Members of a black Christian extremist group threatened to rape a woman participating in a Michigan gay rights protest last weekend, citing a Biblical passage to justify the crime.
Video of the chilling encounter was posted on YouTube. In it, members of the Black Hebrew Israelites confront a woman at a "Gay Day" event in Grand Rapids, Michigan organized by the Tolerance, Equality and Awareness Movement (TEAM).
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Black Hebrew Israelites are a rapidly-growing movement preaching a "frightening, racist theology that says Jesus Christ is returning soon to kill or enslave white people, Jews, homosexuals and others."
In the video, Bible-toting members of the hate group attempt to put a woman in her place by taunting and threatening her from the other side of a chain-link fence.
"Back in the day there was no free power, there was no going to the mall. There was, 'sit your ass in this house until I bring my ass home,'" one of the extremists tells her.
"And if your ass get to going out there like you said, guess what?" asks another extremist. "You get raped. And that's what's going to happen to you."
"Keep your pussy clean, that's all you need to do. Do you understand?"
The incredulous woman asks the menacing man if he's kidding.
"It's gonna be like my car. It's gonna be like one of my possessions."
"You're kidding, right? That's a joke," the woman responds.
"Look in my eyes. You see me joking? The Lord said that's what we're gonna do on that day," he threatens.
"The Lord said that? Show me where he said that," the woman demands.
The extremist then proceeds to flip through a Bible. Stopping at Isaiah 13, he quotes:
"Their children also shall be dashed to pieces before their eyes; their houses shall be spoiled, and their wives ravished."
"What does 'ravished' mean? It means, we going to rape your ass," the extremist threatens. "And I'm going to have fun doing that shit. And you going to like that. I promise you."
According to WWMT, the woman in the video called 911 after the extremists recited her boyfriend's license plate number and threatened to hunt him down and murder him. But the Grand Rapids police told her they could do nothing about it.
Grand Rapids Police Lt. Mark Ostapowicz told MLive.com:
"The Gay Day celebration group was upset that the Bible group was able to protest, but in their protest they weren't doing anything wrong. When officers got there they were not threatening each other. As long as they're not breaking any of the protest rules, there's nothing we can do."
"As of right now, we just have two groups in disagreement with each other. Nothing happened that led the officers to do more."
But the posted video clearly shows otherwise. TEAM is urging the Grand Rapids police to formally charge the men who made the rape threats.
"It is our position that these actions should not be tolerated in this community, and that the perpetrators of such actions be brought to justice," TEAM president Charles Surfus wrote in a letter to the police department. "Hate speech that incites violence, rape and other criminal actions is not constitutionally protected."
Surfus wrote that he hopes the offenders will be prosecuted "to the fullest extent of the law" under the federal Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act.