man juggles to prove sobriety to cops: a guide to the whitest thing that ever happened

March 22, 2017

<p>When I see something that looks like white privilege, I don’t like to use the phrase “if he were black…”

There are so many variables and extenuating circumstances that come into play, it is usually impossible to tell if a white person is receiving preferential treatment or just lucky under the circumstances. Especially in situations with the police. Although I have seen white women hurl insults at police officers like they were tossing tomatoes at a terrible stage play. Even though we can feel in our gut when white people get the benefit of the doubt, we must admit that not every cop is looking to bust their nightstick over a black skull.

Then, last week, this happened:

By Michael Harriot*, AFROPUNK contributor

University of Central Arkansas student Blayk Puckett (And they say we have funny names. We know that’s not how you spell “Blake,” white people) was pulled over by police because he was driving slow, with a brake light out. What ensued has been painted as a hilarious example of how cool cops can be. The dashcam video went viral and everyone had a hearty laugh and went about their business.

Except Black people.

Black people watched the clip and it confirmed everything they thought. It was the most extreme case of entitled privilege ever seen, and illustrates how wonderfully beautiful being white in America must be. It was more caucasian than eating a grass-fed, gluten-free tuna casserole while flipping through a Aeropostale catalog during a Taylor Swift concert. In fact, it is probably the whitest thing that ever happened. Lets examine what happens:

0:20 – Puckett pulls into a parking lot
Not just any parking lot, but the parking lot of a barbecue restaurant. The suspect parks so smoothly that you can tell he is not even concerned that he is in an isolated spot about to be approached by a cop. There is a statistic that shows that the more often whites encounter the police, the safer they are, but the more police encounters a black person has, the less safe they tend to be. I bet when he saw the blue lights, his anus didn’t tighten up and his heart didn’t start beating fast. When he heard the siren, I’m willing to wager that he didn’t immediately have to pee.

0:55 – The first cop goes to the window
He taps on the window and then opens the door, while the other cop stand back and watches. The other cop doesn’t shine the light in the back seat, ask to see Puckett’s hands or pull out his gun. In fact, the other cop puts his hands in his pocket! Is this standard police practice? Because, as a black man, whenever I am confronted by police officers, they have their hands on their gun as if it is high noon and they are preparing for a quick-draw contest. Is this what it’s like to be considered “not a threat?”

1:13 Suspect is looking through his papers on the front seat.
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT!?! The white boy is literally bent over the passenger side reaching for shit! Oh, my God, it must be so niche to be able to throw your insurance and registration in the glove compartment and not worry about retrieving it in a hurry it. Every Black man knows at least one magic trick–they know they must have their paperwork in their hands in .00002 seconds, because if you reach for anything… we’ll talk about that later.

1:44 – The conversation
This motherfucker is just answering questions all willy-nilly, unconcerned. He’s laughing, joking, giving the history of the local real estate market, giving the weather forecast, still leaning over! They even act like they believe him! 3:00 – The suspect gets out of the car He isn’t dragged out, or pulled at gunpoint, he simply ambles out unnervously and the cops don’t even get in a stance thinking he’s going to run! Awww whiteness must be so sweet! It must taste like a Krispy Kreme Doughnut glazed in Beyoncé’s sweat after she dances to Single Ladies and then blessed in a prayer circle by T.D. Jakes, Joel Olsteen, Rev. Run and Juanita Bynum.

3:25: What’s that in his pocket?
OHHHH MY FUCKING GODDDD! They let this dude reach into his own pocket! They didn’t even flinch! Still, no guns are drawn and one cop still has his hands in his pockets!

3:37 Suspect goes to car
Nigga! Are you watching this? They allow this dude to reach in the back seat! Everyone knows that there is only one thing in the back seat of a 21-year-old’s car–Old ketchup packets and a gun. This is where they shoot him, right?

3:47 He pulls out bowling pins
Or as they would’ve called in the hands of a black man–“weapons.”

I’m just kidding. No black man would pull out bowling pins from his back seat in front of the cops.

He’d already be dead.

3:51 He tells the cops to video tape him. They agree. Is this real life? This has gotta be an episode of Punk’d. Remember how cops hid the video of Laquan McDonald for a year? Remember how they tried to steal the security footage of Alton Sterling’s murder? The only reason I’m still watching this fake shit is to see when Aston Kutcher pops out.

4:00 He… He…
This dude is juggling his ass off! Can you, as a black person, imagine being so relaxed around cops that you ask them to stay and watch you do some tricks? He’s going behind his back and between his legs. Is this the wypipo equivalent of doing the cupid shuffle? And the cop who’s filming is getting all kinds of angles, close ups and wide shots. Let me tell you when I noticed the truest form of don’t-give-a-fuck privilege, though:

This dude doesn’t even have a case on his phone!

What kind of fuckery is this?

4:20 Suspect finishes juggling
While one cop sits in the background giggling like a schoolgirl (although I also imagine that’s how they giggle after they shoot black men) the other cop hands the phone back and apologizes for missing part of the juggling.

4:30 The officer explains why they pulled him over
Does this happen in the white world? Y’all get explanations for why the cops stop you? The cop sounds reasonable, too. I just didn’t know there was a reason cops pulled over cars except for “because we wanted to, motherfucker! And stop bleeding on my handcuffs!”

Then it ends.

Except for one thing:

Either these cops are the two nicest law enforcement officers in the world, or this is what routinely happens outside of Black America. If he was black, Blayk he would’ve been dead at least three times (I’m not sure how that works, but they might have resuscitated him and shot him again).I’m not letting the two police officers off the hook, though, because most people didn’t notice that–while the cops were filming–they committed an act so heinously cruel, so filled with incompetence it made me shudder. It is the thing I have been fighting against all my life, and to see that no-good cop do it made me unbelievably angry:

He filmed the entire thing in portrait mode instead of landscape,

Evil bastards.

This post was originally published on www.neguswhoread.com

*Michael Harriot is a renowned spoken word poet, the host of The Black One podcast and the editor-in-chief of NegusWhoRead. He is perpetually just getting warmed up because he has no chill. He is on Instagram and twitter as @michaelharriot