Once in a while, racists do have to face the consequences of their actions and hateful world-views, as the subject of a famous viral video is now discovering.
In June, a white male verbally assaulted several black customers inside of a Starbucks store during a racist tirade.
Multiple bystanders got video of the event, in which the man, William Boucher, yells several heinous things after one man spills coffee on him.
Boucher yelled “Shut up, slave!” at one black customer, compared another to livestock and told them to walk on all fours, and suggested to another customer that they should be tagged with a barcode.
He later spat on two other bystanders and told a black man recording the incident that his children were disposable vermin, a comment he also directed at another black customer.
Boucher went outside, still screaming, where he proceeded to punch a homeless man on the street, unprovoked. The man he had originally been insulting, Gerald Mitchell, along with two others, pinned him to the ground immediately following the incident to await authorities. He allegedly spat on them, hit his knees into them, and insulted them while they waited.
What’s Happening Now:
Months later, it appears Boucher will have to face consequences, likely for the first time in his life.
According to the Chicago Sun Times:
“William Boucher, 24, faces four counts of aggravated battery in a public place and four counts of committing a hate crime, according to Cook County court and sheriff’s office records.”
He was released from police custody on Monday after he posted 10 percent of his $50,000 bail.
He will be back in court to answer for his charges on October 23rd.
Gerald, one of the men who was berated by Boucher and who helped to keep him in place while authorities drove to the Starbucks, says he hopes that Boucher will learn something from his actions.
According to employees at the Starbucks where the incident occurred, Boucher had given them some trouble before, but had never engaged in any violent activity.
It takes a lot more for white people to get noticed and removed from locations for being disruptive or rude compared to people of color. That’s why Boucher actually getting charged with a hate crime feels like a victory, even if it’s a small one.
Too many acts of racism go unnoticed in this country, and even some of the large ones go completely unaddressed. Multiple celebrities, such as Internet sensation Jeffrey Star, get to make explicitly racist comments without losing much traction in their fan bases. We are systematically desensitized to attacks on black lives and dignity, which is why seeing Boucher go to court is so important.
Every person who assisted in getting Boucher arrested, whether through recording the video for the world to see or helping pin him to the ground, was heroic that day, especially the black customers who submitted themselves to verbal abuse to make sure Boucher’s behavior did not go unchecked, as behavior like that often does.
Watch the video here:
H/T: Chicago Sun Times