How “white entitlement” marred my trip to a Ferguson teach-in


On Friday, I was on the train to New York to do a teach-in on Ferguson at NYU. Beats headphones on (ed:  a brand of wildly overpriced headphones marketed to inner-city blacks as a status symbol), lost in thought, peering out the window, I suddenly saw a white hand shoving my work carry-on toward me. Startled, I looked up to see the hand belonged to a white guy, who was haphazardly handling my open bag, with my laptop perched just inside to make space for himself on the seat next to me

That he wanted the seat on the now full train was not the problem. That he assumed the prerogative to place his hands on my bag, grab it, shove it at me, all while my computer was unsecured and peaking out, infuriated me. I said to him, “Never put your hands on my property.”

His reply: “Well, you should listen when I talk to you.” That line there, the command that when he, whoever he was, spoke, I should automatically listen encapsulates the breadth of the battle against racism we have to fight in this country.

Buoyed by his own entitlement, his own sense of white male somebodiness, this passenger never even considered that he might simply try harder to get my attention before putting his hands on my stuff. His own need to control space, his own sense of entitlement to move anything in his way even if it held something of value to another person, his belief that he had the right to do whatever he needed to do to make the environment conform to his will are all hallmarks of white privilege.

In the reverse scenario, a black man would never get on the train, snatch up a white woman’s bag, and shove it in her face. But then black women are rarely entitled to the courtesies proffered to white women, and black people never presume they are entitled to occupy interracial spaces so aggressively.

Brittney “TheCrunkFeminist” Cooper is an Assistant Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies at Rutgers, and has written a startlingly large number of bat-shit-insane things over the years.

  • Exile1981

    “In the reverse scenario, a black man would never get on the train, snatch up a white woman’s bag, and shove it in her face.”

    No he’d snag it and run away with it.

  • mauser 98

    Women’s and Gender Studies and Africana Studies……whew.. sounds like a fun chip on their shoulders

    …bet the never been to Hooters!

    • simus1

      “Yes’m, first I wanted to be a cowboy when I grow up but now I’m beginning to think maybe running a restaurant like this would be nice ………………..”

  • Xavier

    Shouldna put dat sheit inna seat dat won’t you’res.

  • Maggat

    Looking at her I think I’d rather stand, and far away.

  • Minicapt

    She writes about “… Black women’s history in fraternal orders …”, perhaps her discussions focus on ‘brown sugar’ and job skill sets, and such?


  • c w

    The website used to be, “get your bag off the seat”

  • Alain

    That is one fat ugly excuse for a woman. She only paid for one seat, not two, so she was not entitled to take up two seats. I still pity anyone who had to sit beside this self-centred, racist bitch.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      Because SLAVERY!!!

    • Frau Katze

      I think I’d rather stand.

      • Rosenmops

        I’d be afraid to sit beside her. I’d almost certainly do something to gravely offend her.

  • Xavier

    Scenario #2: Guy walks up and sits on her bag, crushing computer that was “unsecured and peaking out”. She screeches, “You could have picked it up and handed it to me!”

    • Frau Katze


    • Just a thought

      “…you should listen when I talk to you”
      Sounds contrived.
      Alternatively, he’d been trying to get her attention for 5 minutes to get her to move it before he lost his patience and did it himself.
      Either way, I don’t believe anything any of these charlatans have to say anymore.

    • wallyj180

      It is not a lie … if they truly believe it.
      Damn the facts, full speed ahead.

  • Frau Katze

    I’m really getting tired of this white privilege crap.

    • winniec

      She was passive aggressive and inconsiderate of others…anyone disagree? Taking up two seats in rush hour is a statement of entitlement in itself, isn’t it?.

      • Frau Katze

        The final straw for me is half-white, half-Chinese Tessa Kum of #Illridewithyou fame. Her complexion must be rather pale, judging others I’ve met of the same background. Yet she is tossing around “person of colour” and “I hate whites” like she was a black southerner during Jim Crow.

        Give me a break!

        • bob e

          i only got 10 plastic puke bags left .. !!

  • What a horrendous pig of a woman.

    • Drunk_by_Noon

      And those were the kindest words I could think about her.
      Really, she would be running death camps for white people if she could.
      Of that I have no doubt.
      She has been saying nutty crap for ages, so Salon gave her a forum.

  • winniec

    Oooo, going to a teach-in, were we? Feeling a wee bit touchy going to the teach-in? Oooo, I’ll just teach you a thing or two. Gender and Africana Studies, is it? Ooooo, a chip on each shoulder! I could just scream!

  • wallyj180

    This is a classic example of ‘black’ privilege.

    Basically, this bitch is saying ‘I’m black, somewhere in the past one of my ancestors may have been oppressed by someone, so FO you white piece of shit, I’m taking everything I can, 2 seats for my ghetto onion and one for my computer. ‘

  • simus1

    Too bad the trip wasn’t possible to get done in warmer weather, she could have made the trip on her broom and completely avoided all the white racism and privilege.

  • Jay Currie

    Hmmm… You crank your Beats up loud enough and you can, for a blessed minute, escape the sense that you are an affirmative action hire in a department no serious person cares about on your way to pretend that a black thug didn’t deserve to be shot when he attacked a cop.

    And the some sassy white SOB pops your bubble.

    That must just suck.

  • Mohammed Suqzdiq

    “….. I said to him, “Never put your hands on my property.”

    ….. That line there, the command that when she, whoever she was, spoke, I should
    automatically listen encapsulates the breadth of the battle against black
    racism we have to fight in this country.

  • cmh

    Look at the size of her…she obviously needs two seats for her fat pimply ass.

  • ed

    her mother sat on the toilet for 9 months to crap that one out !!!!

  • Hard Little Machine

    Well black only cars and women only cars are fine too.

  • Petrilla

    She is a teacher? What is she teaching kids? Only hate. Parents, do not send your students to be taught by agents of hate like this one. Seriously, how did she ever get this job and why? Why does she hate white people so? Does NYU not care about who they hire? Or the subjects Ferguson. What is the matter with this whole discussion? Discuss.