A handgun wearing white man, with a tattoo of Lousiana on his arm, showed up at the memorial to Alton Sterling at the Triple S Food Mart. His purpose for open carrying a loaded handgun to a place memorializing a black man who was shot and killed by police? To show that “white people are not crazy.”
Jake David swears he wasn’t there to agitate. He was just there to “practice his Second Amendment rights” (it seems he was afraid that he would forget how to be an asshole with a gun on his hip if he didn’t interrupt a peaceful memorial with his horrific decision to exercise open carry rights around those mourners) and “offer protection.” He also seemed to believe that the people protesting the police decision to be judge, jury, and executioners and taking Alton Sterling’s life were “trying to take [his] rights away.”
David told the Huffington Post:
It’s hard to help when you have people complain about their rights being taken and at the same time they’re trying to take yours, I understand it, but it’s not my protest, it’s theirs.
This sort of reckless disregard, entitled bullshit, behavior only widens the gulf, only serving to incense and incite anger and eventually more violence. There is no way anyone with a brain could see it differently.
Oh, and as a white person, let me be the first to say it: this makes white people look crazy, certifiably so. Stop making us look bad.
If you aren’t able to discern that perhaps, just maybe, there are places that open carry isn’t EVER appropriate, like say approaching grieving people who have no idea who you are except a skinny white boy with an attitude at a memorial for a black man shot to death by white officers, you aren’t mature enough to be trusted with a firearm. You aren’t compassionate, you aren’t smart, you aren’t sane — you are a raging douchecanoe with an inferiority complex.
As if to confirm this, David stated:
I carry it everywhere. If there’s not a sign on the door, it’s not a school, a church or government building, it’s on my hip. It’s not just for my own protection, I don’t want to see anybody get hurt.
The people at the protest drove him away, DUH, and the young man was visibly shaking according to the Huffington Post. Of course, he said that was not because of the adrenaline rush he got from attempting to bully the protesters there — nope. According to him, it was because he was “nervous of what’s to come.” Perhaps, if his behavior wasn’t so incendiary, he wouldn’t be so scared, or if he was capable of simple empathy he would have recognized this as the wrong time and place for his power trip.
Yes, some of the people there said things that could be considered inappropriate, like telling David, “Get out of here, crazy white boy,” and, “You’re the one who’s going to get shot!” but let us be very clear: Sterling was killed by police for just the REPORT that he had a weapon, one they never saw. This ignoramus was there with a piece glaringly displayed on his hip. He could, indeed, have been the one who was shot, except we all know that the chances of him being shot are much less than any of those people of color at the protest.
As “Leo,” one of the older protesters stated:
His words were, ‘I came in case y’all needed protection. Before we ran him off, I regret not saying, ‘Where were you when Alton needed protection?’
A very good question indeed.
If nothing else this was a disgusting display of white privilege, but it was so much more. It was a blatant example of why there is so much racial distrust in America.
Featured image via screen capture