Not Racist Guy Dresses as KKK, Tells Blacks to Leave His Town

An 18 year old man in Pennsylvania dressed up in a KKK outfit and yelled at black people on the street to get out of his town. But guys, he’s totally not a racist. He was just joking. Because that makes it all okay and absolves him of all personal responsibility.

Walter Reibsome appeared Wednesday in court for a preliminary hearing on ethnic intimidation and harassment charges in connection with the incident.

A judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the case to trial.

The 18-year-old said outside court that he was not racist and harassed other students Aug. 4 at Bloomsburg University as a joke.

“It sounded like a good idea at the time,” Reibsome said.

He was riding in a truck driven by his friend, Frank Rubio, who blared his horn while Reibsome shouted racial slurs and ordered black people to “get out of our town.”

Privileged little shithead needs to be taught a lesson in humanity.

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  • dhall

    “It sounded like a good idea at the time.”

    How many people have said that over time? It’s right up there with, “Hold my beer and watch this.”

    Anthems of the dumbasses.

  • leni

    “Hold my beer and watch this.”

    I’m guessing he said that right before he donned the sheets and started yelling racist shit at people.

  • khms

    #2 leni:

    “Hold my beer and watch this.”

    I’m guessing he said that right before he donned the sheets and started yelling racist shit at people

    Isn’t that one the traditional saying for people trying for a Darwin Award? A kind of modern morituri te salutant?

  • lorn

    I don’t know? If you whack him hard, as I’m reflexively leaning toward, you may make a martyr. Hurt him and he will just resent the ‘system’. There should be a more creative way.

    Just brainstorming here, but how about brown and black kids dressed up as clansmen, Halloween is coming up. A couple of hundred ‘clansmen’ asking for candy and making a joke of it might just kill the brand for a while. I see a big down side to this but we have been fighting this thing for a very long time and it is clear there has to be some new ideas.

    I saw an interview on PBS recently about how antisemitic sentiment is returning to Germany. Even after fifty years of a hard stand against it the bigotry still returns. The cordon sanitaire doesn’t work. We need a way to manage the issue not just exclude it.

  • Al Dente

    harassed other students Aug. 4 at Bloomsburg University as a joke.

    The traditional bully’s response after being caught: “It was just a joke.” I hope the judge explains to Reibsome that jokes are supposed to be funny and his “joke” fails that criterion.

  • matty1

    He did a racist thing, who gives a fuck what his motivation was? This is exactly the kind of case that shows ‘what they did’ is a better approach than ‘what they are’. Don’t waste time establishing if he harassed people because he believes they are an inferior race or if he did it for shits and giggles just focus on the harassment and the fact that it made people feel worse because of their race.

  • John Pieret

    “It sounded like a good idea at the time,” Reibsome said.

    I think that is prima facie evidence that a charge of public intoxication should be added to the case.

  • frog

    “It sounded like a good idea at the time,”

    You know what sounds like a good idea? Sending this fool to jail for a little while so he can have some quiet time to think about why people didn’t find his “joke” funny.

  • Larry

    I sure hope his cellmate, Bubba X, appreciates a good joke.

  • vmanis1

    There are times when I lament the disappearance of the stocks. A few hours in the marketplace, with people hurling rotten fruit (though not rocks) at him, might be just what this `privileged little shithead’ needs.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Boys will be boys – a suspended sentence and no conviction recorded is my prediction.

  • bigwhale

    That is not appropriate or funny, Larry.

    “Intent is not magic” needs to be on banners at every school and the subject of lessons.

  • magistramarla

    This decal was spotted on the back of a truck in Tyler, Texas (of course!).

    It’s disgusting, but some of the comments defending it are even more disgusting.

    http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local/article/Texan-s-truck-has-possibly-the-most-racist-decal-5829486.php

  • birgerjohansson

    The problem is, you can’t fix stupid.

    A kid can learn new values. At 18, it is probably too late.

    BTW, can we retroactively charge the guy from Pennsylvania for his bullying of a scoolmate? Romney certainly has never showed any remorse for that.

  • =8)-DX

    A kid can learn new values. At 18, it is probably too late.

    I call bullshit. I had radically different views on almost every topic at 18.

    Anyone can be a (happy) idiot and 18 and have their head screwed on properly five to ten years later.

  • blf

    When I was at University, one of my housemates did wear an obviously KKK-inspired sheet for Halloween. He was actually the nicest guy you’d ever meet, and (as I recall) was. in a later year, elected house president.

     

    He was black.

    (lorn‘s “brainstorming” idea @4 reminded me of this example.)

  • dugglebogey

    Racist? Yes. Stupid? Yes. Criminal? I’m not so sure.

    It’s not against the law to be racist or say racist things. Most actual acts of racism are legal.

    I’m worried that charges like “harassment” are really just ways to violate someone’s right of free speech.

  • dugglebogey

    Sorry, meant to say most actual acts of racism are illegal. Brain fart.

  • abb3w

    @18, dugglebogey

    Sorry, meant to say most actual acts of racism are illegal. Brain fart.

    …no, I think you had it correct the first time. Most actual acts of racism are subtle things far below the threshold of de minimis non curat lex. The really big stuff like lynchings gets stamped down, but not the tiny stuff like cutting off someone on the sidewalk; the big ones which are more noticeable are a lot less frequent, but the smaller ones are still racism. (Maybe a power law distribution? I’m just guessing on that, but it seems plausible.)

    In this case, the charge is apparently “ethnic intimidation”. The law is possibly over the line drawn by Brandenburg v Ohio; on the other hand, in so far as conduct (such a dressing up in a hooded robe and shouting “get out of town”) has so often functioned as a threat precursor of actual violence, such that the conduct itself can have a chilling effect on civil rights, it seems likely well within the scope drawn by Schenck v United States.

  • blf

    The really big stuff like lynchings gets stamped down

    Unless you happen to be a police officer, in which case your comrades will show up in armored personnel carriers and shoot a few more people for the crime of being black.

  • bmiller

    I like vman’s idea more than the idea of jail time….bring back The Stocks for cases like this. Of course, America no longer has a “commons” (the typical American downtown town square is a joke), so maybe he could be set up in the Food Court at the local mall?

    Larry: Prison rape is not funny. Not being politically correct, but this common meme is terrible and needs to go away.

  • lancifer

    The dumbass should face public opprobrium and ridicule but criminal prosecution for wearing certain clothes and yelling stuff from a truck? I think he was within his first amendment rights so long as he didn’t make any threats to individual people.

  • marcus

    As Ed said last week, “Hate speech is not a crime.” Unless his behavior crossed into activities that could actually be considered a “threat’ or “threatening” then his speech is indeed protected from government prosecution.

    (Though it does sound like there might be a case for “disturbing the peace”.)

  • Michael Heath

    marcus writes:

    As Ed said last week, “Hate speech is not a crime.” Unless his behavior crossed into activities that could actually be considered a “threat’ or “threatening” then his speech is indeed protected from government prosecution.

    (Though it does sound like there might be a case for “disturbing the peace”.)

    The article Ed quotes:

    Walter Reibsome appeared Wednesday in court for a preliminary hearing on ethnic intimidation and harassment charges in connection with the incident.

    […]

    He was riding in a truck driven by his friend, Frank Rubio, who blared his horn while Reibsome shouted racial slurs and ordered black people to “get out of our town.”

  • marcus

    Michael @ 24 If it were me I would still charge him with disturbing the peace and call it a win.

    To me “ethnic intimidation” without a real or specific threat, and “harassment’ without a particular target or victim begs for a First Amendment defense and a possible protracted court case.

    Of course if he literally threatened someone, or group of someones, had a weapon, etc. (which he may have done, it doesn’t say in the article) then that certainly makes the charges easier to prosecute.

    (And, of course, IANAL.)

  • Michael Heath

    Marcus @ 25 writes:

    Michael @ 24 If it were me I would still charge him with disturbing the peace and call it a win.

    To me “ethnic intimidation” without a real or specific threat, and “harassment’ without a particular target or victim . . .

    From the article Ed cited:

    A Pennsylvania teenager insists he was only joking around when he dressed up in a Ku Klux Klan uniform and shouted a racial slur at a black woman.

    […]

    He was riding in a truck driven by his friend, Frank Rubio, who blared his horn while Reibsome shouted racial slurs and ordered black people to “get out of our town.”

  • Nick Gotts

    The privileged arseholes rushing to defend this shitspigot’s “First Amendment Rights” make me as nauseous as the man himself. What about the right to go about your business without having people scream at you to “get out of town”?

  • marcus

    Fuck you Nick. I’m not defending anyone’s “First Amendment Rights”, I’m actually wondering about the constitutionality of the law. “Ethnic intimidation” sounds a little vague and vacuous to me, remember that when some brown person get charged with it for trying to assert their rights. Ferguson anyone?

    Certainly this idiot broke laws and he should be prosecuted for them. What he did is reprehensible, but I’ll bet you an internet that this get pled down to “disorderly conduct” or “disturbing the peace” as I mentioned. The lady mentioned should sue his ass for harassment if nothing else. Don’t care much about your intestinal fortitude.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1159674804 robertbaden

    People don’t remember, do they?

    Forty years ago this would have been recognized as intimidation.

  • shadow

    It still can be considered intimidation.

    Think about this:

    Dressed as member of the KKK (there isn’t an easy way to see the ‘just kidding’ sign on the robes, so PoC’s would have reason to believe this was a real KKK member)

    Yelling at PoC’s what can be interpreted as threats (from a known threat group (KKK)).

    I could see a reasonable person taking the implied threat. IIRC, during the ‘heyday’ of the KKK this behavior often precluded a burning cross and lynching.