By now you’ve probably seen the video of the white Brooklyn jogger threatening and screaming at a white couple he accused of hitting him with their stroller. You’ve probably chuckled at how he accuses them of "white privilege"and declares that the only reason they can live in the heavily gentrified area is because he had "settled the fucking neighborhood" for them.
Aside from the obvious irony of a white self-described settler accusing white passersby of having white privelige, there is the matter of the security guard standing between the jogger and couple. Based on his hat and badge, numerous media outlets mistook the guard as a police officer, but many didn’t question why the jogger wasn’t handcuffed, takend down or swarmed by police.
Now, imagine if the jogger menacing affluent white Brooklynites was black or brown. At a time when police are on video choking, beating, sitting on, tear-gassing and shooting people of color it’s almost impossible.
Of course the threatening white jogger is only the lastest example of how police and extrajudicial authorities treat outrageous and potentially illegal behavior by white people with restraint. Here are three more from this year alone:
3. Jim Cummings Brought an AR-15 Assault Rifle to an Atlanta Airport
In the spring, white open-carry activist Jim Cummings walked around Atlanta’s bustling Hartsfield-Jackson airport with an AR-15 assault rifle strapped to his back. As you can hear in his video above, he didn’t take kindly to the fire marshal who asked him why he had a machine gun at the airport. He actually gave him a lecture. Cummings also blew off law enforcement officials, insisting that he was acting in accordance with the state’s open-carry laws. The authorities who stopped him responded—with more discussion. Given how people who "look Muslim" are routinely profiled at airports and how police shoot black people carrying toy guns, it’s difficult to imagine a person of color toting a machine gun at Hartsfield-Jackson and making it out on his own two feet.
2. A White Woman Danced After Leading LAPD on Wild Car Chase
This August incident is one for the record books: A 25-year-old unnamed white woman was driving a stolen car erratically in downtown Los Angeles. She refused to yield to police officers, leading them on a two-mile chase that only ended after she blew her tires on a spike strip. Instead of immediately surrendering, the smiling woman changed her shirt, got out of the stolen car and danced to Future’s "Where Ya At?" Police even allowed her to climb back into the car after she danced, presumably to rock out more. The media was quick to highlight the irreverence of her behavior, but what of the insane privilege she had driving dangerously in a stolen car, causing a police chase and literally dancing in the face of the law?
1. 200 Armed Bikers Face Off in a Waco, Texas, Parking Lot; Police Don’t Even Wear Riot Gear
In May a predominantly white group of about 200 rival bikers met outside a busy sports bar in Waco, Texas, and attacked each other with knives, brass knuckles, motorcycle chains, clubs and guns. Although the gang members assembled before the fight, police didn’t immediately respond with force and none wore riot gear. Sure, officers fired on the bikers, but only after they’d shot at police—what one might call "adherence to protocol." Images taken after the melee, which resulted in nine people dying and 18 being injured, show groups of un-handcuffed white men lined up and sitting on benches. One biker is even checking his phone. We don’t need to mention how police have criminalized peaceful protests by people of color. You’ve already seen the pictures from Ferguson and Baltimore.
Did we miss any major instances? Let us know in the comments!
(H/t Gawker, Gothamist, Salon, Daily Beast, New York Daily News, New York Times)