Gun-Toting West Virginia Lady So Sad 'Social Media' Made Her Racist
Santana Renee Adams was criminally charged Friday with crafting racist fan fiction about a menacingly brown stranger who tried to abduct her child from a mall in Barboursville, West Virginia. This was a great personal inconvenience to Mohamed Fathy Hussein Zayan, whom police arrested at the mall food court. He was later booked on felony attempted abduction charges.
Adams was briefly an Internet folk hero. She told authorities that she'd chased away the attempted kiddie napper with her concealed weapon. Hundreds of people who are also scared of men named "Mohamed" praised Adams on the police's Facebook page for her "vigilance" and "quick thinking." NRA hack Dana Loesch pounced on the Adams story, claiming on Twitter it was why "mamas like [her]" support the Second Amendment. She's yet to take down or correct her tweet, which contains footage of a handcuffed and humiliated Zayan.
The bullshit artist's story quickly fell apart once police actually investigated it. They couldn't find any witnesses who saw a man of "Middle Eastern descent" try to drag Adams's daughter out of the mall by her hair; really, someone would have noticed because "Middle Eastern descent."
Adams admitted "the more she thought about it, the more she realized it might have been a cultural misunderstanding and the suspect might have just been patting her daughter on the head and smiling," police wrote in an update that was posted to Facebook that day.
If there was a "cultural misunderstanding," it was the Annie Oakley wannabe pulling a 9mm Smith & Wesson on a guy who gently patted her kid on the head. That's quite the overreaction, even if it had happened, which it didn't. Few men of color are foolhardy enough to physically interact with a white girl they don't know. We personally try to avoid making eye contact when picking up our son from pre-school.
It turns out Zayan didn't Biden the girl at all. The police found no evidence that he'd ever touched her on the head. Surveillance footage revealed Adams calmly left the Old Navy in the mall 15 minutes after she arrived. Zayan left shortly afterward. Neither was apparently impressed by its spring sale. More importantly, Zayan had no contact or interaction whatsoever with Adams or her daughter and "wouldn't recognize them if they were standing right in front of him."
Zayan was released on reduced bond after Adams admitted her story was full of shit and vinegar. He wasn't fully exonerated until two days later when police concluded they had no basis to charge him with anything. That should've taken two hours. Whatever slap on the wrist Adams receives won't make up for Zayan's entirely avoidable loss of liberty and sleepless nights. He reportedly wept when he saw his co-workers for the first time after his release from jail.
"I cannot imagine being in a foreign country, and being falsely accused of something, and having the police come and take me and put me in a jail," his public defender, Michelle Protzman, told reporters.
You might wonder why Adams would do something so heartless and cruel. Our theory is that she's an asshole, which tracks with heartless cruelty. The police however think the true "big bad" is ... social media.
"A lot of time, a lot of this is fueled by social media accounts that are baseless, and everybody commenting on that," Barboursville Police Sgt. Anthony Jividen told reporters on Tuesday.
Great, now we have to find a public defender for social media? Social media didn't exist when white women accused the Scottsboro Boys of rape or when Susan Smith claimed a black man was responsible for the disappearance of her children, whom she'd actually drowned. If anything social media should have minorities terrified of white women: "I saw her reach for her cell phone! I just freaked out."
Sgt. Jividen has worked in the Barboursville Police Department for 30 years and confirmed that no actual kidnappings or child abductions have ever occurred. That's longer than the 24-year-old Adams has been alive. It's practically Mayberry.
Reason's Lenore Skenazy ran with the social media "Twinkie" defense because God forbid we accept that people are racist. Skenazy compared this incident to Jussie Smollett's alleged false report of a hate crime. However, Smollett's likely motive was simple: He wanted fame and fortune. Also, no innocent people spent time in jail for his goofiness. If the mere presence of brown people are causing random white women to freak out, that's a threat to us everywhere. It's especially concerning because Adams is arguably just as irrational as the current president, who sees hordes of dangerous brown people invading the country from every port of entry. Adams is Donald Trump's immigration policy personified.
Notice that some residents of Barboursville found it "suspicious" that Zayan was visiting from Egypt at all. This is probably because they live in West Virginia and can't imagine why anyone would voluntarily spend time there.
"Really fishy that this man from Egypt was at the Huntington Mall in Barboursville WV," one commenter wrote on the police department's Facebook page on Tuesday morning, after his name was released to the public but before Adams recanted her accusations.
Zayan was shopping at the mall's Old Navy because brown people also wear tacky clothing.
"Has to be more to the story. People get trained with your firearm. Get your CCW and always carry!!"
Another woman, deeming the incident to be "so very scary," asked, "Why is he here?"
She was a crazy racist. Let's go with that. "The devil in social media made me do it" is not a compelling excuse.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He recently fled Seattle, where he did theatre work for Book-It Rep and Cafe Nordo.