‘I remembered this is not new. I remembered this is not rare. I remembered how many other Black people are violently attacked every day´
Fuck U Pay Us is a punk band formed in south Los Angeles in 2016. Visiting London in June, three of the four bandmates were violently attacked by a white man and white woman at a local Kebab shop the night prior to their show at Afropunk. The male perpetuator, who the band described as described as a “skinhead-looking white man on meth” physically assaulted Tianna Nicole, FUPU’s drummer, breaking her nose and other facial bones.
Following the hateful attack, FUPU cancelled the remaining shows on their tour and appealed for donations from fans to help them get back home safely. Six months on, guitarist Uhuru Moor – also known for her solo project The Uhuruverse – remembers the painful incident.
“I really don't want to talk about this; EVER. But everyone else insists – therefore I am making an attempt to speak on it myself as I am one of the three people whose experience it is (besides the evil people who perpetuated the violence against us).
Firstly, the most important thing taken from this experience is OUR LIVES. We lived. We lived – though it wasn't easy to want to keep living and it still isn't.
Humans are evil. Humans are evil for no apparent reason besides yt supremacy. Humans are evil for no apparent reason besides misogynoir. Humans are evil for no apparent reason besides homophobia.
It is evil that three spirits, three people, (me, Jasmine and Tianna), minding their entire own business and causing no harm to other spirits or the planet could be attacked for merely existing.
What happened on Earth? We were getting a burger at Kebab & Burger House after the Mykki Blanco party Dazed was throwing at ACE Hotel.
We were on a high! Me and Jasmine know Mykki mildly from Los Angeles/art/parties/mutual friends and we all thrived at the party – danced our asses off – and we were hungry.
We walked to Kebab & Burger House and ordered. There were all men-of-colour working there. We sat down. The tables were low and they had a garage door that opens. We sat down alone – there was a Black femme and a poc femme in the corner. A yt guy and his girlfriend walked in. They were wearing all Black. Looked ‘punk/goth’ but clearly posing because they are trashing the name of those cultures. The guy had a skin head and was tattooed. He was huge. He looked like he has spent his years pumping iron (lifting weights in hate of Black people). The femme was the first to perpetuate violence. She grabbed my purse. I couldn't really process it because I was shocked. So Tianna grabbed it and stated ‘Do not touch her purse. Why would you grab her purse?’ I was late (still processing), asked her why did she grab my purse?? I couldn't decipher if she thought it was hers or something because that is abnormal – she didn’t have a red purse. Then the guy looks at me with evil eyes and started grabbing the femme between her legs (in the restaurant), while looking at me. Then he starts pushing her on the band’s lead vox, Jasmine – while looking me in the eye.
I snapped! I had a few thoughts – what the fuck is wrong with these people?! What kind of drugs are they on?! We assumed meth based on our experience with the meth epidemic in Los Angeles. I told him to respect our space or else! He said, Oh really?! Or else?! And mumbled some other stuff I couldn't comprehend. I was sure he was on something now – maybe it was just yt male supremacy. He was highly offended at my offense of his violation of our space and humanity. Tianna got up as disgusted as we all were and walked over the table to remove herself from the environment. She dropped her food on the ground which to me signified these people were trash. He immediately charged after her to attack her. I went after him to prevent that. I tried to choke him around the neck but he was too strong – his neck was too big. He started a full on fight and from there I remember less.
But I do remember us being pushed out the garage doors of the restaurant. I remember us all fighting for our lives with all of our might! I remember we tried to protect each other. I remember we stood together fearful yet fearless determined to survive. I remember 30 people (could be more or less) standing on the curb watching. I remember them taking video for social media or personal use – I don't know. But I remember screaming for help and no one helping. I remember turning around to see my band mate was knocked into the street with moving traffic (weekend traffic). I remember not being able to know if she would live while dodging being knocked into the street myself. I remember the blood she shed. I remember how it would not stop flowing. I remember our terror and our pain. I remember men and most hurtfully (Black) men standing around doing nothing. I remember them holding me back. I remember them letting him get away. I remember hitting him a few good times with my choker and making him bleed. I remember him touching it but in some non existent demon state (he didn't seem to be alive), touching his bald head with blood drips and walking down the street nonchalantly. I remember he did not have to run. I remember he walked away. I remember breaking free from men holding me while I was being attacked but not helping only making it worse. I remember running after this guy. I remember the hate I had for him for doing that to my band mate. I remember the hate I had for him for hating us for no reason beyond our very existence. I remember wanting him dead. I remember wanting to kill him myself. I ran after him and he was gone into one of the many narrow alleys and I was the only one who tried to catch him. I remember seeing the femme who was with him with her head bowed on the bus stop hiding. I remember telling her she was coming to the police and she would tell them who he was. I remember her mumbling some stuff and saying no. I remember dragging her to the police for my justice. I remember the Black women who witnessed me trying to take the perpetuator of this evil towards me and my band telling me to get off of her! I remember these Black femmes telling me I was the bad person. I remember being hurt. I remember coming back to the police with her and them grabbing me first assuming I was the criminal. I remember needing the yt girl who was in the corner of the booth to tell them I was the victim for them to unhand me. I remember them not interrogating her – not handcuffing her – not treating her like the criminal they just treated me as. I remember them telling me she was too drunk to take in. I remember them letting her go home crying (fakely) and acting like the victim! I remember them making that yt femme the victim and cursing us. I remember them telling me and Jasmine we looked like buffoons, that we looked like idiots and telling us we were overreacting. I remember them telling us to calm down. I remember the restaurant owner, his staff and the security guard who secured the building but not the customers not ever doing anything. But I remember them being upset when Jasmine stated that the place was trashed and threw trash on the street. I remember telling people to please not eat there because they do not care about their customers safety and people (including Black people) brushing it off – saying that they were hungry and didn't care. I remember the ambulance never coming while blood still dripped. I remember having to verbally agrees the police to take us themselves! I remember them looking at us with the same hateful eyes as the terrorist who attacked us. I remember the police making racist/misogynoir comments the entire time they drove us to the hospital. I remember the pain Tianna was in. I remember the pain Jasmine was in. I remember wishing I could end their pain – end this situation – rewind the clock, wishing it was not real, wishing it never happened. I remember asking the police to leave us at the hospital alone and them refusing. I remember them saying they needed a statement from Tianna in spite of her trauma and I remember that they didn't take one word or ask one from the femme perpetrator. I remember the anxiety. I remember the hospital. I remember the diagnosis – a broken nose and broken facial bones. I remember the surgery. I remember the hotel we healed in thanks to the money people donated. I remember Ayotunde having to fly back to Amerikkka to continue to work since we would no longer be playing. I remember my dreams being robbed. I remember not playing in London – though our first show was the next night. I remember how I felt robbed. I remembered how I felt robbed all the other times by yt men in direct incidents. I remembered this is not new. I remembered this is not rare. I remembered this is not wild, absurd or unbelievable! I remembered how many other Black people are violently attacked every day by yt supremacy, misogynoir, transphobia, homophobia... HATE.
I remembered how I was attacked for no reason besides my existence by a Black man on the L.A. Metro and no one helped an early Sunday morning at the beginning of 2017.
I remembered how I was attacked by Madison Square Garden Security Guards & NYPD at the Kanye West (YEEZUS) Tour featuring A Tribe Called Quest.
I remember how I was attacked the FIRST night I went out in Los Angeles after this London attack by multiple men and how I was left to protect my own life only.
I remember how Jasmine Infiniti and London Jade were attacked in Brooklyn.
I remember how Zanele Muholi's friend was pushed down the stairs in Amsterdam by her air bnb host.
I remember how our friend Reyna Ripper from Sister Mantos was shot on tour in Puerto Rico.
I remember my friend Brandon Drew Holmes II, asking what people are doing to protect Black womxn?
I remember my friend Sarah Gail Armstrong saying that she heard the only people protecting Black womxn are Black womxn.
I remember all the abuse. I remember all the hate. I remember all the misogynoir. And it is painful. I remember all the days I meditate that death is easier. I remember that above all things, however, the most important thing in (my) reality is my LIFE. I remember my life matters. I remember life matters. I remember that BLACK LIVES MATTER and I #SNATCHPOWER and LIVE. I live as fully as I possibly can–so that in the moment another person attempts to rob me of my life – I lived as fully as I could in this reality.
I believe the world has to create a safe space for Black femmes everywhere or it will crumble. Black femmes are the oldest humans on the planet. I believe Black femmes need to know how to protect themselves from this common evil.”
— FUPU’s Uhuru Moor, whose debut solo album is out on January 1.