'Racial profiling, white privilege': Twitter reacts to Native American teens kicked off campus tour
The two teens – Thomas Kanewakeron Gray and his brother Lloyd Skanahwati Gray – were questioned by police after the mother of another teen on the tour called to report their “odd” behaviour and suggested they were “definitely not a part of the tour.”
The mother admitted that she was “probably being completely paranoid” but said she wanted to call the police because of “everything that's happened” – presumably referring to the slew of school shootings across the US in recent months.
But Twitter is not buying her excuse, and some are calling out the incident as a case of racial profiling and white privilege.
When we talk too loud, they call the cops. When we are too quiet, they call the cops. In the discourse around white privilege and white supremacy, it is important to also consider our Indigenous brothers and sisters. https://t.co/68x9P2bpQE— Michael Eric Dyson (@MichaelEDyson) May 6, 2018
Two Native American brothers on a college tour get detained by police.— Arne Duncan (@arneduncan) May 6, 2018
Someone on their tour got "nervous".
When are we going to arrest someone for being nervous, and not the other way around?
Is it possible to think of making racial profiling crime?
Some are likening the incident to a recent case in which a group of black men were arrested at a Starbucks in Philadelphia for not ordering anything while waiting for a friend to show up.
We’ve seen:— Qasim Rashid, Esq. (@MuslimIQ) May 6, 2018
•Backyard cell while Black
•Starbucks while Black
•Waffle House while Black
•College tour while Native American
•Walking while Indian
•Buying mints while Latino
Introducing a new chapter of “anxiety” from racists requiring Cops
•Not waving while Black🤦🏽♂️ https://t.co/F7Wfy38xBi
As a white woman I literally cannot imagine police ever questioning me for being "too quiet."— Lisa Bloom (@LisaBloom) May 5, 2018
But for young men of color, too loud, too quiet, walking, running, standing: all suspicious. https://t.co/afgig6IfBP
Others even suggested the woman should go to prison for “filing a false report” and “reckless endangerment.”
That woman called the cops on these two Native American teenage boys because they were too quiet on a campus tour. She should go to jail for reckless endangerment. https://t.co/XD66Mpg9nd— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) May 4, 2018
Put that woman in jail for filing a false report.https://t.co/LohFwqfIaM— darrylayo (@darrylayo) May 5, 2018
One black activist, Tariq Nasheed, who has more than 200,000 follows and describes himself as an “identity extremist,” put forward a strange conspiracy theory that the Native American boys were actually two “white dudes” pretending to be Native American, and implied that they planned the incident to “take focus away from Black people” who are racially profiled. Asked to elaborate on his theory, Nasheed said, there are “a lot of white supremacists who pretend to be Native Americans.”
But other Twitter users were quick to swoop in and accuse Nasheed of trying to compete in the “oppression olympics” to see which minority is the most oppressed.
I can’t believe you call yourself an anti-racism strategist. When you are creating more hostility toward indigenous peoples here. Our struggles are not a competition.— Celeste Kimimila (@creativityeats) May 7, 2018