After an unruly mob ran amuck on the heels of the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California on Sunday, Gawker columnist Cord Jefferson penned a piece taking oft-made generalizations about "violent black youth" and turning them around on white people.
Jefferson expanded on that theme in a segment on "All In With Chris Hayes" Tuesday night, playing the part of a concerned citizen wondering how the white community is going to deal with the "problems of white culture."
"You probably haven't heard much about the white riot in Huntington Beach," Hayes began. "That's because the story of white criminal culture is not a story the mainstream media will tell you. But once you scratch the surface, these stories are everywhere you look."
Hayes and Jefferson engaged in a back-and-forth that parodied several tired tropes that surface when talking heads discuss race on TV.
"There are people that are going to tell you that ... this has nothing to do with white people, it's just a few bad apples. What do you say to that?" Hayes asked.
"To that I say that if that's your actual belief then you're living with your head in the sand," Jefferson said. "I used to live in New York City and would occassionally go to Hoboken, New Jersey's St. Patrick's Day parade, and there were so many young white men there vomiting in the streets, urinating in the streets, getting in fistfights in the streets. It was a sight to be seen."
"Do you have a personal problem with white people?" Hayes later asked. "Is this animus?"
"No, I think any time that you tell the truth there's going to be those people who come out and think you're doing it for some insidious reason and say that you're a racist," Jefferson said. "I knew that some white people were going to call this playing the race card, but it isn't playing the race card. My best friend is white."
Jefferson's Gawker piece drew ire on social media, and not just from people who disagreed with his critique of how African Americans are portrayed in the news.
Twitter user @TheWayOfTheId accused Jefferson of ripping off the idea for the piece from a series of biting one-liners she'd posted more than a week before. When others piled on and asked for an explanation, Gawker responded by saying that the claims were "bullshit."
Watch a clip from the show above.