Things That Matter

Racists Caught On Video Shouting “White Lives Matter” And Giving Nazi Salute To Couple

In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the country has been grappling with racial inequality and police brutality – trying to figure out how to move forward into a country that knows Black lives matter.

However, it also seems that racist encounters are on the rise, or at least they’re more commonly being caught on camera. Another white couple, this time in California, has gone viral for their racist attack on a couple after an alleged road rage incident. The encounter, all of which was caught on camera, was enough proof to land the racist couple behind bars on hate crime and vandalism charges.

A man gave a Nazi salute and a woman shouted “white lives matter” in an encounter with a couple in California.

A nasty racist encounter in Torrance was caught on cameras as a Black couple was abused at a red light by a white man and woman yelling “Only white lives matter!”

Itzel Lopez and her boyfriend were sitting at a red light in Torrance, CA, when a white couple stormed out of their pickup truck. That’s when Lopez started recording. In the video, a white woman can be seen standing on the passenger side, flipping dual middle fingers at Lopez and her boyfriend, who is Black. She yells “white lives matter (expletive)” and then “only white lives matter.”

The man, who was standing on the driver’s side, fluttered his hand in a wave then yelled “white power!” and made a Nazi salute. Then he grabbed a shovel and slammed it against the car as Lopez’s boyfriend backed up and sped away.

Lopez, who posted the video to Instagram, wrote: “Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black. We were being harassed for miles.”

For Lopez, 25, the firsthand experience of hate was jarring. “I experience racism in a extremely traumatic way,” she wrote in the Instagram video’s caption.

“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on,” Lopez told KTLA.

The racist couple have since been charged with a hate crime and vandalism of property.

Credit: Torrance Police Department

Not long after driving away, Lopez and her boyfriend found the couple’s truck outside a Starbucks and recorded the license plate. The following day they reported the incident to the Torrance Police Department. In a news release the department said the crime started as a “road rage situation.” 

And thanks to the video, the white couple, Gregory and Rachel Howell, both 29, were arrested on hate crime and vandalism charges, police said. In an interview with KTLA before the arrest, Lopez said she wanted justice.

“I don’t want them to just go freely and continue to do this to someone else,” she said.

As the U.S. confronts racial inequality, racist incidents and hate crimes have been increasingly caught on camera.

Sadly but not surprisingly, racist incidents like this are far too common across the country. And as the U.S. grapples with mass protests against racial inequality since the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, it seems that incidences like this are on the rise.

In June, a self-identified Ku Klux Klan leader was charged with a hate crime after driving through peaceful protesters in Richmond, while in Wisconsin, a school district called for hate crime charges against a white woman who spat on a Black student during a peaceful Black Lives Matter demonstration.

A report from the Census Bureau found these hate crimes and other racist interactions have taken a toll on the mental health of African Americans, with the rate of those reporting significant anxiety and depression jumping from 36 to 41 percent.

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