Tuesday, November 21, 2006

New Media... Same Old Story?

So a number of things have come past my desk recently that display the pernicious nature of racism and violence in America. Below you'll find two now, unfortunately, popular videos. If you haven't literally watched them, I encourage you to. They are much more sobering than that coffee you just drank.

The first is the video for the University of California-Los Angeles and features Mostafa Tabatabainejad, a student, being tasered repeatedly for not showing his id in the library.

Since then, students have been mobilizing to bring light to this issue and get some justice. The catch unfortunately is that "thanksgiving" break is approaching and continuing momentum across breaks has always been an issue. Additionally, a subtle dynamic is that the taser weilding officer was a Black man. One of my good friends out there told me that he thinks that has in part affected the cross-lines organizing. We'll see how this unfolds, please keep spreading the word about this.

The second thing that has gotten some attention was the posting of hatred on John Andrews' facebook wall. While the article is not new, I think it's always amazing to read people's comments. I know John, I know before this broke he was talking about it, and I'm reminded by these comments that people are more than willing to turn an ignorant eye, ear, or whatever!

The third thing that should get you ready to go for the day is the video of "Kramer" going off at the Laugh Factory on Friday night. I know that you may have read the comments, but you should really watch the clip.

So something that is really interesting to me is the way that people begin laughing when he begins with his comments about lynching. Ha, ha, ha.. what the F**K is wrong with people? I was also amazed at how slowly people left. Of course the next day Richards performed at the Laugh Factory and now he's barred from performing there.

Taken as collective, I'm just reminded that even with new media, we can see old hate.


RachelsTavern said...

I also noticed an Asian cop in the taser incident, but it seems that the black cop was the leader.

I do have to say that I saw very few African Americans pictured in the protest on the Daily Bruin site, but I wasn't sure if that was a reflection of the demographics of the school or something else.

Dumi said...

I hadn't really thought about the lack of Black presence also being partially about representation. It will be "interesting" to see how this unfolds in the future. I have a feeling that as much attention as it got virtually, very little will change, even on college campuses :(

Anonymous said...

I don't see any evidence the guy was repeatedly tasered for "refusing to show id." I see evidence he was tasered repeatedly for refusing to get up when asked and otherwise resisting arrest. At one point they almost have him up and he thows his body around flopping back onto the ground. As a police officer, I can understand how this would put them at risk.

Overall, this video starts halfway into the event and does not provide the context demonstrating police misconduct. There may have been misconduct, but this video proves nothing.

I don't know what the local law (it's internal to the university, which is undoubtedly a public space, but whose library facilities may be properly restricted to students). I'm not a fan of university "trespass" laws nor of excessive identification requirements, and have written about cases where U-Michigan's own police force, in conjunction with the administration, have misused them and over-interpreted them, but I also require particular evidence to convict police officers (either in court or the court of public opinion) of abuse.