“The KKK took my baby away
They took her away
Away from me” — The Ramones — “The KKK Took My Baby Away”
This Ramones song not only happened in real life to a Virginia Beach man on June 19th, but the man in question also wound up being shot by several bullets from the gun of KKK member Patrick Fontaine Creath Jr.
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Creath was charged by Virginia Beach police with malicious wounding and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony when he shot the black man who was dating his white daughter a few weeks ago.
Exactly what happened that day depends on whose story one chooses to believe.
According to local TV outlet WAVY:
“Creath told police he was at the scene of the argument to talk to his daughter’s boyfriend. He said the man “kept threatening to kill him.” The man continued to make threats as he got into his car. As he drove away, the man allegedly pointed a weapon at Creath and his daughter “as if to shoot them.” Creath told police he feared for his life and shot at the man’s car several times “in defense of himself and his daughter,” court documents state.
At least that’s how Creath’s defense attorneys are painting the picture.
A petition on Change.org tells a different story:
“KKK member Patrick Fontaine Creath Jr shot his white daughters black boyfriend, three times June 19, 2020 in Virginia Beach VA. The 43-year-old Patrick Fontaine Creath Jr., stayed at the scene. He was taken into custody and charged with felonious assault and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. The outcry for justice on social media is great. Pictures of the black young mans injuries have circulated showing the tragedy that took place on the afternoon of June 19, which are horrific,” the petition states, while including these devastating photos.
After being shot, the injured man — who has yet to be identified — drove to a local 7-11 where he called the police and sought medical attention.
Thus far, the story is of a highly regrettable but not particularly remarkable incident involving a disapproving parent whose daughter was in a relationship with someone from a forbidden family — the type of tale that harkens back to the Montagues and the Capulets of Romeo and Juliet fame.
Creath’s membership in the Ku Klux Klan, however, gives the story an added element in 21st century America — the accusations that the shooting was a racially-motivated hate crime that be charged as such.
After Creath was initially arrested for the shooting, he was released from jail on a paltry $5000 bond, and the petition was posted on Change.org to include hate crime charges to the prosecutable offenses.
As Emmanuel Booth, the man who posted the petition, states:
“This petition is to bring change to the injustice to the young man that sustained injuries due to racism. Had this situation been vice versa, the black young man that was shot would still be behind bars without the possibility of bond.”
While Booth’s reading of the disparities that the two men would face if their positions were reversed is speculation, hard experience and reality make his point difficult to dismiss as an exaggeration.
So far there is no word on how the incident has affected Creath’s daughter and her relationship with her wounded boyfriend.
Nevertheless, the advice that The Ramones gave in their 1981 song to resolve the problem of a relationship thwarted by the KKK would hardly be advisable today.
“I don’t know
Where my baby has been
They took her from me
They took her from me
Ring me, ring me, ring me
Up the President
And find out
Where my baby went”
Nowadays, the president would likely side with the KKK.
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