Flipping Cars Without a Care — the Apex of White Privilege
Black Lives Matter protesters couldn’t get away with this
Nearly 1,000 White college students gathered to party in Columbus, Ohio. They came to celebrate the “Chitt Fest,” a series of spring block parties. But this year, their brand of fun included damaging property and flipping seven cars. When the police responded, the revelers seem unfazed and unbothered. Flipping cars without a care is the apex of White privilege.
The officers responded to the event from a distance. Using a megaphone, they said, “They’ll come down when it’s safe for them.” When it comes to confronting Black protesters, police seem to have the will of fire. Yet, when it comes to confronting White people, their demeanor changes. Even when students damaged property, the police didn’t give them a hard time. Those White students partied until they couldn’t party anymore. Police officers did not threaten them, though they did ask them to disperse. None of these students made it into cuffs or the back of a police car.
Before Black protesters take to the streets to protest racial inequality, officials prepare. They issue warnings and set curfews. “Everyone must remain calm and peaceful. We will have order.” These preemptive measures feed into a dangerous stereotype about Black people. Namely, they are more dangerous, noncompliant, and wreckless than White people. The irony isn’t lost on me that when White students refused to leave the party, police didn’t force them.
Officers handle noncompliance differently when citizens are White. They have the privilege to ignore the police yelling on the megaphone to go home. In the end, there are no consequences, so why not let the cops yell till they're blue in the face?
White privilege is like Captain America’s shield, seemingly impenetrable. While this superhero uses his tool to help others, these students used their White privilege to tear up a neighborhood. Lady justice is blind, but police officers clearly saw what those students did. And yet, they handled them with kid gloves. White privilege becomes obvious when officers passively police White people while bringing down the hammer on Black people.