Hate Has No Place in Denton

On the same evening white nationalists began a rally in Charlottesville, Desmond Moore asked three men in a parking lot off the Square to stop saying the N-word. Moments later, those three men jumped Moore and his friend Tyler Adams from behind. The last thing Moore can remember is the sight of his friend being pummeled on the street in front of Oak Street Drafthouse.

The assailants, two tall white men and a short stocky Hispanic man, made a run for Harvest House. Their bartenders spread out to look through a thick crowd for the suspects. Unfortunately, it’s assumed they snuck out through a side door rather than take a chance on leaving through the front. Only one of them bought a drink at Harvest House, and it was paid for in cash.

As of Thursday the 17th, the Denton Police Department deemed the case inactive after running out of leads. "At this time there's not enough information to continue the investigation,"  Denton Police Department's public information officer Shane Kizer said. 

Despite Moore being a Black man, the assault isn't designated as a hate crime. However, it's difficult to ignore the racial tension with men who were asked to stop saying the N-word. If they would claim their First Amendment rights were encroached on, then their barbaric reaction to someone calling out their inappropriate language tells how poorly they understand the right to Free Speech.

Dentonite's and Denton businesses stick together to form a positive nightlife scene. It’s not perfect, but there is a sincere effort to root out inappropriate or offensive bar rats. 

“I wanna make sure this is a safe place for everyone. We try to remedy a problem before it starts,” Alex Moon, General Manager at Harvest House, said. “We have a running relationship with all the bars, which is part of what makes Denton so special.”

Waking up from a false sense of comfort doesn’t equate to being gripped with fear. In fact, an increased social awareness and a willingness to stand up for fellow humans is the best practice in combating fear. One could say Moore should have left them alone.

“If I had done that, I wouldn’t have felt like I was being honest with myself,” Moore said. 

Only those who have had the thin veil of safety punctured can empathize with Moore’s experience. When Moore wears shorts this week, his extensive scabbing is visible. His face was swollen for several days, and he cracked a front tooth as well as a molar.

Violence and hate can happen anywhere. Denton has never been immune to random acts of violence, but it’s important to remember that hate cannot be ignored. Love will always be stronger if fear doesn’t rule the day.

"There is no room for this sort of senseless violence in this world and especially Denton," local bar owner John Williams said. "I'm thankful no one was seriously injured and hopefully they will be found before they hurt someone else."

Header image photographed by Thorpe Griner
Header image layout designed by Christopher Rodger