Last week, we shared a very disturbing video of a young Black woman, who has since been identified as Shiya Nwanguma, a student at the University of Louisville, being repeatedly pushed out of a Donald Trump rally in Louisville, Kentucky. If you saw the video you may have noticed that man doing most of the pushing was an older man in some type of military uniform. Truly shameful.
Turns out the man was an Army veteran named Alvin Bamberger. According to Military.com, Bamberger, who is a member of the Korean War Veterans Association, said he regrets shoving the young woman.
Bamberger wrote a letter to the president of the Korean War Veterans Association, after his face was circulated all over the internet. In it, he said:
“I physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit, an action I sincerely regret.”
The association didn’t release the full letter but WSCH, a radio station in Lawrence Kansas obtained it and confirmed its authenticity.
The 75-year-old veteran continued saying, “I have embarrassed myself, my family and Veterans. This was a very unfortunate incident and it is my sincere hope that I can be forgiven for my actions.”
The letter doesn’t indicate whether Bamberger has reached out to Nwanguma personally to apologize.
He did make it a point to say that he is not racist and does not belong to any racist organizations. He said he didn’t push her because she’s Black. Bamberger claims that it was an earlier interaction with some other protestors that caused him to react so strongly to Nwanguma.
“…everything seemed to be under control and mostly orderly. All that changed when Trump got to the stage. Protestors in the crowd became vocal and began pushing and shoving their way toward the stage. At one point I was physically knocked down and fell to the ground, losing my jacket (which was eventually returned to me). The protestors were holding up signs, chanting ‘Black lives matter’ and pushing and shoving Trump supporters.
Trump kept saying ‘get them out, get them out’ and people in the crowd began pushing and shoving the protestors. Unfortunately a lot of this behavior was happening right next to where I was standing and having been pushed to the floor myself, my emotions got the best of me, and I was caught up in the frenzy. I physically pushed a young woman down the aisle toward the exit, an action I sincerely regret.”
He said he attended the rally because Trump has been so supportive of veterans. It was only later, after he pushed Nwanguma that he realized some of the people standing right next to him were members of a White supremacist group.
“Unfortunately my state of mind after being knocked down and hurt myself, and being caught between a group of white supremacists and Black Lives Matter protestors contributed to my behavior however, there is no excuse for my actions.”
Since the incident, Bamberger told the radio station that he has been staying with family members in Colorado.
I know you’ve seen the Facebook memes and posts likening Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler. In fact, there’s a whole video where a man reads Hitler quotes to Trump supporters to get their reaction and it’s pretty frightening just how much foolishness they were willing to agree with just because they thought they came from the mind and mouth of Donald Trump. In fact, one man, even after he knew that the quotes came from Hitler still said, “Well, if Donald Trump said ‘em, I’d support ‘em.”
And that’s perhaps the most troubling thing about Donald Trump, the people who live in the real world and support him. The people who are so easily led astray by empty rhetoric, fear mongering and bigotry. They believe in him and his message so much that it allowed them to get “caught up in a frenzy.” A frenzy that caused a 75-year-old man to push and push and push and push a Black, female college student in a public space. He did it because he knew he wouldn’t be punished for it. He did it because he felt like the Black Lives Matter crew were responsible for hurting him. He did it because, on some level, he believes what Trump has to say about so many minority groups in this country. And he did it because he was following Trump’s instruction to “get them out of here” by any means necessary. I’m sure there are some former Nazi’s who got caught up in a frenzy too, who believed their actions would go unpunished, who were ready to follow Hitler’s instruction to eliminate the Jews.