Recently, one McDonald’s restaurant in Baltimore was the scene of something much less than the perfect family dining experience.  At this particular eatery, diners got a surprise dinner theater performance with their meals. The customers were able to watch murderous homophobic female thugs as they attempted to kill a member of the LGBT community, while the restaurant’s management mounted a lukewarm response and at least one worker videotaped the horrific and violent assault to later post it on YouTube, Facebook and various hip-hop social networks.

Sound unbelievable??? Well, that is exactly what happened on a chilling Baltimore evening at around 8 p.m., inside a McDonald’s restaurant in the 6300 block of Kenwood Avenue, according to news reports. What fueled the incident was when a Transgendered woman made her way toward the women’s restroom to use the facility. The victim first asked one of the restaurant crew members if she could use the restroom and was told that she had to purchase some food in order to use the facility. She responded by saying that she really had to go right away and could not wait. According to the woman, while walking toward the restroom an unidentified man apparently approached her, possibly one of the girl’s boyfriends, in an attempt to flirt with her, but the woman declined his offer and immediately went into the restroom. She said, when she came out two African-American females, 14 and 18 spat in her face and began arguing with her, expressing their objection to the woman using the bathroom and one of the women accused her of flirting with her boyfriend. The argument escalated into what has become one of the most violent attacks ever viewed on the Internet. As a matter of fact, immediately after the video was uploaded to several popular social networks, it went viral!When I first learned of this incident, I was warned that the video is extremely violent and graphically disturbing, but never in my wildest dreams, could I have ever imagined just how horrific and disgusting it would be to watch! All through the video, I was overwhelmed by a variety of emotions. All the while, cringing in disbelief and thinking to myself, “This cannot be happening and why isn’t anyone making any real attempt to stop this violent attack, phone the police; and my God, where is the manager?”

And then out of nowhere, after several minutes which seemed like hours of brutal beating, an elderly woman dressed in white like an angelic emissary appears on the scene to rescue the woman in distress. Even though, it is clear that she is no match for the two younger women attacking the victim, she literally places her life in jeopardy, in a courageous attempt to defuse the situation and ward off the attackers. While her efforts were not completely successful (because the assailants later returned to beat the woman even more viciously), still her intervention delayed the attackers and may possibly have saved the woman’s life.

Now, you are probably wondering, like me, where was the staff and where was the manager? That’s an easy question to answer; the manager made a half- hearted attempt to stop the fight while others can be heard in the background, peering through video phone camera lenses, boasting about how they are going to put the video on YouTube and other social networks. The manager on duty attempted to intervene only after the badly beaten victim was viciously dragged by the hair to the front door by the young female thugs who seemed intent upon murder. After sustaining a barrage of brutal kicks to the head, the victim began convulsing; bleeding from the mouth, all of which was followed by a violent seizure.

Moreover, while this occurred, the crew continued videotaping the incident, never making a genuine attempt to defuse the attack and/or phone the police. Instead of the manager locking the door and detaining the two women who had attacked the victim until the police could arrive, the walked over the victim’s body lying in the doorway (as he can be seen doing throughout the video) like she was a piece of trash that was totally unworthy of any type of assistance. Store can be heard encouraging the perpetrators to flee for their own protection.

When Baltimore County officers finally arrived, they found the 22-year-old woman convulsing and having seizures. She was still lying in the doorway of the restaurant. After the woman had recovered to some degree, the officers questioned the woman and apparently ran a make on the woman to determine if she had a criminal history. Their inquiry revealed that the victim had a lengthy rap sheet, which of course had nothing at all to do with the incident or the fact that she had been undeservedly almost beaten to death by vicious attackers. The victim’s criminal history and even home address were made public after the unmerciful beating, further jeopardizing the woman’s safety and adding to the emotional duress, physical and mental trauma caused by her assailants.

The owner of that particular McDonald’s announced on Saturday afternoon, April 23, 2011 that one employee who taped the violent beating and put it on YouTube and other social networks for all the wrong reasons had been fired (quite justifiably so). He also responded by expressing his dismay about the entire incident.

“My first and foremost concern is with the victim,” franchise owner Mitchell McPherson said in a statement, adding that action might be taken against other restaurant workers as well. “I’m as shocked and disturbed by this assault as anyone would be. The behavior displayed in the video is unfathomable and reprehensible.”

I am inclined to agree wholeheartedly with Mr. McPherson, however; if I were in his position, I would fire every employee! Starting with the manager and every crew member who stood idly by and witnessed the incident and did nothing to stop it or even intervene by calling the police.

Some people have stated that the transgender woman should not have attempted to use the women’s restroom and expressed their vehement disapproval. I realize that most people don’t fully understand anything about transgender people, but since we are having a “teachable moment,” it should be noted that most transgender people don’t think of themselves as being gay, but see their gender assignment at birth as a false or as an incomplete description of themselves. Therefore, it is only natural for them to dress, act, and yes, even use public lavatories that are appropriate for them as a transgender woman or man. Needless to say, it was probably extremely wise and appropriate for the transgender woman to use the women’s restroom, because if the truth be told, had she entered the men’s restroom (in some minority communities) she could have placed herself in even greater jeopardy!

Not long ago, Baltimore, Maryland was besieged by Evangelical ministers who had fled the DC area after being expelled from the region. They were horribly defeated by the LGBT community and affirming Congregations during the implementation of (Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality Amendment Act of 2009 Bill 18-482), granting the right to same sex couples to marry. Of course, since Baltimore, Maryland is in close proximity to Washington, DC, it was only natural for the LGBT community to seek the same constitutional rights and provision to marry as well. However, religious leaders banned together enraging the African-American community and pitting them against the gay community once again, killing the bill. It is no secret that the Black Church has tremendous influence over the African-American community and influences the minds of the countless thousands within its ranks. Furthermore, it is no secret that sometimes this vehement disapproval mutates within the Black community and manifests itself in the form of overt bigotry and hatred toward same-gender-loving people, even outside of the church. I don’t blame the ministers for these acts of violence completely, but I do blame them for not telling their parishioners that whatever their doctrinal beliefs are about same-gender-loving people, those beliefs never gives any individual the right to discriminate or beat anyone unmercifully or to murder them!

I have said it before and I will say it again! These types of horrible occurrences are not isolated incidents, but are a result of years of consensual discrimination that this country endorses and allows! These horrific incidents will continue to occur at an alarming rate and will become even more visible, as long as we preach biased messages from pulpits that brand all same-gender-loving people as sinful sodomites who are hell bound and view transgender people as the ultimate abomination. Innocent women, children and teens will continue to commit suicide by the thousands and athletes will think nothing of blurting out gay slurs for millions of fans on national television to hear without conscience. As long as rap artists (whom we worship) are allowed to continually spew out homophobic lyrics, secretly knowing that they have our mental endorsement and permission to reshape the mindsets of our children with subliminal homophobic messages cleverly woven into the fabric of rap lyrics, then we can expect to see more incidents like this occur. Most children who are gay, bisexual, or lesbian aren’t as bold as transgender people are and many hide their sexual orientation from parents and guardians in the African-American community most of their lives until they eventually cast off the chains of discrimination and oppression and come out.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., modeled his life after Christ and both of them were an example to us all. Their goal in mind was to teach us to love one another and to respect one another because every human being is made in the image of the Creator and deserves their God-given equal rights. Many religious extremists rant and claim that acceptance of all people is against God’s will and that by granting all people equal rights will most certainly lead to the demise and the downfall of our great nation. But I prefer to think the opposite! I prefer to embrace the philosophy and vision of our forefathers whom under divine inspiration crafted the Constitution (an ingenious revolutionary document which is still the envy of countless nations today) and believed that all people deserve equal rights. If our nation falls, it will not be because people are gay, bisexual, lesbian or transgender; it will be because we have allowed ourselves to become deluded and deceived by our own homophobic prejudices, still intent upon continuing our legacy of discrimination and hatred that have stained the pages of our history with the blood of the innocent for decades!

by Angel Mason, Global Author