A late-night tweet featuring a photo of a young woman standing with police in Ferguson went viral late Monday night.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch director of photography Lynden Steele posted the photo just after midnight, which describes the bespectacled 19-year-old as “Lexi”:
— Lynden Steele (@manofsteele) August 11, 2015
Lexi Kozhevsky subsequently did numerous interviews for the Post-Dispatch, The Blaze and several other outlets. Yet why was the Internet so fascinated with her, and why were so many media outlets trying to talk to her?
Let’s start with the memes, of which there are far too many to count. We’ve got Spaceballs:
The Fifth Element:
Lexi you are so brave standing in front of those cops to protect them! pic.twitter.com/rsDE8tABGS
— Aunt Man (@hamsandcastle) August 11, 2015
Superhero movies, a la the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
The inevitable Star Wars reference:
Lexi, 19, stands to protect Emperor Palpatine, “I’d rather get hit by something than he have to Force Lightning it.” pic.twitter.com/oFwiBdzKkF
— patrick (@pattymo) August 11, 2015
And finally, Bob’s Burgers:
Most interviews focused on Kozhevsky’s reasons for standing with the police, and how her viral photo — a young white woman standing with police against mostly African-American protesters and potential rioters in Ferguson — either expands or detracts from the city’s ongoing narrative since Michael Brown‘s death one year ago.
Former Mediaite contributor Luke O’Neil, however, also asked Kozhevsky about her curious Fall Out Boy t-shirt:
A lot of people are calling you racist. How does that feel?
I expected that. I’m not in the least bit racist. I totally agree that racial discrimination is a rampant thing going on in our country, racial profiling. I know if I was pulled over, compared to a black man, I know I’m going to get off free. I’m not saying it’s not a problem, and I think peaceful protesting is good. When it gets violent, the strategy needs to be changed.
So one of the things people are really excited about for some reason is your Fall Out Boy T-shirt. Why did you decide to wear that to the protest?
[Laughs] I don’t really know. I mean that was my outfit for the day, I didn’t plan on going there in my Fall Out Boy T-shirt, it was just my outfit.
You like new Fall Out Boy or old better?
That’s hard, but probably old Fall Out Boy.
Any other pop punk bands you’re into?
I like everything. I would say alternative. I have a few rappers I like, have some EDM, all that jazz.
The two also talked about the events in Ferguson and why Lexi was there. Towards the end, the two realized they were coming from two completely different sides of the issues inherent in the protests, but O’Neil and Kozhevsky did reach a rather interesting compromise in their discussion:
Well, I have to say, I disagree with you completely, but I suppose you have to admire someone standing up for what they believe in. Do you think this is an intractable issue, and that the two sides will never be able to come together?
I’m hoping the two sides will come together. It’s not a one-sided thing. The cops need better, not as rough training, to say the least, and protesters need to be more peaceful. But it needs to happen on both sides. Maybe in the future it will, but at this present day, I don’t think so.
Watch her message about police below:
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