Weeks after being filmed screaming “monkey” and “nigger” at a black motorist, a White man from Pennsylvania is claiming he isn’t “racial,” because he has biracial family members.
In an interview with The Daily Local News, John Rodgers, 52, claims he wouldn’t normally use the n-word because he has grandchildren who are of mixed heritage.
“I am not racial. “I have a mixed-race grandchild. Biracial grandkids. I wouldn’t normally say that word. I am not a racial person. I don’t see color. I see ignorance.”
The incident took place mid-July, as college student Zhaqweyza Armstrong drove along the Route 30 bypass on her way home to Coatsville, Penn.
“I didn’t know what was going on. I was terrified,” she told Fox29. “They continued taunting me. He hops in front of me, slams on the breaks, then continues to go from lane to lane.”
“Go to Africa. Hurry up, go to Africa! Run nigger run, monkey, monkey, monkey,” the man, identified later as Rodgers, shouted for seemingly no reason.
Rodgers claims Armstrong almost hit the back of his car and was cutting in and out of lanes before she started recording. He also claims the 20-year-old called him “white trash.” The racial slurs, he claims, came from a place of anger and frustration, but not hatred.
The Root reports neither Rodgers nor Armstrong will press charges against the other.
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.