Yesterday I sent out some links that showed the make up of the crowd and what was happening as things unfolded in the aftermath of the Oscar Grant verdict . Sadly my camera is broken so I couldn’t flip things around so while I pulled my footage I sent links to other sites . What prompted me sending out the links was reading some comments about how ‘WE’ meaning Black folks ‘tear up our hood’…
I think the people who said it were well-intentioned, but sadly they parroting an age-old stereotype … First the ‘hoods’ where we live in Oakland..are all in tact. No buildings were burnt down, windows broken or anything like that.. West, East, The Dubs, Northpole, 800s, 900s, Fruitvale etc.. are all in tact.. If we wanna uplift the stereotype.. then lemme make it plain..the check cashing spots, Churches Chicken and all the liquor stores are alive and well in the hood. It was important to note that so people would stop assuming the entire hood was acting up
The second point was noting the diversity of people. The day of the verdict there was no majority of anyone group of people hanging downtown expressing outrage. It was multi-generational, multi-ethnic.. It was everyone. It was important to note this because while Grant being a Black man shot by a white officer was an all too familiar narrative, the response and outrage from day one came from all sectors.
In Oakland our Latino brothers and sisters experience police terrorism both from OPD and increased ICE Raids.. In the Dubs and Chinatown, many Southeast Asians are dealing both with ICE and police oppression. Many young folks including whites dealing with the massive student strikes have gotten to known the police state and how brutal it can be.. Still many people out here have parents or they themselves have come from lands where oppression was so dire that having a politic around police terrorism was unavoidable. Hence when Oscar Grant was shot and killed in front of a diverse crowd on the BART train that night, many immediately saw themselves as a possible victim and not Grant being another thuggish Black man which is how the mainstream media attempted to spin it early on…
Shout out to Oakland film maker Oriana Bolden who captured not just the vibrancy of Oakland, but also how the police were the night of the verdict.. What she caught is breath taking.. Check out her page where she has other protests captured…http://vimeo.com/projectproject
Here’s what she wrote to the footage below..
Community response to U.S. systemic racism as evidenced by the murder of Oscar Grant, then reinforced by the Mehserle verdict.
This is the first round of going through my footage. I will try to update with clearer shots of police activities and some of the activities that happened after police began arresting peaceful citizens.
The response to the verdict http://vimeo.com/13217165