One Group That Definitely Doesn’t Benefit from White Privilege: Biker Gangs

One can always count on Charles Blow* to distill a handful of hitherto inchoate silliness into column form, and this morning he did not disappoint.

Picking up each and every one of the witless tropes that have been circulating since the travesty at Waco, Blow set about to establish that a grave linguistic injustice had been done to America’s rioters.

Since Sunday’s gang fight, Blow averred, both the media and the public have demonstrated a set of pernicious double standards, and thereby exposed the racial inequalities that underpin the American criminal-justice system.

Rather than calling the motorcycle gangs “thugs,” he complained, the press has taken to calling them “motorcycle gangs.”

Rather than asking if the fight was the product of a race-based “pathology,” commentators have been happy to treat it as a one-off.

And rather than asking serious questions about America’s culture, onlookers have merely shrugged their shoulders — or possibly even applauded.

These dissimilarities, Blow concluded, represent not the natural semantic differences that arise in reporting on asymmetrical situations, but a “societal and media issue about the imbalances in characterization, which is itself a proxy for the very value we place on different people simply because of their inherent identities and their personal presentation.”

The bottom line to the piece? The bikers have been treated more nicely than the rioters were because they were white…


*A black columnist for the New York Times who constantly whines about racism.

Salon, in an article on Waco, also complains about racism but adds: “Terrorist shootings and bombings by Muslim extremists are often followed by white media outlets asking for—demanding—apologies and denouncements by Islamic leaders.”

Share