Coverage Of Pumpkin Fest Riot Compared To Ferguson Protests Exposes Media’s Overt Racism


Dozens of people were arrested and police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse a rioting crowd after a riot broke out in the aftermath of the Keene Pumpkin Festival in Keene, New Hampshire. While the story was reported by national news outlets, the amount of violence and property damage that occurred Saturday afternoon and evening was not sensationalized anywhere near the same manner the Ferguson protests were. USA Today and CNN had rather vanilla headlines with the story. Meanwhile, Fox News buried the story on their main page and MSNBC didn’t even have the story featured on their front page.

Below are screengrabs of both websites at 1:30 PM ET:

msnbc screengrabedited

fox news screengrab 1edited

fox news screengrab 2edited


At one point in the evening, over 4,000 people, mostly white male college students, were gathered in the community of 23,000. The students were causing chaos throughout the evening, as liquor bottles were thrown, stores were broken into and cars were tipped over. Bonfires were set throughout the town’s streets. Light posts and signs were torn out of the ground. Town residents reported that most in the crowd were loud, obnoxious and drunk. At least 20 people were taken to area hospitals for various injuries, mostly from thrown bottles. This is also not a new thing for Keene. Last year, 140 arrests were made at the pumpkin fest.

Eventually, after copious amounts of property damage had been done by the out-of-control students, riot police were called into the scene to disperse the crowd. People in the crowd apparently started throwing beer bottles at the police and shouted obscenities. Tear gas was shot into the crowd and pepper spray was used on individuals who allegedly confronted police in a physical manner. One 18-year-old student told the local paper Saturday night that it was a “blast to do things you aren’t supposed to be doing.” He also suggested that the students were revolting from the cops.

Much like with riots in the aftermath of sporting events, this is going to be seen as kids just blowing off steam, having a little too much fun and just taking things a bit too far. Now, compare this to the coverage that we’ve seen by the mainstream media in regards to protests in Ferguson. In the aftermath of Michael Brown’s death at the hands of Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson on August 9th, the St. Louis suburb has been the scene of numerous protests and demonstrations. Despite the protests having gone on for more than 70 days now, much of the focus by the media has been on the rare occurrences of property damage and looting. We’ve seen a number of headlines blowing these aspects of the protests well out of proportion and making them the focal point of the story.

The contradictory nature of coverage of this very large riot that caused tons of property damage compared to that of the Ferguson protests was not lost on activists, protesters and non-MSM reporters.




And that is just a small sampling of what is out there on Twitter. Apparently, the feeling in the MSM is that a bunch of drunk frat boys tearing up a city is just ‘rowdy’ behavior and boys being boys. Meanwhile, when a smaller group of true activists and protesters take to the streets to let their voices be heard about injustice, intolerance and police brutality, then they are thugs and terrorists taking a town hostage. It seems that having no purpose and just causing destruction is nothing more than things getting a little out of hand. However, using targeted civil disobedience and fighting for a cause is dangerous behavior that needs to be stopped.

As was pointed out by many on Twitter, the amount of damage caused in a few hours by drunk students far outweighs what has occurred in Ferguson over two-plus months. However, the headlines wouldn’t tip you off to that. In the MSM’s mind, the entire town of Ferguson was destroyed and razed by thuggish animals. The reality of the situation is that protests have generally been peaceful while passionate, covering specific areas of the town and surrounding area and damage has been limited to a few isolated instances. Let’s face it. The racial disparity in the coverage is obvious and, quite frankly, sickening.


Image: Boston CBS

29 Replies to “Coverage Of Pumpkin Fest Riot Compared To Ferguson Protests Exposes Media’s Overt Racism”

  1. Keen festival is creative and fun so security must be elevated to minimize the idiots that always show up; comparing it to Ferguson is idiotic

  2. This article is dead-on. I’m sick and tired of seeing white kids who think it’s cute or funny to destroy things classed as “kids being kids.” They are NOT being held accountable, not only for the damage they do, but also for their *attitudes* about doing it.

    Call it what it is: random, chaotic violence by kids expressing sociopathic tendencies. I recall a couple years ago a bunch of kids throwing rocks and full beer cans at trick-or-treaters, including parents pushing strollers, as well as throwing those things at motorists driving through an area. That’s not high spirits, it’s ASSAULT, and it should be dealt with as such. And when they destroy property, they should foot the full bill to replace the property, and work a damn job to earn it themselves… not let mommy or daddy pay it for them.

    This is *very* different from Ferguson; thank you for pointing out how the media yet again portray black as criminal, but white as “high spirits, mischief, & testosterone.”

  3. #WhitePrivilegeTrumpsSocialJustice.

    Thanks for demonstrating the concept. Pull up your pants and get a job, thug.

  4. These kids are just disrespectful criminals and did it because they wanted to, which makes it even more ludicrous. Slight differences though from the Ferguson riots (not the legitimate protests), the police were not shot at by anyone and no stores were looted or burned to the ground. Both had groups of people from the area clean up afterwords. Either way, all should be charged accordingly.

    As for the type of police response, comparing the police force of a middle class neighborhood with that of a low income inner city is laughable. Of course the equipment is different. Find a city with similar socioeconomics as Ferguson that has a white majority population. That is a parallel comparison to make, not a neighborhood like this.

  5. I am Danish (love Bruce Springsteen)but America is a racist country .
    American white people should be ashamed of their youth ..
    The cooperate media is controlled by white people supporting the Republicans

  6. Hmmm. …. Seems Like a Very Friendly Gathering Here, Between the Rioting Students and the Cops. No Shields, No Batons, No Teargass, No Shots Made by the Cops !
    So, No Harm No Foul !

  7. Here in Vancouver, BC, Canada, we had a riot after a hockey game a few years ago. Interestingly, there followed a very intense public campaign to identify those who broke laws. Many were ID’d and prosecuted: it’s remarkable how people did stuff while being video’d as if it never occurred to them that they’d be caught. People don’t think in groups so well.

    This demonstrates that in this case, it would be very easy with all this video and pictures to hold hundreds of these young people accountable. Expulsions and charges would be obvious consequences, and easy to justify. The question, and we shall see how it comes out, is will a bunch of drunk white boys be held accountable for violent assaults on people and property, or will they just be “blowing off steam” again next year?

    Here in my town I don’t think there will be so many people up for a hockey riot without thinking about going to jail. Or maybe they’ll think to cover their faces?

  8. “….People don’t think in groups so well.” Do you think it was the beer pressure or the peer pressure?

  9. Debbie From Denmark wrote:
    “Cooperate media is controlled by white people supporting the Republicans”
    That’s why we’re trying with all we have to save our wonderful country!

    But the Republican Propaganda Machine and Rabble Rousing RightWing Radio is Funded and Controlled by The Koch Brothers.

    Since we lost ‘The American Fairness Doctrine’ and our Supreme Court allowed Citizens United…the Brainwashing of our Fellow-America’s is massively out of control!
    Hitler himself would be envious of the unlimited Propaganda, Mis-information and Lies One-Half of America are continually forced-fed.
    We need your prayers/good-intentions because we are fighting for our Children/Grandchildren and the Future of America!

  10. how can any of you people compare this to Ferguson. Ya’ll have some nerve. This kids.. The injustice of not having some pumpkin seeds…. my god, that’s so inhumane. It’s amazing how ignorant and biased you people can be. The cops are killing, racially profiling and terrorizing the minority communities and you dare try to compare the frustrations of people who are seeking justice to some more than privileged kid who will most likely not get prosecuted for any of this.

    If people would had really started fighting back or throwing bottles in Ferguson, trust me, Bullets and beatings would have been handed out so don’t compare the plight of these brats to the real struggle that’s going on.

  11. Gee, Deb, I knew that you hated America and that white guilt rules your life, but this is a little over the top.

    “American white people should be ashamed of their youth ..
    The cooperate media is controlled by white people supporting the Republicans.”

    Do you get all of your talking points from the DailyKos? I guess it must be easy sitting in your Lily-white perch in Denmark to hate on America so much. Do you think others here would be appalled at your numerous posts on other sites denouncing immigrants in your home country? You should learn that America is a land of immigrants, a land of opportunity and a magnet to people looking for a better life. Time for you to grow up, dear.

  12. I’m pretty sure that stores were being openly looted in Ferguson while the police stood by and watched. ‘Member that?

  13. Jason B., you’re making too much sense. Except I wouldn’t call them “slight differences”. Not to excuse the bottle throwing and property damage in Keene, but shooting at police, looting stores and burning down buildings are pretty terrible and despicable acts that take it to the next level.

  14. with all due respect, you need to re-read the story. There was tear gas, rubber bullets, riot gear, arrests, etc. And, I don’t recall reading where the police said that this was merely “boys being boys”. That’s the kind of misinformation that needs to be stopped.

    These culprits and criminals need to be identified and arrested.

  15. Wait, so because they are white, the are automatically labeled as “more than privileged” and “brats”? Ah, I get it now. Because of “white guilt” you can make generalizations but that can’t be done about Ferguson because they are black.

    If you don’t want generalizations made about one group, then don’t apply them to another. That’s called hypocrisy.

  16. Apparently you didn’t even bother to read the article that you are commenting on or look and the photographs…

    They had batons/shields, used tear gas and pepper spray. Oh and the all had guns, just not the type in the Ferguson riots.

    With that being said, those type of weapons were overkill, until the rioters started taking shots at police that is.

  17. Right. Because overturning cars and looting is “creative and fun” when you’re a white college boy. Those silly rascals.

  18. What is she right about? That the US is a racist nation? That whites should be ashamed of their kids? Or that cooperate media is run by white people supporting the republicans?

    First, racism exists in the US, no doubt. But, would a racist country have an Af-Am as President via nearly 70 mil. votes? Despite his serious shortcomings, he was fairly elected. All countries have racism…it’s a human condition. Why should America be singled out as the “racist country”?

    Second, should whites be ashamed of their kids? Maybe the parents of the ignoramouses who were flipping cars and throwing rocks and bottles in Keene. But, overall, white kids do a pretty good job of graduating high school, performing community service and avoiding pregnancy & jail as teens.

    Third,would you consider Ted Turner, Brian Williams, Andrew Cuomo, Geo Stephanopoulus, Diane Sawyer, Chris Matthews, Bob Schieffer, Chuck Todd, Katie Couric, the NY Times, the Washington Post as helping out Republica…

  19. um, there was looting of stores, and tipping over/total destruction of cars, and violence, all in just one night. i’d say this was much worse than ferguson.

  20. Oh my goodness!! I saw a smashed car, and I saw the aftermath of the violence (thrown bottles and rocks), but I didn’t see the stores that were looted in Keene? Which ones? Starbucks? Lily Pulitzer? Ben and Jerry’s?

    I will assume that your non-answer will mean that you are just making it up to make the situation seem worse than Ferguson.

    I did read that it took a gruelling 30 minutes for some of the white students to clean up the mess from the riots the night before.

  21. I am sorry but the two are not the same in any way. In Ferguson one of the issues covered was the militarization of the police. A peaceful demonstration being met by military grade hardware. Here a riot being met by military grade hardware. In Ferguson an unarmed young man shot dead by the police, in this article a lot of rioting idiots.
    they are covered differently because they are different. that is the issue, not racism.

  22. You’re preaching to the choir. Believe me not all of us tow the white privileged line. It is not lost on those of us who see clearly the racist and bigoted ways of our media. There is not a single large media outlet that doesn’t show the white folks as rowdy and the black folks as thugs. It is beyond sickening to those of us who are neither racists or bigots. We do what we can, but it is never enough. We need to see protests as we saw in the 60’s. Let it be heard loud and clear that we are not going to take it anymore!!

  23. Keene is rated the #1 military police force of cities with populations around 20,000 people in the U.S., the college kids were sick of Military vehicle (BEARCAT), patrolling thru the college, that was the fuse…. I personally in the recent past being a tax payer tried to have police charge people with a class B felony (too much to explain now), and was told ” that I live in a Live free or die state, and the laws are not for me”), I am a retired man trying to collect money owed from bad checks, before you condemn the college students, don’t just listen to the news that just show what is happening and they pic who they want to say what they want to lessen the inner fault of the whole riot.,, also note that the riots only were around the college and did not effect anyone at the pumpkin festival, instead of reducing local taxes or helping homeless, the city and state elect to spend money on militarizing the police force.

Comments are closed.