White man runs for miles carrying a TV and looking 'suspicious' to prove that racism killed Ahmaud Arbery

Sirena Bergman@SirenaBergman
Tuesday 12 May 2020 18:00
news
(TikTok)

Last week, the tragic case of black man Ahmaud Arbery, who was shot to death by two white men while out on a jog, shocked the world.

Celebrities spoke out and social media was alight with outrage that no one had been arrested.

But few people decided to actually act on their anger.

One such person is 34-year-old former Florida pastor Richard Demsick, who has a background in social justice.

He decided to take a stance against racial profiling by proving just how real white privilege is.

On Friday Demsick ran 2.23 miles through his neighbourhood – while carrying a TV. The explanation behind the shooting of Arbery was that he "looked suspicious", and what could be more suspicious than a man running while carrying an huge, expensive television?

But there is one crucial difference: Demsick is white.

He believes this is why he wasn't stopped once. In a TikTok video he made of the experiment, he says:

All right, I figured it out. I've got my hat on backwards, I'm shirtless, like I'm on some episode of 'Cops.' I'm running with a TV. Someone's going to stop me now, for sure.

But they didn't. In fact, despite a recent string of thefts in his neighbourhood, he said people just smiled and waved as he ran.

The videos quickly went viral on Twitter and TikTok.

People were impressed with his efforts, which many said proved a point people of colour have been trying to make clear for decades.

In a follow-up video with his mother, Demsick spoke to her about whether she was afraid for him, to which she replied she wasn't, highlighting yet again how these experiences differ based on society's bigotted perception of danger and race.

It shouldn't take a white guy in a TikTok video for us to understand what black activists have been trying to tell the world for so long, but hopefully it helps at least one more person understand.

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