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.
Here's an image from the Penn State protests after Paterno was fired: pic.twitter.com/HbLonGdrAE
— NickBaumann (@NickBaumann) November 25, 2014
Some people responded to Baumann’s tweet, and a tweet of mine reminding people of the Penn State riot,
Reminder that white people rioted because Joe Paterno was fired over turning a blind eye to child rape. #FergusonDecision
— Donna Gratehouse (@DonnaDiva) November 25, 2014
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.