Every time there’s some form of unrest because of social injustice, especially in the black community, conservative Americans immediately get themselves into a panic. Fox News talks about it all day long and Republican legislators blame any organization that attempts to give black people a voice.
Then, there’s the other kind of riot. It’s a riot that you might say has a “lighter side” to it, if you get my meaning from what comes next in the story.
Last night a crowd of up to 10,000 people, by some estimates, started a riot in an American town. However, they weren’t protesting anything. In fact, as one news source put it, they were “understandably happy.”
The thing that caused this destructive gathering was Penn State winning a football game.
Almost immediately after the win, fans poured out of Beaver Stadium and into the streets. State College police estimated 5,000-10,000 people, mostly college-aged, were involved.
These mostly-white thugs set fires, damaged street lights, signs, and at least one vehicle. Local utilities were also affected when a telephone pole was damaged to the point where it caused a power outage. There wasn’t any claim of responsibility for the act of domestic terrorism.
In this writer’s opinon, the #AllLivesMatter movement is to blame for inciting violence through their rhetoric. Unsurprisingly, Republican cowards like Donald Trump refuse to comment on this issue. They’re afraid to call it what it is: Radical White Terrorism. How can they protect America from these domestic terrorists if they can’t even say the words RADICAL.. WHITE.. TERRORISM?
It sounds dumb, doesn’t it? But it’s what the media, particularly the conservative side, does to people of color every time there is a public event that’s done in protest of real injustices. These kids were mostly white and they had absolutely nothing to be upset about, but look how it turned out.
Even the police response seemed … different.
Police use mace for second time at riot pic.twitter.com/sSOxrtfcN8
— Carter Walker (@Carterw284) October 23, 2016
The cops did come in, but not in tanks. They were dressed in what appeared to be modest crowd control equipment, but they didn’t look like fully armored soldiers. They did pepper spray some people, but afterwards they didn’t gang beat them and slam them on the ground several times before throwing them into waiting police transports. In the video above, it actually seemed like after some people got sprayed the cops left them alone, hoping they’d get the hint and just go home.
There’s shame here, and it’s enough to go around. Shame on the media for the way they choose to report these things with such a terrible bias in order to not offend the soft and delicate senses of their mostly-white news-consuming audience. Shame on the rioters, for obvious reasons. Shame on conservatives for not being offended at the idea of nearly 10k people “trashing their own town,” which is a favorite critical angle they use when bitching about black folks.
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The funny part, though, is that I can’t criticize the cops if I view this objectively. They moved in, didn’t engage in any kind of seriously physically traumatic response against the college kids, did what they could to disperse things as quickly as they were able to, and in the end it was probably best described as a minor amount of arrests and people injured. It’s too bad this isn’t the response that comes for non mostly-white riots.
Update: I had some time to think about this and I’d like to share a few more thoughts with all of you. I am confused, upset, frustrated, and embarrassed by the state of race relations in America. However, I am white, straight and male. I’m as institutionally privileged as they come. While I may feel all the things I described, I’ll never know even one percent of what it must feel like to be a person of color regarding issues like these. For what it’s worth to any person of color reading this, I’m sorry this happens all the time in the place we both call our home.