NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A disturbing encounter captured on cell phone video in Manhattan is going viral. It shows hate speech directed at a man who is Jewish and gay.
The insults started as Adam Eli was leaving a subway station at 28th and Broadway. The vile comments quickly became too much to ignore.
Out of the blue and with an angry finger point, Eli says the man started hurling outright hate, ordering the young, gay Jewish man dressed in denim with a pride patch and bedazzled purse to take off his pink kippah, or yarmulke.
In the video, the man can be heard saying, “You’re desecrating the name of God.”
“What, because I’m gay and wearing a kippah? Is that why?” Eli responds.
The disturbing encounter spilled out from the subway station onto the streets of the Flatiron District as Eli was heading to a fashion show Sunday afternoon.
“He started following me and chasing me and yelling at me, and then I realized how angry he was and how intense it was getting, so I started filming,” Eli told CBS2’s Jessica Layton.
Later in the video, the man says, “Stay in the closet. … Take your kippah off. This is not Judaism.”
The 28-year-old Greenwich Village writer with a huge social media presence says he posted the video to make a point.
“Look at the hatred and violence that is in this video directed at a cis white man, and now try to imagine the type of venom and hatred and violence that’s thrown at trans people and transgender people of color every single day,” Eli said.
The enraged man in the video, who hasn’t been identified, followed Eli for a few blocks. He says he eventually had to go hide out in a store to be safe, and while he wasn’t physically attacked, he knows the next targeted person may not be so lucky.
“It’s imperative that we stand up for our community members that don’t have that same privilege,” Eli said.
Eli did not file a police report. He says he didn’t see how that would help.
The incident caught the attention of Mayor Bill de Blasio.
It takes courage to confront homophobia and tell a story like this.
I’m sorry you had to go through this, Adam. But we’re proud of how you responded.
There’s no place for hate in this city. https://t.co/9SqgfRQhJd
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) September 10, 2019
He tweeted Monday night, saying, “It takes courage to confront homophobia and tell a story like this.”