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July 10, 2010

The Suburban/Urban Divide in the Mehserle case

UPDATE TUESDAY: Just posted this on Walnut Creek Patch, but supporters of Johannes Mehserle are planning a rally to show support for the former BART police officer. The rally will take place at the Walnut Creek courthouse, 640 Ygnacio Valley Road, starting at 2 p.m.

Another example of the suburban/urban divide in this case?

The majority of people in Contra Costa County, including Walnut Creek, are Democrats, and they voted for Barack Obama for president and they opposed Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage.

These political realities tell me that, contrary to the image of conservative surburbia, we in Walnut Creek might be left of center on social issues. And, with respect to the case of the BART shooting case, I'm betting that a lot of us have been been willing to listen to and consider the arguments for why former BART police Johannes Mehserle should have been convicted of first-degree murder, not involuntary manslaughter.

Some of us are also sympathetic to the historical and cultural reasons that African-Americans in urban centers, such as Oakland, have become distrustful of white authority figures, notably police officers. Have there been racist, brutal officers on American police forces? Yes. Have people of color been treated unfairly by America's criminal justice system? Absolutely, and it still goes on with incidents of racial profiling and with our process of capital punishment.

All this said, a fair number of people I've talked to on this side of the Oakland hills don't believe that the January 1, 2009 shooting of Oscar Grant was about some larger cause of racism in injustice in America. Our view is that it was a horrible tragic accident. We agree with the Los Angeles' jury's conviction of involuntary manslaughter.

Moreover, we don't think Grant is a martyr of this larger cause. Rather, he was just a guy, out celebrating the New Year with friends, who wound up in the wrong place--the Fruitvale BART station platform--at the wrong time.

Yes, I'm saying all this as a white, female suburbanite whose life experience is much much different than Oscar Grant's or of his supporters in Oakland. I grew up in Walnut Creek, and I live here now. Walnut Creek is a pretty safe town, and I went to good schools and had the opportunity to go to college and go on to get a good career.

So maybe I'm just ignorant, and that's why I don't agree with some of the ideas Oscar Grant's supporters are putting out. That's right, I just don't get it, and maybe I'm a bad person because I don't get it.

I think that there are a lot of us over here in suburbia who don't "get it." (I'm also betting that there are a fair number of achingly PC residents of multi-million Craftsmen homes in the Oakland hills who don't get it either.)

I've continued to listen to statements about the great injustice of this case. It's hard to avoid hearing what them. The first place TV, radio, print and online reporters seem to go to for a statement about this case is Oscar Grant's family and the Justice for Oscar Grant group.

Nothing I've heard so far is changing my mind. I'm very sorry for the pain Oscar Grant's family is suffering at his loss. I'm sorry his supporters have had to put up with lots of crap from the white establishment in their lives.

But I'm also weary of the way that folks in Oakland and their political leaders have successfully built this case into something more than it is Maybe if I lived in Oakland I would understand. I would get it. But I'm just a hick suburban bumpkin.

Whatever, I also know I'm seriously starting to lose sympathy and to not care, especially after the Justice For Oscar Grant group put out a call for a rally that contained rherotic giving a passive greenlight to more destruction. While calling for a peaceful, legal rally, the group also said, among other things, "Massive street protests were the only thing that forced Mehserle's arrest," "People's anger is justified because 'we are the victims of police violence' and no cooling off period needs to take place"; and, "if anything we need more resistance, more action, more mobilization."

Talk about a polarizing statement. This whole case has become intensely polarized.

What we have here is more than a failure to communicate. We have what my therapist calls an irresolvable conflict. In some cases, my therapist says, people, notably married couples, can learn to live with and accept each other's differences.

I'm not sure it's possible to resolve the differences, the vast divide in opinion, that separates those of us who believe Grant died in an accident, and those who think he was murdered. I'm also not sure it's possible to bridge the divide that exists between us suburbanites, who probably were most worried about our BART and freeway travel plans Thursday, and the Oscar Grant supporters who cling to their anger, self-righteousness, and sense of victimization.


84 comments:

Anonymous said...

You're probably not a bad person but you have had, and continue to lead, a very insulated life.

AKA Soccer Mom said...

Anon 8:52 a.m.

So, if I live in the suburbs and had the chance to go to good schools, and I disagree with the Oscar Grant group, I've led an insulated life.

First, you don't know anything about whether my life has been insulated or not.

Second, I love how people who want to tout their PC cred try to assert their superiority by calling someone else insulated.

Anonymous said...

"Massive street protests were the only thing that forced Mehserle's arrest,"

do you disagree with this?
compare oscar grant's case to that of say, gary king jr, who was shot in the back while running away from oakland cop.
one incident was caught on video and had rioting afterwards, the other didnt. look at what happened.

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom,
Very eloquent way to say what every one (insulated or not) believes. The only racists in this case are the ones screaming "foul" and looking for someone else to blame. The Oscar Grant family wants attention, and more importantly money. Did they complain about the justice system when their beloved Oscar got a minimal sentence for carrying a gun? I doubt they blamed the judge of racism when Oscar did NOT get sentenced to 2, 3 or 4 years.

It is much easier to blame others, then to go out and find a job, and then have to buy an alarm clock and use it. There are so many studies out there that show zero justification for the black ghettos. The only problem is the authors gets labeled racist because that is such a taboo topic. I'm sorry that 200 years ago, your ancestors were slaves. But go find a job and work hard like the rest of us! I'm also sorry that all the Japanese Americans were stripped of all their possessions less than 60 years ago. So, why are there no large Japanese ghettos? Hmmmm?? Perhaps because the majority of that race work hard, believe in family values and don't blame everyone else for their lack of ethics.

Unfortunately, racism does exist, but ask any middle class black you see in WC how their experience with racism caused their downfall. My bet is they will agree that the Oscar Grant's of the world make excuses versus work (like they did).
Every race has lowlifes. The only difference is the lazy white meth user cant get a bunch of attention blaming others for the atrocities he's faced.

As an insulated white male, I'm beyond tired of hearing how my people are racists. What businesses were destroyed in the 1992 LA riots? Mostly Korean businesses because the blacks in those neighborhoods hate "those people." Go interview groups of low income Hispanics in WC. See what their opinion of the black race is. When they say or believe something racist, why isn't Burris jumping up and down over that. Oh yeah, no value in one minority judging another minority group negatively. Just the evil white race.

Thanks for getting me all fired up.

Cheryl said...

I kind of have mixed feelings about this.

Most of my sympathy for Oscar Grant flew out the window when I heard he was resisting arrest. Resisting arrest is a dumb thing to do, even you're innocent.

I'm a member of a minority. I grew up knowing what poverty is. Neither is an excuse to play the victim card. Attitude and motivation are more likely to move you out of poverty rather than apathy and waiting for a handout.

Anonymous said...

This is a ridiculous incendiary "article". Less an "article" and more an opinion of an "insulated" Mom.

Where is the outrage when that 50+ year old Asian man was assaulted and beaten to death (unprovoked) by those Black African-American thugs? Where is the justice there? By the way, living east of the Caldacott Tunnel does not make one "insulated" or insensitive.

Anonymous said...

I'm in full agreement with you SM. Where is the outrage over the 100+ black man killed in Oakland EVERY year? Where is the outrage over the lack of parenting? The lack of responsibility? This was a tragic accident that many in Oakland are using as an excuse to say "see, the system is out to get you". As many of us drive or ride BART an hour or more each day to work we hear people in the inner-city complain there are no jobs in the inner-city (unemployment among black men is in the 25-29% range). Well OK, then get on one of the many buses or BART trains within walking distance from everywhere in Oakland and Richmond and TRAVEL to work like the rest of us. It doesn't matter where you live or what type of insulated life you live-when you see able bodied people standing on the corner drinking a beer all day you kind of wonder what are YOU doing to better yourself? In defense of many people in the inner-city all they hear from politicians, rappers, teachers, preachers and friends is how it is someone elses fault their life is the way it is (insert you boogieman of choice: whitie, the police, the system, Republicans). SM your opinion is educated and logical. The arguments coming from the other side don't make sense to ANY reasonable person no matter where you come from.

Anonymous said...

SM,

Tell the liberal PC America hating son of a bitch AKA anon 8:52 to SUCK IT.

We are taking this country back and will hopefully throw those like anon 8:52 in jail.

Anonymous said...

So, 5:04, your definition of taking YOUR country back is what exactly? Putting black and brown people in jail?

Do the rest of you that are expressing your "tiredness" with discussions of the persistence racism in our society agree? Do you at least have the guts that 5:04 does to say it out loud?

Anonymous said...

3:48 PM

Oh please..., spare us the sermon..., I'm getting sick...

Anonymous said...

anon 5:47,

I think 5:04 was referring to the typical clueless, self loathing, America hating, white liberal female who thinks she knows what's best for everyone else.

I suspect you fit this description to a "T". If so, I do think that people like you should be thrown in jail.

Anonymous said...

Two things:
1) grant had just robbed a 74 yr old man in SF before he got on the train. That's why police were called. Worth his life? No. Tragic.

2) Where were the riots when 4 officers were killed last March, 2009???

Anonymous said...

Hear, hear Anon 10:41. Well said. I agree completely.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:47 said:

"So, 5:04, your definition of taking YOUR country back is what exactly? Putting black and brown people in jail? "

Could you please get over the "woe is me" attitude about so-called "black and brown" people?

I think that those of us who are hard-working, regardless of our "color", want to take our country back from the free-loaders who think they are owed something by the rest of us.

Now why don't you put that in your pipe and smoke it?

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you are "there"..., and I'm happy that I am "here"...

Get a job for goodness sake...

Anonymous said...

July 11, 2010 8:26 PM

Have a source for you Item #1?
I would like to know more about that.

Anonymous said...

Reply from 8:52 AM
CM,
Glad to see my use of the word “insulated” hit home with you and some of your posters. I could have used brain-dead or ignorant but insulated better describes the cause of your myopic view. If you could see outside the box that you have put yourself in you would see a world much more complex than just saying that Grant was a guy who was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is good German talk, from a white-privilege perspective, for there is nothing wrong with the system.
As for the poster at 5:04 PM I would ask “who are you going to take the country back from”? Because it isn’t Oscar Grant who has taken your country. As the late, great George Carlin said, “It’s the corporations that own you, and the country”. And, “They call it the American Dream because you have to be asleep to believe it”.
Hoa binh

MickeyMartin said...

My take is this....

Did Mesherle wake up and say i am going to shoot a black man today? Probably not. But his shooting of Oscar Grant represents a much bigger picture of how young black men are treated by law enforcement and the fact is that these types of accidents do happen in that community at a MUCH higher rate because of the more harsh and intolerant stance taken by some officers, who often, and sometimes rightly so, feel more threatened by this demographic.

For instance...Say your husband, or even your kid when he is a couple of years older, got into a similar "skirmish" on BART. Do you think he would have been treated in the same manner? Addressed in the same tone? Aggravated in the same manner? Laid on his face and cuffed in the same manner? Been perceived as such a threat that it would justify being tased while he was laying on his stomach? Accidently shot in haste because he was such a threat?

I doubt it. And realistically you should doubt it too. I have grown up a white kid my whole life and have many friends of color who have not been awarded the same amount of leeway by law enforcement as I have in my moments of a checkered past.

So it wouldn't be me if I did not bring up something about cannabis, but i think this is a good marker. The NAACP just endorsed Prop 19, the cannabis legalization initiative on the November ballot. Why? The NAACP is normally a very anti-drug and the black community overall tends to vote against cannabis efforts. The NAACP has realized the HUGE disparity in arrests for cannabis amongst black youths, who use cannabis at a much lower rate but are arrested at double, triple, or even quadruple rates as their white peers. This is a fact.

Data from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice shows half of California's marijuana possession arrestees in 1990 were nonwhite and 28 percent were under age 20, but in 2009, 62 percent were nonwhite and 42 percent were under age 20. Marijuana possession arrests of youth of color rose from about 3,100 in 1990 to about 16,300 in 2008 — a surge about three times greater than that group's population growth, she said.

So while this particular situation may not have been an intentionally racist motivation, the facts are that the very reason Oscar grant was face down on the ground and shot in the back may have underlying racist meaning because of the disparity in the ways young black men are perceived and treated by law enforcement in our society.

MickeyMartin said...
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MickeyMartin said...
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MickeyMartin said...
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MickeyMartin said...

Yeah. A lot of the "pull yourself up by the bootstraps and get a job" talk is irrelevant to this discussion. The "we are taking our country back" hyperbole is weak. There is no evidence Grant was involved in any robbery in SF before being arrested and his "resisting" is questionable at best. Here is some witness accounts:

A cell-phone video broadcast on local television station KTVU on January 23 showed what appeared to be Pirone rushing towards Grant and punching him in the face several times two minutes before he was shot. Grant's family alleges in their civil claim against BART that an officer threw Grant against a wall and kneed him in the face. Pirone's attorney stated that Grant provoked Pirone by trying to knee the officer in the groin and by hitting Officer Marysol Dominici's arm when she attempted to handcuff one of Grant's friends. Witnesses testified that Pirone was the aggressor during the incident. Burris also disputes Pirone's account and claims that Grant and his friends were "peaceful" when the train stopped. Grant then raised his hands while seated against the platform wall. Additional footage from a cell phone was presented in court showing Pirone standing over the prone Grant before the shooting and yelling: "Bitch-ass nigger." Pirone and his attorney say he was parroting an epithet that Grant had said to him.

June 14: Carlos Reyes recalled Mehserle saying "Oh shit, I shot him" after shooting Grant. Grant's former girlfriend Sophina Mesa testified she called Grant while Grant and his friends were being detained and Grant said: "They're beating us up for no reason, I'll call you back." Deputy District Attorney David Stein believes that Grant's phone call proves that Grant did not want to resist arrest that night. Cell phone records showed two calls between Grant and Mesa: at 2:05 a.m. and 2:09 a.m., the latter just two minutes before Grant was shot.

June 15: Three eye witnesses of the account testified that neither Grant nor the other suspects actively resisted the officers at any time. Each expressed disgust at the behavior from officers preceding the shooting that night.

June 22: Jackie Bryson, one of Grant's friends "who was kneeling and handcuffed just inches from Grant when Johannes Mehserle shot him", testified for the prosecution. Bryson said that Grant's hands were under Grant's body and Grant said: "I quit. I surrender." Mehserle then supposedly said "Fuck this" before shooting Grant. Defense attorney Rains repeatedly accused Bryson of lying to convict Mehserle and pointed out a video showing Bryson running towards the train while handcuffed. Responding to Mehserle's question "You were going to leave your friend on that platform, weren't you?" Bryson said "I would never leave my friend." Rains accused Bryson of being inconsistent from statements in Bryson's lawsuit against BART, and Bryson admitted that he lied to investigators, distrusted the police, and was frequently stressed after Grant died.

June 25: Mehserle took the witness stand. Sobbing, he said that he thought that he was not holding his gun until he heard a pop and looked at his right hand. Responding to a question from Rains, he recalled Grant saying "you shot me" right after the shot went off. Judge Perry called a recess after a member of the public heckled Mehserle to "save those fucking tears"; the heckler was later arrested for contempt of court.


Make your own decision, but blindly saying that there is no racial bias in the law enforcement community is simply not reflective of the statistics.

MickeyMartin said...
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Thud said...

Young black men commit crimes more than any other group both here and in my English home town. For the police to not take account of this would be foolish.

MickeyMartin said...

Wow Thud,

That is truly insightful stuff. Do you have facts to back that up? Now think of a bigger social picture and wonder to yourself, if this is the case, why is that? Do you believe black people are genetically wired to be criminals? What are you saying here? Do tell. Why are black people criminals, as you assert?

MickeyMartin said...

Good article by the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/20/national/20blackmen.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1

Anonymous said...

Racism disguised as patriotism has been prevalent throughout history. And it is alive and well on this blog. Thank goodness for you all that your anonymity enables you to demonstrate your small mindedness with impunity.

Hooray the blogosphere!

Anonymous said...

I will say this about the protest/riot on Thursday.
1- why were there no comprable outrage in that community when Christopher Rodriguez was shot at his piano lesson, or when 4 OPD officers gunned down; 2 execution style, or the for the girls he attacked in the hours before, or in April when mourners were shot at funeral service. Maybe it just wasn't reported on
2. I looked at the slideshow at cbs5.com and was surprised that pictures protrayed the protesters holding signs appeared to be largely white college age kids, then 4 photos later the "protesters" raiding Foot Locker and other stores all appeared to be kids who John Burris claims are outraged by the verdict.

Anonymous said...

hats off to soccor mom for starting this thread. i live in the city so i might be able to back up more of a non-insulated life to this commentary.

horrible tragedy that it was, nobody forced oscar to be a hoodrat, get drunk, start fights on bart on nye.

we are all victims of circumstance at one point or another.

there's no way this cop intentionally killed him.

huge and horrible accident!

time to move on!

Anonymous said...

MickeyMartin, spare us the rhetorical quasi-lecture on race relations. Getting a job IS NOT IRRELEVANT TO THE DISCUSSION!! By the way, deleting incendiary posts have a tendency to dilute the true "flavor" of the discussion.

MC said...
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MC said...

"horrible tragedy that it was, nobody forced oscar to be a hoodrat, get drunk, start fights on bart on nye."

hoodrat? really? hoodrat?!? wow...

what you are implying is pretty amazing. clearly, one should not be surprised, shocked or outraged when they are shot in the back because they were drunk and getting into a scuffle (wasnt even a fight) on new years. have you ever been out on new years? soooo many people get drunk and into scuffles or fights.


"time to move on!"

yes, racism problem over. move along, move along.

MickeyMartin said...

Was Oscar Grant at work when he was shot? Then what does being employed have to do with it? Who was at work was Mehserle. He was doing a very important job of protecting our transit system, of which he failed miserably. Trying to pretend that law enforcement relations to the black community is irrelevant is short sighted and lacks integrity. Was Oscar Grant a perfect citizen? No. Did he deserve to be shot while laying face down on a BART platform? No. Did Mehserle shoot him BECAUSE he was black? No. Did Mehserle react in an elevated manner because Oscar grant was a young black male vs. a young white male? Maybe. The numbers are there. Police arrest and incarcerate minorities at a higher rate than whites. That cannot be denied. Why? you tell me...

Anonymous said...

The problem is that so many young black men do not have fathers in their lives to guide them and put them in line. It is not the WHITE establishment that has done them wrong. This WAR they have against law enforcement is bullshit.

Oscar Grant was sadly killed; but it was not the intention of the officer. I am outraged at the assumption that it was, and the hateful vengeance of the black community toward him. It sickens me, and only leads me to believe that the racial injustice is black on white... not the other way around.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. All of the oppressed white people. Poor them. LOL.

oranckay said...

FWIW, I'm a white Oaklander, and while I've lived much of my life outside the US (as even more of a minority) Oakland is my only American hometown. I love it deeply and cry for it often.

What I think is this:

A basic rule of thumb is that people who have had to deal with a lot of unfairness tend to overreact and over-interpret situations, connecting dots where there aren't any.

One example I can think of is how so many white suburban women went completely ballistic when anyone said something about Hillary Clinton during the primary. Sometimes they were right to see a sexist affront and other times they were not. But the reason they saw sexism in so many references to her was, well, for a reason, even if they weren't right in all situations.

Anyone who feels oppressed or offended always asks, "Would X have done/said that to Y if Y wasn't Z?" When I'm in a park and my children are off playing and the soccer moms get nervous when I speak to their children, yes, I'm forced to wonder if they'd react that way if I was a woman. I'm sure I'm right some of the time. In the meantime as a while male I know well enough what it's like to have someone (esp white women, and I'm all the more suspect for marrying an Asian!) misinterpret something I've said or my actions. Such is life.

Every black person in urban cities, especially men, have had, or have close relatives who have had, treatment from the police that leave them wondering.... is this because I'm black? EVEN BLACK COPS have this nagging worry that they'll be off duty in their own neighborhoods, see something and pull their badge and gun only to be shot at by a uniformed cop for being a black person with a gun. Something like that recently happened in NYC - whether or not it was in fact because he was black will never be known, but when black cops are worried about this there's got to be something to it.

At the very least it is psychologically oppressive if you have to go through life even occasionally wondering about such things, all while living in your own country. Most of my black friends figured out that life isn't fair before I did, and it's not as if it's fair for me, either, but it might've taken me yet longer had I lived in Walnut Creek. I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

oranckay said...

FWIW, I'm a white Oaklander, and while I've lived much of my life outside the US (as even more of a minority) Oakland is my only American hometown. I love it deeply and cry for it often.

What I think is this:

A basic rule of thumb is that people who have had to deal with a lot of unfairness tend to overreact and over-interpret situations, connecting dots where there aren't any.

One example I can think of is how so many white suburban women went completely ballistic when anyone said something about Hillary Clinton during the primary. Sometimes they were right to see a sexist affront and other times they were not. But the reason they saw sexism in so many references to her was, well, for a reason, even if they weren't right in all situations.

Anyone who feels oppressed or offended always asks, "Would X have done/said that to Y if Y wasn't Z?" When I'm in a park and my children are off playing and the soccer moms get nervous when I speak to their children, yes, I'm forced to wonder if they'd react that way if I was a woman. I'm sure I'm right some of the time. In the meantime as a while male I know well enough what it's like to have someone (esp white women, and I'm all the more suspect for marrying an Asian!) misinterpret something I've said or my actions. Such is life.

Every black person in urban cities, especially men, have had, or have close relatives who have had, treatment from the police that leave them wondering.... is this because I'm black? EVEN BLACK COPS have this nagging worry that they'll be off duty in their own neighborhoods, see something and pull their badge and gun only to be shot at by a uniformed cop for being a black person with a gun. Something like that recently happened in NYC - whether or not it was in fact because he was black will never be known, but when black cops are worried about this there's got to be something to it.

At the very least it is psychologically oppressive if you have to go through life even occasionally wondering about such things, all while living in your own country. Most of my black friends figured out that life isn't fair before I did, and it's not as if it's fair for me, either, but it might've taken me yet longer had I lived in Walnut Creek. I'm not saying that's a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

So far in my life I've met more Black people with racist attitudes than whites, and Blacks are what 12-14% of the population? But hey, Blacks cannot be racist because they were victims of slavery 150 yrs ago and discrimination 30 yrs ago. So that gives them a right to riot when their racist attitudes parlay an accidental shooting into a murder, right? I guess it does, according to the media and white guilt liberals like SM and others. Sad, so sad that they can't see the truth of their own racism and how charlatans like John Burris, Barbara Lee, Ron Dellums, Jesse Jackson, and dare I say Barack Obama do more harm to the Black people than good.

Hell when one of their own Bill Cosby stands up and says to take responsibility for yourselves, be fathers and mothers to your children, raise them with values, he gets run out of town on a rail. Let them wallow in their own contemptuous self victimization. THAT is why the Black community as a whole will always be the downtrodden. They have too many generations of suckling on the tit of the government.

As for the Mesherle case, the jury got it right. Involuntary manslaughter. No intent to kill, just a tragic mistake by a poorly trained rookie cop who was caught up in a situation exacerbated by one of his comrades, and further exacerbated by Mr. Grant's own refusal to comply, and further inflamed by the media.

Anonymous said...

I feel so sad for you with that type of outlook on life. I am sorry for whatever happened to you to make you such a bigot. You forgot to mention the n-word in your diatribe a couple of times. That would have really tied the room together. You are right. Black people are to blame for being more likely to be in poverty, born into communities filled with violence, and for the criminal elements that seem to plague their lives. This is like the tallest midget competition really. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Listen and weep...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIrKtoHYPsE

Anonymous said...

Fox News. The epitome of good reporting. Fox and Friend. As Jon Stewart says, "You guys know this shit is being taped right?"

So a crazy angry black guy was taped saying some dumb things. I saw a guy on the corner the other day yelling "The world was going to end tomorrow!" Doesn't make it newsworthy, nor is it representative of the population of old white males, which he was.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter if it's MSNBC, FOX, CNN, ABC, CBS, or NBC. The fact is that you are the classic apologist..., pathetic...

Anonymous said...

Realizing the facts of racial and social disparity is not being an apologist. Even if it were, I would rather be an apologist than a bigot any day. You, friend, have a sad out look on life and for that I do apologize.

Anonymous said...

"There are so many studies out there that show zero justification for the black ghettos."

Reference 1 study please.

Anonymous said...

A good piece on this subject:
http://www.americanprogress.org/atf/cf/%7BE9245FE4-9A2B-43C7-A521-5D6FF2E06E03%7D/polikoff.pdf

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:54

I suggest you run out at get yourself a mirror. Since you meet so few white people with racist attitudes, at least you can see one each and every day when you look into a mirror

Anonymous said...

1:20 AM

The only facts you "realize" are the ones that push your own leftist social agenda. How typical of bleeding heart liberals like yourself. You are the classical apologist and represent the worst in our society. Be as smug and self-righteous as you want, it obviously makes you feel important and relevant. Pathetic...

Anonymous said...

Bleeding Heart Liberal/Socialist Agenda? Thanks, man. That is an honor. Sound like you are talking about Jesus Christ, the worlds foremost socialist bleeding heart liberal. Your macho BS and attempt to demean others because you are a racist loser is comical. Say what you mean. What you are saying is, "These lazy, welfare hogging, no responsibility having, social BLACK degenerates are ruining your precious white pride society." Now doesn't it feel better to just get it out. Loser.

Anonymous said...

Oh that's good. Nothing like pulling out the old religious card. Your pathetic comments reveal you to be a smug self-righteous moron. It must feel good to be spewing out these quasi-sermons helping the oppressed while sipping on your morning latte. Fraud...

Anonymous said...

9:39 AM

Oh me oh my..., what can I do to save the black man from himself? Oh I know, we can empower hate groups like the Black Panthers to further the cause of black pride and black culture, a culture that has so many children out of wedlock. You think they want the white man's "help" on any level? Why don't they start with some personal responsibility. Oh oh..., we just don't "understand"...

Anonymous said...

RE:
"There are so many studies out there that show zero justification for the black ghettos."

Reference 1 study please.

ANSWER:
Microeconomics 101, UCSB, Fall Quarter 1984. As soon as I pull out my text and notes, I'll be glad too. (Unless of course so many other oppressive things by evil whitey have occurred in the past 26 years to change that!)

Anonymous said...

aSoccer Mom,
This discussion is deeply disturbing, and somehow beneath you and your talents. Did you post this column on your new gig; Walnut Creek patch? I wonder if the comments there would be less of a spiteful song and dance.

Anonymous said...

Alas, 7:20, even our beloved SM is not above "stirring the pot" in order to draw attention, and viewers, and revenue to her site. And nothing does that more than by giving her largely insular, angry and often racist following some red meat to tear apart...

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with you Soccermom on this one.

Anonymous said...

Oscar Grant was a thug from a family of thugs. His own bad behavior resulted in his death.

I don't believe for a minute it was premeditated murder. The BART cop simply made a terrible mistake and the charge he was ultimately convicted of was perfectly appropriate.

Anonymous said...

Thug=Black?

Anonymous said...

No, I think he meant Black=Thug. Maybe we should all be more culturally sensitive and take a course in Ebonics..., to talk the talk don't you know?

Anonymous said...

I hope everyone is going to the rally on Monday. WC Courthouse.

FREE MESHERLE!!!!!!!!

FREE MESHERLE!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I wonder how many suburban black folks will be at this rally for Mr. Mesherle? I plan to be there to show support, but I doubt that I or the other supporters will be looting WC stores or burning cars afterwards. THAT'S the difference dear friends...

Anonymous said...

That's the difference? What a stupid statement. The difference is you are over privileged white folks supporting the shooter, not an angry community demanding justice for the victim. Oakland PD verified that over 80% of the troublemakers were not from the area and just came to cause trouble. True supporters were the one's denouncing the looters and demanding peaceful protest. You're bigotry is showing.

Anonymous said...

I'm hardly a bigot, but you are certainly ignorant. Oh oh..., I'm a bigot..., I forgot...

Anonymous said...

"The father, Oscar Grant Jr., 44, is currently serving a life sentence at California State Prison-Solano in Vacaville for the first-degree
murder of Anthony Epps in Oakland in 1985, according to the Alameda County district attorney's office."

http://www.sfexaminer.com/local/Oscar-Grants-father-files-lawsuit-against-BART-56669212.html

I believe his uncle was been convicted of theft on several occasions as well.

Thugs, yes.

Anonymous said...

FREE MESHERLE!!!!

FREE MESHERLE!!!!!

Bob Brittain said...

This week was the 50th Anniversary of the publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

It is a very good read & a page-turner. The book does not take a direct political position but does present the complicated issues involved with racial differences and the consequent affect upon the relations between people of different ethnicity and with varioud political views.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is available in your local library. Or you could check out the movie with Gregory Peck as the lawyer Atticus defending the innocent accused perpetrator of a crime.

This story all happened very close to my mother's chidhood home and the true Atticus character tried cases with my great-grandfather so I know the story is legitimate. My mom told me about it in ~1960 when the book came out.

Bob Brittain said...

This week was the 50th Anniversary of the publication of "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

It is a very good read & a page-turner. The book does not take a direct political position but does present the complicated issues involved with racial differences and the consequent affect upon the relations between people of different ethnicity and with varioud political views.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" is available in your local library. Or you could check out the movie with Gregory Peck as the lawyer Atticus defending the innocent accused perpetrator of a crime.

This story all happened very close to my mother's chidhood home and the true Atticus character tried cases with my great-grandfather so I know the story is legitimate. My mom told me about it in ~1960 when the book came out.

Anonymous said...

Wow. Has this blog become Teabagger Central? Take my country back, America-hating liberal females?

Does anyone speak Teabonics?

Anonymous said...

I agree with Mickey Martin and would like to add that minority (particularly Black) communities are disproportionately targeted by police in a way that White, affluent communities are not. The 'War on Drugs' has been particularly devastating to minority communities. The feds appropriate funds based on the number of arrests, so the cops pick up the young people at the bottom of the food chain in Richmond, San Pablo, and Oakland. They don't go after the people at the top who are living in Lamorinda. Our police forces graduate hundreds, thousands of young male felons. You take away the earning capability of enough people and crime increases.

I hope we're all happy with the fruits of our efforts.

Anonymous said...

Teabagger:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=teabag

You like that term don't you?

Anonymous said...

anon 9:04,

you must be one of those america hating, douchebag liberals. Don't worry in November you won't matter anymore.

Anonymous said...

Yes, anyone who opposes Teabaggers hates America.

9:26

From the urban dictionary:

A whining fool shouting loudly for liberty but not willing to pay the bill. After most American workers saw more money in their paycheck due to the lower tax rate, the teabaggers at Fox News railed against high taxes, but did not discuss how much Jesus hated hypocrisy.

So. yes -- I guess I like it.

You should read what Mark Williams, your Head Teabagger, just said publicly about the NAACP.

If the sheet fits.....

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness..., you are so clever..., me oh my...., what shall I do?

Sticks and stones will break my bones, but thugs need to be put in jail. Fool.

Hercules Resident, White Soccer Mom of White Children said...

You people are DISGUSTING. I live in Contra Costa County. I am not black. I AGREE with the verdict and yes, I think it should have been greater.

It's sad that you have such sheltered and racist views. Oh and guess what just because you don't call a black person the n-word doesn't mean you're not racist.

You don't need to live in Oakland to "get it" you just have to be a person with a brain in your head. It was a criminal negligence, pretty simple. Just because you killed somebody on accident doesn't mean you get off. He's actually facing a lighter sentence than people who commit vehicular manslaughter. You people are unbelievable and by "you people" I mean Walnut Creek folks in support of this.

Sad day when people feel like this. But I guess since you voted for Barack Obama you think it's ok to have these views.

Sad. Sad. Sad.

Barbara Ruth Saunders said...

What I don't get: OK, take it at face value that this was an accident. Why a "rally in support" of a cop who made a terrible error that ended up killing someone? That explanation doesn't pass the smell test.

jubilee.shine said...

maybe you aren't a bad person, just bad at using your brain.

how did a public train station become "the wrong place"? didn't the city encourage folks on the holiday to use mass transit and avoid driving during festivities?

how many people do you think rode that train that night? or any night? are they all "in the wrong place"?

why should it surprise that people relate to this?

you are right the issue is polarizing. on one side you have folks who oppose the police killing unarmed civilians. on the opposing side are those who defend it, some more or less honestly than others.

Anonymous said...

http://www.facebook.com/search/?init=quick&q=Johannes%20Mehserle&ref=ts#!/group.php?gid=132633730102082&v=wall&ref=search

Anonymous said...

Soccer Mom:

Mehserle managed to successfully brandish his TASER REPEATEDLY at Oscar before finally shooting Oscar dead.

Taser was on the OPPOSITE side of Mehserle's body and weighed considerably less than gun. To draw the gun, Mehserle had to disengage a SAFETY mechanism.

I could list any number of other significant facts; but, instead, I will I will ask you a simple question: how likely do you think it that Oscar would have been killed if he and his friends were Caucasion?

Anonymous said...

If Oscar and his friends were Caucasion, they probably wouldn't been acting like gang-bangers/punks/thugs. Don't bother arguing this point. Some of you are working so hard to make Oscar appear like some kind of innocent angel. It's unbelievable...

Maybe his old man could have helped him out by raising him better. Oh oh, he's in jail, my bad.

Anonymous said...

Barbara Ruth,

You are the biggest douchebag I've ever seen.

Anonymous said...

Free Mesherle!!!!

Free MESHERLE!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Mehserle was after blood on January 1, 2009. Unable to live with the consequences of his actions, perhaps he has convinced himself certain that it was all a "mistake."

Anonymous said...

What an absolutely pathetic rationalization. Maybe the anti-Semitic and racist Malik Zulu Shabaz and his thug entourage is involved? Perhaps there flying saucers and alien abduction involved as well influencing the events? Statistics show that black people kill black people with more regularity than any other ethnic group. The fact of the matter and in the final analysis, Mr. Mehserle will have to live with this tragedy for the rest of his life. Let's move on please.

Michael said...

I taught at a small alternative high school, the Rurban School (as in rural/urban) in the early 70s, and there seemed to be plenty of white suburban kids who were pretty alienated from and messed over by the system. WC, and the Bay Area, have changed plenty since then, due in no small part to BART and its colonizing, imperial approach to land and communities. Black Oakland is something that BART traverses and cuts up and tries to avoid, and Black Oaklanders and suburbanites (Oscar Grant III was, I believe, from Hayward, not Oakland). I lived in Hayward before I taught in Walnut Creek, and, as a working class suburb, it too had many alienated and disaffected white youth. Police killings are the tip of the iceberg of systematic (and institutionally racist) police stops, frisks, arrests, beatings, that follow inevitably from the use of police as occupying armies and internal border guards to enforce gentrification. If you think suburban dwellings, good schools or white skin will shield you from this forever, you are mistaken. All around the L.A. basin (I live in Los Angeles now) there are formerly white flight suburbs that, having 'matured' became targets of real estate churning and blockbusting (in the tried and true technique of having Black and Mexicano/indigenous families begin to trickle in thereby unleashing the floodgates of still further white flight and/or resentment). In L.A., and I suspect the Bay Area will not be immune to this, that whole process was superseded by the mortgage/foreclosure crisis, such that whole suburbs are being decimated as ARMs fall due. The police function as enforcers for the banks and the social system that supports the rule of finance capital.

Anonymous said...

I see that comments are edited or deleted on this site. There goes the neighborhood.

tinyjunco said...

sadly, this was a pretty predictable article. i'm white, grew up in castro valley and now live in pleasant hill. i lived several years in oakland. as mickey martin stated, these 'accidents' tend to happen a lot more to black male youth than to toehr groups with the same rate of crime committed. white skin gives privledge, and blacks do get treated differently in this society (and it ain't better).

the police have an extraordinarily difficult job. i suspect we will never know the truth of this case, was it pure accident or WHAT happened. but the police behavior afterwards doesn't help - trying to confiscate all of the cell phones, for example, and mr. meserle getting a 'cooling off' period to talk to his lawyer and get his story straight before he has to make an official statement. these type of behaviors (and countless others i witnessed in other instances living in oakland)really don't help the community trust the police. there has to be understanding and effort on both sides. Read 'Cruel and Usual Punishment' by Jessica Mitford and then decide if you'd rather be a criminal or a police officer in a shooting match.

one approach to take when realizing one is ignorant about someone else's situation is to listen to what they have to say.