Waco Biker Melee: Where Is The WASP Outrage?

It’s time to Break It Down!

As I have frequently reminded readers, my norm for determining a blog topic includes a window shopping view of topics of the day that capture my interest. Usually there are quite a few to ponder. I choose one, and then endeavor to share the subject in a way that will appeal to some of the folks who regularly read my posts.

My initial inclination for todays post was to write about President Obama joining the Twitterverse, after six years in Office. What started as a purely human-interest piece, framed around Mr. Obama’s late breaking decision to formally enter the realm of Twitter by opening his own account. The tone and tenor of the conversation changed almost immediately. Almost quicker than one could say Abracadabra (not that there was anything magical about what transpired), the commentary took on a vile and racially divisive tone. No, it’s not prestidigitation; it’s not even surprising. Seven weeks ago (April 1st), I wrote a Post entitled, “President Obama Stumbles: Haters Rue Missed Opportunity!” (https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2015/04/01/the-president-stumbles-haters-rue-missed-opportunity/). Check it out, if you’ve forgotten, or in the event you never saw it. A few examples of the Tweets are here for your interest, edification, and/or perhaps, amusement.

President Obama


Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.


John J. Johnson @JohnJJohnsonMN

‪@POTUS‪ What do you call the first black president of the United States?


2:00 PM – 18 May 2015

President Obama


Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.


Gippo Dudee @DudeeGippo

‪@POTUS‪ nice job with the banner, gotta let everyone know that you’re some kinda communist nigger right?

12:15 PM – 18 May 2015

President Obama


Hello, Twitter! It’s Barack. Really! Six years in, they’re finally giving me my own account.


Jeff Gully @jeffgully49


#arrestobama #treason we need “ROPE FOR CHANGE” we still hang for treason don’t we? pic.twitter.com/YGOQDRan9u

3:28 PM – 18 May 2015

‪2 2 Retweets
‪4 4 favorites

Of course, as the Title belies, this post is not about POTUS or his Twitter Account. It’s about the deadly shootout Sunday in Waco, Texas, involving rival biker gangs, and police officers.

Recently I have commented on the seemingly steady stream of fracases in various communities across the American landscape. Typically violence is involved, often, but not always there is a racial component, and sooner or later some element, agency, or department of law enforcement must be engaged.

Just three short weeks ago, Baltimore was front and center. Three days ago, it was Waco. According to Sgt. W. Patrick Swanton, a police spokesperson, there were at least five gangs. He noted that bikers shot at each other, and at officers, who returned fire. He added:

“In my 35 years of law enforcement experience, this is the most violent and gruesome scene that I have dealt with.”

According to police, at least nine people died as a result of the gunfire exchanges. Police report 170 bikers were booked into the McLennan County Jail to be charged with Engaging in Organized Crime. That number has decreased from 192, originally reported by police Monday. Each was being held on $1 million bond. Other charges may be pending.

Sgt. Swanton expressed frustration and anger at Twin Peaks management. He suggested that the restaurant might have been able to do more to prevent the melee. For its part, corporate management at Twin Peaks issued a statement acknowledging that it was reviewing the circumstances of the shooting. In the release, they added:

“We are thankful no employees, guests or police were injured in this senseless violence outside the restaurant, and our sympathies are with the families of those killed.”

The initial position of Waco Police was that they would continue to refrain from naming the individual gangs, so as not to “give them publicity. However, earlier reports on the shooting pinpointed at least two gangs at the center of the chaos: “the Bandidos and the Cossacks.”

The Bandidos, with up to 2,500 members across 13 countries — 900 of them in the U.S. alone — are considered one of the country’s largest outlaw motorcycle gangs and “a growing criminal threat” by the Department of Justice.

The Bandidos are involved in the transportation and distribution of cocaine and marijuana as well as methamphetamine, which they also produce. The gang is also actively expanding its presence across Texas, where its membership is largely concentrated, and throughout other parts of the country, starting new chapters and recruiting members of allied clubs.

Less is known about the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, a local Texas gang reportedly founded just three years after the Bandidos, in 1969. But early expert analyses suggest rising territory-related tensions between the two Texas groups may have been at the root of Sunday’s shootout.

In 2013, Jack Lewis, the president of the Bandidos chapter in Abilene, Texas, was arrested in the nonfatal stabbings of two Cossacks members.

Steve Cook, executive director of the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association and a Kansas City law enforcement officer who says he previously worked undercover in the Bandidos, told both Vox and the Washington Post that the Cossacks may have been pursuing an alliance with the Bandidos’ rivals the Hells Angels in an effort to challenge the larger gang’s control of Texas.

“We knew the tensions with the Cossacks were as high as they’d ever been,” Cook told Vox. “I don’t think anybody could have forecast it to the degree that it happened.”

That is enough about the gory details of this incident. The real gist of the point I wish to explore for just a moment is, what was absent. During the Baltimore and Ferguson imbroglios, there was a palpable reaction; a visceral outrage about the thugs involved in committing senseless acts of violence. So what is different in Waco? Well, I’m glad you asked; here are 10 things:

  • No National Guard/late night curfews/incessant 24-7 News coverage
  • Recovered roughly 1000 weapons, including knives, pistols, rifles, & brass knuckles
  • Detainees were shown talking on their cell phones w/police nearby
  • 9 dead
  • 18 injured
  • Police officers engaged in exchange of gunfire
  • No reference of single-parent households
  • No signs of tear gas
  • No baton-wielding cops
  • No armored vehicles

No two of these scenarios is exactly alike. However, just four weeks ago, I penned a Post, entitled, “Dangerous Encounters With Police: The Flip Side!” (https://thesphinxofcharlotte.com/2015/04/22/dangerous-encounters-with-police-the-flip-side/). The point of that post was how differently an individual may be treated by a police officer under duress. Today’s post reflects the same thought on a communal level. Despite the violent acts of nearly 200 bikers, the majority of whom were armed, and many of them firing their weapons at each other and at police, they are considered more human, and engender more empathy than unarmed black men, or the protesters who support them. If nothing else, that should be a catalyst for not only a national conversation, but also for the Change We Can All Believe In. Don’t hold your breath though. The question of the hour is”Waco Biker Melee: Where Is the WASP Outrage?”

I’m done; holla back!

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2 thoughts on “Waco Biker Melee: Where Is The WASP Outrage?

  1. Excellent observation. No argument that black lives are viewed differently by the police
    and society. It’s almost as if the bullet fired from a white man’s gun is given the benefit of the doubt over an unarmed black man.


    • Donald:

      Greetings! The environment is so highly charged that it’s hard to find a space to have a conversation or civil debate about the matter. I write about it or related issues because, frankly, it’s difficult not to do so, without just figuratively closing one’s eyes to the obvious.




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