Police investigating alleged racist confrontation at Krasl Art Fair
BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. (WNDU) - “Racist actions” by a small number of out-of-town artists on Sunday have officials with the Krasl Art Fair “furious.”
In a written statement, Krasl Art Center Director Julia Gourley Donohue said, “racism and hate will not be tolerated,” and that, “the artists involved will not be permitted to return.
16 News Now spoke with the victim of the racist action.
Last Sunday, 18-year-old Nicholas Gunn managed to capture video of a confrontation he had while covering the Krasl Art Fair for the Benton Spirit Community Paper.
A couple of artists didn’t want Gunn taking pictures of their copyrighted works.
The video shows some chest bumping, some pushing, and plenty of shouting.
Gunn says just before he started recording, two separate artists referred to him using the “N” word.
“When they were cussing at me and calling me the N word, humiliating me in front of every, all these people, I’m thinking, myself, this is like the downest I’ve ever felt,” Gunn explained.
There were no physical injuries. The whole altercation lasted about two minutes and 40-seconds.
By the time it was over, there were three police officers on scene, including the chief.
There is a crown on Gunn’s desk at the newspaper. He holds the title of “Mr. Benton Harbor” that he won as part of the Blossomtime festivities.
On Tuesday, he broke into tears as he recalled the subject of the speech he gave for the competition.
It involved advice he received from his family.
“They always told me not to go across the bridge, never go to St. Joe. They don’t, they don’t want you there. I serve in the community, I love everybody.”
Gunn says he will continue to concentrate on great things his community has to offer on both sides of the bridge.
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