On Tuesday, The Root reported that Andrea Natale, an executive medical director at the Texas Cardiac Arrhythmia Institute, posted a tweet claiming his daughter was “driving w[ith] her boyfriend in Baltimore & their car was attacked by a group of BLM. It was damaged and her BF was beaten.” He added that the police “cannot do anything because they were African American” and asked, “Is this the America we want?”
Well now, Natale has (kinda, sorta, but not really) apologized for the tweet after a Twitter page called Scan the Police, Baltimore, along with other Twitter users, came with receipts—including an audio file and transcripts of a 911 dispatcher’s conversation with the responding officer—that indicate no Black Lives Matter activists were there and that Natale’s daughter and her friend had actually gotten into a confrontation with a bunch of Black kids with squeegees who were washing car windows in the street and none of what Natale described actually happened.
First, let’s start with what actually did happen, according to police body camera footage.
From the Baltimore Sun:
The incident didn’t go down as Natale described, but it wasn’t a complete hoax, either.
Baltimore Police released body camera footage of the encounter to The Baltimore Sun. It shows a couple explaining to an officer that they declined to have their windshield washed. A male tells the officer that he jumped out of the car, and that three squeegee washers approached and surrounded him.
“I said, ‘I will defend myself, I do have a knife on me.’ [One of the squeegee washers] said, ‘I have a knife too,’” the man tells the officer.
The couple tells the officer that the squeegee washers then started throwing rocks at them. The man asks what can be done about squeegee kids.
“To be honest, the city doesn’t want us to engage with squeegee boys,” an officer says. “It’s illegal to be in the street, but the city doesn’t want us to ... ” he says before trailing off.
The officer tells them to contact City Hall: “It’s crazy, it’s sad.” He never says it’s because the teens are Black, but instead because it’s a misdemeanor that he didn’t witness. He said he would try to locate them but that he wasn’t familiar with them.
Listen: It’s for y’all to decide what you think happened between the squeegee kids and the car passengers. I can only caution you to not take the couple’s account at face value—especially considering that the 911 dispatch audio shows inconsistencies in what was originally reported to the police.
Now let’s get to Natale’s apology.
According to the Sun, St. David’s Medical Center released the following statement from Natale:
“I sincerely apologize for a tweet I posted this weekend. I was worried about my daughter, and I jumped to a conclusion based on the information I had at the time. I’ve dedicated my entire professional career to healing people from all backgrounds, and I regret that my words were misinterpreted and created hurt and pain. It was not my intention.”
Now here’s the part where I have to be an asshole and point out all the reasons this non-apology is hot-caucasity-infused-garbage:
First of all, nothing Natale said was “misinterpreted.” He wrote his tweet in English and it was received by people who speak and read English. “Misinterpreted” is wypipo code for, “Shit, I said something racist now I have to pretend everyone’s eyes and ears are on backwards.”
Then there’s the “based on the information I had at the time” part. It almost sounds like Natale just threw his daughter under the bus. (To which I say, “Oh, what to do about all this white-on-white crime?”) He didn’t assume she and her boyfriend were attacked and beaten by “a group of BLM,” he believed it because that’s what she told him. Either that or he “misinterpreted” her words and let his racist-ass imagination run wild. I’m just saying: Somebody’s lying or somebody’s racist or somebody’s a lying-ass-racist or all of the above.
Mostly, the issue with this faux-pology is that the racism in Natale’s tweet isn’t really addressed. He probably thought he was sufficiently addressing it with that “healing people from all backgrounds” line, but just because he never kicked a Black person out of his medical chair and then immediately wiped it down with industrial-strength negro-sheen remover, doesn’t mean he doesn’t harbor racial resentment and bias. Natale told on himself when he wrote that the police “cannot do anything because they were African American.”
Like, dude, just admit you resent Black people breathing up all your free air and call it a day.