Meet the Upstate New York Man Who Calmly Recorded Woman's Racist Rant [VIDEO]
Photo Credit: Courtesy NewsOne
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When Narvell Benning (pictured) left his house in Buffalo, N.Y., for work on the morning of May 30th, he was already on the expressway when he realized he forgot to put on deodorant. Instead of returning to his home, he stopped at a Dollar General in Cheektowaga to purchase some, but what was supposed to be a quick stop to get fresh ended up with the father of four becoming the victim of a vicious racial assault.
Benning, 36, told NewsOne that when he left the store and got inside of his truck, he noticed several children near his vehicle. Their mother was just a few steps behind. When he started the ignition, Benning said the sound startled the children, who were standing in front of his truck, and they flinched. That was when the woman, Janelle Ambrosia, lost it.
“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.
But instead of engaging in a verbal back and forth with Ambrosia, Benning reached in to his pocket for his phone and began recording. When NewsOne first reported on the story, commenters on Facebook praisedBenning for his calm, non-combative response. Benning says that keeping his composure was necessary for him to document the racism that many Americans refuse to acknowledge.
While Benning understands why others would have lost their patience, he says his real pain is for Ambrosia’s children.
“The only thing I was getting upset about was the fact that she was doing that in front of her kids,” he said. “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. I’m only competitive when it’s basketball time. I used to play basketball in college and that’s when my competitive nature comes out, but off the court, I’m cool, calm, collected, respond when I need to respond. That’s my demeanor.”
Watch Ambrosia call Benning racial slurs here:
Benning has not pressed charges against Ambrosia, but he is considering it.
“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.”
In an interview with WBLK’s Big Rob, Ambrosia blamed Benning for starting the ordeal by calling her a “crackheaded cracker.” Benning says that is “totally false.” She later called WGRZ-TV to apologize for her behavior: