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Civil rights activist Vauhxx Booker says he was nearly lynched until a group of bystanders stepped in
via Jeremy Hogan / YouTube

Vauhxx Booker, a civil rights activist from Bloomington, Indiana, claims that a group of white men threatened to lynch him during an altercation on July 4 near Lake Monroe, but he was saved by onlookers who intervened.

Video taken during the incident shows he was held down by a group of men who pinned him to a tree in a wooded area. Booker says that while he was being held down, the men threatened to break his arms, repeatedly said "get a noose," and told his friends to leave the area.

The men later let him go after being confronted by onlookers who gathered at the scene.

The incident began, according to Booker, when he and his friends were making their way to the lake to see the lunar eclipse when a white man on an ATV told them they were trespassing. When Booker and his friends continued to walk to the lake, the man on the ATV and his friends allegedly shouted "white power" at them, which is when things turned violent.


Booker says that one man wore a hat with the confederate flag.

Booker recounting the story to reporters on Monday.via Cameron Ridle / Twitter

"I don't want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching," he later wrote on Facebook. "I don't want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can't be hidden or avoided."

Multiple people recorded portions of the incident on their camera phones. In the videos, the white men can be heard calling someone a "nappy-headed bitch" and insulting "liberals."

Video documentation of Bloomington resident Vauhxx Booker being attacked, July 4, 2020www.youtube.com

The altercation caught the attention of other people making their way to the lake who intervened by filming the incident, calling the Department of Natural Resources, and demanding they let Booker go.

"I'm here alive today because folks stopped being bystanders. They didn't just film me," Booker said at a protest on Monday adding that their actions, "affirmed that black lives matter."

In his Facebook post, Booker says that the crowd refused to leave him to be killed by the men.

According to witnesses, it took DNR agents one to two hours to arrive at the scene of the altercation. Booker says they refused to make any arrests.

"They left a clear and present danger loose in our community," Booker said of the DNR officers. "I don't have a doubt that if it would have been five Black men who had attacked a white man, they would have been in jail that night."

The DNR says that the incident is still under investigation. Booker's lawyer believes that arrests will be made soon.

On Monday, a Black Lives Matter group gathered in Bloomington, Indiana to protest the incident and support Booker.

The peaceful protest ended in violence when a red car sped through the gathering injuring two people who hung on as it drove away. The driver of the car has not been identified.

"The 35 year-old man that had clung to the side of the vehicle suffered abrasions to his arms as a result of falling from the vehicle. The 29 year-old woman that had been on the hood was said to have been knocked unconscious and suffered a laceration to her head," the Bloomington Police Department wrote, according to NBC News.

The incident near Lake Monroe is another example that racially-motivated violence is still a problem that must be confronted. It also shows why the goals of the growing Black Lives Matter movement gaining traction across the country are so vital to the survival of people of color.

The bystanders who wouldn't let Vauhxx Booker be the next victim is an inspiring example of what can happen when allies step in and refuse to accept violence. Wouldn't it be great if the cops who stood by allowed George Floyd to be murdered did the same thing?

"We need to stop being bystanders," Booker said on Monday. "I'm here today because folks stopped being bystanders."

All images provided by Bombas

We can all be part of the giving movement

True

We all know that small acts of kindness can turn into something big, but does that apply to something as small as a pair of socks?

Yes, it turns out. More than you might think.

A fresh pair of socks is a simple comfort easily taken for granted for most, but for individuals experiencing homelessness—they are a rare commodity. Currently, more than 500,000 people in the U.S. are experiencing homelessness on any given night. Being unstably housed—whether that’s couch surfing, living on the streets, or somewhere in between—often means rarely taking your shoes off, walking for most if not all of the day, and having little access to laundry facilities. And since shelters are not able to provide pre-worn socks due to hygienic reasons, that very basic need is still not met, even if some help is provided. That’s why socks are the #1 most requested clothing item in shelters.

homelessness, bombasSocks are a simple comfort not everyone has access to

When the founders of Bombas, Dave Heath and Randy Goldberg, discovered this problem, they decided to be part of the solution. Using a One Purchased = One Donated business model, Bombas helps provide not only durable, high-quality socks, but also t-shirts and underwear (the top three most requested clothing items in shelters) to those in need nationwide. These meticulously designed donation products include added features intended to offer comfort, quality, and dignity to those experiencing homelessness.

Over the years, Bombas' mission has grown into an enormous movement, with more than 75 million items donated to date and a focus on providing support and visibility to the organizations and people that empower these donations. These are the incredible individuals who are doing the hard work to support those experiencing —or at risk of—homelessness in their communities every day.

Folks like Shirley Raines, creator of Beauty 2 The Streetz. Every Saturday, Raines and her team help those experiencing homelessness on Skid Row in Los Angeles “feel human” with free makeovers, haircuts, food, gift bags and (thanks to Bombas) fresh socks. 500 pairs, every week.

beauty 2 the streetz, skid row laRaines is out there helping people feel their beautiful best

Or Director of Step Forward David Pinson in Cincinnati, Ohio, who offers Bombas donations to those trying to recover from addiction. Launched in 2009, the Step Forward program encourages participation in community walking/running events in order to build confidence and discipline—two major keys to successful rehabilitation. For each marathon, runners are outfitted with special shirts, shoes—and yes, socks—to help make their goals more achievable.

step forward, helping homelessness, homeless non profitsRunning helps instill a sense of confidence and discipline—two key components of successful recovery

Help even reaches the Front Street Clinic of Juneau, Alaska, where Casey Ploof, APRN, and David Norris, RN give out free healthcare to those experiencing homelessness. Because it rains nearly 200 days a year there, it can be very common for people to get trench foot—a very serious condition that, when left untreated, can require amputation. Casey and Dave can help treat trench foot, but without fresh, clean socks, the condition returns. Luckily, their supply is abundant thanks to Bombas. As Casey shared, “people will walk across town and then walk from the valley just to come here to get more socks.”

step forward clinic, step forward alaska, homelessness alaskaWelcome to wild, beautiful and wet Alaska!

The Bombas Impact Report provides details on Bombas’s mission and is full of similar inspiring stories that show how the biggest acts of kindness can come from even the smallest packages. Since its inception in 2013, the company has built a network of over 3,500 Giving Partners in all 50 states, including shelters, nonprofits and community organizations dedicated to supporting our neighbors who are experiencing- or at risk- of homelessness.

Their success has proven that, yes, a simple pair of socks can be a helping hand, an important conversation starter and a link to humanity.

You can also be a part of the solution. Learn more and find the complete Bombas Impact Report by clicking here.

via Pixabay

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