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"Always Look Them In the Eye So They Know You're Human"

On June 3, 2020, 27-year-old Samantha Francine became the star of a viral photo of her staring down an enraged racist twice her age, Jay Snowden, at a Black Lives Matter rally in her hometown of Whitefish, Montana. Snowden had been circling the block in his car, yelling at the small crowd of protesters before he confronted the group, including Samantha. She calmly lifted her sunglasses and stared at him as he spewed his hatred at her until he walked away. He was later arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. In every subsequent interview Samantha, who is Black, credited her late father Brian, who was white, for instilling in her the mantra to always look a racist in the eye so they can see your humanity. The photograph and the story were picked up by major media outlets in part, because of its feel-good message about a single father of biracial children who empowered them to stand up for themselves. Wouldn't he be so proud of the woman Samantha had become? That's where the story ended until now, when Samantha opens up to Erin and Elizabeth for the first time to give a fuller picture of her father's tragic life, death, and the complicated truth of his legacy.


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