The voting portion of the midterms may be over across the United States, but they didn’t conclude without incident. Among rampant concern about voter suppression and polling place accessibility, one racist woman in Montana launched her own “suppression” campaign. Tuesday, as a line of people waited to cast their ballots, 53-year-old Wendy Bies approached 22-year-old Brian Mango and — in addition to physical harassment — offered repeated racist remarks to the voter. Mango has said that Bies appeared drunk.
She was eventually arrested on a charge of obstructing a police officer, but not before she made her mark. She told Mango to go back where he came from — he was born in the United States — and insisted that his people just wanted “free stuff.” She added that some of that “free stuff” had supposedly come from President Donald Trump (of course the racist drunk’s a Trump supporter), wrongfully claiming that he’d given people like Mango the right to vote.
Mango says he’s heard plenty of racist remarks before throughout the years he’s lived in Bozeman, where the incident took place, but this time around he couldn’t just sit back and say nothing. The stakes were higher, he felt.
‘This is a really charged and intense moment in history, and I can’t let her say these things.’
The whole incident was actually captured on film thanks to local Native American man Tennison Big Day, who was waiting in line to vote a small number of people behind Mango. With a personal stake in the issue, he explained that he simply wanted to highlight the pervasiveness of racial harassment facing minority community members in the United States.
The incident hardly unfolded in a vacuum, considering the racial tension that President Donald Trump has stoked across the United States. Most prominently, white nationalists have felt emboldened to the point of gathering in locales like Charlottesville, Virginia, where they enacted violence last year that left one person dead and a number of others wounded.
Smaller scale incidents, though, like the one above have continued to unfold across the United States. For instance, there have been a number of white people who’ve been documented to have called the cops on black individuals just because they were existing “suspiciously,” or something. “BBQ Becky” — real name Jennifer Schulte — passionately demanded a police presence in an Oakland, California park over some black individuals having a cookout in a widely shared incident.
White woman Alison Ettel — aka “Permit Patty” — called the police on a black child selling water at a San Francisco area park in another widely shared incident.
The women, together with the racist captured in the above video at a Montana polling place, highlight the work that’s left to do in the United States to combat serious issues facing minorities outside of elections.
Still, Democrats made plenty of headway in the just concluded midterms, although with 84 percent of precincts reporting the winner in the prominent race to represent Montana itself in the U.S. Senate remains uncalled.
Elsewhere, Democrats picked up dozens of U.S. House seats, becoming the majority party.
Featured Image via YouTube screenshot