After the big win for the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, fans tore through the streets to celebrate the win against the New England Patriots.
This win for the Eagles was big because they were the underdogs. However, many could not help but notice the difference in police force and public opinions during the Super Bowl riots compared to civil rights’ protests and rallies that have recently taken place across the United States.
Emergency responders did not seem to have as much force with rioters as they marched through Philadelphia streets to celebrate their victory. There were numerous reports of ripped down light posts, which caused structures throughout the city to collapse, and damaged vehicles. There was even a video of rioters turning over a car on its side and smashing its windows.
However, officials were slow to react to the destruction caused by the Philadelphia rioters. There were many, yet silent requests, for everyone to “go home.”
Philadelphia Police Sergeant Brian Geer wrote on Twitter, “Still going strong in the Office of Emergency Management. But, if everyone could go home that would be great. We have to get some rest to start planning a parade in the morning.”
This brings up the question of why officials do not use the same force during majority-white riots as they do with Black Lives Matter protests and rallies?
During an interview with Newsweek, Black Lives Matter New York President said, “Somehow, it seems there's a line drawn in the sand where destruction of property because of a sports victory is OK and acceptable in America. However, if you have people who are fighting for their most basic human right, the right to live, they will be condemned.”
There is a disconnect between sport riots and basic human rights protests and rallies, and the disconnect is white privilege. It appears if it is a majority-white crow rioting because their team wins, there are no repercussions, except for being told to peacefully “go home.”
However, if it is a black crowd, there are more emergency responders using excessive force and citizens being harmed, even if the protests and rallies are peaceful.
When an organization like Black Lives Matter goes out to protest basic human rights, it gets backlash from opposing groups like Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter. There seems to be a negative connotation linked with the Black Lives Matter movement, which causes people to believe it is a violent movement when it is not.
There needs to be an equal distribution of force when it comes to riots, whether it is done by whites, blacks, sports-related wins or basic human rights.
There were numerous brawls, flipping of cars, scaling the City Hall gates and attempting to tear down traffic lights and lamp posts during the Super Bowl celebration in Philadelphia. However, officials refuse to call it a dangerous riot. However, it is always called a riot when black people are protesting for human rights and equality.
While rioting and looting are unsafe for communities, it is important to remember that no matter the reason for the riot, it is still a threat to the community and should be all be treated the same, regardless of the skin color of those involved.