Thursday, August 10, 2023

Make No Mistake, the Montgomery Brawl IS About Race ...

Sigh, white boat captain and others trynna say "it's not about race" - then how do you explain it falling along racial lines, then? 

Because it goes deeper than it appears, of course - and I'm sorry if you can't see the inherent racism from the get-go of the incident - and this is what we mean by the need for privileged white people to become aware of their own privilege and inherent racial bias and to become "woke." 

I'm sure I have more waking to do myself, but I began to wake as a social worker in college over 30 years ago -  so please -  allow me to interpret and HELP you wake up, other white people  :)


However, this is still just my perception - but first off, I would encourage you to watch all of the videos, from all angles - FULL videos, including how it started -  before making a decision, as I have, from what I could find thus far.   

Because the first and main video doesn't show the aftermath of the original altercation, including people punching each other into the water, chairs being whacked over people's heads - it was some crazy sh*t!

Okay, I admit, parts of it are kind of hilarious, (and at one point, I felt like I was watching that famous spillover scene in Blazing Saddles), but also super sad if you see it on a deeper societal level, right?

So after watching upwards of 8 or 9 videos from different angles,  I clearly see racism at play - not enough evidence for a hate crime, but it is -  and if you can't see that, too, consider the following: 

1) The Harrington II, a Montgomery, Alabama Riverboat was trying to dock in their legally designated spot - and it was clearly filled predominantly with people of color. 


2)  A group of white individuals had parked their private, especially fancy and expensive pontoon boat in that legally designated spot for the city's riverboat. 


3)  The boat owners were asked by the white captain on the PA system - as well as the black dock worker (who was later attacked), Damien - to please move their boat so that the riverboat could dock - but they were all met with nothing but obscene gestures or ignored.


4)  The people of color on the boat begin chanting "Get Out the Way.  Get Out the Way." 


5)  After 30 to 45 minutes of being unable to dock, the dockworker, Damien, untied and lightly pushed their boat out of the way, just enough for the riverboat to dock.  


6) After some discussion afterwards between the apparent white boatowners and the dockworker, Damien, one of men punches Damien - then another - then several other white men  (and a couple of women) suddenly come in from other boats to try to beat Damien down until he's on the ground - for what reason we don't know - still pummelling Damien despite being on the ground.


7)  Aaren, a 17-year-old white teenage dockworker - seen in a red life vest - comes in to try to intervene  and pull the men off Damien, and is punched in the stomach.  


8)  In contrast, the people of color on the boat landing above the dock simply observed the fight and did not get involved until those several more white people rushed in to jump on Damien (to include one staff member even jumping off the riverboat to swim to help him). 


9)  When the boat finally DID dock - shockingly - though blacks outnumbered whites on the boat, few white people on the riverboat appeared to mostly take the white side -  despite knowing who was at fault and that their docking was being blocked by the white-owned boat - and the people of color (and just a few stray white people) on the boat appeared to take the black side.   

And if you still can't see the racial element in all of this - NOW IMAGINE IT'S A BUS OR A DELI COUNTER - in Montgomery, Alabama, shortly after the Civil Rights Act was passed into law in 1964 and desegregated the South.

When people of color tried to enjoy the same rights of sitting in whatever seats they wanted to on public a bus or at a deli counter, violence ensued, including on any white people trying to help.

Today, it's the same thing, only updated - the same sense of false entitlement that the private white boat owners parked their private boat in a space reserved for a public city riverboat, filled with mostly people of color, blocking it from docking. 

(Mind you, most of those people are riding the riverboat because they can't afford fancy private boats, but they still pay for the ride.) 

So in case you're still not convinced, how do you explain the white people coming in from other boats to help the original two men beat the black dock worker down?

It is highly likely didn't even know what was going on and just saw two white men punching a black man, presumed his guilt, and jumped on.

What I think is also interesting (and kind of hilarious) is when the fight was broken up, the people of color simply walked away to the right - but the white men are sitting down and being comforted by the women and each other, as if THEY are the victims.

And there you have it, Ladies and Gentlemen - proof positive that racism - and/or and inherent racial bias, which can be just as harmful -  is alive and well even today. (Note the white people automatically taking the white side, without even knowing what was going on.)

It's also a good example of "white fragility" - the white men begin the fight, but roll on the ground afterwards, being comforted by the women,  playing the (false) victim later, as opposed to the people of color, who just walk away,

But at least this time, justice may be served - because although the chair-whacking person of color  is being questioned by police (whacking the white people attacking Damien - and I do understand why he maybe get got a charge, no one else was using a weapon) -  the very clear instigators of both the trouble and the violence were white - and they are the ones with the most charges/arrests. 

And if you think it's just in Alabama, think again - it's just more blatant there. 

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