A year after two New Jersey high school students were taped fighting only to be stopped by an adult bystander who urged them to have a truce, the teens have now found a mentor in him.
Jamar Mobley and Sheldon Ward still have weekly visits with their Atlantic City neighbor Ali Miller, the man who called them out for fighting in the street in March 2017.
“Everybody with your phones out, all y’all, y’all the real cowards. Record that, too,” he said on a viral video which has more than 36 million views. “Look around. Who ill-advised you? Who told you wrong?”
While talking to “CBS This Morning” on Saturday, March 10, Jamar said not having a father figure made a difference in hearing a lecture from a man.
“Nobody told us to stop, or, ‘No don’t fight ’em, it’s not worth it,'” Shelton says.
“He said to us what a father should have said to us,” Jamar adds.
Miller refused to leave the guys last year until they shook hands and he’s stuck around ever since. The teens refer to him as the big brother they need and Miller helps them sort through their emotions through raps they post on YouTube.
“I think people respect who respects them,” Miller, a father of six, tells CBS This Morning. “Once they know that someone’s paying attention, once they know that someone loves them, once they know that people are gonna be there for them and hold them to account, you know, they’ll rise to the occasion.”
Reflecting on how far he and Shelton have come, Jamar says, “I just hated this person. I just wanted to fight this person and now we’re calling each other brothers.”