If you’ve got a beard, you’d best tread carefully around riled-up Fox News viewers.
In one of the single dumbest news stories I’ve read in a year that’s been chock full of ‘em, Benedetto DeFrancisco, a transgender Chicago teaching assistant, was harassed and threatened at gunpoint after he was mistaken for a member of ISIS, apparently solely on account of—drumroll please—his beard.
Late last month, William Jackson began shouting at DeFrancisco as he was taking an early morning stroll around the school before work, as he told the Windy City Media Group’s Matt Simonette:
“I literally just walk around the school, so on my second lap, he was definitely shouting [again], and it felt like it was aimed at me. It was getting louder and more aggressive. A lot of swearing. I honestly thought he was drunk. I took out my headphones and looked at him, and heard what he was saying: ‘I know what you’re doing, motherfucker. You’re scaring my wife — get out of here.’”
At this point DeFrancisco saw Jackson’s .45 caliber Ruger semi-automatic pistol and calmly walked away, calling authorities after he was safely around the corner. Police arrived on the scene soon afterwards.
“They were getting scared, because the ISIS attack happened in France, and getting more scared that ISIS was in Chicago. It’s clear that they had been watching me since the previous Monday — this happened on a Wednesday. I’ve been taking these walks since I’ve been working there. On my walk, I notice the same people come around. My thing to do is say hello. Unfortunately, with this man and his wife, their fear got the best of them. They could have just asked, ‘Hey, what are you doing here?’”
Mr. Jackson is due in court on Wednesday on charges of aggravated assault. He’s lucky that flagrant stupidity isn’t a crime because the judge would be obliged to throw the book at him.
Coming as no surprise to anyone, according to detectives, Jackson and his wife are avid Fox News fans! DeFrancisco’s “look”—which includes a beard—was making Mrs. Jackson nervous and so her husband decided to grab his gun and verbally assault him while waving a gun around. Cute couple.
This is kind of abject idiocy you can’t reason with. Fox News + Islamophobia + Republicans + GUNS = Modern America going completely insane. With his own experience being a vivid example of how this sort of irrational “thinking” can hurt totally innocent people, DeFrancisco believes that the Fox News fear-mongering has negative repercussions:
“[Jackson] is not the only person watching Fox News — it’s a toxin and it’s spreading fear, and this fear leads to hatred. Instead of wanting to know something about a culture or religion, they just shut it down in the most horrible or scary way.”
I’ll say it again: His beard is what set them off!
It’s too sadly moronic to contemplate, isn’t it?
Admirably Benedetto DeFrancisco is taking this unfortunate incident in his stride and although he would like a letter of apology from Mr. Jackson he doesn’t hope for him to spend any time in jail, thinking that his assailant, who was allegedly quite contrite upon his arrest, has learned a valuable lesson.
Fuck that. Make an example of this idiot. At the very least fine him an awful lot of money, so much that it hurts, AND TAKE AWAY HIS FUCKING GUN FOR GOOD.
If Fox News tries to make a martyr out of poor dumb-dumb sap William Jackson—he’s the new Kim Davis, a brave American going after an Islamic terrorist with a gun OR AT LEAST THIS IS WHAT THE FUCK HE THOUGHT HE WAS DOING, this story will crawl up its own ass in ways I can’t even anticipate. Perhaps Mike Huckabee will show up at his arraignment with a guy in a Santa Claus suit and a camera crew and the theme from Rocky playing over the PA system.
God help us all.