January 24, 2009

If you walk around the BART administrative building, you'd never know that the Oakland community has been boiling over since the shooting of Oscar Grant. The "riots" reported in the national news are completely overblown, and feed into the angry-Black-Oakland myth perpetuated since the days when the Black Panthers were handing out 100,000 bags of groceries a week to Oakland's poor. The Oakland community, Black and otherwise, is mad at the heel-dragging slowness of this process. If you walk any of the blocks from 11th Street & Franklin down to Grand in downtown Oakland, it becomes evident that a lot of folks are carefully following the developments of this case: store owners have posted flyers demanding justice, graffiti proclaims "I am Oscar Grant", and there is a visceral sense that however events proceed, they will need to be above board and transparent. It remains to be seen whether or not that will happen.


Blogger Dillon Westbrook said...

Right- the problem with villianizing the "riots" is that they worked- that punk cop would have never been charged with murder 2 if the city attorney wasn't shaking in his bed at night.


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