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Yup, I Would Have Gone to Jail, Just Like Miss Sofia

August 13, 2009

Now, I know that’s a really strong statement, to just declare beyond a shadow of doubt that I would have gone to jail for something, because I’m basically admitting that I would have broken the law in some way, so let’s all get on 1 page where the details are concerned.

As we know, health care reform is the hottest issue in the country right now.  We’ve got people bringing weapons to public town halls and openly threatening bodily harm to others.

Things are tense, and that’s putting it mildly.

The other day Senator Claire McCaskill held a town hall on health care, that didn’t go so well and made national news for that.

One incident in particular has been gaining attention online and causing a stir for a few reasons.

Initially what aired was a clip of a Black woman being half dragged out of the venue.  The context for this clip- which aired across the country mind you- was that protesters were upset to the point of being out of control- cut to the pissed off Black woman being hauled out the door.

Now, depending on your frame of reference for people, in this case Black and female, you may have had some unfortunate thoughts about her or those darn Black people in general- yes, I am jumping back on racially biased news media.

The day after that aired across the country, HuffPo came out with a new take on just what happened.  Click here to see a previously un-aired clip of what happened before the Black woman “went off”.

2 things have to be addressed here.

First, news media had this part of the clip and didn’t use it.  They only used the part of the woman’s reaction with the connotation that she was an out of control protester.  That was intentional.  No, I’m not saying they consciously wanted to paint Black people in a negative light, but they did cut the clip on purpose and they did do that for the purpose of making their own ratings- sensationalized news sells.  A side effect of that decision is that it painted a Black person as “out of control” which reinforces negative stereotypes.  Period.

Second issue, and the reason for the title of this post: the woman had a poster of Rosa Parks.  A man walks up to her and snatches it from her.  Unprovoked.  She didn’t hit him in the head with it.  She didn’t trip him with it as he walked by.  He just snatched it- and she went of- as she should have.

Had that been my poster, I’d have done the same damn thing, and everyone in the room would have known why, because I would have made it VERY clear.  You’re not just going to snatch something out of my hands like that, certainly not a poster of Rosa Parks.  I mean come on, some things just shouldn’t be allowed to slide.

“You teach people how to treat you” is a mantra I believe in and repeat often.  I’m not going to teach some ignorant fool that it’s okay to be an ignorant fool, by just sitting there quietly and not saying anything.  I am not a violent person and I don’t believe that physical altercation is a means to solve a problem, but he might just have gotten knocked tfo Sofia-in-the-Color-Purple-style.  At the point you’ve snatched that sign, there’s just no turning back.  You may as well have spit in my face.

Had I been a witness to it, I’d still have gone to jail, because I’d have still have had the response I just described.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. dawnseattle permalink
    August 13, 2009 6:17 pm

    So I reposted with comments on FB a couple of days ago the Cranky White People video: the old white man is yelling, screaming not letting anyone talk, and being unruly and obnoxious in the town hall meeting. There is security, all it seems people of some color and they are not arresting him or hitting upside the head with a billy stick, they finally get him out of there on his own feet, no handcuffs. I commented that it is one of many proofs that the fears of some white folks is still unfounded. When we get to positions of power and influence we do not see it as a chance to do to them what they did to blacks and Latinos for so long. No dogs, hoses, arrests. And ironically I had on my Rosa Parks tee shirt this week, and yes, would have to respond if someone tried to rip it off of me or throw something on it, etc. I have done the Sophia thing in my life, didn’t get arrested or handcuffed, but did get charged but beat the rap. Thank God for surveillance cameras, it was some of those rent a cops at the Arena trying to do their thing whatever they thought they could get away with.

  2. ahow permalink
    August 14, 2009 12:49 pm

    So I initially saw this other, revealing video of what preceded the “drag out” on CNN. They said it was taken by a photojournalist present at the meeting, not on payroll with anyone, just there documenting for their own use/edification.

    Apparently there was a “no signage” rule at the meeting. The lady was just holding her sign, down by the floor as she’d apparently been made hip to the rule and was complying with it.

    Then a young woman approaches her, CNN said she was another journalist wondering what the deal was with the sign and wanting to question the woman about it and what it meant to her etc.

    I don’t know what their source of all this info was, just would like to note they did very quickly post this alternative and expanded viewpoint on the whole thing, and they made it clear in their narrative that there was more to the story than we were all initially led to believe.

    Probably just rippin’ HuffPo, but I do want to say they were airing it at least two days ago I think (although my hazy days-run-together state of mind is questionable at best.)

  3. TKH permalink
    August 14, 2009 8:09 pm

    Yeah, I’m Ms. Sophia junior in that case. I wouldn’t have cared if it was a black man who came and snatched the poster. No one gets to disrespect me like that.

  4. August 19, 2009 5:01 am

    Good post.

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