‘Tbh i think she wanted the d’: thoughts on racism, feminism, kyriarchy and the Missouri viral video

[Warning: ugly language below, though not from me.]

Everyone, it seems, has seen this video that’s been going around showing a white Missouri woman blocking a black man from going into the apartment building where he lives. I find the issue interesting. It throws up some issues which, well, despite likely being ill-versed, I’d like to think out loud about for a while. (As often, I’m waffling into terrain wherein I’m not an expert. I invite criticism.)

So. I see two broad ways of looking at the video. I don’t know which, if either, of these ways of looking is ‘correct’. I’m just interested in unpacking them, and seeing if they relate in any way that’s illuminating.

One. A white person appears to wish to exclude a black person from a space they identify as their own. ‘Before I let you come into my building…’ There are clear overlaps with the rhetoric of anti-immigration; the white person appears to be defining a space as ‘white’ and questioning the presence of anyone who doesn’t fit that description. As such, the clear inference is that they hold racist views, and that their challenge to the black person is a simple, un-nuanced and direct expression of this. This is by far the most popular way of looking at the video, from what I’ve seen.

Two. A woman sees a man seeking to enter building where she lives. Apartment buildings tend to operate a policy of encouraging residents to be aware of who enters, and trying to confirm the right to enter of those who they don’t recognise. Not recognising the man, the woman asks for evidence he lives there. When he refuses, she maintains her position. I haven’t seen many people arguing for the video to be seen in this light.

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