There were many things disturbing about this incident. To me the most disturbing and educational is that this woman didn’t have a MAGA cap on. She didn’t have any of the class or cultural identifiers that our public conversation identifies with racist attitudes. She’s a white thirty-something woman who probably lives in Manhattan. When I saw the video at first I thought, maybe finance, advertising? If I’d seen her prior to this incident I’d figure, middle of the road politics, hates Trump, maybe says she’s ‘still with her’ on social media. And really, those all might be accurate.
And yet here she is not just escalating a situation and filing a demonstrably false police report. She specifically alerts police that Cooper is an African-American man who is threatening her life. Indeed, by the end of the call she’s almost hysterical. If you’re not watching the video it would be easy to think he was then chasing or even assaulting her. It’s exactly the kind of call that seems likely to trigger a situation in which Cooper gets arrested, injured or even killed. Indeed, the most chilling thing about it is that Cooper seems quite intentionally to check all the boxes needed to ensure a BLM-style tragedy. Note that she doesn’t just identify Cooper as a black man to the police. She first threatens that she will call the police and say she’s being threatened by an African-American man.
Maybe we’ll find out that Cooper is an avid Trumper with Steve King style attitudes about race. But I actually doubt it. My best guess is that her racism is much more latent than that. Which makes it more insidious.