Man sucker-punches maskless guy. Is this a hate crime?

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A confrontation between two men turned violent after one of them struck the other with a huge blow, allegedly over his refusal to don a mask in a store.

Video of the incident, which has gone viral, shows a black man taking a “cheap shot” at a white man who appears to be turning away from him at the time.

“No, please, I mean, we’re all free,” the white man appears to say as he begins to turn.

Without warning, the black man lays him out with a huge right hook, sending the white man into a deli case and onto the floor.

https://twitter.com/AdamBaldwin/status/1302857473510973440

The video clip is short and it is captioned as a “COVID mask” issue, but it’s not clear what may have led to the confrontation or why the unidentified black man struck the white man.

“This innocent man was violently assaulted for not wearing a mask. This is the kind of violence the Democratic Party has endorsed,” wrote Mike Coudrey, CEO of Yuko Social, a social media firm specializing in politicians and political organizations.

“Biden voters taking cheap shots like this are only helping Trump’s reelection,” actor Adam Baldwin wrote in retweeting the video, which was originally posted by Tariq Nasheed, who calls himself “the world’s #1 Race Baiter.”

“Where is his covid mask?” Nasheed wrote.

It’s not clear who the white victim may support politically, but during an interview on Sunday, Simone Sanders, senior adviser to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, said the candidate denounces violence, but it was in reference to the rioting and looting that has been occurring in Democrat-run cities all summer.

That said, a number of prominent Democrats have been dog-whistling to their supporters throughout President Donald Trump’s first term that it is okay to confront his supporters or anyone they disagree with.

One of the most memorable moments came in June 2018, when she told supporters to literally confront members of President Trump’s Cabinet to tell them “they’re not welcome anymore.”

“I want to tell you, these members of his cabinet who remain and try to defend him, they won’t be able to go to a restaurant, they won’t be able to stop at a gas station, they’re not going to be able to shop at a department store,” she said during an interview with MSNBC.

“The people are going to turn on them. They’re going to protest. They’re absolutely going to harass them until they decide that they’re going to tell the president, ‘No, I can’t hang with you,’” Waters continued.

Later, she told a group of supporters, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them, and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

By ‘instructing’ supporters to “push back” on Trump Cabinet officials, by default the message is that it’s okay to do the same to his supporters or, really, anyone who crosses you.

The following month, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), told a crowd to “get up in the face” of members of Congress — Republicans — over policy disputes.

“Before I end,” he said at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, “that’s my call to action here. Please don’t just come here today and then go home. Go to the Hill today. Get up and please get up in the face of some congresspeople.”

Harassment of Trump supporters at rallies and following political events has only ramped up since, as scores of incidents posted online demonstration. Even attendees to the president’s Republican National Committee speech in Washington last month were harangued, harassed, and — in the case of Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) and his wife — nearly physically accosted.

As to the alleged attack on the mask-less white man, reactions were strong on social media.

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Jon Dougherty

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