In the wake of New Hampshire’s pumpkin riot, in which white people tore a city apart for absolutely no reason, many have drawn comparisons to the treatment of peaceful protesters in Ferguson, Missouri. Those who participated in Saturday’s display of white privilege in all its glory (?) have been called “unruly,” and “rowdy” “revelers” who were “causing a ruckus.” One outlet noted that “people just got too drunk.”
In Ferguson, Missouri, the mostly African-American protesters fighting against police brutality have been called “violent,” and “thugs,” the conservative replacement for the “n-word.” The differing reactions to these two situations, in which white people are called all but “naughty” in their violence and destruction while black people are characterized as “thuggish,” has added new spark to the discussion of race in America.
A small group of activists demonstrated the divide between the treatment of Caucasians and African-Americans when they gathered in front of the St. Louis County Justice Center with a red wagon full of pumpkins. On the pumpkins were written, “RACISM”, “WHITE PRIVILEGE”, and “HATE.”
Authorities were quick to arrest an African-American man, protest organizer Derek Laney, after he held one of the pumpkins above his head and smashed it on the pavement. Nothing was damaged, aside from the pumpkin, of course. No one was harmed — but police gleefully took him into custody. That particular pumpkin read, “POLICE BRUTALITY.”
“We are going to smash (pumpkins) symbolically at the foot of someone who can bring (the Brown) case to justice,” Laney said before he was arrested. “It’s another way to let people know we will be heard.”
Police arrested another protester, a woman, because they “sensed the pumpkin was about to be lobbed in the ‘direction of officers arresting another person,'” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted. Another protester was arrested for smashing a pumpkin. All three were booked and released, with the two pumpkin smashers charged with littering. The one who did absolutely nothing was charged with assault. Yes, assault.
“I wonder if all the white teens in St. Louis County that smash pumpkins on Halloween will face arrest,” Laney said of his arrest.
Watch a video of the Great Pumpkin Smashing of 2014, below: