white man pulls gun on black college students
September 17, 2018
Last week, Buzzfeed reported on a video that showed a white man harassing a group of Florida A&M University students, trying to enter an off-campus housing complex to attend a party hosted by a friend. In a turn of events that shocks exactly no one, the man brandished his firearm when attempting to prevent three black students from entering the elevator of the building. Donald Crandall Jr accosted the students, stating that they could not enter the building if they did not have a key. The baffling aspect of the situation is that Crandall claimed to be a resident of an HBCU dorm.
The black students in question are juniors at the university and the video shows a white student siding with three of them, even exchanging insults with Crandall. “Find another elevator, you can’t get in this one,” Crandall tells the students as he blocks the doorway. The entire exchange carries the bizarre energy found in videos of racist white people harassing Black people, right up until Crandall was shown with his weapon in his hand.
“Sir, you bring out your gun. What’s your purpose for that?” one of the students asks him.
“Oh, I’m sorry. Excuse me. Forgive me,” Crandall then says, placing the gun behind his back.
The video was posted on Twitter by Isaiah Butterfield, who also told ABC News, “We really think he was trying to provoke us to the point where it got violent so he could retaliate with the gun. I knew that if this dude even feels threatened, he’s going to find any excuse to pull the trigger.”
This year has seen plenty of proof that all Black people have to do is just exist in order to aggravate racist white people into placing Black lives in danger. If it’s not the police, then it’s armed white men acting out their unchecked rage, endangering the lives of those around them. Have Black people not been through enough?
Naturally, the video went viral, resulting in Crandall losing his job as a hotel general manager and Tallahassee police issuing a warrant for his arrest for the “Improper Exhibition of a Firearm.” As of this writing, Crandall has not yet been arrested with police unable to locate him. It seems that justice is on its way to being served but the public flagellation of an outed racist is starting to feel like a routine. Black people being harassed by white people is starting to feel like a routine.
The litany of hashtags that overtook the media earlier in the year only began to touch on the real danger of the violent entitlement that sustains racism. It’s the kind of cognitive dissonance that had this white man believing he had the right to establish himself as an authority in a situation where everyone involved was a guest. If you watch the video at the point where one student pointed out that Crandall had his weapon in his hand, you can see that the older man did not even register that he was holding it. It was the responsibility of the Black students to de-escalate a situation they did not invite and did not deserve, i.e. the perpetual responsibility of the Black person in America.
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