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Sarah Comrie Deserves Her Good Name Back
She's the latest victim of America's racism shortage.
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I invite you to imagine that you are a white, 36 year-old pregnant physician assistant, someone who has spent her life “focused on helping others, irrespective of their background.” You’ve just left New York City’s Bellevue Hospital after working a 12-hour shift. You’re tired. Your feet hurt. You’re experiencing lumber pain. Probably hungry. But at least it’s time to go home.
Unfortunately, because this is the heart of the city and your transportation options are somewhat limited, riding a CitiBike is the most economical choice. You head to a bike docket, pull out your phone and open the CitiBike app, scan the QR code, and pay to use one for 45 minutes.
But just as you’re about to get going, something happens. You’re approached by four black teenagers, one of whom moves to commandeer your bike while the group claims — between laughs — that it’s not yours. Dumbfounded, you insist that it is. A confrontation ensues and someone begins recording on their phone. Now dismounted, you hang onto the bike as the teen grabs the handlebars and tries to shoulder you out of the way.
Angry and flustered, you halfheartedly begin calling for help. Onlookers stand idly by as the teens press in and heckle you. You complain that the teen trying to take the bike is hitting your stomach. He says you’re the one touching him. You begin to cry. The group accuses you of faking it and jokes that your baby “gonna come out retarded.” Eventually you take the advice of a man in scrubs and get a different bike to ride home.
The next day, video of the incident is uploaded to the public square and it blows up on social media. You are dubbed “CitiBike Karen,” accused of crying “fake white-woman tears” in an attempt to “steal” the bike from four black teens and “harm them,” and declared a “white supremacist.” Within 24 hours, Bellevue Hospital has put you on leave pending review due to this “disturbing” event. Soon after, your home address is posted online and you and your husband are forced to leave town after a deluge of death threats.
Sarah Comrie. That’s the name of the woman this all happened to. There’s a lot to unpack here so let’s get started.
The first thing to highlight is that the four black teenagers’ claim that Comrie was trying to steal the bike from them was believed verbatim, at face value. And as the tweet above from scumbag-McGee Tariq “Always Be Race Hustlin’” Nasheed suggests, there was a long list of imbeciles who, without anything to go on but the video, immediately rushed in to condemn Comrie in the most vile ways possible.
For today’s Leftists and their corporate media allies, who constantly push a meta-narrative that society is constructed around venal, oppressive “whiteness,” and who believe that the only way to combat the scourge is to engage in present and future racism while achieving permanent race consciousness, as determined by Marxist theorists, on the way toward “equity,” this incident was immediately seized upon as grist for the mill. Perhaps the most contemptible slur against Comrie came from NewsOne:
And it was all based on bull.
As it turns out, Comrie has, and is more than willing to produce, the receipt for her bike purchase. NBC New York even cross-checked it with stills from the viral video and found that the serial number matches up with the one on the bike that was being tussled over.1 She was innocent.
Unfortunately, the damage to this woman’s reputation has already been done. In the eyes of the online jury, which failed to consult her as a witness, she was guilty of everything they alleged. Indeed, many of the most prominent race hustlers who cheered on Comrie’s public pillorying at the hands of the digital mob are now claiming that her receipts don’t matter—what matters is that she was “using her whiteness” to put “black bodies in danger.”2 These grifters, who are neither smart nor informed, just convinced, are using the reach of their platforms and the force of their personalities to solidify a narrative that, though false, stands in for the truth just fine.
For everyday, very online white urban progressives constantly on the lookout for opportunities to get off on righteous indignation, these intoxicatingly narrative-confirming stories of white people “wronging” black people seem to scratch some sort of thinly veiled sadomasochistic itch, a desire to act like a bunch of hate-drunk fanatics dropping weapons-grade accusations. Comrie is just the latest person sacrificed to satisfy their impulse to judge and punish and enforce progressive moral norms and expectations.
Needless to say, it was absurd in a truly grotesque way for these people — and the corporate media, which obsessively covers superficial issues that inflame — to act like this certainly had happened, as if a 5’4 pregnant white woman would ever try robbing a group of streetwise black teens. And speaking of the teens, who very obviously orchestrated a viral hate hoax and were 100 percent out of line in every respect (God forbid you help, rather than hamper a pregnant woman trying to get home from work; it would take a generous spirit indeed to envision you becoming upstanding citizens): they’re still being treated as victims, as if they don’t possess the frontal-lobe capacity for fuckery.3 Call it the soft bigotry of low expectations. This is the tainted laurel the Left believes all marginalized individuals are due, the poisoned chalice of de facto innocence, the status of permanent, preemptive acquittal. Such idiocy is a kind of “performative anti-racism,” a bizarro noblesse oblige where progressive whites signal their identitarian enlightenment.
The CitiBike incident was rigged to make the victim into the perpetrator based on skin color, not facts. We saw the same dynamics play out in the incidents involving Daniel Penny, the Covington student, Morgan Bettinger, and Amy Cooper.4 And yet each of these stories is still held aloft as evidence of the “invisible evil” that anyone can fall into: white supremacy. Objective truth, empiricism, the idea of neutrality itself—these are all useful fictions deployed to maintain “white privilege.” To deny this is to engage in “violence” or “genocide” while assuming the pose of “white fragility.”
If this kind of Marxian BS is effective, it’s because, as Madeleine Kearns highlights, human beings are moral creatures whose consciences are informed by external standards. Traditionally, religion has instructed people on how to maintain a moral compass. But whereas Catholics following their church’s teachings know when they’ve sinned and have a path to atonement, the Church of Woke teaches that “white guilt” is an offense lacking specificity and is impossible to make up for. You are predestined to be privileged or powerless, oppressor or oppressed, based on immutable characteristics.
Because it’s impossible to right this wrong and redeem yourself, the best you can do is to engage in public self-flagellation and self-loathing. In 2018, a New York Times reader wrote to advice columnists, asking how he could cure his white guilt. He felt “riddled with shame,” specifically “white shame,” “like my literal existence hurts people, like I’m always taking up space that should belong to someone else.” The responding columnist, Cheryl Strayed, who is also white, replied: “You’re feeling the full force of what it means to be white in a white supremacist culture and it makes you feel uncomfortable because up until now, in some unconscious way, you’d exonerated yourself from it.”
Silly wanker Prince Harry, in an attempt to compensate for his privilege and convince himself and others that he and his wife are Good People™, engaged in a similar profession of virtuous self-realization on his Netflix series and admitted to living with “unconscious bias” for years: “The thing with unconscious bias is… once it’s been pointed out or identified within yourself, you then need to make it right. It’s education, it’s awareness. And it’s a constant work in progress for everybody, including me.” While this might seem to be more forgiving, it invokes “enlightened” white people scapegoating unenlightened white people who need to “do the work.”
The takeaway is that all white people are racist, even if only subconsciously. Those of us outside the poison of collectivism and identity politics understand that it is behavior, not constructionist or intersectional ontology, that determines whether one is racist. But per the reductive, prosecutorial “Social Justice” religion of the postmodern Left, every negative social interaction between a white person and a black person can be explained by racism. And as Sarah Comrie’s slash-and-burn reputational destruction shows, neither motive nor evidence matters, only the privilege status associated with a person’s skin color.
I think I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: a society that, if not colorblind, can at least see past color is being jeopardized by progressives who refuse to see anything but color. They think the lot of black people has not meaningfully changed since the middle of the 20th century, so whenever they find an incident that can be used to illustrate racism is still a deeply ingrained feature of American life, it unleashes a tidal wave of synthetic outrage. But because the demand for racism outstrips the supply, the types of incidents leveraged for this purpose are increasingly marginal, and the intensity of progressives’ response is increasingly disproportionate to the incidents themselves.
And the provided time stamps directly align with Comrie’s characterization of events, proving that the black teens did indeed steal the bike from her.
An interesting development in this story: The teen at the center of this incident recently spoke to a sympathetic news outlet, and in the process, despite his memory no doubt tailoring the particulars, revealed even more wrongdoing. Because his family receives welfare, they get discounted rates for CitiBike rides in 45-minute increments. Apparently, some of these bikes are electric. On the day of the incident, the teen and his friends were riding around on the e-bikes and docking them before the full rate could kick in, abusing a taxpayer-subsidized program. Each time the bikes were docked, the teens would sit on them to prevent anyone else from using the desirable, limited models. However, the teen admitted that he wasn’t sitting on the bike when Comrie, who obviously preferred the e-bike as a pregnant woman trying to get home after a long shift, approached and attempted to take the one seemingly-available from the dock. This was when the recorded altercation began.
The Amy Cooper incident is an especially disgusting example of the media collaborating with the digital mob to ruin a woman’s life. What really happened is far more nuanced than the way it was portrayed. Yet Cooper was still fired and even had her dog repossessed following the viral argument, while the black dude involved (who has a history of threatening people and their dogs) went on to significant success and now hosts the National Geographic show Extraordinary Birder.