John Minchillo could have died.

This is one of the most jarring sights from Wednesday’s hellscape. I just saw it this morning, and I’m still shaken.

The man in the black is John Minchillo, an Associated Press photographer who was sent to cover the nightmare and—having experienced conflict zones in the past—knew how to dress for the occasion. Somehow, because the adrenaline was flowing and violence was on tap and the specialty of the day was Sadistic Governmental Overthrow Via A Bunch of Brainwashed MAGA Dickheads, the collective decided Minchillo—father, husband, respected journalist—was Antifa.

Why was he Antifa? Apparently because … he was Antifa. And Antifa must be stopped. So let’s get the Antifa guy! Let’s hurt him! Let’s drag him off! He’s Antifa! The enemy! Antifa! Fuck Antifa! Here’s Antifa! Right in front of us—Antifa! Kill him! Kill him! Kill him!

Somehow, Minchillo survived. There are 1,000 different twists and turns that result in his death.

And I’d like to make a few points:

A. These are the primary people criminals who went after him. No, who attacked him. An innocent journalist, doing a job protected by the First Amendment of the document you supposedly hold so dear. They are not patriots. They are terrorists, and they must be reported and punished.

B. This is on the President of the United States, who has devoted more than four years to insisting we, the media, are the enemy of the people. This is on you, Donald Trump. Which is actually funny, in that you live and die with media attention; with the very thing you attack.

C. There was one guy, in a MAGA hat, who went out of his way to protect Minchillo. And, on the one hand, he deserves no credit. He was a part of this. A participant. A member of the brainwashed mob. Yet, on the other hand, something struck me. In that moment, he wasn’t consumed by the hatred and ignorance. He saw a human being attacked, and somehow snapped out of the trance long enough to think, “No, this isn’t right.”

And maybe, if we’re lucky, that moment of empathy can be as contagious as the spewing of hate.

Maybe.

Empathy from one guy.

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