You may recall that on the first day of the Republican National Convention, two white people threw peanuts at an African American. Here’s how that went down, in case you’ve forgotten:
An African American camerawoman for CNN who suddenly found herself assailed by peanuts at the Republican National Convention Tuesday reacted as many would. “What are you doing? Are you out of your damned mind?” she said, according to a friend.
“Here’s some more peanuts,” responded one of two “older-than-middle-aged white men,” the friend, Jamila Bey, told Journal-isms by telephone on Wednesday. “This is what we feed animals,” they said.
The woman in question, Patricia Carroll, later reported that she had not been handling her camera at the time, and that the peanut-throwers “didn’t know what I was doing. I happened to be standing there.”
And all of that is fucked up. Like, whoa.
But here’s the really and truly fucked up part, the part that should be in the Fucked Up Hall of Fame:
Patricia Carroll, the CNN camerawoman who was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by two attendees at the Republican National Convention, told Journal-isms on Thursday that “I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all.”
Carroll, who agreed to be named for the first time, said she does not want her situation to be used for political advantage. “This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner. Racism is a global issue.”
She wasn’t surprised. “At all.”
This American woman, a professional doing her job, was “not surprised at all” to have peanuts thrown at her and be called an animal. “This situation could happen to me at the Democratic convention or standing on the street corner.”
It’s not like I didn’t know that racism — real racism, of the kind that limits and delimits and takes lives — is still very much among us in these United States, and that it cares not for your achievements or position. I knew that.
But the fact that I am shocked and horrified that this woman wasn’t at all surprised to be treated like filth in a public setting, right there in front of God and everybody, is a little insight into just how little I really know.