A protest-turned-riot, which took place the first week of September in New York City’s lower Manhattan, targeted banks, two Starbucks, and other chain businesses, with the vandalism racking up an estimated $100,000 of damage.
The protest was initially advertised on Twitter, and the damage incurred from the vandalism was limited to the Flatiron District, between Madison Avenue and 25th Street.
The responsible party, who ally themselves with Black Lives Matter, the New Afrikan Black Panther Party, and the Revolutionary Abolitionist Movement, were promptly arrested. But many might be shocked to learn that these individuals are not your typical protestors. In fact, they’re quite the opposite.
Leaders of a Movement?
The seven white protesters responsible for the thousands of dollars in property destruction range in age from 20 to 30 years old and are part of New York’s elite.
Claire Severine, 27, is a New York-based model who is also scheduled to appear in an upcoming TV series, Émigré.
Frank Fuhrmeister, 30, is a freelance art director and has collaborated with well-known brands like Glenlivet, Samsung, and Pepsi (oh, the irony).
Elliott Rucka, 20, is a Portland native and the son of famed comic book creator and screenwriter Greg Rucka. The group also features the likes of Etkar Surrett, 27, a dual American-Austrian citizen, and Jade O’Halloran, 30, a “research scholar.”
Many observers were quick to point out the most remarkable individual at the helm of the group — Clara Kraebber, a 20-year-old Rice University undergraduate who is the daughter of a Columbia Psychology professor and a Manhattan architect. Kraebber was raised on the Upper East Side — in addition to a sprawling country house in Connecticut.
The Height of Hypocrisy
The mugshots of the seven individuals were tweeted by the NYPD Twitter account at the time of the arrest, with one of the women (presumably Kraebber) referred to as “the poster child for white privilege.”
Criticize the NYPD all you want, but are they wrong?
The irony of such individuals exemplifying wealth, status, and luxury, and then turning around and advocating for the destruction of the very system they’ve benefitted from cannot be ignored. The phrase “do as I say, not as I do” definitely comes to mind.
Among other things, BLM has advocated for an end to “cisgender privilege” and the dismantling of the nuclear family, which includes many of these individuals. For a girl raised in an Upper East Side townhouse, for example, to then demand of others the destruction and erasure of property is a cognitive dissonance we shouldn’t ignore.
The More Things Change, the More They Stay the Same
During the counterculture movement of the 1960s, there was much criticism on the privileged participants, and it looks as though we’ve circled back.
In the ’60s, it was more common than not to see anti-war and anti-government sit-ins and protests populated with the likes of college students and young people who were being bankrolled by their parents. Today, if these individuals are any indication, it looks as though nothing has changed.
The elite have the wherewithal to protest, given that they won’t be sacrificing time or money to do so. We’re lectured by them to examine our own privileges, while they conceal their own.
If this hasn’t been made abundantly clear by now: these are not the voices we should be listening to.
Destroying Property Is on the Way To Destroying Personal Freedoms
While it’s true these businesses, many of them part of larger corporations, should be able to repair and start anew, destruction of property is the smaller tip of a larger iceberg. We might condone it because of the “big corporations” behind them, but we fail to see the employees who depend on their salaries or the individuals who depend on their services.
Once we erase the idea of property, we erase the concept of anything belonging solely to one person, and then the rights and personal freedoms of each individual become much easier to undermine.
These individuals have no issue destroying property because theirs is safely locked away in their ivory towers. They have no problem decrying the system or demanding its dismantling because they’ve already received more advantages from its existence than their peers have.
Though a powerful movement’s message is not represented by just a few of its members, in this society where we are urged to declare “you are what you believe,” we have to wonder if these individuals are indicative of not merely a movement but the woke ideology as a whole.