History’s Whitest Riots


Today’s episode of Unpopular Opinion features Keith Carey of the Mean Boys podcast, and he and Adam are talking about riots. Specifically, some of the stupider things white people have rioted over in recent years. Historically, whenever there’s a riot or violent protest over something that should legitimately be rioted over, like police violence or Trump being our president, the criticism that follows usually gets really ugly and really racist really fast. Meanwhile, that same crowd generally says nothing over stuff like this:


The French Nutella Riots

Print this story out, carry it with you, and show it to anyone who runs that “France is so much more advanced than the United States” argument by you. I’ve always used “yeah but their policy for integrating immigrants into French society is brutal and dehumanizing and probably why Muslims drive trucks into crowds of French people on the regular” as my go-to rebuttal for that. But now I can just say “at least we don’t riot over goddamn Nutella.” Basically, a grocery store in France dropped the price of Nutella by like three euros or whatever and the people lost their shit. There was an immediate rush on grocery stores around the country, resulting in scenes like this one all over the damn place.

I just…I can’t imagine being this excited over any kind of pre-packaged spread, however chocolatey and delicious.


The Penn State Paterno Riots

But hey! At least they aren’t rioting over a guy losing his job for maybe probably definitely covering for the heinous acts of a serial child rapist for years and years and years! When Joe Paterno was fired over the Jerry Sandusky scandal, what started as a vigil held by students at Joe Paterno’s house quickly devolved into a full-on riot. If you read the article (linked below) you’ll note that it points out the riot was “the costliest in 15 years.” As that sentence implies, these motherfuckers riot all the time. In 1998, a riot at a fucking arts festival resulted in $150,000 in damage. In 2001 they rioted after Penn State lost in the NCAA tournament in March and again in July AT THAT SAME ARTS FESTIVAL AS THE 1998 RIOT. In 2008 they rioted after a VICTORY over Ohio State.

It’s almost like people who value sports wins over the wellbeing of children are, like, problematic or something.


Eagles Fans Riot BEFORE Win Over Vikings

Don’t get us wrong, we were all glad the Patriots lost the Super Bowl. But goddamn do we wish the Eagles could somehow lose too. I mean, the city definitely lost when their garbage fire of a fanbase took to the streets afterwards. I just mean I wish they could somehow both lose the game as well. Philly fans are such out of control maniacs, this video is from a riot that happened BEFORE this year’s NFC Championship game. BEFORE. Not after. Before.


The City of Huntington Beach Riots All the Time For Any Reason

As one of the people of color on staff, I officially declare this one the whitest one (yes, whiter even than Paterno. Don’t believe me? Just wait). Why? Because not only do the people of Huntington Beach riot like every three months, it’s usually over surfing. How do you riot over surfing, you might ask? I can’t answer that question, because I am very much not white enough. This video is from a riot that broke out after the 2013 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach. This one is from the same event after things escalated a bit. This one is from the same event in 1986, which makes the first two look mild.

But! It’s not always over surfing! Sometimes it’s because there’s a bunch of people gathered in one place! Like this 4th of July riot from 1993. Crowds get so out of control the city eventually installed surveillance cameras on the pier.




BBC: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-42826028

Penn Live: http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2011/12/riot_at_penn_state_is_most_cos.html

USA Today: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ftw/2018/01/21/eagles-fans-throw-beer-cans-at-vikings-fans-in-ugly-pregame-scene/109686764/

NJ: http://www.nj.com/eagles/index.ssf/2018/01/photos_riot_police_on_horses_storm_parking_lots_be.html

AlterNet: https://www.alternet.org/11-stupid-reasons-white-people-have-rioted

NBC Los Angeles: https://www.nbclosangeles.com/news/local/History-of-Mob-Violence-Mars-Huntington-Beach–217441151.html


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About the Author
Samantha Clarke is a writer, blogger and comedian who helps Adam Tod Brown out with the dirty work. You can find her own writing on her newsletter, substack.goodworks.com, or buy her poetry books on amazon.com/author/samanthaclarke