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Justice for Oscar Grant! Justice for Gaza!

January 7, 2009


Early New Year’s Day in the Fruitvale District of Oakland, BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) police murdered unarmed, 22 -year old, Oscar Grant III by pushing him face down to the ground and shooting him in the back. After he was shot he was handcuffed. The shooting was fatal.
Having come of age in Los Angeles during the uprisings that followed the Rodney King verdict- this incidence violence enacted by the State rings eerily familiar.
For me this is a crystal clear example of how racism is alive and well in the United States. People would like to think that because Barack Obama has been elected president that some how we, as a nation, are “post-race”. What really irritates me about this line of thinking it the conflation of race and racism. One is a category another is an active force that impacts real people’s lives.
The fact that racism probably had a huge role in Oscar Grant’s death chills my bones.
The practices of the police continue to demonstrate this: the way they are trained, the way stereotypes and profiling are reinforced institutionally and how little-to-no accountability the police have with communities of color. These communities are instead terrorized by the police.
Jesus Barraza and I (Melanie Cervantes) collaboratively developed this poster and drew a connection between the violence enacted by domestically by transit police in Oakland and Israeli occupying forces and their attacks which have kiiled hundreds of Gazans including many women and children.
JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT!
JUSTICE FOR GAZA!

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3 comments on “Justice for Oscar Grant! Justice for Gaza!”

Of course there is racism in this country, but it’s far worse everywhere else. How many foreign countries have you been to? Don’t dodge that question, answer it. Also, police are not “terrorizing” communities of color. A lot of these communities constantly reinforce negative stereotypes with shootings, robberies, and so on. The recent riots are a good example. A man is wrongfully shot on BART, so burning down businesses and breaking windows is going to fix everything? Give me a break. There is probably a Chinese family who just had their business burned down by African Americans wondering why the hell they got their life screwed over for no reason.

Hey David,
I think you are looking too closely at the result of social circumstances and events and not the cause, in your statements.
I was just talking with a friend about how obvious the rioting is an emotional response to the situation.
There is an apparatus in place, in this situation, a city government and police-force that is unaccountable and non-responsive to the community. So in response to whats seen as inaction, people behaved impulsively and expressively. Destroying objects is a very visceral, and not intending to fix anything.
All the media reports I’ve seen of the “riots” is incredibly reductive and disassociates them from the killing.
Im watching thinking, “OF FREAKIN COURSE PEOPLE ARE GOING TO DESTROY THINGS, THEY”RE INCREDIBLY PISSED OFF AND FEEL TOTALLY UNSAFE, BECAUSE THESE PEOPLE WITH GUNS HAVE ABUSED THEIR AUTHORITY!”
As for this comment
“Of course there is racism in this country, but it’s far worse everywhere else. How many foreign countries have you been to? Don’t dodge that question, answer it.”
I don’t understand why traveling outside the USA is relevant to these two artists and their response to what is happening in their geographic community.

KC is far too kind and rational to this reactionary….
shot in the back lying face down does not equal ‘wrongfully shot’, it’s murder.
“Also, police are not “terrorizing” communities of color. A lot of these communities constantly reinforce negative stereotypes with shootings, robberies, and so on.”
I am better then the cops: I will not terrorize you because you reinforce negative stererotypes of smug argumentative white dudes.
“How many foreign countries have you been to? Don’t dodge that question, answer it.”
WTF? If I admit to being punched in the face by a canadian skinhead in portland, does that re-inforce his argument, contradict it or confuse it?
But seriously, cops are a problem!
Even my mom, a law abiding white lady who lives in the country, after watching the news about this
said, “the police are completely out of control in this country…. they’re sick”

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