The New York man who recorded a woman’s racist attack on him has spoken out about the incident.
Narvell Benning, 36, of Buffalo, New York, told NewsOne that what he thought was a quick stop at a Cheektowaga Dollar General unexpectedly turned into the viral moment that has been viewed by millions online.
â€” Terrell J. Starr (@Russian_Starr) June 6, 2014
As he prepared to exit the parking lot in truck after leaving the store, Benning told NewsOne that he saw some children around his vehicle. He added that the kids’ mother was near them while they were around his vehicle.
You can watch the video here. [WARNING: the video contains explicit language.]
When he finally started the ignition, he says the sound must have surprised the children because they flinched. Janelle Ambrosia witnessed her children’s reaction, and that’s when Benning says she launched into her slur-filled attack.
“So she comes walking down, saying, ‘You ignorant fucking N*gger.’ And I said, What did you say? She said, ‘You ignorant fucking N*gger. I said, 'Wow, I can’t believe you said this,'” Benning told NewsOne.
Benning said he did not reply to Ambrosia with an angry response. Instead he pulled out his phone and started to record her statements.
In the video, which he later posted on YouTube, Ambrosia tells Benning he “scared” her kids when he started his vehicle. She calls him the n-word several times during her attack, with Benning remaining calm and speaking in an even tone during the over four-minute clip.
She even warns Benning she is calling her husband, who she says “doesn’t like black people." Benning eventually rolls up his window when she threatens to throw coffee at him. He ends the video by saying, "racism, alive and well. Amazing."
Benning credits his non-combative response to Ambrosia’s comments as his way of fully highlighting the racism that still exists in this country.
“Honestly, a lot of this stuff is swept under the rug, and it’s rare that you find somebody being as belligerent as she is and forcefully angry toward an individual of another race on tape,” he said. “With all of this stuff that’s going on, the world needs to know that this is happening in Cheektowaga, in Buffalo, New York. It’s happening here. It’s happening to an individual who promotes positive stuff, so if you’re going to say it to me, say it on camera. And she definitely didn’t have a problem doing that.”
He added that he was very upset that her children had to witnesses that attack.
“When you do that in front of your kids, you don’t give them an opportunity to love. It’s all about hate and hating something they have no idea about. I’m a calm individual anyway,” Benning said.
Benning said he is considering pressing charges against Ambrosia, mainly due to how aggressive she was toward him.
“I want to because she is a threat to not only me, she is a threat to society if you really think about,” he said. “The way she came at me, ‘I’ll throw my hot coffee on you, I’ll snatch you out of the vehicle, I’ll break this, I’ll do this.’ If my kids would have been in the car, they probably would’ve started crying. I’m just glad they weren’t in the car.”
Speaking to the Buffalo News, Cheektowaga Police Chief David Zack said there is the possibility her actions could lead to charges. “There is possibly disorderly conduct that could possibly rise to the level of harassment, but both are violations.”
In an interview on Wednesday morning with WBLK’s Big Rob, Ambrosia said her heated attack on the man came after he had almost hit her child with his car. She said that she is not a racist and also described herself as bipolar.
However, Benning says he doesn’t believe her mental-health claims.
“I don’t believe mental health applies to racism,” he said. “The things she said in front of her children, it’s beyond mental. The racism that is deep inside of her heart — that is who she is.”
Benning says that he hopes that sharing his encounter with Ambrosia will show people that racism still exists and that a “post-racial” America is a myth.
“I just want the world to know that ignorance is everywhere,” Benning said, “not just in California with Donald Sterling, not Florida with Trayvon Martin, not just Louisiana with the Jena Six. It’s in Buffalo, New York. It’s right here, and luckily, I got it on tape to prove what’s been happening for years.”