A viral video has captured the essence of gentrification after a white woman called the police on a school of whales hanging out in their own neighborhood, minding their own whale business.
According to Time, Darren Lucianna and his family were on a boating trip in Puget Sound when they encountered a whale suffering from a severe case of spinal blubber. While most people refer to them as “humpback whales,” we choose not to use such derogatory terms.
The family immediately began freaking out. You can hear one person hyperventilating and another person blubbering (pun intended) as the person filming tries to calm the group down. As Darren tries to convince his dad to drive away (curiously, after begging him not to start the motor) a woman informs the family that she is calling 911.
“I’m out in Puget Sound and there’s three grey whales underneath our boat,” the woman informs the operator. “I’m afraid we might get flipped over. I’m really scared.”
The family eventually speeds away from the sea stalkers, still excited about their encounter with the thugged-out mammalians.
While the Lucianna story has been met with both derision and laughter on Black Twitter, no one has bothered to find out the other side of the story.
In the name of objective journalism, The Root has obtained an exclusive interview with Orca Swimfrey, one of the whales in the video.
The Root: Let’s start at the beginning. Have you seen the video?
Orca Swimfrey: Of course. It’s all over Whale Twitter. I’m an internet celebrity now. I got grouper groupies sliding in my Fin-stagram. Octopi hitting me up on Fishbook. What’s funny is, when this whole thing happened, me and my homeboys were just chilling in the hood, headed over to school when we saw...
The Root: Wait, whales go to school?
Orca: Oh, you think we are all uneducated? I’ll have you know that I come from a long line of hard-working sea mammals who run our own seafood restaurant as well.
The Root: No, I’m not saying that at all!
Orca: I’m just kidding, bruh. Actually, we mostly just swim around and hang out. But a group of whales is called a school. Unless they’re killer whales, which are actually dolphins. We call them a “gang.”
They’re not even that mean, though. I’m not into inter-species dating (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but I hooked up with a Killer Whale when I was in college. It didn’t work out.
The Root: A college is a group of whales or something?
Orca: No, dummy, it’s where I got my Ph.D. in human studies—University of the Pacific. Anyway, that’s when we noticed the boat. Because I am a scientist, I really wanted to get a close look at the humans, so I swam over.
The Root: Were you afraid?
Orca: Not at all. We just wanted to scare them a little bit because we know what happens when the coral-colored people show up. We don’t see the darker ones that much anymore. I don’t even see them water-skiing or scuba diving. I can’t figure out why. For some reason, after the late 1800s, they seemed to have stopped taking boat trips. Before then, they would be packed on ships like crazy.
Now, not so much.
Anyway, we just wanted to shake them up and make them leave.
The Root: Don’t you think that’s mean?
Orca: Mean? How do you figure? If someone shows up in your living room, wouldn’t you want to get them the fuck out of there? We literally live here.
The Root: I see your point. How long have you been doing this?
Orca: Since they started trying to gentrify our neighborhoods. It’s part of our job. We’re like the bouncers of the sea even though we have a bad reputation.
The Root: Why do you think that is?
Orca: Human supremacy. They think they’re smarter than us even though everywhere they go they cause chaos and disorder. First, they enslaved my ancestors and tried to paint us as evil. But if we only knew our true history, we would rise up.
Like the lies they told about my grandfather. They say he swallowed some preacher named Jonah. But the truth is, my granddaddy could’ve chewed dude up or let him drown. Instead, my grandfather gave the dude a safe ride to shore on the Underwater Railroad. It’s not like whales have fins, so, of course he swallowed him. That shit took three whole days and no one gives him any credit.
I still believe that’s what killed granddaddy. After that, he always had terrible acid reflux. Said dude tasted like rotten algae.
But that’s how those ocean colonizers do. Where do you think they got lamp oil and candles from during the 1700s and 1800s? Whales, that’s who. My people built this civilization. Yet they are still enslaving us.
The Root: Enslaving you?
Orca: Yeah, bruh. There are plantations all over the world still engaged in chattel slavery and human trafficking. You ever been to Sea World? You think those whales deserve to be locked up behind bars? We have to put an end to the mass incarceration of whales of color!
The Root: So how do you feel about the woman calling the police?
Orca: We’re used to it. Those people have been doing it since the beginning of time. They love to talk about “Free Willy” and “Save the Whales,” but what they really want is to take over our neighborhoods for themselves.
They all want us dead or in aquariums. That’s why we try to scare them. As if a policeman could do something to us. They should be glad that I didn’t call up some of my cousins. I know some grimy-ass sharks who would have fucked them up. We fear no man.
The only man we acknowledge is Aquaman.
The Root: Last question: What do you have to say to the woman who called the police on you?
Orca: I’d like to tell her that she needs to set aside her privilege and understand that we are the ones in danger. Yes, there are a small number of sea creatures who are up to no good. But most of us are trying to live our lives and make fins meet.
When she calls the police on us, it puts us in danger. She needs to realize that we are disproportionately hunted and killed. We are almost extinct. I guess what I’m trying to say is...
The Root: Please don’t say “whale lives matter.”
Orca: Nah, bruh. The dangerously violent Caucasian sea animals are literally called “great white sharks.” The one unobtainable thing in life is called a “white whale.” But whether it’s policemen or families going out on a boat adventure, people need to hear this:
Black Lives Matter.
The Root: Amen.
Orca: Nah, Aquaman.