Saturday, July 10, 2010

I Read The News Today, Oh Boy


A picture, it is said, is worth a thousand words. There have been thousands of words and as many pictures used to describe the way that justice could or should have been carried out in the case of Johannes Mehserle. You could hear the tension stirring as the trial progressed, and when the verdict was announced, there seemed to be a sort of sad resignation to rioting. Not the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech kind, but the window smashing, looting kind.
Involuntary manslaughter was the verdict. Oscar Grant's father speaks: "This is Oakland...Let's get this place going. I don't like the verdict, but I wasn't on the jury. If you're going to protest, protest non-violently. We got to live together. Let's be peaceful." And then the sun went down.
There will be more pictures like this one. Thousands more words written to try and make sense of the death of a young man and the looting of a Sears store. I don't have those words. I have a deep sadness and regret. But this is where I live, and I will do everything that I can to keep it from happening again.

1 comment:

Mrs. Id said...

My appointment at Kaiser was canceled and they evacuated the entire building last Thursday night. Employees from all over were sent home. 580 was full of worried drivers.

I am upset that the fear that kept me and so many others away from downtown last Thursday night left those who felt the need to destroy our city free to do so. In hindsight I wished I had been there, wearing an Oscar Grant t-shirt, linking arms with fellow citizens in a peaceful human barrier between the vulnerable businesses and our opportunistic out-of-town “guests.”

Their senseless destruction was an insult to Oscar Grant’s memory, not a tribute. Grant cared about his job, his community, and his family. On Mehserle’s sentencing day—and every day— bystanders should feel empowered to stand strong and speak out to calm fear. Escalating fear with violence is what both Grant and Mehserle did on Bart that fateful night.