Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Size Matters The Biggest Bigist Bigots

In case you have been continuously drunk all last week, and you didn’t read anything in the newspapers, an FAU student was shot on campus. Zachary Carroll, a 21-year-old, 6-foot-two, close to 300-pound former rugby and football player, was shot on campus. Carroll is the latest victim of a serious plague of prejudice that is sweeping the U.S. – bigism.

Big people can’t go shoe shopping at the mall. Big people have to gird their bodies in special clothing designed by NASA engineers. Big people pay more to feed themselves and to gas up their cars. Big people are persecuted in many ways, but it is clear that this persecution reached new heights this week. They are now being hunted down and shot by the police.

Many of the local press coverage stressed the size of the young man as an explanation of the psychology behind his shooting, in the same way that they stressed the femaleness of the shooting officer and her partner. If Carroll had weighed 200-pounds, would this have been mentioned? If the officers had been male, would they have been labeled “male police officers?”

None of the news coverage mentioned the fact that Carroll was white. If he had been black, would he have been labeled a “young black man?” It’s a shame too, because four FAU students were really embarrassed when they showed up at Campus Police Headquarters on Feb. 10 to protest the police shooting of a black man.

In fact, Carroll’s whiteness serves as proof that his shooting was a case of bigism. Police officers tend to not shoot unarmed white people. That is an unwritten rule of The Man’s manual.

Normally, a white college student ripping apart cars with his bare hands and charging at cops would be nothing more than a curiosity to campus police. Instead of raising their eyebrows, however, the two officers on the scene raised their weapons. Whether they feared they would be stomped or eaten, it makes little difference. The extreme reaction was clearly a factor of size. Size does matter to these cops.

If you don’t believe me, imagine the officer trying to justify shooting Carroll, an unarmed 120-pound president of the Chess Club. They would laugh her off the force. Being big is suddenly some kind of crime punishable by lethal force.

Of course, the university had to issue a statement about the “incident.” FAU President Frank Brogan’s latest post on MYFAU is work of comedic genius. If you haven’t read it yet, go to myfau.fau.edu, login, and read it now under personal announcements. As he sees it, “[…] a University Police department officer was involved in an incident that resulted in the shooting of a residence hall student […].” So the officer didn’t necessarily shoot the student, she was merely involved in an incident that resulted in the shooting. If you think that turn of phrase is clever and as passive as one can get, consider my revised version:

“An individual associated with a policing institution related to the University may have been involved in a campus event that has been connected with the mobilization of several pieces of metal, which advanced beyond the epidermal layer of a multi-cellular organism.”

My only hope is that, despite the administration’s attempts to cover up the ugly truth, this incident will enlighten those who are not familiar with the bigism rampant in our culture. And if you can’t manage to take this incident, this issue, and this article seriously, you may be one of the biggest bigist bigots of them all. Now say that ten times fast.

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