As the world turns, so too does white fragility gain more and more media coverage every day. Last week, a woman who was later identified as a Stanford professor decided to harass a black man as he prepared a cookout at a public park. She has since become the favorite meme subject of Black social media in particular.
Though these sorts of incidents have been part of the American cultural lexicon for decades if not centuries, there are still many who are shocked and amazed at the level of petty hatred and vitriol aimed at people of color due to the whiny concerns of some white folks.
Yesterday, Raw Story reported that a St. Louis police lieutenant identified as Jerry Foster took to social media to cry silly little white tears of privilege when he noticed white people doing manual labor at an "authentic" Mexican restaurant.
“I’m not sure what the hell is going on in our country these days,” Foster wrote in a screen-shotted post. “I just drove by an authentic Mexican restaurant in town; and there were white guys putting on a new roof, cutting the grass and doing landscaping.”
Mike Lasky, one of the workers at Casa Romero, told KMOV he was shocked a police officer would post something so “insensitive.”
“It’s disturbing and I hate to see it,” he told the station, “but it just shows that it does exist and it’s sad.”
Lasky was part of a team contracted by the establishment to refurbish the eatery. Of course, this isn't the first time this officer has said something problematic via social media. Indeed, where there's smoke, there's fire.
In 2016, he reportedly made a post deriding the “Democratic Criminal Party” after Lezley McSpadden, the mother of police-killed Michael Brown from nearby Ferguson, was invited to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
You see how these sorts of things end up sometime, right? With the individual wallowing in their whiteness ending up looking like unadulterated a-holes. But, as any New Yorker of color can attest, bigotry has not nor has ever been confined to the south and midwest.
An unidentified white male threw a hissy fit of privilege and bigotry at a Fresh Kitchen in midtown Manhattan because two workers spoke to a customer in Spanish.
“Your staff is speaking Spanish to customers when they should be speaking English,” the man says.
“My guess is, they’re not documented, so my next call is to ICE to have each one of them kicked out of my country,” he says. “They have the balls to come here and live off of my money? I pay for their welfare, I pay for their ability to be here. The least they could do, the least they could do is speak English.”
He sputters angrily at the woman recording video of his tantrum and threatens to call immigration agents on her, too, and storms out of the coffee shop.
In each of the aforementioned scenarios, Americans of color were kindly minding their own business when they were threatened with law enforcement by folks whose whiteness was stunned at the very sight of diversity.
One wonders how many people were killed, jailed or deported in the last year simply because a white person felt some kind of way at them performing such mundane tasks as working, eating or otherwise minding their own gotdamn business.