Trucker’s Viral Social Media Post Vows “We Will Not Be Reginald Denny”
Little Rock, AR – A trucker’s social media post vowing to never forget the lessons learned after a truck driver was brutally beaten during the 1992 Los Angeles riots has gone viral within trucking community.
As once peaceful protests over the death of George Floyd quickly devolved into rioting and looting in dozens of major United States cities, truckers have been on high alert.
Transportation Nation Network (TNN) has brought you numerous first-hand accounts of truckers who have been targeted by rioters in the last week.
Click HERE to read their stories.
Truckers have expressed outrage over the these incidents and the emerging threats to their own safety.
One such trucker is Mark Staite of Melbourne, Florida.
Staite has been a professional driver since 2002 and is currently a power-only owner operator.
After reading reports of big rigs coming under assault last weekend, Staite tells TNN he felt he needed to “start a conversation” about the issue.
“It got me thinking and the more I thought about it, the more it angered me,” Staite said.
He feared, “This could be another Reginald Denny situation.”
Most truckers either vividly remember or are aware of the savage beating Denny, a truck driver, took at the hands of rioters during the 1992 Los Angeles riots.
He suffered serious injuries including 91 fractures to his skull resulting in years of medical treatment and intense physical rehabilitation.
Though he survived the vicious assault, his life was forever changed.
Denny is often mentioned as a rallying cry among truckers.
The primary lessons learned were to never stop your truck and never allow an angry mob to pull you from your rig.
Also adding to Staite’s frustration was the fact that governmental leaders and trucking industry groups were silent on the attacks.
“The big representative groups that allegedly speak for the drivers were suspiciously quiet,” he said. “There is a leadership vacuum from the major groups and the carriers themselves.”
So, in the early morning hours of Sunday, May 31, Staite penned a message to America on behalf of truckers.
He posted that message into a truck driver training and discussion group on Facebook, which he leads, called The Rookie Room.
Staite says his message was intentionally hyperbolic mixed with a “fight club attitude,” but the intent was clear, “DON’T F— WITH THE AMERICAN TRUCKER!”
He writes, in part:
The American trucker will not be held hostage, threatened, robbed, or killed. We will not be a victim. We will not be this generation’s version of Reginald Denny. Every driver knows that name. Do you?
Threaten, delay, attempt to stop a truck, we… The American trucker will consider that act as an attack on our lives. We will defend ourselves, our equipment, and our load.
Staite was just getting warmed up.
Food, medicine, hospital supplies, gasoline, and a million other daily items we deliver to your cities ARE A-POLITICAL. Everyone needs them, including your dumbass. We don’t “need” to come to your lawless city. YOU NEED us to deliver your food and supplies to your city.
If your city becomes too chaotic and violent. We will stop delivering to your city. Period. No driver will travel into a city that reminds us of scenes from a “Mad Max” movie.
Further, he warns:
Congregating in the roadway will only get you run over. Standing in the roadway is NOT a protest. It is an attack on our safety. Air horns will sound, steering wheels will be held tightly, but those brakes will not be touched. You will move, or you will die. 80,000 pounds at 70mph will win every time. STAY OUT OF THE ROADWAY.
FIND STAITE’S ORIGINAL POST BELOW
It wasn’t long until the post began being shared by hundreds of people.
In fact, people began posting it as their own.
One such group that did this is called Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children (USMC).
The group made some edits to ramp up the intensity even further, and then posted it for their Facebook followers about 15 hours after Staite made the original post.
The USMC post spread even more quickly than the fires rioters have set in cities throughout the U.S. in recent days.
At time of publishing, USMC’s post has been shared more than 525,000 times with more than 78,000 comments.
The reaction to Staite’s message provoked intense debate on both sides of the argument.
Most commenters have agreed wholeheartedly, while others reprimanded Staite’s sentiments as incendiary and potentially dangerous.
Despite the accusations, Staite rejects the notion that he is “inciting” the very violence his message condemns.
“I don’t believe drivers should be plowing into crowds. We support peaceful protesting. What we don’t support is the rioting, the looting, and especially the attacks on the trucks,” he said.
In fact, Staite says the truckers he knows are “just as outraged as the rest of the wold” about Floyd’s death.
“Truckers are there for peaceful protesters,” he declared.
If starting a conversation was Staite’s mission, we’d say the results are in, and it’s mission accomplished.
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