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

That isn’t contained in any definition I’ve ever read. Riots or incidents described as riots occur in singular locations all the time. Just because major riots (or major protests being characterized as riots) have occurred over large metro areas doesn’t change things.

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They didn’t come together for the purpose of a gunfight, or (at least they’ll claim) any unlawful activity whatsoever. It was a public gathering that turned to uncontrolled violence.

That people wouldn’t associate the word this way is telling of it’s use and abuse since the beginning of the civil rights & peace movements, which saw such abuse of the word that it still registers as a huge bump in google trends/nbooks search.

edit- btw “gang riot” is a thing, widely used to describe these incidents.


The association I always had with the term “riot” was people flipping cars, looting, etc. The ones that pop into my head most vividly are the 2011 Vancouver Canucks Stanley Cup Riot and the 1992 Guns n’ Roses Montreal Riot. Though I am aware that things like (parts of) the G20 protests here in Toronto were also classified by some in the media as rioting, I don’t recall the term being specifically prevalent in local media. To be fair, though, I was kinda burned out on coverage of it as a friend of mine got himself arrested and would. not. shut. up. about it.

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By some? All. There was rioting at teh G20, and I’m surprised the Queen’s Park riots didn’t come to mind.

But that’s here. Some of our coverage of Baltimore/Ferguson etal was biased to be sure & used riot as a blanket term, but the US coverage and US usage is far more prevalent.

edit - btw to be fair to Canadian media, fucked up as they are, all the canuck riots we’ve mentioned were presented by mostly white folks and referred to actual riots. The Queens’s Park incident & G20 were indeed begun as protests but at both there were large elements (John Clark’s flyers advertising the QP incident pointedly promised a riot, in polite canuck fashion) that openly promised rioting.

I’ll be honest, in 2000 I was 22 years old, and pretty much ignoring the whole outside world in lieu of getting ahold of beer and boobies. I actually had to look up the Queen’s Park Riot to remind myself of what it was. :slight_smile:

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I was in TO then, some of my friends and one of my roomies got locked up for that. I hated saying it when they complained about the police presence, but I couldn’t avoid it, I was like " but man, it says so, right here on the flyer, you gonna be rioting…"

Hispanics are only white when it is convenient to identify them as white. When ever they are victims of racism they aren’t white. I guess there is some fluidity there.

Well the Webster says “: a situation in which a large group of people behave in a violent and uncontrolled way”. But the way the word has been used lately is when there is mass violence and especially with lots of property damage, smashing up windows, destroying cars, etc. Like the WTO riots, or the latest “our team won/lost” riots.

So perhaps we need to update our definition. Similarly people use the word “decimate” when they really mean “destroy”. Decimate means to kill/destroy 10 percent of something, but any time you hear that on the news or anywhere really, they don’t mean 10%. They mean most everything was destroyed.


yeah, cause the whole ATF-David Koresh thing was SOOO long ago… everyone forgot that…

According to some on the 2-wheeled side, this was a Confederation of Clubs organized meet to discuss how they should/would work out better communication and less fighting.

but screw that. Lets go with they hollywood hysteria that breaks out whenever motorcycles are involved.

I’m not saying these are good people, I am saying, the media is biased.

“Sort of like the Mafia having legit and illegal operations.”
What are you talking about??? They are ALL legitimate businessmen.


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Funnily enough:

Don’t forget they have a Dr Pepper Museum too! Waco isn’t all about crazies with guns. Just mostly. And the Koresh compound is a weird place to go out to. Signs telling the Texas DOT to stay away.

From the time I’ve spent there, I’d recommend nuking the entire site from orbit.

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I believe that was Daneel’s sarcastic implication. Living (sort of) nearby in ATX, we think of Waco for various reasons… Baylor, TCU, The Brazos, Dr. Pepper, etc.
But to most of the rest of the country the mention of Waco only brings about images of the tank driving into the wall of the compound and flames erupting soon after, along with news footage of Koresh pacing in front of his followers while holding up a bible. They then refer to it as “Whacko, Texas”.

Now people can (also) think of biker thugs in an O.K. Corral-style gun battle when Waco comes up.

Stay classy, Waco.


I know it does for me!

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OK, let’s play out that scenario: Hundreds of black, non-motorcycle-riding gang members meet together to discuss how to better work together. During the summit a violent confrontation breaks out, leaving nine dead and involving police.

You really think the media would leave that alone or avoid demonizing the gang members? Seriously?


OK, let’s play out that scenario: Hundreds of black, non-motorcycle-riding gang members meet together to discuss how to better work together. During the summit a violent confrontation breaks out, leaving nine dead and involving police.

I think I’ve seen that movie.


It was a “wild-west shootout”

You mean like this?

But for cripe’s sake, it’s not fucking riot! It has more in common with ethnic clashes than it does a riot. It’s worse than a riot in a lot of ways. We don’t need to stretch the meaning of the word to point out differences in coverage.

I should let this go, seeing as we don’t seem to be arguing about anything other than semantics.
But hasn’t the media already done said stretching? And isn’t that stretched meaning, only when black people are involved, the coverage that’s being pointed out?

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I can’t believe that this topic is not a rhetorical question. Anyone that can read is well aware of the stark differences in how the media reports crimes committed by people of color when compared with crimes committed by whites. There is an apparent emotional deflection when one reports about the mis-doings of minorities. Trayvon Martin was never referred to as a “child” in the media. He was always presented as an out-of-control violent man. Michael Brown’s size apparently made it permissible to be shot and killed by an apparently, much smaller, fearless police officer, who really was a giant in his own right. And of course all those gentrified biker’s in Waco who belong to “social clubs” and are not violent gang members who "kill each other all the time (black on black violence). You would think that after decades of reporting on racial issues and the reasons for riots that media corporations would have endeavored to hire minorities to write unbiased reports on both white and minority crime? But nooooo…this type of thinking is rocket science and unbiased reporting that does not create fear just doesn’t attract the numbers!

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Related to the original article, it seems possibly a patch on a vest sparked the fight. TL;DR, the Bandidos claimed Texas and only they are supposed to have the bottom rocker patch of Texas on the back. I guess some rival Cossacks showed up with that patch. Fun.