Some of America’s best and whitest activists were flabbergasted when they heard the news about the Caucasian Capitol Coup on Jan. 6. While those in attendance were not shocked by the attack on the seat of the American government, they were stunned by the media referring to their actions as “mob violence” and “domestic terrorism.”
“There must be some mistake,” they thought to themselves, as they perched their wraparound sunglasses on the bills of their MAGA baseball cap. “What mob? I was there! I didn’t see any terrorists!”
But, as the Bible says: “Some people can’t see the forest for the wypipo.” They understand that a group of guppies is called a “school of fish,” and a crowd of Black people is called a “gang.” But a crowd of people who still order shoes from Sears—no matter their intent or anger—are most often referred to as “Americans.” Even as their fellow insurrectionists are being pulled off airplanes, fired and arrested, they are still befuddled at why the entire country has turned into negative Nancies about their innocuous attempt at violently overthrowing an entire government.
Unfortunately, being part of a mob no longer requires purchasing a torch or a pitchfork (although the gallows constructed on site should have been a dead giveaway). But, to foster understanding and unity, The Root created this objective, bipartisan quiz to help our confused Caucasian comrades determine whether or not your group is a mob, a rally, or, perhaps, an usher board meeting. (White churches have ushers, right?)
If you are in a large crowd and no one is named RZA, GZA, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Method Man, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Inspectah Deck, U-God, or Masta Killa, you might be in danger. Also, unless Bill Belichick is there, I would be wary of any group of white people who refer to themselves as “patriots.”
White people have very little to be concerned about and their “protests” usually involve things they could fix by other means. They will crack open a cold Mountain Dew-flavored Bud Light while watching bodycam footage of a cop emptying a pistol into a Black motorist’s back but will furiously organize a demonstration to protect Santa-themed Starbucks cups.
If there isn’t a slam poet explaining how “real eyes realize real lies,” or a cipher of freestylers using the words “off the dome,” start worrying.
Mob shenanigans might be afoot.
a. Hats with Times New Roman font lettering
b. American flag-themed clothing
c. Wraparound sunglasses
d. These shoes, or these
Although we are often advised to never judge a book by its cover, I have found that covers are one of the most reliable ways to ascertain what’s in a book. Aside from the Italian version, most mobs aren’t known for their fashion choices.
Other telltale mob apparel include:
- Colonial cosplay (Seriously, these people always show up. Always)
- Tactical gear or camouflage
- Cowboy hats (old Black men excluded)
- Sleeveless shirts
- Jeans with elastic waistbands
If you or your fellow attendees are wearing any of the above items alone, or in combination, you should start questioning your life choices. Things aren’t looking very good for you, but who knows? This could be a Billy Graham prayer service.
However, if people are talking about “the lord” and not “the lawd,” you should be a little concerned.
But let us move on.
Instead of paying attention to what they are chanting, listen to the cadence of the chant. If it seems slightly offbeat, that probably means the crowd is being led by a white person. And, now that you’ve confirmed that this isn’t a prayer vigil, you should start wondering what you’ve gotten yourself into.
Also, if no one has screamed “no justice, no peace,” your gathering might be involved in mob-adjacent.
Don’t leave just yet.
a. American flags
b. American flags, but with fewer than 50 stars
c. Flags from the Confederate States of America
d. You don’t recognize the flag.
This was a trick question.
If your event seems to be flag-centric—the kind of flag doesn’t matter—you might be in mob territory. People who love America don’t need to put their patriotism on display. There are a few Black veterans who fly the Star-Spangled Banner in front of their homes, but most non-mob participants don’t own a separate “travel flag.” That’s some white mob shit.
To be fair, you may have wandered into a parade—which is why everyone should learn the flags of the Caribbean countries. According to Newton’s fifth law of Negrodynamics (Sharita Newton, a physics teacher in St. Louis), a Confederate flag cannot exist in the same time and space as a Jamaican flag. But since you already confirmed that people are wearing clothes, the likelihood of this being a Carnivale parade is very low.
Start looking for an exit.
a. “YMCA” by the Village People
b. Classic rock
c. Multiple versions of the national anthem
c. “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood
Everyone knows “God Bless the USA” is the white national anthem. Also, if they have played more than one song by Bruce Springsteen, shit is getting serious. Bruce doesn’t even fuck with Donald Trump but white people and Bruce Springsteen go together like white people and Bruce Springsteen (There is no analogous equivalent).
But I think you should look on the bright side. If you’ve heard any of the following songs, you might still be OK:
- “Summertime” by DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince (even in the winter)
- “Wobble” by Vic (we will also accept “Cupid Shuffle”)
- Live music from an HBCU band
- “Lift Every Voice and Sing” by the crowd (only 68 percent will know the words)
- Anything by Frankie Beverly
- “Atomic Dog” by George Clinton (Only if the Ques start stepping. If you have no ideas what that means, you are probably finna mob)
In fact, if you don’t hear any of the above songs playing over the course of one hour, start getting your shit together.* Don’t forget your flag!
*Sorry, but “The Electric Slide” is no longer a signifier of non-mobbacious activities. White people found out about it in 2003 and, since then, we have let y’all have it.
Don’t be fooled by the King quotes. No one quotes MLK more than racists and white people who would have hocked a loogie at Dr. King if he had marched past them in 1963. In fact, if none of the speakers have earned the title “reverend” or have opened their remarks by giving honor to Jesus, or have mentioned their place of worship, slowly start moving toward the back of the crowd.
You’re about to see a mob.
a. Their “freedoms”
b. Their “country back”
c. To go back to the good ol’ days when...”
d. Someone who cares about “regular people”
If this is really a mob, you won’t hear about specific goals or policies. They just feel aggrieved by “the system” and the “lying politicians.” Please don’t mention the lies told by their favorite politicians, though. They won’t believe you because mobs rarely use logic or common sense.
If you ask them to show you evidence of a stolen election, they will tell you that mainstream media won’t tell the truth. If you ask them where they heard it from, they will say “Fox News,” which is literally the most mainstream media outlet in America. If you confront them about racism, they will insist that they don’t have a racist bone in their body, just before explaining why they want to toss out Black people’s votes.
Also, “regular people” means “white people.”
Oh no! Someone mentioned Obama!
These four words will incite the crowd and coalesce a disparate group of white people into a homogenous, single-minded mob. Mobs hate the government that they put in power without experiencing voter suppression, gerrymandering or lack of representation.
Even though all of the news media, entertainment, politics and financial institution are catered toward their sensibilities, they still find a way to be angry. Perhaps they hate the government because white people make up 60 percent of America’s population and only 80 percent of Congress.
I know it doesn’t make sense!
It’s a mob, motherfucker!
a. Posing for selfies
b. He went to unlock the doors to the Capitol. He’ll be right back
c. The ones in the mob or the ones in uniform?
d. What police?
Because you’re white, the cops are here to assist you in any mob-related activity.
The same cops who “fear for their lives” when Black people reach for their wallets or run in the opposite direction will allow themselves to be crushed by a Caucasian horde rushing through the doors. Even when they are specifically targeted, they don’t have the same fears when white people attack.
It’s probably because blue lives matter to white people, which doesn’t explain why most cop killers are white.
You’re in danger, girl!
Oh, well...Don’t worry about the mob.
You might be arrested but you’ll get politely led to a police vehicle instead of being dragged, tased and beaten. Police won’t assume you’re a criminal before the “protesters” even becomes a mob. You’ll get to eat organic food. You’ll get to know which agency arrested you. Hell, you might even become a hero!
Even if you built a gallows, screamed that you wanted to kill someone and then took action to do it, your group won’t be called a lynch mob. You might be part of a cell that carried out terrorist activities in the domestic homeland, but you won’t be called a “domestic terrorist.” At most, you were a small part of an insurrection. Even though your actions were related to a gang of thugs, you won’t even be called a “gang member” or a “thug.”
You’re just “white.”
Which means “American.”
Which means “not guilty.”
Even if you’re in a violent mob, your whiteness will protect you. Don’t fret. I’m sure this will end like a Hallmark movie. Relax, Rebecca, can’t you see...
The mob was inside you this whole time!