a middle-aged White man.
“Since I knew it was not safe for me to outrun this maniac, I turned into a high traffic shopping center to ensure my safety. I was also hopeful that if he followed me, others would help me calm him down. My pursuer ended up pulling up next to me in the parking lot. He stepped out of his car, yelled racial slurs and spit in my direction, hitting my car. The assailant used racial slurs, and violent body movements, while holding onto what I believed was a gun in the pocket of his shorts.
“When I asked him why he was racially and verbally attacking me, he said he was trying to “get a rise” out of me. By taunting me with the ‘N-word,’ he hoped I would fight back so he could legally murder me. I did not take the bait. I did what I tell the players on my team: “In every situation, you can only control yourself! Look at each situation carefully and make sure it is not an ambush!”
I was lucky that people in the shopping center saw what was happening. The Johns Creek police came and arrested the assailant for disorderly conduct. However, this situation could easily have gone another way and I am blessed that it did not. I have not told very many of my students or athletes what happened yet. I’m still shaken up and processing the experience. But here’s what I’ve concluded so far.
First, no matter what situation, you can only control yourself. So try to check your emotions, quickly and strategically examine as many aspects of the situation as possible, and most importantly respond with intelligent choices that minimizes the most damage. It could save your life or in many cases….. YOUR FREEDOM. Second, no one carrying a gun should ever use it to premeditate a murder. Never use a weapon to defend irrational/immoral behavior. Stand your ground laws are not meant to cover for misplaced aggression. Third, racism still very much alive!”
The video of the encounter can be viewed below: