Rival motorcycle gangs opened fire in a parking lot in Waco, Texas, on Sunday. Nine have died, 18 were wounded, and 170 have been arrested and will be charged with engaging in organized crime linked to capital murder. What’s truly amazing is how the media has framed the incident. CNN called it a “brouhaha” while the NYT called it a “confrontation.”
Of course, the deadly shootout in Texas was exactly that: A shootout. The rival gangs were not engaged in a demonstration or protest and they were predominantly white, which means that — despite the fact that dozens of people engaged in acts of obscene violence — they did not “riot,” as far as much of the media is concerned. “Riots” are reserved for communities of color in protest, whether they organize violently or not, and the “thuggishness” of those involved is debatable. That doesn’t seem to be the case in Texas.
Nine people dead and that’s a brouhaha? I’d love to know what CNN defines as a tussle.
Team Blackness also discussed the demilitarization of the police, a woman who got jail time for raping a man, and a really inappropriate way that one Boston couple choose to wait for the train.
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I was leaning toward “zany hijinks” myself.
It was just Sam Peckinpah’s Salad Days. Someone said, “I say, anyone for tennis?”
The LA Times is calling it a “gang battle”, which seems reasonably accurate and to the point. This wasn’t a riot, which suggests an unruly crowd engaged in random destruction, with violence to others as only part of incidental to the wanton destruction. This was a battle or shootout, where injuring people was the primary objective. So I would suggest that the people calling it a gang fight, shootout, battle, or something similar are closer to correct than ones calling it a riot. This wasn’t a riot; it was a deadly fight between rival criminal gangs.
One of the finest tweets I have ever seen, contrasting police conduct at Waco and Ferguson.
I’ve seen people on Facebook saying–about the gang war THAT KILLED NINE PEOPLE–that “at least they didn’t think trash other people’s property” like those people in Baltimore!
Except for putting bullet holes in their cars and businesses.
Mike in NC
The bikers were armed with knives, clubs, chains, brass knuckles, and handguns. No Skittles were involved.
There is also the contrast that in Baltimore, the (black) gangs were united in calling for peaceful protests, and in Texas the (white) gangs are the ones shooting. Where are the leaders in the white community decrying the inherent violence of their race?
Hmmm, no mention of these terms anywhere in the media reports:
– riot: “A violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd”
– thug: “A violent person, especially a criminal”
So why isn’t “Deaths follow Waco riot by thugs” a headline? Salon looked at the descriptions used for what happened at Waco.
No riot. No thugs. Our liberal media at work, or our racist media at work?
Here is an excellent redefinition of the word thug: “a black guy who makes white folks a little more uncomfortable than they prefer”.
Just Some Fuckhead, Thought Leader
Oh my, those crazy white biker kids with their sigils and such. What mischief have they gotten into now?
I do hope that all that touching brotherly love and respect on display between the white cops and the white bikers at Waco doesn’t dissipate when they announce how many cop bullets are in the nine biker corpses.
Well, the Today Show chryon yesterday referred to it as a “Biker Gang Clash”. Weren’t they a big haired metal band in the 80’s?
It was all about a Texas bottom rocker. Yes, I had to google it too. That’s worth dying for, instead of you know, systemic oppression of all of your rights.
Silly boy. Only black and Latino criminals are organized into “gangs.” Violent (mostly white) bikers who deal drugs are merely business associates.
White bikers aren’t a gang, they’re a club.
@Pogonip: They were “teaching the controversy”!
@Mandalay: I saw around 2:30 that one of the TVs here at work had CNN on, and the chyron had (paraphrasing) “Why weren’t the Waco bikers called ‘thugs’?” Anybody want to summarize what went down there? There was no sound and I couldn’t hang around.
I’m sorry, but the whole saga of Bevel commercials on TWiB just kills me. In a non-cop way.
Tree With Water
Come to think of it, there’s no term synonymous with ‘good old boys’ that Americans invoke to describe a group of black American males, is there?
Richard Sherman was called a thug by more media outlets than the members of the two motorcycle gangs.
Seems like he wasn’t too far off when he said “thug” was just a socially acceptable substitute for the N-word.
@Roger Moore: Yeah. This one has me pinching the bridge of my nose too.
@Cacti: I remember that. Arguably the best cornerback in the game at the time, and he was reduced to ‘thug’ status. He was right, in my opinion.
Tree With Water
Team Blackness: The NY Times has an interesting story up about the 50th anniversary of the Ali-Liston fight. Not knowing much about the guy, I googled Liston’s name and ran across this Q & A. I’d never heard it before, but won’t soon forget it (Liston was born and raised in the deep South). I thought you might appreciate it:
“..The NAACP had urged Patterson not to fight Liston, fearing that a Liston victory would hurt the civil rights movement… Many African-Americans disdained Liston. Asked by a young white reporter why he wasn’t fighting for freedom in the South, Liston deadpanned, “I ain’t got no dog-proof ass.”
I heard a similar tone this afternoon on KCRW/NPR. Maybe it was Lakshmi Singh? Anyway, the way she read the report was almost like a soft news item, you could hear the smile in her voice. So strange.
Ha ha ha ha!
As stupid as CNN et al are (and GAWD are they stupid) it is equally stupid to call a biker gang war/shootout a “riot”. A riot is a spontaneous disturbance by a mob of random people who have no agenda or goal. This was a gang turf war, among biker gangs shooting it out over their drug rivalry. However, the term “thug” certainly fits well.