White people are allowed to riot?

10Apr15

This was published yesterday on Breach Bang Clear.

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The NCAA championship is currently going on. Apparently Kentucky was just eliminated (I’m not a sports guy and really couldn’t give a rat’s ass what team wins). So students at the University of Kentucky rioted over the loss, just like they rioted last year.

The rioters threw bottles and burned sofas in the street, police used tear gas on them, and people got arrested. But there are no reports of looting, or businesses being destroyed, or gunfire, or murders. It seems like a bunch of spoiled college morons acted like spoiled college morons, and the police treated them the way they deserved to be treated. No big deal, right?

Of course it’s not that simple. There’s a serious problem with the Kentucky riots: there were no National Guard troops, “tanks” or militarized police like there were in Ferguson. Police responded to the Kentucky rioters differently than they did the Ferguson rioters. Wanna know why? The Kentucky rioters were white. It was all about race. I know this because the Daily Kos says so.

http://m.dailykos.com/story/2015/04/05/1375772/-Riots-Looting-Fires-Break-Out-in-Kentucky-Don-t-Worry-It-s-Mostly-White-Kids

Unfortunately, as a cop and card-carrying member of the Official Oppressed Minority community, I kinda see it differently. I’m probably the only person in the world who realizes this, but there are actually little tiny differences between the Kentucky rioting and the Ferguson riots. Differences like, “the Kentucky rioters didn’t loot, burn down businesses, throw Molotov cocktails, shoot at cops or murder anyone, but the Ferguson rioters did.” (As an unimportant side note, the Daily Kos mentioned looting in their headline but made no mention of it in their article, and I can’t find any other reports of Kentucky students looting.)

A few brave warriors against racism have also made much fuss about Kentucky students posing with police officers before the riot.

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Those pictures lead to one inescapable conclusion: “That’s racism! And it shows white privilege!”

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I guess they have a point. A police officer would never, ever have taken a picture with a protestor in Ferguson.

Missouri State Police Captain Ron Johnson making fraternity hand sign with Ferguson protestor

Missouri State Police Captain Ron Johnson making fraternity hand sign with Ferguson protestor

But actual evidence has no place in this discussion. So let’s not bicker about who killed who, or who burned businesses instead of sofas, or the fact that protestors in both places took pictures with cops, or any other minor unimportant details. A riot is a riot. Dang it, there was a different response in Kentucky because of racism!

Let’s look at the results of the Ferguson riots:

Twenty-five business destroyed

Two police cars burned

Twelve civilian cars burned

Hundreds of shots fired by rioters

Thirteen people injured

One person murdered

And now the Kentucky riots:

Eighteen injuries

Unknown number of couches set on fire

And in Kentucky there was also… well, actually, I guess that’s it.

Sure, it seems like the Ferguson riots were much worse than the Kentucky riot. But look closer. In Ferguson rioters merely murdered someone, attempted to commit multiple capital murders and torched over two dozen businesses. In Kentucky they didn’t murder anyone, or try to kill cops, or destroy businesses, but they burned seventeen couches.

UK_burning_couch_cake

That doesn’t sound like a big deal, but ask yourself this: where are people going to sit now? Did you think about that, smartass?

So the Kentucky riot was nowhere near as large or destructive as the Ferguson riots, but that unimportant fact should be dismissed. The only difference between the riots was racism. In fact, the Daily Kos and its adherents have suggested authorities dismissed this as “kids blowing off steam” because the rioters were white, which has led some people to believe no rioters were arrested in Kentucky. In fact, thirty-one rioters were arrested. Again, I apologize for confusing the issue by introducing facts.

Read the rest at http://www.breachbangclear.com/white-people-are-allowed-to-riot/

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Chris Hernandez is a 20 year police officer, former Marine and currently serving National Guard soldier with over 25 years of military service. He is a combat veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan and also served 18 months as a United Nations police officer in Kosovo. He writes for BreachBangClear.com and Iron Mike magazine and has published two military fiction novels, Proof of Our Resolve and Line in the Valley, through Tactical16 Publishing. He can be reached at chris_hernandez_author@yahoo.com or on his Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/ProofofOurResolve).

http://www.amazon.com/Line-Valley-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B00HW1MA2G/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=09XSSHABSWPC3FM8K6P4
http://www.amazon.com/Proof-Our-Resolve-Chris-Hernandez-ebook/dp/B0099XMR1E/ref=pd_sim_kstore_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=0S6AGHBTJZ6JH99D56X7

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7 Responses to “White people are allowed to riot?”

  1. 1 Vendetta

    The deaperation of the media to find cases that match the social justice narrative is just pathetic. Case after case has blown up in their faces once the facts have emerged, but they just keep trying.

    I am sick of seeing local news items being inflated into Dreyfus Affair national crises one after another. And no accountability for any of it. The media has become such a a driver of problems in our society and I honestly have no idea what is to be done with it. The current system is atrocious but all the alternatives I can think of are just as bad, even worse, or just unrealistic dreaming.

  2. 2 Roy in Nipomo

    I suspect that were the KY rioters specifically hostile toward law enforcement and were shots to be fired, they find law enforcement emulating the actions taken in Ferguson. Same would probably hold true if the rioters were burning other people’s property (cars or buildings) and/or looting stores. It doesn’t take very many people/actions to change law enforcement’s perception of the rioters from either rowdy partiers or peaceful protestors of a perceived wrong to that of an out of control & destructive mob. There appear to be people out there who want law enforcement to over-react and are willing to do what it takes to ensure conditions are set up for that to happen.

  3. The problem with the analysis, Chris, is that the tanks and tear gas and guns came out in Ferguson before any violence had occurred. The first looting—indeed, most of the looting—was done by people who were not there to protest the shooting, but were rather there to take advantage of it. Some of them came from outside of Ferguson to do so. The protestors in many cases were protecting the businesses they saw as being in jeopardy of looting and vandalism.

    A similar situation to the sports-related has arisen in conjunction with a pumpkin festival in New Hampshire. In that case the mostly white college kids vandalized businesses and burned cars, not just sofas. Still no National Guard, no tanks, no riot gear.

    It may not be racism, however, it may be simple classism instead. The citizens of Ferguson are poor and had been routinely subjected to racist or classist bias on the part of their law enforcement. The collegiate rioters in Kentucky and New Hampshire were mostly affluent and arguably had not sustained prolonged maltreatment by law enforcement.

    There is another difference in these situations. The college kids were rioting because their team lost or, in New Hampshire, just because it was fun to cut loose. In Ferguson the protesters were there because of a perceived injustice that, to them, was just one in a long history of same.

    I think it’s safe to argue that the police in Kentucky were not terrified of their mostly white, mostly affluent, mostly juvenile rioters. And so did not behave as if they were terrified. Ferguson police may have been afraid of their protestors. Only they know for sure. But they also wanted to make sure they did not lose their heavy artillery. If you’ll recall that was a condition of them receiving the armored vehicles etc. They had to use them in a certain period of time.

    All in all, I’d say there are a variety of reasons for the differences in which these situations were handled —unconscious or conscious racial bias may be one of them.

    • Maya,

      I’m going to address your points one by one.

      1) “…tanks and tear gas came out before any violence had occurred.” No, they didn’t. There were no tanks in Ferguson. This is not semantics. Tanks are purely aggressive vehicles designed to kill other vehicles and people. MRAP armored vehicles are built to protect people inside. I was a tank crewman in the peacetime army and later rode in plenty of MRAPs overseas. An MRAP is not a tank, period. Calling it a tank is objectively wrong, and suggests its purpose is to kill rather than protect.

      And armored vehicles were in Ferguson before the violence broke out because that violence was easily foreseeable. Huge, violent and destructive race riots based on perceived unjust police actions have a long history in America. The LA Riots were the best predictor of what would happen in Ferguson. While I agree that the police response seemed to be overblown, I completely understand why police in and around Ferguson prepared for the worst.

      Also, just to clarify, I make a distinction between the Ferguson protestors and Ferguson rioters. I’m not criticizing anyone for simply protesting.

      2) Regarding the pumpkin festival in NH: National Guard troops won’t be called out to spontaneous riots that are relatively short-lived. National Guard troops can’t be called up in an instant. This is something else I have personal experience with. I’ve been called up for a hurricane and for the space shuttle recovery mission in 2003. In both cases units took at least a day to assemble. For the space shuttle mission we took only a day to respond because most of our units were already at drill when the shuttle came down, and were already on alert when we got the order.

      Guard units aren’t like they were in the old days. Many units now have soldiers spread out all over the state rather than all living in the same town as their unit armory. My current unit is in a large city; out of my entire company, only about five soldiers actually live in that city. If we get called up it’ll take at least a day to get the company together, armed and equipped and able to respond. The Ferguson riots were long anticipated and violence was expected if Wilson was acquitted; city, state and local officials knew long beforehand that they’d likely need Guard troops, and had plenty of time to plan their mobilization.

      Here’s one report from before the grand jury verdict, showing that law enforcement officials from the city all the way to the FBI were sharing intelligence on planned violent protests long before the protests actually started. http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/07/us-usa-missouri-shooting-plans-idUSKCN0HW1TF20141007

      3) “The citizens of Ferguson are poor and had been routinely subjected to racist or classist bias on the part of their law enforcement. The collegiate rioters in Kentucky and New Hampshire were mostly affluent and arguably had not sustained prolonged maltreatment by law enforcement.”

      Maybe true, but a different subject. I wrote about the response to the riots, not the reason behind them.

      4) “The college kids were rioting because their team lost or, in New Hampshire, just because it was fun to cut loose. In Ferguson the protesters were there because of a perceived injustice that, to them, was just one in a long history of same.”

      Again, maybe true but not what I wrote about.

      5) “I think it’s safe to argue that the police in Kentucky were not terrified of their mostly white, mostly affluent, mostly juvenile rioters. And so did not behave as if they were terrified. Ferguson police may have been afraid of their protestors. Only they know for sure.”

      It’s also objectively true that the Kentucky rioters weren’t shooting at police officers. Some of the Ferguson rioters were. And the Ferguson protestors certainly didn’t turn in the rioters shooting at cops.

      Does that mean the Ferguson police were “terrified”? Not necessarily. You can have an objective, real understanding of the fact that your life is in danger without being terrified. Been there, done that, many times.

      Here’s information about shell casing recovered from one single parking lot in Ferguson after the riot. The web site name might throw you off, and the source cited is anonymous, but the report itself is believable.

      “In the Red’s Barbecue parking lot alone, sixty-six shell casings were recovered.
      21 of them were from a single AR-15.
      The remaining shell casings originated from seventeen separate firearms using extractor markings to ID.
      That means in ONE PARKING LOT, there were 18 different guns that fired a total of 66 rounds at or near responding Police and Fire Units.”

      http://tacticalshit.com/report-front-ferguson-aftermath-crime-scene-statistics/#

      6) “But they also wanted to make sure they did not lose their heavy artillery. If you’ll recall that was a condition of them receiving the armored vehicles etc. They had to use them in a certain period of time.”

      Nonsense.

      Please cite some evidence that the police “had to use them in a certain period of time.” Armored vehicles are provided to police departments for emergency purposes. If no emergency occurs, the federal government doesn’t take the vehicles back. They don’t want them back. They’re giving them to police departments because we have too many and they don’t want to scrap them or leave (more of) them for extremist groups overseas. Please post this order commanding the Ferguson police to use the vehicles no matter what, or lose them.

      And armored vehicles aren’t “heavy artillery”. Those vehicles don’t have integral weapons. Using a term like “heavy artillery” is deliberately inflammatory and inherently dishonest. It’s not a matter of “perception being reality” either. If you perceive an unarmed armored vehicle is heavy artillery, your perception is wrong.

      I disagree with you on many thing Maya, but I respect your intelligence and opinion. And I expect better from you on this.

      • 5 RandyGC

        As someone who has had experience in working with the Feds to get equipment for local LE (and fire, EMS and rescue), I have never seen a “use it or lose it” clause for equipment obtained under any agreement with the Feds. I

        n fact the majority of the equipment we get is never actually used (thank goodness, it’ll be a very bad day when some of the HAZMAT stuff gets used for instance) and hopefully won’t be until it expires or is declared excess/obsolete and disposed of.

  4. 6 rd

    Looking at the background of the first picture, the crowd in the background looks like it is ethnically diverse. They do look like they are all Drunk and Stupid, but that is not a racial trait.

  5. They should use bulldozers and rubber bullets on all the college-ass rioters. Fire hoses and German Shepherds would clear the streets in no time.


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