As I said, leaving my Trump shirt on was a mistake. X, having taken his off, then turned to me and said, "Ryan! take off your shirt!". I replied, "What? For these skinny Mexican kids?"
But then one spotted me. " Hey! There's one!". All of sudden I had three Hispanic guys right at the passenger window. Then five, it was escalating quickly. "Roll down your window! Roll down your window!" I didn't think that wise and shook my head. My adrenaline was really pumping. As a guy who has been in and seen fights, I could tell that this was going that direction quick.
Now there were about 15. Right outside my passenger side window seat. Some of them had bandanas over their faces desperado-style. This really alarmed me. Why do people conceal their faces? To shield themselves from the consequences of their misdeeds.
"Take your shirt off!". "Take your shirt off!" They demanded. I waved them off with contempt. "Ryan! Take off your goddamn shirt!" barked X.
Then another one of my little Latino interlocutors implored, "Take off your shirt or we're going to tag the shit out of your car!"
This put X into controlled frenzy. He just bought the car a week ago and was really pleased with it. Now he got irate with them and started barking to the crowd: "Hey man! It's my f—ing car! Not his! I'm a Bernie supporter!"
This seemed to cut ice with them. You could sense the tension ease. In looking back, I think his being black made his claim to be not affiliated with me (or Trump) more believable.
I'd like to say I bravely stared them down and refused to take my shirt off. But I didn't. I didn't exactly take the shirt off, but I had the shirt I had on before the rally handy and I grudgingly pulled on my old shirt over the Trump shirt.
Just then, the obviously-overstretched police were belatedly making their presence known at the intersection. This shifted the attention of my Hispanic highwaymen immediately. As quickly as I drew their attention, so just as quickly I lost it as they marched towards the sounds of the guns.
Whew! X found a hole in traffic and we made a U-turn. We breathed a sigh of relief and beat it back to the Inland Empire.