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Incident in Broward County

A news item caught my eye this week.

The incident in question took place on July 10th of this year; I’m writing about it now because an arrest took place just this week following an anonymous tip.

Back in July, a man by the name of Marc Cohen, age 63, was taking his wife out for a movie date at the AMC theater in Pompano Beach, located in Broward County, Florida. Mr. Cohen had purchased VIP tickets for the occasion, which means he gets advance seating as well as prime seating for the show.

When Mr. Cohen and his wife approached those VIP seats they had paid for, he saw two people, a young man and a young woman, sitting in their seats. He politely approached them and informed them that they were sitting in his seats, and he asked them if they would please relocate to their own reserved seats.

Normally such things are settled peacefully, and the people in the wrong seats will apologize and move. Perhaps they were in the wrong seats by mistake, perhaps deliberately, but either way, decent people will move out of the wrong seats because it’s the right thing to do.

I’m sure Mr. Cohen was caught off guard when the young man in his seat, Jesse Thorton II, age 27, stood up and started physically assaulting Mr. Cohen, beating him senseless right there in the theater, with Cohen’s wife looking on, horrified at what was happening to her husband. Cohen was pushed to the floor, and punched in the face and head multiple times. His nose was broken. His own blood was all over his head, face, arms, and shirt, and he had to be hospitalized. Jesse Thorton, after beating Cohen mercilessly, walked out of the theater with his girlfriend in tow.

Jesse Thorton is black. Marc Cohen is white. Why do I bring up race, especially when I myself normally consider the race of a person irrelevant? I bring it up because I suspect that race, while unimportant to me, is very important to Jesse Thorton. Of course, I cannot prove that. But here is what I do know: there has been a dangerous and sinister movement plaguing the minds and hearts among certain segments of black Americans. It began in the 60s with a radicalized revolutionary named Herbert Marcuse. Although white, Marcuse became the prophet of violent revolution and Marxism in academia (he actually was a professor at San Diego State University). The movement also gained traction due to a young black student of Marcuse, Angela Davis, who inspired radicalized hate groups such as the Weather Underground, the Black Panthers, and the Black Liberation Army, whose members considered themselves victims of white supremacy and therefore were justified in murdering white people and, especially, cops of any color. The Black Lives Matter movement of today is a rebirth of these radical groups, and while BLM doesn’t seem to officially call for the murder of white people, they do infiltrate almost every single college in America and preach hatred of whites via their so-called Critical Race Theory.

Due to the terrible and destructive propaganda that has been inhaled by many black people, men and women of color who have been unduly influenced by such radicalized ideology perpetually see themselves as victims and see white people as oppressors. This view, while false, serves to justify their savage hatred of white people. While I cannot claim with certainty that Jesse Thorton falls in this category, his behavior suggests that he does. If so, he would imagine that Marc Cohen deserved the beating he got because, being white, he is an oppressor. Further, Jesse Thorton would be under the illusion that he himself deserves the VIP seats that Marc Cohen and his wife purchased because, so the thinking goes, since Cohen is white he must hate black people and therefore he is undeserving of the seats he himself purchased.

What did this entire mindset cost Jesse Thorton? His freedom. He is now in jail for aggravated battery with great bodily harm. His bond is set at $250,000. Was it worth it? He behaved like a thug, he severely injured another man, and now he has lost his freedom. And all of this is likely based on a lie, a propaganda-based narrative that he has accepted and internalized, uncritically, without thinking about its veracity.

Marc Cohen will heal. But will Jesse Thorton?

Ara Norwood is a multi-faceted and results-oriented professional. Spanning a multiplicity of disciplines including leadership, management, innovation, strategy, service, sales, business ethics, and entrepreneurship. Ara is also a historian, having special expertise on the era of the founding of our republic.
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