Big shout out to film maker Mooncricket who captured not only the rally that took place for killer cop Johannes Mehserle in Walnut Creek but also caught the ignorance and huge disconnect that many have when it comes to dealing with issues of race and police brutality..
In the clip below you hear the confrontations but more importantly you hear how deeply embedded racial perceptions are. pay close attention to the woman who wants to lecture one brother about genocide in Rwanda and then tells him about OJ Simpson.. It was a constant theme repeated over and over again which suggested that revenge from the OJ trial was sitting on everyone’s mind.
In this video listen to the other woman who attempts to tell us why people get pulled over and profiled and finds it hard to believe the police are doing anything wrong…This same woman is later caught on film yelling that mexicans should go back to Mexico.
This is an intense confrontation and highlights what’s far too often typical when dealing with issues of police brutality which is a variation of blaming the victim. ‘How come you aren’t here protesting when ‘Blacks are killing Blacks‘ is usually the retort one hears from both whites and blacks when police brutality issues come up. It’s a misplaced argument on a number of levels. First, many organizers are involved in programs, vigils, marches, churches etc about violence in their communities. For example, today Saturday June 24th there was a big Silence the Violence Rally in San Francisco that deals with urban crime. There are dozens of organization in Oakland that were started and still around to help foster conflict resolution and provide alternatives. They range from Youth Uprising to Love Life Foundation, Nation of Islam, Omega Boys Club to Urban Peace Movement etc..Such outlets under different names exist in every city around the country.
The second question that usually pops up is ‘Well if you have so many organizations why is there still crime in the hood?’ The question is a disingenuous one. My experience shows that most who ask those questions have not been involved in many of the community efforts to help push back on crime, yet they’re expecting miracles. The fall back answer that many like to give is that they push back on crime by supporting the police. But even the police are looking for both volunteers and funds for their own programs like PAL and DARE… Those same people asking all these hard questions aren’t involved in those outlets.
Lastly one can look at the huge array of tough 3 strike type laws, harsher sentencing guidelines, zero tolerance directives, higher budgets, new training and weaponry given to the police over the past 15-20 years and yet crime still persists. Should we not change some things about their approach?
With that being said, protesting Black on Black crime is not a criteria for addressing police misconduct. One has nothing to do with the other. The thug on the corner committing crimes is not a public servant. The police are. The thug on the block has not been granted a badge, a license to carry a gun, received months of training and given the trust and duty to protect and serve the citizens of various communities. The police have been given that which means they are directly accountable to the community. The thug has not made that contract with the community and so its bit unreasonable to expect folks to openly confront a criminal the way they would the police to seek redress.
One could easily ask that question to citizens in Walnut Creek or neighboring Concord if they are outside with signs protesting in front of meth houses which exist out there? Are they in front of the homes of people who commit domestic violence or any other number of crimes? …Most aren’t yet they wish to ask all these questions. There’s an old saying don’t ask of others what you aren’t doing yourself?
In the scenes below you see some more intense arguments and some of the blatant racism that folks in the crowd are will to shout out at those who support Oscar Grant.
Below we see the Peaceful ending to rally in Walnut Creek ..As marchers leave and head toward the BART station they come top find the gates have been shut closed on the Grant protesters.