Clouds of tear gas. Cars overturned. Street signs torn down. Fires in the streets. Helicopters circling. Scores of arrests and injuries -- It all sounds a little like a Ferguson protest.
But it's not. While Ferguson and Shaw demonstrators made it through the weekend without any massive disruptions, the mostly white (and clearly drunk) students at Keene State College in New Hampshire lost their shit Saturday night at violent parties near an annual pumpkin festival where families try to set a world record for the largest number of lighted jack-o-lanterns in one place.
The Keene Pumpkin Fest riot and the weekslong demonstrations in Ferguson and St. Louis don't have much in common: Ferguson protesters say they're organizing against institutionalized racism and police brutality and won't stop until demands -- like the indictment of Officer Darren Wilson -- are met, while Keene students seemed to just jump on a wave of destruction that probably smelled like a popular spiced latte.
#Ferguson stay strong. We know it's unfair the pumpkin fools will be painted as kids being kids while we "destroy". But don't get off track.— Tiffany Shawn (@mnrtv) October 19, 2014
So Daily RFT had to wonder: What would it look like if Keene State rioters were judged by the same racially charged, dismissive stereotypes we've seen applied to Ferguson and Shaw protesters? Luckily, Twitter was on the case.
Here are racially based stereotypes typically aimed at protesters in Ferguson and Shaw demonstrations applied to all those rioters in the New Hampshire Pumpkin Festival craziness:"Blame it on the fathers."
"I don't understand what he's doing with his hands. OMG IS THAT A GANG SIGN?"
How many of the defiant white youth causing mayhem & destruction come from fatherless families? #PumpkinRiot— Kevin Gosztola (@kgosztola) October 19, 2014
White people in New Hampshire really need to do some self-reflection and regulate their animal impulses in the wake of #keenepumpkinfest.— Sara Benincasa (@SaraJBenincasa) October 19, 2014
"Why are they tearing up their own community?" #keenepumpkinfest— Black Girl in Maine (@blackgirlinmain) October 19, 2014
If white people continue to glorify pumpkin violence in their culture they deserve the spice-latte thug stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/VI8USeI9Mq— Katje (@silentkpants) October 19, 2014
Where are the leaders in the white community? They need to speak out #pumpkinfest— Brian Fleurantin (@BrFleurantin) October 19, 2014
The pumpkin-consuming community needs to be loud and clear with their condemnation of this behavior. Trust me, I'm an expert.— Imraan Siddiqi (@imraansiddiqi) October 19, 2014
I think if nothing else, this will start a much needed dialogue on pumpkin relations in America. #pumpkinfest— Jessica Nicolaides (@J_Nicolaides) October 19, 2014