Remember that time a bunch of mostly white people rioted near Penn State?

Nick Baumann did and he tweeted this as the protest and unrest after the announcement that the grand jury would not indict Ferguson police officer for shooting and killing Michael Brown unfolded.

Some people responded to Baumann’s tweet, and a tweet of mine reminding people of the Penn State riot,

by insisting that it was different because there was much less destruction at Penn State than in Ferguson. It’s entirely possible that one reason for that was that the cops in State College, PA didn’t turn the pepper spray on the pro-Paterno rioters right away, as they are reported to have done with the teargas in Ferguson. That aside, apart from one guy telling me that Paterno didn’t turn a blind eye to child rape (because I guess he really needed to parse that), no one trying to distinguish the Penn State rioting from Ferguson actually tried to defend the Penn Staters taking to the streets on behalf of the child rapist-protecting football coach.

And I’m not sure if the lack of a defense was because they saw how petty and egregious the motivations of Penn State rioters were, or because they truly could not grasp that.

Some students noted the irony of their coming out to oppose what they saw as a disgraceful end to Mr. Paterno’s distinguished career and then adding to the ignobility of the episode by starting an unruly protest.

Greg Becker, 19, a freshman studying computer science, said he felt as if he had to vent his feelings anyway.

“This definitely looks bad for our school,” he said, sprinting away from a cloud of pepper spray. “I’m sure JoePa wouldn’t want this, but this is just an uproar now. We’re finding a way to express our anger.”

As the crowd got more aggressive, so did police officers. Some protesters fought back. One man in a gas mask rushed half a dozen police officers in protective gear, blasted one officer with pepper spray underneath his safety mask, and then sprinted away. The officer lay on the ground, rubbing his eyes

Other students expressed sadness instead of anger. Kathryn Simpson walked arm-in-arm with a friend, crying.

“I’m here because I just need to be with the rest of my school right now,” she said. “This is devastating for us.”

When the unrest began, a merchant, Douglas Albert, stood outside his downtown shop, Douglas Albert Gallery, to keep it safe.

“I’ve been in State College for 42 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” he said, looking at the overturned news van, on which one young man was dancing. “This is uncharted waters.”

Students pounded on the sides of upright news vans, and as officers herded them down the street they shouted, “Flip it over!” Some took off their shirts and tied them around their mouths for protection from the fog of pepper spray, which left countless students hacking. A few wore ski goggles. Many climbed on the tops of parked cars, denting and sinking the roofs, to get a better view of the spectacle.

That was (mostly) white people raging over a college football program and a child rapist-protecting coach being fired. Oh, the humanity! The Ferguson protests are about black people having their lives ended. By the way, the folks in Ferguson are getting it a whole bunch worse from the cops than the crybabies at Penn State ever did.

Ferguson protester

3 responses to “Remember that time a bunch of mostly white people rioted near Penn State?

  1. captain*arizona

    White people rioting are no threat. Bundy ranch could be tolerated ;but african-americans demonstrating for justice can not be tolerated that is why gun control is for black people the corporate state doesn’t care how many guns white red necks have they care if any black man has a gun who is not a criminal because criminals are no threat ;but a non criminal black man must not alowed to own a gun! Check who ny sullivan gun law was aimed at. Also reagan signed california first major gun law see who he didn’t want to drive around with guns. Major gun laws are in cities with large black population.

  2. Check out this post “White People Rioting Over Stupid Shit” (mostly sports related) https://storify.com/betakateenin/white-people-riots.

    The University of Arizona men’s basketball team has had two post-game Fourth Avenue riots, including just last year in the Elite Eight.

  3. A bunch of privileged white kids “riot” because one of their privileged white “heroes” turns out not to have been anything of the sort, having been shitcanned for letting rape of children occur under his watch and pointedly ignoring it.

    A bunch of pissed-off trodden-upon black people “riot” because they’re fucking sick of police shooting and killing them like dogs.

    Says everything you need to know about how fucked America is, eh? #WhyAmericaIsDoomed