God Said ‘You Changed His Life,’ Black Man Who Hugged Nazi at Rally Claims

Aaron Courtney hugs Randy Furniss, identified as a Nazi in news reports.
Aaron Courtney hugs Randy Furniss, identified as a Nazi in news reports. (Photo: Politics for Dummies/Twitter)

Aaron Courtney, a high school coach and the son of a bishop, told reporters he felt God affirm his desire to hug a White man dressed in Nazi, or skinhead,  gear outside of a contentious rally in Gainesville, Florida, Thursday.

Driven by curiosity about the state of emergency Gov. Rick Scott issued for his county due to a planned visit by white supremacist Richard Spencer to the University of Florida in Gainesville, Courtney eventually found himself participating in a protest near the campus.

“I found out about what kind of person he was (Spencer) and that encouraged me, as an African-American, to come out and protest. Because this is what we’re trying to avoid. It’s people like him who are increasing the distance … between people,” Courtney told the New York Daily News.

The New York Post reports that an estimated 300 people had shown up at the University of Florida Gainesville to protest Spencer’s presence.

In one video clip published by Politics for Dummies on Twitter, Courtney is seen hugging a White man identified as Randy Furniss while dropping f-bombs in his requests to know the man’s motive for “hating” him.

In videos of the hugs and in photos of Furniss being punched by an apparent Black man, he is seen wearing red suspenders and a white t-shirt emblazoned with perverted swastikas.

Courtney had been prepared to leave the protest, he told the Daily News, when he eventually found himself standing in front of Furniss and pleading to know why the man “hated” him. Courtney told the paper he “almost broke out in tears, growing increasingly angry because I didn’t understand.”

Courtney attempted twice to hug Furniss.

The high school coach told the Daily News that he felt something inside him say that Furniss “just needs love.”

The White man relented on Courtney’s third gesture for a hug and reciprocated the embrace.

“I reached over and the third time, he wrapped his arms around me, and I heard God whisper in my ear, ‘You changed his life,'” Courtney said.

When asked again why he “hated” Courtney, Furniss finally replied: “I don’t know.”

Courtney told the Daily News that he felt Furniss’ response was “sincere.”

Here are two videos of the men’s exchange, with both including adult language.

https://twitter.com/steelzack1/status/921366853443833857

 

 


REPRINT REQUESTS | MEMBERSHIPS | GIVE


 

Help Keep Christian Media Diverse

Faithfully Magazine began in 2016/2017 with the mission to keep Christian media diverse by centering our content on Christian communities of color for an ethnically-inclusive audience. In that time, we’ve made an impact on Christian media and achieved meaningful milestones — such as creating a volunteer Associate Editor role, launching an Editorial Fellowship, and proudly paying our contributing writers. But we need your support to keep going. In addition to partnering with advertisers, nurturing a subscription/membership, and exploring paid live events, we rely on the generosity of readers who see value in our work and in our mission. We invite you to join us, and keep walking with us, in our mission. Every amount, big or small, empowers us to stay the course. Here are a few ways you can join us: We are grateful for your support. Thank you!
Share via

Report

Share via

What do you think?

Mentor

Written by FM Editors

Faithfully Magazine is a fresh, bold and exciting news and culture publication that covers issues, conversations and events impacting Christian communities of color.

Comments

Leave a Reply

    Richard Spencer

    Richard Spencer’s UF Speech Prompts Emergency Alert for Florida County

    publishing Christian fiction

    A Case for Diversity in Christian Publishing