Orion Township, MI – Two families collided in a ridiculous altercation outside of a Chipotle restaurant. Apparently the White woman, who was exciting the building, bumped into one of the Black teenagers as the teenager’s family was entering the restaurant. Supposedly the teenager said, excuse you, and the White woman gave an ugly response. The situation then turned into an argument that moved outside. People get into stupid altercations all the time and I do feel both groups were being ridiculous. But this situation gives us another look at what Black people face. It shows the unconscious bias of the media and most definitely the bias that law enforcement displays against Black people.
Bias in Media
I’ve looked at several different news videos and can see the bias that the media is showing in favor of the White person. Several articles have said the Black woman goes and stands behind the vehicle. I’m not sure that’s what she is doing. It looks to me like she went to get their license plate number since she is standing off to the side, not dead center of the vehicle. But for all I know she was going back to her car for something. You can’t tell from the video and neither can the media.
But I think one of the worst takes is the news article that says Jillian Deanne Wuestenberg is trying to de-escalate the situation. What she says is, “I care about you and i’m sorry if you’ve had an incident that has made you feel like that.” That is not an apology. That is a passive aggressive way of saying you’re the problem, not me. That is not designed to de-escalate. People know when someone is being dismissive toward them, but it gets better. Mrs. Wuestenberg goes on to say, “You cannot just walk around calling White people racist. This is not that world. White people aren’t racist.” Wow! the total lack of awareness is really astounding. There is so much to unpack there it isn’t even worth it. This is the person that the article said was trying to de-escalate the situation. By the way, they cut the video off before she made her racist statement. And they even ask if charges are going to be filed against the Black woman and her teenage daughters. For what? Yelling? Hitting a vehicle with her hand without even causing damage? Unbelievable.
So the Black woman goes into the parking lot for some reason. The White couple start backing up. The teenager is walking away so we don’t really know what happens, all we hear is the teenager crying out frantically, mom, watch out. We hear a thump when the Black woman hits the back of the vehicle with her hand. The White woman jumps out of the vehicle with her gun drawn. She chambers a round and points it at the unarmed Black woman. More arguing. Having a gun in her hands obviously increases the White woman’s agitation. She starts screaming hysterically at them to back up, as if group of armed rapists are running toward her when the only one there is a woman who is recording her on her cell phone. Screaming, arguing, both sides demanding call the police. The White woman and her husband get back in their vehicle and drive away.
Police arrive moments later. They stop the White couple and take them into custody then decide that they had every right to defend themselves because they were in fear for their lives, and let them go. They think a woman bumping her hand against a vehicle is enough to make people fear for their lives. Let me rephrase that, a Black women…because that’s what it’s really about. It’s the root of the whole problem and is why we are seeing all the protesting. White people see Black people as automatically being dangerous. The video goes viral and now the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office is trying to pretend that they only let them go while they investigate.
In Fear for Their Lives
So the story from the White couple is that they were in fear for their lives. Really? Why. Because they got into an argument with someone? I have no doubt it was unpleasant but no one displayed any physical aggression. Even when the Mrs. Wuestenberg says they are blocking her from getting into the car it’s not true, She has room to get in. Then the White couple get in their vehicle. Mrs. Wuestenberg continues arguing through the window. That doesn’t look like fear to me. Next they roll up the windows and start backing out. They are now locked in a vehicle that weighs thousands of pounds. Yet they supposedly feared so much for their lives that they jumped out of the safety of the vehicle when the Black woman thumps it.
I have little patience for either family at the beginning of this mess. It’s a stupid argument. My opinion of the White couple quickly starts going down once Mrs. Wuestenberg gives her racist little speech on the type of America she lives in, thinking that it’s the same America everyone else lives in. But the moment they jump out of the vehicle with guns drawn, I saw them as the criminals they are. They were not in fear for their lives. They were using that as an excuse to try to threaten and intimidate an unarmed person into submission. The Wuestenbergs were charged with felonious assault. Mr. Wuestenberg, who worked for Oakland University, was fired. But this only happened because of the attention it got in the media. If we hadn’t known about it, it would have been swept under the rug as so often happens when Black people are the victims.
To all law enforcement, justice needs to be just. If you would have arrested a Black couple for pulling a gun on an unarmed White woman and her two teenage daughters then you need to do the same when it’s White people threatening Black people. We’re watching.