Of all the hateful trends to emerge in the Trump era, white people getting caught on video shouting racist remarks at people of color offers one of the most insightful looks into the psychology of bigotry.
The aggressors in these kinds of clips never seem to care one iota that they’re being filmed, either because they’re so worked up into a racist rage that they don’t stop to consider the possible consequences or because they feel so insulated and confident in their white privilege that they belive themselves entitled to behave atrociously.
The latest such video to go viral shows a white couple in Torrance, California harassing a Black couple in the middle of traffic. The white woman, Rachel Howell, can be seen flipping the middle finger and saying: “only white lives matter b*tch.” The white man, Gregory Howell, gives the Nazi salute and yells “white power!” After the clip ends, Mr. Howell allegedly attacked the Black couple’s vehicle with a shovel, damaging one of the side mirrors.
The Washington Post reports that the white couple has been arrested and charged with a hate crime and vandalism for attacking the vehicle. The incident occurred on July 22.
Itzel Lopez, one of the victims, shared the video on her Instagram page and wrote: “Today on my 25th birthday I was a victim of racism and so was my boyfriend who is black. We were being harassed for miles. Until we came to a red light. When all this happened…”
“We were just in shock. We didn’t know what was going on. Never in my life did I think I was gonna experience this. It’s actually really scary. They don’t even know you, and they’re willing to hurt you,” Lopez said to KTLA.
As disturbing as this footage is it’s unfortunately an all-too-common occurrence. Racist encounters like happen on a near-daily basis and the grim reality is that oftentimes they’re not caught on camera. Hopefully, the proliferation of smartphones and the legal consequences that come from getting caught on camera like this will dissuade couples like the Howells from flaunting their racism so cavalierly. Things have to change.
Last week, a White Couple was arrested for Hate Crime and Vandalism for saying “only white lives matter” and doing a Nazi Salute to a Black Couple at a red light
The couple was relased today after being in custody for a few days pic.twitter.com/wG2okpeeZ3
— Breaking News USA (@_breakingnewsUS) August 3, 2020