A woman called 911 for an ambulance because she was worried that her 43-year-old fiance Jack Lamar Roberson was having complications with his diabetes. Instead, a police car showed up, and the officers walked inside and shot him four times. Roberson was unarmed and had his hands in the air when he was shot. His whole family - including his 8-year-old daughter - saw it happen.
Last year, the same county police force was responsible for the shooting of a 26-year-old unarmed black man. All officers are on administrative leave pending an investigation.
Wildfox’s Barbie Dreamhouse Lookbook
ph. by Mark Hunter
ARE YOU KIDDIN ME
In January, Sam Pepper uploaded a video called “How To Get A Girlfriend Easy” in which he sneaks up behind or beside unsuspecting women on the street and handcuffs them to himself. He then tells them they’re “his girlfriend now.”
When one victim reacts furiously, saying “No! I don’t know you! Take it off!” and demands that he remove the handcuffs, he refuses and replies with “We’re dating now.” She tries again, “Look, I don’t know where you’re from, but we don’t do this in America. Take this off,” while fighting with the cuffs. He refuses again, insisting they’re “going on a date.” She then tells him that she’s married, to which he says “No, you’re married to me now,” and refuses yet again to remove the handcuffs.
At the end of the video, another woman is pleading with him to undo the handcuffs, and he refuses to until she kisses him on the lips. Pepper appears to think the entire scenario is hilarious at best and endearingly misguided at worst, while the women being “pranked” are visibly livid, terrified, and profoundly uncomfortable.
NONE OF THESE THINGS ARE PRANKS.
We need to stop calling assault by white men on men of color and women of all races “pranks,” because it makes them seem lighthearted and fun, not like the violent criminal acts they are.
This is one of those ideas where some person was like “Hehe, this might be silly.” And then struck fucking gold.
Thanks for taking the time to read this letter. As fellow YouTubers, we have much respect for others who put so much hard work into building their channel. It’s not easy, and you should be proud! That said, we’ve noticed that in your success, there has been a lack of respect in return…namely, for women and girls.
You may have noticed that your latest video “Fake Hand Ass Pinch Prank” has garnered considerable negative attention. In this video, you sexually violate a number of unsuspecting women on the street, many of whom are visibly confused and upset at being touched by you without permission. One woman even says “I don’t like that!” while you proceed to laugh and touch her more. In “How to Make Out with Strangers”, made a year ago, you pressure women on camera to make out with you - again, many of whom are visibly uncool with it. Confused and caught off guard, they painfully follow through with your requests, clearly uncomfortable. In “How to Pick Up Girls with a Lasso”, you physically restrain women on the street with lassos - many of whom look alarmed to be restrained by a stranger on the street.
You’d probably be alarmed too, wouldn’t you? Imagine someone on the street comes up and rubs their hand on your bottom, or a girl walks up to you with a camera and forces her mouth onto yours while you’re trying to figure out what’s going on. Imagine walking down the alley alone, when a guy much larger than you physically restrains you with rope and pulls you toward him. You probably wouldn’t like it, right?
People don’t like to be violated and they don’t like to see their friends and girlfriends be violated either (hence the group of men that tried to beat you up in the lasso video). And yet, history suggests that perhaps you find this humorous. It is very disturbing that we live in a world where the violation of women and girls’ bodies is not only funny, but profitable, and can garner considerable notoriety and views on YouTube.
We are deeply disturbed by this trend and would like to ask you, from one creator to another, to please stop. Please stop violating women and making them uncomfortable on the street for views. Please stop physically restraining them and pressuring them to be sexual when they are uncomfortable. Please show some respect for women’s right to their own bodies. While it may seem like harmless fun, a simple prank, or a “social experiment”, these videos encourage millions of young men and women to see this violation as a normal way to interact with women. 1 in 6 young women (real life ones, just like the ones in your video) are sexually assaulted, and sadly, videos like these will only further increase those numbers.
We realize that people make mistakes, and that sometimes it’s hard to see the ripple effect of one’s actions. We really hope that you will take a step back and consider the power you have to be someone who makes the world a better place. It’s not too late to make a change! We invite you to join us in ending widespread bodily violation that takes place in so many forms all around in the world.
Thanks so much.
Laci Green, Meghan Tonjes, Tyler Oakley, TomSka, ViHart, ALB, Ross Everett, Matt Lieberman, Meg Turney, Tom Flynn, Tyrannosaurus Lex, Arielle Scarcella, Dan at NerdCubed, Rachel Whitehurst, Hannah Witton, Jefferson Bethke, MusicalBethan, Kaleb Nation, Chris Thompson, Michael Buckley, Jared Oban, Liam Dryden, Sanne Vliegenthart, Bryarly Bishop, Nicola Foti, Chescaleigh, Grace Helbig, Wheezy Waiter, Morgan Paige, Nathan Z., MumboJumbo, Miles Jai, Adorian Deck, Alli Speed, Matthew Santoro, Jaclyn Glenn, Hank Green, Rosianna Rojas, Grayson, Taryn Southern, Carrie Hope Fletcher
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I don’t want other people to decide who I am. I want to decide that for myself. I want to avoid becoming too styled and too ‘done’ and too generic. You see people as they go through their career, and they just become more and more like everyone else.