Racial Bias Watch: How is the media covering the Waco biker gang shootout?

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The OP poses a whole bunch of questions about how the media will cover this event.

The cynic in me suspects that a blanket “No” can be used as a response.


When will leaders in the White Community finally step up to do something about this rampant White-on-White violence?


The media response will be as different as the police response was.

If the thugs (note, these were each & every one confirmed thugs, not protestors with a few bad actors mixed in) involved in this incident had been black/visible minority there would probably be one dead for every weapon the police found and every throw-down weapon the police brought.

The survivors would not be casually chilling in their colours on their iPhones, they’d be trussed up zip-ties at the ankles and wrists, laid out in a row.

The police presence put forth in advance of the incident would have been ten-fold in full battle rattle with armoured support.

Except. Not. Because the gathering would not have been allowed in the first place, the military-like response force would have stopped, battered and frisked everyone attempting to enter the parking lot, let alone the restaurant.

I expect the media to be as different as the police in this matter.


Actually, I heard Don Lemon call these guys ‘thugs’ on CNN last night

I do not like the way some of this is presented. This shouldn’t be called a riot. It’s a shoot-out. It’s not a riot. A riot is a different thing. I also do not want to liken these people to protesters and an angry community. These people are in gangs, and most of the people in Baltimore protesting are not criminals by any stretch of the imagination. I agree that the coverage will be something to watch and it’s useful to make comparisons, but I can’t object more to comparing murderers and attempted murderers to rioters and protestors in Baltimore and elsewhere.


At least Waco finally has something new to be known about.


But that’s the rub mate, these -actual- 100% thugs doing -nothing but- killing and maiming won’t get as sound a drubbing in the media as mass protestors with a few rioters mixed in.

That’s precisely why it’s a good exercise.

edit - As for “riot”, it’s not being called that is it? It’s being called everything else. Despite the fact that a riot is a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd and it would be perfectly valid to call it that. The intent of the crowd doesn’t matter to the word, only to those using the word, and for so long now riot has been reserved for re-branding protests to fit a narrative that this incident tells much when the establishment tiptoes around the word.


I’m not saying that the way media covers these things isn’t racialized, I’m responding mainly to,

Will the Waco incident be called a “riot” (something the media seldom does when white people are involved)?

I’m saying that if they did call it a riot to create parity, that it would actually be an insult to the Baltimore community. Parity is an insult to the community, in any case. I don’t want to hear O’Reilly saying, talking-points style, “I condemn the violence of these gangs and thugs, just as I expect the Black community to condemn the violence of the thugs in Baltimore.” That’s not better.


Sorry bout that I had been editing on this very topic while you were typing.

But in further reply, that parity would not be an insult, it would nullify the initial insult of calling all of the action in Baltimore riots despite it having been mostly protests., but only nullify it to a certain degree, since this Waco thing could be characterized 100% correctly with that word.


I can’t imagine anyone sympathizing with these brigands. Most people will be happy to relegate the participants to the class of endogenous evil. But I don’t imagine that there will be blanket condemnation of whites or motorcycle riders as a problematic group. But then-again there’s those memes online that talk about not pissing off white nerdy kids in high school because they might shoot up the place… Yeah - this might be fun to watch unfold.


Fun game - media op-ed tag lines about the incident that incorporate the bias implicit in the coverage

“Somebody has to sell the children meth, may as well be white guys?”


Yes, and I agree that the trouble is, most white people won’t relegate the largely white brigands to the class of “white people,” nor “biker gangs” to the realm of “white things.” The trouble is not necessarily that they should do so, but like the de facto white supremacist corporate media, they still do the opposite with black malfeasance all the fucking time. At best, it’s a racist double standard.

As for white nerdy kids who might shoot up the place, such incidents are never laid at the doorstep of “the white community” the way black-youth violence is at the doorstep of “the black community.” They’re cast as an individualized, relatively isolated problem, not as a “white” or even “well-off white” problem.

when white people, and especially those from stable and even well-off economic backgrounds lash out in a manner often far more bizarre, indiscriminate, and apocalyptic than even the most determined street thug, it is then that the value of broader cultural critique vanishes faster than ethical judgment on Wall Street, to be replaced by a far more individualistic analysis. It’s the guns in that kids home, or the video games he played, or the Asperger’s, or the bullying, or he was a loner, or watched violent movies, or whatever. Because we cannot bring ourselves to ask the questions, let alone countenance the possible answers that we would ask and at which we might arrive were the vast majority of these mass killers black, or Latino, or God forbid Arab Muslims. In any of those cases — and everyone with even a shred of honesty would admit it — we would be talking not about the individual killer as an aberration, as a disturbed and disordered soul who had lost his way. We would be talking about the group or groups from which they hailed; about their cultures, their religion, their pathological communities.

Race, Class, Violence and Denial: Mass Murder and the Pathologies of Privilege


I see what you’re getting at, but if a riot doesn’t get called a riot and a non riot does, then that’s prejudice laid bare right there. And I think this is what the article is getting at. Its not asking for parity, its calling out the bias in coverage.


Well, isn’t it?

Source? I went through a slide show of mug shots and there was a significant number of Hispanics.

As for the other questions. Yes they are thugs (n 1. a violent person, especially a criminal.) No, it wasn’t a riot. It was localized to one location. Had it spread out to other areas then yes.

I was impressed/surprised that they got 170 arrests. I would have thought more would have bugged out. That is nearly the number of arrests from the much wider spread riots in Baltimore.

The bike culture is weird. There are clubs who don’t get into trouble, and there are clubs that are more like gangs that have both legit arms and illegal arms. In this case they were meeting to discuss biker rights and laws affecting motorcycles. Some of them do charity rides and toy drives. But then they have others who sell drugs and do other bad things. Sort of like the Mafia having legit and illegal operations.


Yeah, meth is white-controlled from the top to the toothless bottom. All drug markets are white at the top, I guess I picked meth for that because bikers are a big part of that business at many levels.

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The officer in the Twitter image looks like he is providing security at a 4th of July parade. Where’s the body armor/paramilitary gear in the middle of a gun battle where police are targets?


Huh? Hispanic is an ethnicity, not a race. Many Latinos/as identify as white.

More to the point, as Caroline pointed out, the question at hand is whether black and white criminals really get treated the same by the corporate media.

The rest of your comment is off that topic as well. Why, if I didn’t know better, I might think you were trying to derail this thread! :wink:


I feel like this is a bit of a digression, but I don’t think anybody (outside of the dictionary) would classify this event as a riot. Technically, yes, you could call it a riot, but when you can more accurately call it a gunfight, I think that’s the term that is more likely to be used. Riot isn’t a term generally used to define gang warfare, regardless of the colour of the participants. Usually the participants of a riot aren’t fighting each other, the way these dummies were.

But again, a digression. It will be interesting to see how the media coverage plays out, for sure, in particular since this was a group consisting entirely of criminals, whereas the Baltimore events consisted of a large proportion of otherwise-law-abiding citizens (to the best of my knowledge) with some bad actors mixed in for good measure.