White Women Need To Stop: The Amy Cooper Version

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich from Pexels

One of the great things about Medium is that I get to write about whatever interests me. I don’t make a living off Medium, and I don’t write about how to make money on Medium. There are some weeks where I brainstorm topics to write about, only to find that the moment may have passed or that something else caught my interest.

I’ve only received an email ONCE because of my writing here. It was after I wrote about Susan Westwood, a white woman who harassed a black woman for no discernible reason. The individual was a white woman who wanted me to know that “all white women weren’t like that.”

Let me save you the time: I know that. I’ve dated white women, and there are white women that I care about in this world. However, I also pointed out that I was so sick of this pattern of entitled and racist white women that I felt that I had to title it a certain way — and I came up with “White Women Need To Stop: The Susan Westwood Version,” which you can read below.

This was about a year and a half ago. If you scroll through Twitter enough, you probably understand that I could have written a hundred articles in that time. They could have ALL focused on white women, why it’s unacceptable that some of them think “Karen” is a slur, or why they think that throwing a tantrum at Red Lobster is acceptable. I didn’t. Instead, I wrote about music, art, why 2020 is weird, and much more.

However, it’s time to explain why white women need to stop AGAIN. This time, it’s because of Amy Cooper. Before I continue, let me be clear: Amy Cooper is not related to Christian Cooper, the black man who recorded the following video. They just happen to have the same last name.

The video of Amy Cooper is known to the world thanks to Melody Cooper (again, not related), the sister of Christian Cooper, who recorded Amy not using a leash with her dog. There were signs all over the area, stating that dogs must be leashed. Christian politely asked her to put on a leash. This is what happened next:

Amy Cooper Is A Racist

Amy Cooper is a woman in the following video, who threatened to call law enforcement on a black man. What was the reason? What did he do to her? Surely, this man must have assaulted her. If he said something rude to her — that isn’t against the law, and surely she doesn’t think that 9–11 is a place to vent about personal issues?

The truth is much more disgusting. A man, Christian Cooper (absolutely no relation to Amy), began video-recording Amy when she was with her dog in Central Park. There was a no-leash policy, and Amy Cooper was upset about the fact that she was being recorded.

I’ve never been in a situation where I was being recorded for my behavior. A friend may have taken pictures/video of me while I was intoxicated, but it’s the kind of roasting that is common in friendships. If I ever asked them to delete anything, it was done immediately. I understand that Amy Cooper doesn’t like that she’s being recorded, but I think we can all agree that technology has opened our eyes to injustice in the world in a way that was never possible before.

Amy Cooper is upset at the situation, and she has the right to be angry. Christian Cooper also has the right to choose the way that he responds. He doesn’t yell at Amy, and he doesn’t attack Amy. However, Amy begins to approach Christian, who states: “Please don’t come close to me.”

Amy’s response isn’t to slow down and assess the situation. She doesn’t suggest that the two have a productive conversation. She doesn’t turn around and walk away — something that she could have easily done. She asks a black man to turn his phone off — something he doesn’t have to do, at all, and something that he clearly doesn’t WANT to do. Instead, she understands that law enforcement view black men a certain way, and decides to call 911 on her cell phone.

This is 100% racist behavior.

Let’s say that you are reading this and confused. “What is racist about this, Neil? This is ridiculous. You are presumin — ”….Hey, listen, man (or ma’am)….I don’t have time for it. All you have to do is go to 16 seconds in this clip, which has now been viewed over 28 million times, where SHE LITERALLY SAYS, in a very smug manner:

“I am going to tell them that there is an African-American man threatening my life.”

I am going to put it in bold this time: This is 100% racist behavior.

Christian Cooper isn’t threatening Amy’s life. In fact, he is literally recording EVIDENCE that he ISN’T threatening Amy’s life. Amy is so used to a world that systematically oppressed Mr. Cooper that she chooses to react this way, and…of course…the clip went viral.

Amy’s Life Is Now Ruined. I Am Also Eating Pasta For Lunch.

“What does pasta have to do with anything?”

Amy Cooper, like many white women, has suddenly become a “victim.” She clearly didn’t mind calling up the police and lying to them about a black man, a situation that could have led to his death. Now, she feels like she is being unfairly characterized.

There are some racists on Twitter that will tell you that you have to “hear both sides”. They might be focused on how she treated the dog — something that PETA is concerned about:

Let me be clear: I care about the life of a black man that almost got killed by police for no reason. I wasn’t focusing on the dog at that point — I was focusing on how disgusting Amy Cooper is, and why she thinks it’s acceptable to act this way. If you think that makes me a bad person, cool. Send me an email about it, so I can dump it in my spam folder.

It isn’t easy writing things like this. I lived in New York City for a while, and I’m not black, but I was racially profiled constantly. I’ve been in situations where law enforcement has not only hurled racial slurs at me (think N-word with “sand” in front), but also been physical with me while I was handcuffed. I lived in Brooklyn during the stop-and-frisk era. I am not in the same danger as a black man when it comes to law enforcement, but I have understood that my life can be in danger simply because a few police officers might get overexcited. It isn’t a good feeling — it’s humiliating, debilitating, depressing, and crippling.

Amy Cooper has never felt anything like that. She might be used to police officers hearing her side of the story rather than asking her to step out of a car. She can ask a cop for directions without them squinting their eyes and asking, “You happen to have any drugs or guns on you?” for no real reason. She can see a police car in her rear-view mirror, and her heart doesn’t jump.

She KNOWS that she could have killed this man…and he has done NOTHING to her. He has not touched her. He has not yelled at her. HE HAS NOT EVEN MADE A DISRESPECTFUL COMMENT to Amy Cooper, but she thinks it’s time for police officers to be involved. When Amy Cooper says, “She isn’t a racist”…it might mean something to your white friends. It means absolutely nothing to anyone who truly understands what racism is. It means that white people do racist things, apologize, and the cycle continues…and it’s nothing new.

Twitter did its job.

Amy Cooper might have lost her job, but at least she’s alive — something that Christian Cooper might not be, had police believed her bullshit. The incident went so viral that it forced her employer, Franklin Templeton, to release a statement. She ISN’T EVEN FIRED, but is being placed on “administrative leave”:

Amy Cooper’s “life is ruined”, and I’m making pasta for lunch. Am I a strange person who delights at the thought of people’s lives being ruined? No. I think Amy is 100% a despicable and miserable soul, but it doesn’t bring me any joy. You are also out of your mind if you feel like I am bothered by it. I think that…matter of fact, let me just let this tweet describe the way I feel. Salute to Danielle Campoamor:

Now, let me go check on that pasta.

Final Thoughts

I have met many different people over the years, and I am proud to say that I have made them think differently about race, power, and society. I am not saying that I am Daryl Davis, but I’d like to think that I can help strangers change their perspectives with the right productive conversation.

They’ve happened anywhere and everywhere: a random house party, phone calls, dive bars, upscale restaurants, and more. In many cases, I will sit down with a white man or woman, and explain to them why the way that they think about minorities might be skewed somehow.

This isn’t about a dog or the way that she treated the dog. There are many people that love animals, and there’s nothing wrong with that. My issue is that they seem to find ZERO IRONY in the fact that they decide to speak about an animal rather than the fact that a black man could have literally been killed as a result of this conversation.

If your thoughts on the subject amount to “poor dog” — I certainly don’t ever want to actually associate with you in real life. That’s just me. Keep in mind, for a lot of people — this was their visceral response to the video.

It’s also important to understand that the black man was RIGHT to record this entire confrontation, and to expose the fact that she lied to law enforcement. I understand that this woman may have a family to feed, but if your concern is more focused on a white woman’s salary than a black man’s LIFE…don’t you think that there might be a chance that your perspective is skewed? Just a thought.

I search through Twitter, and the users with tweets like “poor dog” or “Do you really have to ruin her life though?” are…drum roll please…somewhere like 95% white (according to their avis). Here’s an example:

What if law enforcement came, and a police officer ended up killing Christian Cooper? Would you care about her Franklin Templeton job then? What if he ended up like George Floyd (RIP)?

One of the most disgusting things about incidents like this is that the media often attempts to paint a narrative even after a black man DIES when he shouldn’t. We have seen this countless times.

We saw Dallas PD try to bring up the fact that Botham Jean smoked marijuana as some sort of smear against him after his death, even though the majority of this country supports marijuana legalization. In a situation where a police officer literally broke into his home and murdered Botham Jean, the fact that he may have smoked a joint or two when he came home from work was supposed to suddenly paint him as a criminal.

Let me be clear: I don’t care what Christian Cooper does in his personal life. White women still shouldn’t be calling the police on a black man that is not threatening or even yelling at them, especially if they understand that there’s a chance that the police may harm him in any way. Of course, racists will always try to dig up anything to try to discredit a black man — no matter WHAT situation it is.

Why was Cooper there in the first place? He is an avid bird-watcher. To end this post, let me go ahead and post a clip that might give you some insight as to who Christian Cooper is, and maybe we will get to hear from him on the incident soon enough. Here’s my spoiler alert: he comes across as passionate about what he does. I, for one, am glad that the confrontation ended the way it did — with him, alive.

I write about business, finance, technology, art, and culture. Featured in The Startup, Level, Data-Driven Investor, Med Daily, and more. neilmathew85@gmail.com

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store