Let’s talk about this video.
Now that the video has gone viral, the Internet has another convenient villain to mock and despise and racists have a new champion to admire. Six million views, according to some news outlets (not sure if that was the original Facebook post by witness Renee Buckner or subsequent YouTube posts) generates a lot of opinion. Some people are actually defending the woman while a vast majority of viewers found her to be obnoxious, racist, and ignorant. The mall, the store, and the local government have taken swift action tweeting their horror and disgust in the form of carefully worded statements. Despite not knowing the identities of anyone involved, the mall has banned the racist and Penney’s is willing to refund the victims’ purchase.
But she’s not the real villain of the video.
This is a woman who speaks for many Americans. She knows nothing but several pre-fabricated talking points that are really just the delivery vehicles for her hatred. She feels empowered to assault these women in the only way she knows how. Her personal ignorance and fear are evident. She is a weak American; a member of the dregs lurking in a Republic built to withstand the opinion of one woman exercising her right to be a racist dumbass.
The villains are all those people in line who said NOTHING as insults and accusations continued to pour from this sad woman’s mouth. The silence of the mob as two innocent women were verbally assaulted is more offensive to me than one weak-minded fool holding court in a Kentucky department store.
In this Republic, we live (and sometimes die) by the open exchange of ideas. It is the duty of citizens to bring light to the darkness and knowledge to the ignorant, facts to the fantasy – in such a nation silence is acquiescence and acquiescence is all that a lie needs to flourish.
No one stood up to her. Not the cashier. Not the person recording it. Not the white woman in red shown rolling her eyes and smiling like it was just one of those things. Everyone in earshot on and off camera remained silent and, by extension, is complicit in allowing racism to go unanswered. And JC Penney, which stated “We absolutely do not tolerate this behavior in our stores” clearly has no policy to this effect because the cashier took no action to stop it and tried his best to keep his head down to do his job. While I leave it to each of us to decide what we might have done in that situation, I can promise you that I would not have been silent.