Can you tell the difference between black and white?
The Police Can & Do!
No Pumpkins No Peace: On the Culture of White Violence
by Abby Zimet
The big news in New England this weekend was the successful transformation of sleepy little Keene N.H.'s annual Pumpkin Festival by a horde of drunken, partying, college-age, middle-class, overwhelmingly white kids into a rowdy, fire-starting, police-taunting, car-overturning melee/mayhem/fracas/"situation" - that is, many on social media pointed out, what in black Ferguson would be called a riot, to be dealt with as harshly as in Ferguson by the usual over-armed, under-trained, trigger-happy, riot-gear-wearing cops. In Keene - where one clueless partier proclaimed the unruly proceedings "a blast" and "f*cking wicked" and others chanted "We Will Win!" (maybe free pumpkins?) - it didn't pan out that way. The kids pulled down street signs, started fires, threw beer bottles; the cops fired paintballs and teargas and made some arrests. But there were only minor injuries, mostly kid on kid. Local officials were suitably unhappy; one organizer was caught in a hilariously testy exchange with a reporter she called a "self-promoting punk" for actually documenting the mess on view.
All told, it's hard to decide who were the most appalling players of the tawdry spectacle: the thuggish cops, or the thuggish kids. Most notable were the glaring black and white and class discrepancies. Here was white privilege at something less than its finest moment, protesting...um....something to do with pumpkins, confronted by excessive militarized law enforcement - which at Ferguson saw dangerous thugs, but in Keene saw only rowdy dumb kids, with the accompanying race-tinged media coverage, like bemused Fox News commentators making pumpkin jokes, to reinforce it. Judging from the flurry of Twitter activity, many were not amused. Cue the hashtags #pumpkinfest and#WhiteOnPumpkinCrime and their pithy comments: "If these pumpkins would pull up their pants, turn down their music and get jobs, things like #pumpkinfest wouldn't happen....Let's wait for all the facts. We don't know yet what the pumpkins did to those white kids to start it....Saw someone refer to the #keenepumpkinfest riot as a 'fracas.' White folks digging deep into their thesaurus to find descriptive words....Those pumpkins were no angels....Is it just pumpkins that incite violence? We are in apple picking season. I just want to be sure my family will be safe....Don't these people have jobs? Where are the white fathers? What will end this corrosive culture of violence?! " In response, festival officials posted the elliptical, "Yesterday gave us many lessons," quoted Mr. Rogers, and cheerily reported they counted 21,912 jack-o'-lanterns, including some of the "biggest, plumpest, most flawless pumpkins" ever, so there's that.
Pumpkin Crime': Mainstream Riot Coverage from Ferguson, Missouri to Keene, New Hampshire
Twitter users and others compare difference in images, descriptions between white rioters in Keene and black protesters in Ferguson
by Nadia Prupis
"These are no angels," Twitter user Isaiah A. Taylor said of the photograph that showed six young white men on top of an overturned car, beer cans aloft, as the crowd on the ground seemed to cheer them on.
Over the weekend, crowds who attended the annual pumpkin festival in Keene, New Hampshire became violent as the event descended into a riot. Police responded to the scene armed with tear gas and pepper spray. Dozens were arrested and at least 26 were taken to the hospital with injuries as the chaotic night unfolded.
However, despite the violent crowds and the riot police, major news outlets referred to the event as "rowdy," and the rioting hordes as "revelers."
But as news of the fray spread on social media, observers took the occasion as an opportunity to highlight the vastly different media responses to those in Keene and Ferguson, Missouri, where black activists have recently organized nonviolent protests against institutionalized racism and police brutality.
Among them was Ebony Magazine’s Jamilah Lemieux, who noted that despite the satirical response to media portrayals of white rioters, there is a serious message to be taken from the disparate coverage. "For all the hashtags and the jokes, we won't see a media assault on the youth who ruined the festival for acting in ways that were not merely inappropriate, illegal and potentially deadly, but bizarre and wrought with the stench of unchecked privilege," Lemieux writes. "Unlike the young people who have mobilized in Ferguson for an actual cause, there will likely be few serious ramifications for those who participated in making Keene, New Hampshire the laughingstock of the country, while putting themselves and others at serious risk for injury or death AT A PUMPKIN FESTIVAL."
of Various Subjects