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Friday, February 24, 2017

The making of a conservative

This morning's NY Post ran an article titled, Dancers attack straphanger who wouldn't move for performance:

Four subway dancers attacked a straphanger who refused to move aside so they could perform in the middle of a Brooklyn train car, police said Thursday.

The four men, described as being in their 20s, walked onto the southbound A train in East New York at about 1:20 p.m. Wednesday, asking for money and shouting at people to step aside so they could do their routine, according to police.

When the 40-year-old victim, who was with his 26-year-old girlfriend, refused to move, one of the dancers punched him in the face, cutting him on his left cheek, police said.

All four men then began punching him, and when his girlfriend tried to intervene, one of them hit her, too.

“Stay out of it,” one man said as he pushed her away, according to police.

The four men fled from the train when it pulled into the Euclid Ave. station.

The 40-year-old man suffered cuts and bruises to his head and face.

Here is picture of the victim, David Giaccone, with his girlfriend two months ago:

And here's a picture of Giaccone after the four-on-one attack:

I have no idea what Giaccone's political leanings were prior to the attack. There are clues pointing in both directions. 

The hints that he might be a liberal are that he's 40, and dating a 26-year-old Hispanic woman. He's wearing a lumberjack shirt, an affectation among hipsters these days. (Though it could be that he just likes those shirts.) The sign in the subway car behind him and his girlfriend says "Sutter," which is a line running directly through Brownsville, not an area where Republicans congregate. And he's got a few days' growth, indicating that he's probably not showing up to a white collar job daily. 

But there are also clues pointing the other way. First, he refused to move for the four young men, an indication that he won't be cowed. "Giaconne" is an Italian name, and most Italian-Americans I've known have leaned right. (Though he actually looks more Anglo.) And finally, he has a strong, masculine, no nonsense face, indicative of a high testosterone level, which tends to correlate with right-leaning views among white men. 

None of these clues are definitive, of course; they are merely hints. 

I applaud Giaccone for his refusal to be intimidated, though the wiser course would have been to move, especially given that he was outnumbered four to one by a group that felt no inhibitions about fighting unfairly. Maybe he felt he had to look strong in front of his girlfriend. 

In any case, whatever Giaccone's political persuasion before, my guess is that this experience has nudged him rightward. 

If he supported affirmative action before, well, perhaps he's a tad less strong in that conviction now. (It's never too late to change one's political outlook.)

All this is pure speculation, of course. 

But the larger point here it's these types of personal experiences that tend to color our perceptions of others, which, ultimately, is what leads most of us to our political positions.

That old expression comes to mind. 


Anonymous said...

I would wager he is not a leftist or Progressive....probably voted for Trump (if he bothered voting in NY).
He could be from Staten Island, which supported Trump.

John Craig said...

Anon --
That could well be. He looks intelligent as well as masculine. But we're both guessing.

Mark Caplan said...

The NY Post changed the story slightly the next day. Giaccone was originally seated and not blocking anyone's view of the dancers:

Giaccone kept mum at first, but spoke up when one of the performers called his 26-year-old girlfriend, Kassandra Noche, a “b—h.”

“I told him not to do that. He jumped at me and punched me,” Giaccone said. “I got up to fight him and his boys started getting shots in on me. I head-butted a few of them.”

I didn't see a description of the dancers. They might have been regulars with the New York City Ballet.

gringott12 said...

He didn't fight back?

Mark Caplan said...

This pertains to a post of several days ago where I contended that black rage and black sense of entitlement stem from the belief of present-day African Americans that they themselves, not only their ancestors, were slaves. Previously I quoted Ta-Nehisi Coates to that effect. Here is a video of James Baldwin saying the same thing. He calls it a "literal" truth that "no one can challenge":

"James Baldwin: I Picked the Cotton, I Built the Railroads" (1m 40s)

John Craig said...

Mark --
Ha, NYC Ballet, exactly!

I did see that later version, was happy to see Giacconi got his licks in too. Certain sectors of the populaiton just have no compunctions about group attacks.

John Craig said...

Gringott 12 --
Yes, evidently he did, as Mark Caplan explained in his 6:26 comment.

John Craig said...

Mark --
That's a weird mental twist. By the same logic, I suppose I invented the cotton gin. And heck, while we're at it, I started Microsoft as well.

gringott12 said...

Thanks for the update on what happened.

Shaun F said...

John - This post reminded me (don't ask for sound reasoning) - that Sherri Papini story - it's got a lot of dead air for some time.


John Craig said...

Shaun --
Hmm. I'm going to have to think that one over. Are you saying there's something going on behind the scenes we haven't been informed of. I don't see that here, to be honest.