Wisconsin Teen Althea Bernstein
Credit: Twitter/@_SJPeace_
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Wisconsin Teen Althea Bernstein Lit on Fire by White Men

The assault against Black people continues. This time 18-year-old Althea Bernstein was the target. The young teen, who works as an EMT, was driving in Madison, Wisconsin, on Wednesday, driving to her brother’s house around 1 a.m. She said she stopped at a stoplight and saw four young “frat boys” approach her car. The next was unimaginable. 

Here’s how she explained the horrific events that took place, “I was listening to some music at a stoplight and then all of a sudden I heard someone yell the N-word really loud,” Bernstein said in an interview with Madison365.com. “I turned my head to look, and somebody’s throwing lighter fluid on me. And then they threw a lighter at me, and my neck caught on fire and I tried to put it out, but I brushed it up onto my face. I got it out and then I just blasted through the red light … I just felt like I needed to get away. So I drove through the red light and just kept driving until I got to my brother and Middleton.”

Now only did Bernstein think fast on her feet, but she was able to continue driving to her brother’s house, call her mother, and then get treated at the hospital. Bernstein suffered second- and third-degree burns. The assailants are currently unknown and still roaming the streets. According to reports, the same evening of the attack, a Black Lives Matter protest was taking place nearby, but Bernstein was not participating. There were also reports of white agitators at the protest. Bernstein says she is glad that she was attacked and not a vulnerable person such as a pregnant woman or a young child. She also said that she would forgive the men that attacked her. 

“I think everyone deserves a chance to improve. I hope they feel bad and make a change,” she said. “I’m glad it was me, and not someone like a pregnant woman, or a child, or someone who doesn’t have the health care that I do or the support system that I do.”

What a strong and inspirational young woman. Bernstein was also asked if she wanted to accept donations to pay for her medical expenses, but a spokesperson for this incredible woman said, “Rather than donate to support her directly, she said she wants people to “sign the petitions. Support the movement. Support Black lives.”

Police ask that anyone with information on this crime, contact Madison Area Crime Stoppers at (608) 266-6014 or by computer at P3Tips.com