After Kentucky’s stunning Final Four loss to Wisconsin in the NCAA basketball tournament, angry fans rioted in Lexington. They destroyed property, and they threw bottles and other things at the police while chanting, “F**k the police!” They also set fires, and about 30 of them were arrested. They were mostly white.
Where was the outrage, though? Where was the analysis in the press, the dissection of what was wrong with these kids who thought rioting was the answer to a loss? Where were the questions about their upbringing, and the loud shouts about how, if they want to make a point, they need to do it the “right” way? As the image from Occupy Democrats below points out, there was none of that:
CBS News and Bleacher Report both posted some tweets about the riots, and that was it. The New York Post actually said a little bit more, but mostly explained that police were happy there was no major property damage and nobody was injured. They arrested people who became disobedient, and that was it.
Business Insider also pretty much only posted photos and tweets; however, they at least included one tweet that mentioned these riot images looked different from the ones from Ferguson.
There is an entire Twitter hashtag dedicated to why white people riot, and it gets quite silly. The point behind that silliness, though, is to show that, when white people riot, it’s over really stupid nonsense like losing a freaking tournament game. It’s to point out that white rioters get a pass from society, whereras black rioters don’t. Below are some of the better examples of #whywhitepeopleriot: Others show perfectly where white privilege comes into this:
When black people riot, they do so because of overflowing anger. It’s worse than a stupid sports riot, because there is often significant property damage, and sometimes, people do get badly injured. While there’s no excuse for that, we do need to try and understand the reasons behind it. You can’t stop something like this if you don’t understand its underlying causes.
Freakout Nation pointed out that, when Oregon lost to Ohio State in the NCAA football championship game, fans in Columbus set fires, and pushed their way into Horseshoe Stadium to tear down a goalpost. The press, according to Freakout Nation, did not call them thugs, looters or rioters.
In fact, Fox News labeled this a “celebration.” Their headline on it read, “89 fires reported near Ohio State’s campus in post-game revelry.” Revelry? That’s it? Celebratory riots where fires are started and property is destroyed have the same result as one where angry black people riot, don’t they?
People will say there are two types of riots, and that they are not comparable, because the sports rioters don’t do nearly the damage that the Baltimore and Ferguson rioters have done, or because they didn’t threaten police the way the black rioters did (throwing beer bottles at police is not threatening them, but throwing rocks is? On what planet?), and so forth. When white people riot, it’s fine. When black people riot, there’s a problem. Why?
The bottom line remains, when white people riot, it’s for really stupid reasons, and it gets a passing mention in the press without any of the whitesplaining that goes with it. When black people riot, the press is all over it, complete with the whitesplaining, complete with the racism and the bigotry. White people can riot for stupid reasons. Black people aren’t even allowed to be angry for legitimate reasons, let alone riot.[separator type= “thin”
H/T and featured image via Occupy Democrats