McDonald’s gun threat suspect. Photo: Twitter
After a White man allegedly pulled a gun at some Black Muslim youth at a Minnesota McDonald’s on Monday night rather than trying to find out what had occurred a store employee and manager immediately asked the group of young people to leave.
“I want everyone out of my store now,” a White female manager yelled, coming out to confront the Black boys and girls, who appear to try to let her know what had transpired. “I don’t give a fuck. I want everyone out now!” the manager demands, still pointing toward the door.
Imagine if the situation were reversed and a Black male adult had pulled out a gun at a group of White youth at a McDonald’s for whatever reason. Would a White store manager order the youth out of the McDonald’s –and yell “I don’t give a fuck”–knowing the alleged gunman was right outside?
Of course not.
The McDonald’s manager saw a group of Black teenagers –it was also obvious to her that they were Muslims since, as can be seen on the videos posted on social media, some of the girls had head scarves– and she concluded the youth must have been guilty of something. She assigned criminality to their Blackness; that’s what “I don’t give a fuck” translates into. It didn’t matter to this manager that several of the teenagers were yelling, “He’s got a gun, he’s got a gun.”
This is what’s called prejudice. Racism and Islamophobia in this case.
The teenagers later said one of them had exchanged words with the alleged gunman after the White man had, without any provocation, said the teenager probably uses foodstamps.
Pervasive bias have led to many deadly outcomes all across the country through the years. The most recent case was of course the shooting death of Jemel Roberson by a still-unnamed White, Midlothian, Illinois, police officer, who was one of the cops responding to the mass shooting at the Manny’s Blue Room bar.
Even though Roberson was trying to apprehend one of the alleged shooters, the only things registering in the White officers brain were “Black man” and “gun.” It didn’t matter to the officer that several witnesses shouted –as the witnesses themselves later said– that Roberson was trying to apprehend a suspect. Maybe the officers brain –so conditioned by his prejudice– wasn’t even able to comprehend the words of warning.
Roberson ended up dead.
But not all White people think like the store manager. One of the videos posted on social media shows a White man confronting the manager and saying, “Hey, hey, don’t send them out there, the dude just pulled a gun on them…” Then whatever he says next is inaudible before he’s heard saying, “You better call the fucking cops,” to which one of the youth says, “Thank you.
In a statement the Eden Prairie Police Department said that it was investigating the incident.
After Roberson’s killing, Rev. Michael Pfleger made a statement that needs to be repeated many times: “I say to White society, it’s time to stop fearing the Black man, and treat him like you treat your own brothers and sisters.”