Jefferson County, Ala.
Two Birmingham men have miraculously survived in critical condition after a being kidnapped Friday night in what the Jefferson County Sherriff describes as a gruesome night of torture “right out of a horror movie.” The two men, self-proclaimed white supremacists Jedidiah Harris, 38, and his brother Joseph Harris, 32, have no doubt that their kidnappers were ANTIFA supporters bent on revenge. After a heroic escape in the early hours of Saturday morning, the brothers have begun a slow and difficult recovery at St. Andrews Hospital. A national manhunt is underway to stop their captors before they strike again.
“It was like a nightmare come into reality.” describes Joseph Harris. “We was bound up and tortured, just for defending our first amendment rights… It was pure hell. Those people was the Devil.” Local County Sherriff Ted Shephard took statements from the two men in their hospital beds late Saturday evening, surprised that the two brothers were so willing to tell-all about their horrific experience. “At one point, I looked over at Jed,” recounted Joseph Harris, “and his head looked like, cracked open, you know, from like a screw driver, or an ice pick. I thought I could see his brain… it was like his mind was just opened up, all over.” Jedidiah nodded in confirmation, and added with his own memories from the gruesome struggle. “And later when I woke up, I could see those ANTIFA [expletives] on Joe, just working him over. It was like they had took a pair of pliers to his toes, and was slowly just peeling off one toenail at a time, asking him to defend his reasons for being the way we is. No matter what Joe said, it was like it wasn’t enough.”
Sherriff Shephard has called together a local and regional task force aimed at tracking down the assailants. “We don’t have much to go on,” admits Shephard, “ANTIFA isn’t a big or historically political organization. It’s made up of individuals… ‘progressive thinkers,’ if you will, and they don’t organize the way we- er, people like the Harris brothers do. It’ll be hard to pin this on any specific radical group, as ANTIFA supporters can be anyone that takes action against fascist organizations and individual supporters like white supremacists and the Alt-Right political types. Anyone with a progressive and moral compass could be one of these monsters.”
When asked to describe more of the events surrounding Friday night's kidnapping, the Harris brothers had quite a bit more to tell. “We was grabbed from the Walmart parking lot over off 17th. We’d had our trucks blocking either side of some [Leftist]’s station wagon, cuz he was giving us grief about some flags we was flying off the beds. Well, we was both knocked out somehow, and woke up a while later tied up in a university classroom of some type.” When pressed on details about the room, the memory of their surroundings was ‘too unfamiliar’ for the men to really remember what they’d seen. “Maybe some books and stuff…” offered Jedidiah. “And some kinds of ‘culture articles’ strewn about… We got some right here…” Jedidiah presented a short stack of photocopied essays and writings. He and his brother had taken some of the readings as ‘police evidence’ when they’d made their harrowing escape. The papers where folded and torn, with innumerable lines of text marked with bright yellow highlighter, and notes scribbled in the margins. “Whoever they was, they was educated.” Claims Joseph Harris. “They told us all kinds of things we ain’t never thought of before.” Jedidiah then chimed in, “Like, did you know that our government has been systematically oppressing certain races like [Blacks] and [Hispanics] and [Asians], and they been doing this under our noses for hundreds of years?” Joseph followed with, “And us white guys been living The American Dream all this time, takin' whatever we wanted and not needin' to think about what others might not have. We been given every chance we ever wanted to make somethin’ for ourselves, without fear of persecution or profiling, and without a least bit of thought to how our gals, or sisters, or mothers done had it all this time. Or how Ol’ Chang down at the laundromat been getting called all sorts of names all his life, and he just trying to make a living for his family just like me… That ain’t right.” “You know,” said Jedidiah, “it even says in the Bible to treat foreigners as equals. Right there in Leviticus, you can read it for yourselves. I been calling [Islamic] people all sorts of things, not wanting them in this country just because I can’t get my own [expletive] together.” The two brothers shared a quiet moment in their hospital beds. “You know, when they was takin that blowtorch of truth and just burnin’ Jedidiah all over, I knew he was in some real pain. I thought to myself: ‘He ain’t never gonna be the same after this.’” Jedidiah nodded in agreement. “They took my brother Joe here and strung him upside down from his legs, just hangin’ and swingin' over a school desk. They started reading stuff by some Jamaican named Kincaid or somethin’. Them words cut him open like a hog in a slaughterhouse. It was like his guts was just spilled all over that table for everyone to see. It was downright embarrassing, but that Jamaica lady was right. We done lived a multitude of lifetimes conquerin’ folks and erasin’ their culture, and we was out there on Friday just doin’ the same thing all over again.” When asked what they would do after recovery, the two brothers shrugged. “My whole world has been shaken up.” admitted Joseph. “I didn’t think that one night in a college classroom could open my eyes the way it did.” Jedidiah wiped a tear from his eye. “I’ll probably go back to my old job, but the fellas won’t look at me the same. I guess I’ll have to try to explain to them how things should be different. I’ll never really get my old life back, but maybe I can make lemonade from lemons or some [expletive] like that.”
The Harris brothers are expected to make a full recovery from severely mutilated ideologies and a few minor scrapes and bruises, but the perpetrators are still out there. Sherriff Shephard confirmed later that they have no leads, and no other witnesses stepping forward. “It’s hard to admit, but I don’t think anyone expected these young ANTIFA individuals to take such a bold stand. The state's been under a lot of pressure to step up police presence in light of so many people’s willingness to act on their values and moral code… It’s despicable.”
September 15th, 2017.