Imagine being so controlled by your Caucasian inability to leave Black people alone that you end up arrested on a charge of third-degree assault and battery, all because you tried to serve a can of negro-be-gone to a random Black man you saw walking down a street of what you considered “the wrong neighborhood” for him to be in.
Imagine being so chronically allergic to minding your own business that you end up being found guilty of that charge after being publicly shamed for your behavior, which was captured in viral video.
Such is the case for Fort Jackson Sgt. Jonathan Pentland, who became internet famous for all the wrong reasons earlier this year after he was captured on camera harassing and shoving a man in South Carolina for committing the egregious crime of existing while Black.
According to CNN, Petland was found guilty on Monday in Richland County and ordered to pay a $1,087 fine or spend 30 days in jail for the misdemeanor charge.
Petland’s attorney, Benjamin Stitely, said in a statement that he and his client “are of course disappointed with the judge’s decision and are looking into further pursuing legal remedies to challenge the decision.”
“As quoted in several of the local media outlets, Mr. Pentland stands by his right to defend his family and home from a genuine threat and is deeply hurt by the situation,” Stitely added.
And this, my friends, is a picture-perfect example of how whiteness works.
Imagine referring to a Black man as a “genuine threat” when we all watched a video of said Black man being followed and physically attacked while trying his hardest to walk away from the actual threat.
Pentland’s family and home needed to be defended from what? The presence of Blackness in motion? Deadly walking negro aura?
To be fair, Petland—who was also suspended from his Army instructor duties over the incident—said during his trial that a neighbor knocked on his door complaining that the victim had been bothering her daughter and grandson. But Petland is not a police officer, and he had no reason to take his neighbor’s word at face value and start going full Paul Bart: Mall Cop on the man when he had no way of actually knowing he did anything wrong.
The victim said in court that he did nothing that day except mind his own business, but since that’s clearly a foreign practice Karens and Ken-tlemen across America know nothing about, he was still instantly viewed by the melanin-redacted as a threat. That’s it. That’s what this story is all about.
Everything else is just racist, white noise.