Richard Demsick, Vero Beach, Florida white man runs 2.23 miles holding TV to make point about Ahmaud Arbery killing in viral TikTok. Cheered but not shot at.
Because being white does have its privileges – especially when you’re running down the street with a TV.
Richard Demsick, a white former Vero Beach, Florida pastor has told of running 2.23 miles (3.6 kilometers) clutching a flat-screen TV to prove that the color of his skin was enough to protect him from meeting the same fate as unarmed black jogger Ahmaud Arbery.
The ‘experiment’ follows two white men, Gregory McMichael, 64, and his son, Travis McMichael, 34, having been arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault in the death of the 25-year-old men, who was gunned down Feb. 23.
The two men told police they believed Arbery was a burglar. Of note, the father and son’s arrest last Thursday, didn’t come until after more than two months after their victim’s shooting death and only after a video of Arbery’s shooting death being publicly shared last week.
In a bid to see if he too would be shot, accosted or at the very least have police called out on him – Demsick said he felt it didn’t matter what he wore or how ‘suspicious’ he looked — that just being white was enough to keep him safe, according to Insider.
@jestertotheking##runwithmaud ##irunwithmaud ##runwithahmaud happy birthday Ahmaud. Sad to me I ran today with no fear in a similar neighborhood carrying a TV♬ original sound – jestertotheking
So someone has to stop me too (as a white man) running suspiciously?
‘I just started crying when I just saw this poor young man running — as I have thousands of times in my life — get shot down,’ he told Insider.
Demsick said he thought that ‘maybe I should run with a TV to show that being a suspicious character isn’t enough that someone should be shot down. Being a white person, that’s just not going to happen to me.’
So on Friday, Demsick ran 2.23 miles though his neighborhood – which did have a string of burglaries — while carrying the TV.
‘All right, I’ve figured it out,’ he says in the video. ‘I got my hat on backwards, I’m shirtless, like I’m on some episode of ‘Cops,’ I’m running with a TV, someone’s going to stop me now for sure, ’cause, if not, what was the problem with Ahmaud?’
Rather than being met with suspicion or hostility, he said, his neighbors waved and smiled as he ran by.
‘Not a soul’ even asked him later what he was up to, he said.
Would they have asked had he been black, Latino or some other minority?
Demsick said most of the responses he has received from the video have been positive.
‘People have been incredibly kind, undeservedly kind,’ he told Insider. ‘There are people who are daily working trying to correct the injustice. I just made a video.’
In another video on Mother’s Day, Demsick asked his mom whether she was scared for him during his experimental jog — or whether she thought the cops would be called.
‘No, of course not,’ the mother said.
‘Huh, I wonder why that is,’ the son replied.
Black mothers, Demsick told Insider, would likely not feel the same.