The anti-illegal immigration supporter was spit on and verbally harassed by two members of the Black Riders.
What started out as a press conference where activist Ted Hayes and others gathered to protest the effects of illegal immigration on the Black community turned into an ugly episode of “Black on Black” crime.
As Hayes and four to five associates walked down Crenshaw Blvd. promoting their conference Tuesday, two young males associated with the Black Riders verbally harassed the group and accused Hayes of bringing the Ku Klux Klan into the neighborhood.
After running across the street to hurl more insults, one of the males proceeded to shove Hayes before spitting in his face. He called the police, who came swiftly on the scene and arrested the man. His partner fled the scene and was not in custody at press time.
Hayes said that he planned to press charges against the individual.
As members of the community stood on the side, they expressed anger and disappointment at the actions of the young individuals.
“It’s ridiculous and it shows no respect for elders,” said James Spencer, who stood in between Hayes and his attacker. “To attack an elder, he has no respect for himself.”
Gerald Pitts, a member of the Millennium Panthers sadly remarked that the incident highlighted the growing divide between the old and new way of thinking
“For that young man to come up, push and spit in this gentleman’s face and continue to intimidate him, as a Black man, that hurt,” Pitts said.
Initially, the conference was going to address the four Black college students in New Jersey who were shot execution-style two weeks ago. Three of the four died and on August 9, police arrested two Latino males—including a 15-year-old boy—and charged them with the murders.
Hayes and his supporters were going to use the shooting as another example of how they feel illegal immigration is having a negative effect on the Black community. But instead, they used the day’s events to speak against what they call “misinformation” by the media on what he stands for.
The assault is only the latest reaction stemming from the June 23 incident at Leimert Park where Hayes and his group, Choose Black America, led a march down Crenshaw and clashed with immigrant rights supporters.
The Sentinel reported at the time that rumors of the Ku Klux Klan and the Communist Party coming that day had made Hayes appear that he was working in conjunction with both groups, a claim that he denied then and continued to deny now.
He has asked for Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Bernard Parks and radio station 102.3 KJLH to meet with him regarding the racial tensions in the city as well as go on record to “get that rumor off of me and my organization that we were collaborating with the Ku Klux Klan.”
“I’ve asked them to please do some kind of public program and tell the city that it is a lie. That was the premise of me almost getting killed out here today,” Hayes said with anger rising in his voice.
At press time, neither the mayor, Councilman Parks nor the radio station has yet agreed to meet with him.
He singled out KJLH’s early morning talk show, “The Front Page,” and its host, Dominique DiPrima, as continuing to put out the misinformation that has made him a walking target in the community.
He also alleged that it was a White Communist, Jubilee Shine, who made the fliers saying the Leimert Park march was affiliated with the KKK.
Hayes has long been vocal against the KKK and in fact saw this incident as a sad example of the illegal immigration issue turning Blacks against each other, which he feels is distracting from the real issues of his group.
“They have all been very successful in turning Black boys against me,” he said.
As for the press conference, he said that it has been put on hold as his people have told him to lay low for the time being. He sadly remarked that he would have done anything for those boys but now he is merely perceived as a threat that they had to take out.
“I’m not safe,” he said, “If I was by myself, it could’ve been much worse.”