Rakeem Jones never expected people to respond the way they did to the video and still images of him shaking John McGraw’s hand, the man who previously punched him in the face during a Trump rally. Now, the Fayetteville man is facing major criticism for his decision to forgive.
On Wednesday McGraw, a former Golden Gloves boxer nicknamed “Quick Draw,” pleaded no contest to assault and disorderly conduct charges. As a result he was given a suspended 30-day jail sentence and a year on unsupervised probation for punching Jones at a March rally.
According to WRAL news, Jones made it clear that he doesn’t agree with how everything played out in the judicial system, but as for his choice to forgive, he left court that day at peace. Jones and McGraw had found middle ground and embraced in court.
The images of the hug and handshake sent social media into a frenzy. Many suggested black people, such as Jones, are often too quick to turn the other cheek. They said it wasn’t just a handshake, but an elderly white man getting a pass for taking a cheap shot at a young black man during a Trump rally.
WRAL news also reports that Jones said the handshake was not planned and he does not regret it because he’s setting an example for his young son. To the people who have made comments on social media suggesting Jones should have handled the encounter differently this is reportedly his response:
“For those people, like nobody is going to come bail me out. Nobody is going to make sure my kid gets to the bus stop every morning, nobody is going to make sure my girl can do what she’s got to do. So, keep your opinion to yourself and that’s just me being nice,” he said. “Keep your opinion to yourself because, at the end of the day, it wasn’t you.”
According to WRAL News Jones also stated that not many people have seen the part of the video that takes place before the handshake, when he very clearly said he doesn’t agree with McGraw’s one year of unsupervised probation or the part where he asks McGraw to come and speak with him face to face, which is how the handshake happened in the first place.
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