- In Washington, DC, a group of protesters at a Black Lives Matter action yelled at patrons of a restaurant, with video of the incident then going viral.
- Left and right were in rare agreement: yelling at random people is not an effective means of protesting injustice.
- But some commentators went further than the evidence, suggesting an incident was emblematic of the broader Black Lives Matter movement.
- In the meantime, the police killings that revived protests over the summer continue: at least 1,021 people have been killed by US law enforcement over the past year.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
People protesting the police shooting of Kenosha, Wisconsin, man Jacob Blake were caught on video berating two women sitting outdoors at a restaurant in a gentrified neighbourhood in Washington, DC, on Monday night.
The episode, documented by The Washington Post’s Frederick Kunkle, showed a group of white protesters yelling at a woman at a restaurant patio in Adams Morgan who declined to raise her fist in solidarity with them.
1) In a scene that played out several times Monday, a Black Lives Matter protest that began in Columbia Heights confronted White diners outside D.C. restaurants, chanting “White silence is violence!” and demanding White diners show their solidarity. #DCProtests pic.twitter.com/fJbPM76vb0
— Fredrick Kunkle WaPo (@KunkleFredrick) August 25, 2020
Across television and social media, critics from both the left and right lamented the incident.
“The American left in action, 2020,” wroteFox News TV personality Brit Hume. His colleague, Tucker Carlson, dutifully aired a segment regarding the 30-second clip, portraying it as emblematic of the broader national movement against racism.
Told ya, guys pic.twitter.com/KqWKSRqzDz
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) August 26, 2020
“Pretty sure everyone has said all there is to say about this,”tweetedJoel D. Anderson, a columnist at Slate, “but I can’t help but think we’d be better off if white people did some version of this at home to their racist mothers and uncles and old college buddies.”
“White people continuing to do the most and least simultaneously,” added Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Temple University.
“This is why white people taking over our movements is actually bad,” said activist Monjula Ray. “They never know when to take a f—ing seat.”
Lauren B. Victor, the urban planner to whom the shouts were directed, told the Post she wasn’t afraid when it happened, just uncomfortable with the mob mentality. “I’m very much with them,”she said. “I’ve been marching with them for weeks and weeks and weeks.”
Victor was one of several restaurant patrons who were approached by protesters over the evening. As the crowd of people wound through the Columbia Heights neighbourhood they could be heard shouting: “Fire, fire, gentrifier – Black people used to live here.”
On Tuesday, protests against police violence continued for the third night. Over the past year, 1,021 people, disproportionately Black and Latino, have been shot and killed by police.
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