This is the woman who bravely stood up to a Black Lives Matter mob in Washington DC, refusing to raise her fist on their command.
Lauren B. Victor, a 49-year-old urban planner, was aggressively heckled by marchers on Monday night while she was dining with a friend in the Adams Morgan district.
Footage, which showed the demonstrators yelling at Victor, has now gone viral and sparked a widespread backlash.
It showed Victor, a MBA graduate of Columbia Business School, stand her ground. She later told The Washington Post that she felt that she was ‘under attack’.
Ironically, Victor is a supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement and has participated in many marches, but didn’t want to be ‘coerced’ into showing support.
‘In the moment, it didn’t feel right,’ she stated.
‘I wasn’t actually frightened. I didn’t think they’d do anything to me. I’m very much with them. I’ve been marching with them for weeks and weeks and weeks.’
‘It just felt overwhelming to have all of those people come at you. To have a crowd — with all that energy — demand that you do this thing. In the moment it didn’t feel right,’ she added in an interview with the Washington Post after the incident.
‘On one level, my best guess was no one was going to hurt me. But those things turn on a dime.’
Victor began her further education at Bryn Mawr College, studying for a degree in growth and structure of cities before attending the University of Pennsylvania, where she worked for a MA in city and regional planning.
She then, according to her LinkedIn page, studied at Columbia, where she was active in the student newspaper, on womens’ forums, and in the area of sustainable business.
After Columbia she moved to Jordan, where she worked for a year in the capital, Amman, at the Jordan American Business Association.
Victor then moved back to DC and worked her way up the urban planning and real estate ladder to become a consultant.
She also served as chair of the board of a non-profit, The Dupont Underground, a community arts organization.
Victor was not the only one to be targeted by the mob on Monday night.
The crowd, which has come together to protest the shooting of Jacob Blake in Wisconsin, gathered outside restaurants, alternately accusing diners of enjoying ‘white privilege’ and encouraging them to show support for their protest.
At one table, a young man who objected to the intrusion tried to explain that he worked for a nonprofit organization committed to addressing mental health care for black people and other underserved populations.
Protesters crowded in further around the table, shining video lights in the diners’ eyes and exchanging angry words.
As they moved into the Adams Morgan district, the unrest continued, with Victor’s table outside a Mexican restaurant, Los Cuates, being singled out.
White protesters were reportedly encouraged to go to the front, to challenge their fellow caucasians.
‘White silence is violence!’ protesters chanted, many with fists in the air.
‘Are you a Christian?’ a protester demanded, yelling into her face, before others demanded she raise her fist.
Victor refused, even after her dining companion complied.
She said she felt that it was wrong for hundreds of people to surround a small group of diners, approach them with their hands raised, and try to cow them into making a show of support.
‘It just felt overwhelming to have all of those people come at you. To have a crowd — with all that energy — demand that you do this thing. In the moment it didn’t feel right,’ she told The Washington Post.
‘They like to think because I raise my fist it means something or other.’
Victor said she did ‘appreciate their anger,’ but was concerned the situation could escalate.
‘Those things turn on a dime,’ she said.
Many accused the protesters of acting like an ‘aggressive mob’ and using ‘intimidation tactics’ to order diners into submission.
Responding to the footage, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough described the activists as ‘horrible people’.
Another Democrat apologized, saying that she disagreed entirely with their tactic.
Author Robert Tracinski, who has written an analysis of Ayn Rand’s classic Atlas Shrugged, said that Victor ‘is my new hero’.
Many on Twitter took issue with Black Lives Matter protesters accosting Victor.
Others stated that it would turn people away from supporting the movement.
‘You don’t win supporters by screaming in people’s faces and intimidating them. How many people have watched this video and been turned off? Is it about making a real change or just ego gratification?
Another bluntly theorized: ‘This gives Trump four more years.’
Meanwhile, other videos showed the protesters screaming at another couple at a separate restaurant, calling them ‘trash’ for refusing to raise their fists.
There has been overwhelming public support for Black Lives Matter protests, which have been taking place across the country following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd on Memorial Day.
However, there have been instances where some have questioned whether the movement’s leaders have gone too far in trying to subordinate both supporters and passersby.
Back in June, several white police officers and community members gathered to wash the feet of black faith leaders in North Carolina.
While many believed the act would bring racial groups closer together, some argued that white people appeared to be in a state of capitulation, and that the feet-washing symbolized submission, as opposed to equality.
Elsewhere, white protesters have also knelt in front of black community members and asked for forgiveness.
Meanwhile, disturbing video circulating on social media back in June showed a black man ordering random white pedestrians in New York City to kneel down in front of him and apologize.