Author Topic: THE BODY IN THE STREET  (Read 2723 times)

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9884
    • View Profile
THE BODY IN THE STREET
« on: August 24, 2014, 08:08:36 am »
THE BODY IN THE STREET
By Charles P. Pierce on August 22, 2014


..they have built the electric chair and hired the executioner to throw the switch all right we are two nations America our nation has been beaten by strangers who have bought the laws and fenced off the meadows and cut down the woods for pulp and turned our pleasant cities into slums and sweated the wealth out of our people...
-- John Dos Passos, "The Big Money," USA

I keep coming back to what seems to me to be the most inhumane thing of all, the inhumane thing that happened before the rage began to rise, and before the backlash began to build, and before the cameras and television lights, and before the tear gas and the stun grenades and the chants and the prayers. I keep coming back to the one image that was there before the international event began, before it became a television show and a symbol in flames and something beyond what it was in the first place. I keep coming back to one simple moment, one ghastly fact. One image, from which all the other images have flowed.

They left the body in the street.

Dictators leave bodies in the street.

Petty local satraps leave bodies in the street.

Warlords leave bodies in the street.

A police officer shot Michael Brown to death. And they left his body in the street. For four hours. Bodies do not lie in the street for four hours. Not in an advanced society. Bodies lie in the street for four hours in small countries where they have perpetual civil war. Bodies lie in the street for four hours on back roads where people fight over the bare necessities of simple living, where they fight over food and water and small, useless parcels of land. Bodies lie in the street for four hours in places in which poor people fight as proxies for rich people in distant places, where they fight as proxies for the men who dig out the diamonds, or who drill out the oil, or who set ancient tribal grudges aflame for modern imperial purposes that are as far from the original grudges as bullets are from bows. Those are the places where they leave bodies in the street, as object lessons, or to make a point, or because there isn't the money to take the bodies away and bury them, or because nobody gives a damn whether they are there or not. Those are the places where they leave bodies in the street.

Bodies are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. The bodies of dogs and cats, or squirrels and raccoons, let alone the bodies of children, are not left in the streets of the leafy suburbs. No bodies are left in the streets of the financial districts. Freeze to death on a bench in the financial districts and you are whisked away before your inconvenient body can disturb the folks in line at the Starbucks across the street. But the body of a boy can be left in the street for four hours in a place like Ferguson, Missouri, and who knows whether it was because people wanted to make a point, or because nobody gave a damn whether he was there or not. Ferguson, Missouri was a place where they left a body in the street. For four hours. And the rage rose, and the backlash built, and the cameras arrived, and so did the cops, and the thing became something beyond what it was in the first place. And, in a very real way, in the streets of Ferguson, the body was still in the street.

***

The rage rises.

The very last march in which Martin Luther King, Jr. participated ended violently. He had come to Memphis to lend support to a strike by the city's sanitation workers. On March 28, 1968, King led a march in support of the striking workers. It did not end well.

King arrived late and found a massive crowd on the brink of chaos. Lawson and King led the march together but quickly called off the demonstration as violence began to erupt.  King was whisked away to a nearby hotel, and Lawson told the mass of people to turn around and go back to the church. In the chaos that followed, downtown shops were looted, and a 16-year-old was shot and killed by a policeman. Police followed demonstrators back to the Clayborn Temple, entered the church, released tear gas inside the sanctuary, and clubbed people as they lay on the floor to get fresh air. Loeb called for martial law and brought in 4,000 National Guard troops. The following day, over 200 striking workers continued their daily march, carrying signs that read, "I Am a Man"... At a news conference held before he returned to Atlanta, King said that he had been unaware of the divisions within the community, particularly of the presence of a black youth group committed to "Black Power" called the Invaders, who were accused of starting the violence.
The backlash builds.

Whites, angered by the property damage to businesses during the aborted march, blamed blacks. The President of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce told the New York Times: "You can't take these Negro people and make the kind of citizens out of them you'd like."(sic). Rev. Lawson would later note that the nonviolence of thousands of black citizens who moved back to the church and their homes was lost in press accounts of the story.
A week or two later, Dr. King stepped out onto the balcony of his motel room in Memphis. A white man shot him through the neck and he died. They covered his body with a sheet. They did not leave it there on the balcony, blood pooling around it, for four hours.

***

In 1965, the editors of the National Review traced the violence of the Watts riots back to the baleful influence of Dr. King's various campaigns throughout the South.

For years now, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King and his associates have been deliberately undermining the foundations of internal order in this country. With their rabble-rousing demagoguery, they have been cracking the "cake of custom" that holds us together. With their doctrine of "civil disobedience," they have been teaching hundreds of thousands of Negroes - particularly the adolescents and the children - that it is perfectly all right to break the law and defy constituted authority if you are a Negro-with-a-grievance; in protest against injustice. And they have done more than talk. They have on occasion after occasion, in almost every part of the country, called out their mobs on the streets, promoted "school strikes," sit-ins, lie-ins, in explicit violation of the law and in explicit defiance of the public authority. They have taught anarchy and chaos by word and deed - and, no doubt, with the best intentions - and they have found apt pupils everywhere, with intentions not of the best. Sow the wind, and reap the whirlwind. But it is not they alone who reap it, but we as well; the entire nation.
In 2014, the editor of the National Review traced the violence of the disturbances in Ferguson to the baleful influence of MSNBC.

You get the feeling that the enormous emotional investment in Ferguson from the left-from Eric Holder to MSNBC on down-reflects a nostalgia for the truly heroic phase of the civil rights movement. They (most of them, at least) can never be Freedom Riders, but they can write blog posts complaining that the police gear in Ferguson looks scary. They can never register voters in the Jim Crow South, but they can tweet dramatic pictures of tear-gas canisters going off. They can never march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge circa 1965, but they can do some cable hits. Ferguson is all they've got, so it must be spun up into a national crisis-our Gaza, our apartheid-to increase the moral drama.
They do not leave bodies in the street in Arlington County in Virginia, where the editor of the National Review grew up.

***

The story now seems to be about the "healing process" going on in Ferguson. The nights are quieter. The National Guard has pulled out. Some of the reporters have moved on to other things. There will be a funeral on Monday for the boy whose body was left in the street. It will be a dignified spectacle and it will be terrific television and it will be said to be "healing" the wounded place. Meanwhile, there are other people finding their healing in many different ways.

I support officer Wilson and he did a great job removing an unnecessary thing from the public.
An unnecessary thing.

The body they left in the street.

The body that, in so many ways, is still in the street.

An unnecessary thing.

The body they left in the street. For four hours. Ferguson, Missouri was a place where they left a body in the street. For four hours. And the rage rose, and the backlash built, and the cameras arrived, and so did the cops, and the thing became something beyond what it was in the first place. And, in a very real way, in the streets of Ferguson, the body was still in the street. What kind of place leaves the body of a boy in the street? What kind of country does that?

Dos Passos was correct.

All right.

We are two nations.

All right?

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9884
    • View Profile
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2014, 08:27:30 am »
Face it, blacks. Michael Brown let you down.
So instead, can someone just shoot Jesus Christ already?
For a moment there, things were looking pretty good. A boy shot multiple times with his hands up. College bound. Poor. Innocent. And in response: helicopters and tanks. Maybe this time, we thought, they would believe us.

But that’s all been ruined.

We now have all sorts of reasons to make us doubt Brown’s humanity. He may have stolen some cigarillos. He may have been facing the officer when he was shot. He got shot in the top of the head, which might mean that he was surrendering, or might mean he was being defiant. He made amateur rap songs. Perhaps worst of all, he’s been caught grimacing at a camera making a contorted peace sign, and it turns out that he was pretty tall.

And Fox News has been trying to cast doubt on whether he was actually going to go to college in the first place.

All signs that his life was worth less than we might have hoped.

It’s like what happened with Trayvon Martin, really. Over the course of a few days, he went from an innocent boy holding a bag of Skittles to a vicious, ruthless thug. We found out that he smoked pot. We found out that he said bad words. We found out that he was wearing a hoodie. We saw a picture of him making an angry face. Zimmerman’s lawyers released his text message logs, and we found out that he didn’t speak the Queen’s English.

And with each new revelation about both of these boys — some true, some false — we let out another collective sigh. We had been let down.

Of course, we knew that our reaction was ridiculous. We know that pushing someone at a convenience store, or being a less than stellar student shouldn’t be a death sentence. And hell, if you think that throwing up a contorted peace sign, or even an actual verifiable ‘gang sign’ means that you are in a violent gang, well, I’ve got a bridge I’d like to sell you, and a few thousand thug white women I’d like you to call 911 about, because there’s an epidemic going on.


[flickr]
But still, it was disappointing.

Not because we believed that these were reasons for the boys to die. But because we knew that so many Americans were itching for a reason, any reason, to condemn the boys to death in their minds. To make it all our fault. And by being simply human, these dead spirits gave them that ammunition.

Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant. They failed us all by not being perfect.

One of the most compelling stories ever told is that of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter whether you follow his teachings, or those of his followers — the story is a wonderful one.

A man was born under magical circumstances, lived among the poor and sick, and performed miracles. He was sentenced to a brutal and unjust death, which he accepted, because it was for the good of his neighbors — even those that hated him. He was, literally, perfect.

Maybe that’s why the recent revelation that Jesus may have had a wife is so controversial. People are angry about this, but they shouldn’t be. After all, what’s the matter with having a wife? If you believe, it doesn’t change anything, at all. He still performed miracles. He still died. He still came back. He’s still God’s son. You can still pray to him.

But maybe the issue is that as a (formerly) Puritan society, we need our saviors to be spotless, to be clean. Perhaps that’s what all the fuss is about.


So maybe what all of these terrified racists need is someone that, no matter how hard they try, cannot be dehumanized. Someone beyond human. Someone Christlike.

Someone that can save them from themselves, and wash their souls of fear and hate and judgement. Someone that can bring them into the light of humanity and love and logic.

Maybe what we need is a 5'8, light skinned, Harvard-bound, star tennis player/violinist/poet that volunteers at the local pet shelter, bakes amazing blueberry muffins, speaks with a Mid-Atlantic accent, has a white name, who has never taken a photo with anything other than a thumbs up and a smile, and just recently published a groundbreaking cure for cancer in Science.

And we need him to die. Someone needs to find this boy, and kill him in public. It’s our only hope.

I’d offer myself, honestly. I would. But I got a D in Calculus once, so I don’t think I qualify. I’m not good enough.

A good friend wrote recently about how, whenever he got pulled over, he would slip his college ID over his driver’s license and hand it to the officer. Yes, some of us deserve to be shot in the street, he was saying silently, but this ID proves that I’m not one of them. He feels guilty about this now.

I used to do something similar — I’d ‘accidentally’ hand the officer my college ID, and feign absentmindedness and chuckle over-conspicuously when he reminded me that he needed my driver’s license. It worked sometimes. I don’t feel so guilty about it.

Because thinking back, I realize that this ritual, repeated every few weeks or so, was as much for my soul as it was for my safety. Looking down at that college ID reminded me that I was a ‘good’ human. I was assuring myself that if something went wrong, at least I’d be a pretty decent martyr. I was no Jesus, but at least I could be an extreme Rosa Parks. Better than Claudette Colvin, anyway.

I think that’s also what #IfTheyGunnedMeDown was about. It wasn’t only a criticism of the media. I think somewhere in there, we were all calculating our human worth – on their terms. We were reducing our life story down to a series of numbers, achievements, and soundbites. Ones and zeros. High school graduate, but smoked a cigarette once. Army officer, but likes gold chains. Great big sister, but makes frowny faces in pictures.

Evaluating our humanity on an unfairly weighted scale. Their scale.

Because we know that it’s common knowledge that white killers get treated like little lost lambs, while black victims are immediately demonized. Hell, there are now even listicles about this sort of thing. But we also know that any small flaw, any trace of humanity, will ruin the whole thing. That people, too many people, will be positively giddy at the sight of our blood.

That some people will take the opportunity to lecture us on interacting with police, as if it was failsafe or we didn’t already know.

That some people will collectively donate $150,000 to demonstrate how much they hate us.

That is why #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, like everything else we’ve tried thus far, has ended in failure. That’s why there were so many white kids doing it. It’s not their fault that they didn’t understand.


https://twitter.com/thecityofjules/status/498795836181323776
We uploaded those pictures, but we were just fooling ourselves. We were preaching to the choir, and we knew that it wouldn’t make a difference.

None of us are good enough to die on that cross.


Be warned: this is a graphic video. A man commits suicide on camera. Read about it here instead.
There’s something I’d like you to understand about black people: we’re like everyone else. We want to leave the world a better place than we found it. So the prospect of leaving unexpectedly, and having your story twisted in such a way as to actually steel the hearts of racists — is a terrifying thought.

I didn’t know Michael Brown, and I don’t know his family. I don’t know what happened on that day (only one of us does). But I do know that he couldn’t be the Christ that White America so desperately needed.

And they do need him. Perhaps more than anyone else in the world right now, they need Jesus.

But, even if we did get our Jesus — even if Michael Brown were that impossibly perfect martyr, even if we had that mythical savior black boy — it probably wouldn’t have helped.

After all, Jesus died an awful long time ago, and things didn’t quite pick up for us. Those who say they love him most do not love us, their neighbors. They reject and fear us. Somewhere, in between the Bible, the politics, and the sermons, the message has been lost.

So, friends: if praying is your thing, go for it. Keep it up. We need all the positive energy we can get. But I’m not sure it’s going to help.

Because if this is how we treat ourselves, I’m not sure if even God can save us now.

talk to me if you like: @dexdigi

Offline Curtis Metcalf

  • Moderator
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 4500
  • One never knows, do one?
    • View Profile
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2014, 09:40:33 am »
Here's a link to the Charles Pierce piece in Esquire:
The Body in the Street

And here's the link to Face it, black people. Michael Brown let you down.

Photos, quotes, links, etc. are easier to see in the original articles.
"Seek first to understand, then to be understood."
"Be hard on systems, but soft on people."

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9147
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2014, 09:54:16 am »
And here's the link to Face it, black people. Michael Brown let you down.





Strongest words in the commentary section that practically jumped out at me:

Barry Friedman ·  Top Commenter · University of Tulsa · 125 followers

"I keep going back to Nevada, to Cliven Bundy, to armed thugs pointing rifles at symbols of America, and to those thugs getting praised and interviewed. And then I think of those in Ferguson, of a community, unarmed, being met with tear gas and curfews and ridicule. Michael Brown wasn't the only "thing" left in the street. America is lying there, too."





Damn... this one is even stronger:

Jack McKee ·  Top Commenter · University of Cincinnati

"For me, the damning thing is that in the face of all of this, people are flocking to social media to defend the cops, to say "oh that's not how it was," to do their best to shame and slander and belittle Michael Brown and make him seem like an evil person who "needed killin'."

And sadly, for me, this is the ultimate result of where we have allowed our company to drift, thanks to the canonization of Ronald Reagan and the hardening of the far-right into a power in this country: 46 years after the deaths of MLK and RFK, it is finally, sadly, permanently OK TO BE RACIST AGAIN. You CAN express your hatred for other races in public, in the most vicious and vociferous terms, and nobody will think it even so much as bad manners or poor taste. You CAN say "that boy got what he deserved" and people will not only applaud, they'll GIVE YOU MONEY to defend yourself against the nigras.

 I love America. But I 'm beginning to loathe Americans. Damn these people. Damn them all
."
« Last Edit: August 24, 2014, 10:04:38 am by Battle »

APEXABYSS

  • Guest
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2014, 06:37:18 pm »
Alright, I can provide an inside-scoop you’re not gonna hear in the media. First thing, Ferguson is suburb. It’s one of the last (African American) hubs, neighborhoods or outposts before you enter into a predominantly all white suburb. Kinda like Long Beach in L.A..

Anyway, the worst part about Ferguson has always been the police. Everybody here in “The Lou” knows about that area. Driving-while-black is the #1 crime in north county. Why? Racism? Yes & No! You see, the street where all the chaos has taken place is called West Florrisant. West Florissant use to be a popular “Cruzing” strip. Well, before all the police harassment.

Cruisin= A slang used by car enthusiasts meaning to go for a drive. Cruzes don't always have a destination but generally begin from a predetermined place and time. It is also a way to meet other car people and hang-out as cruzes will often stop to chat, rest, and take pictures.

http://youtu.be/WlzY6cWpoMQ

If you wanted to see fancy-cars or motor-cycle clubs, just take a ride down West Florrisant. Police in Jennings & Ferguson decided to step-up their patrols just to curb all the traffic. I’ve cruzed down the strip with my family & friends. Every city has a cruising street. The cruzin' aspect is another reason why there’s a disproportionate number of blacks being pulled-over by the cops, in Ferguson. I don’t agree but understand. 

Everything that lead up to the shooting is clouded in politics & years of police brutality. Why loot & burn down the Quik-Trip, if that was NOT the store he allegedly stole from. That part seems fishy. They called the QT “Ground-Zero”? Hhhhhhmmmmm! Hours laying in the street? Odd, indeed!  R.I.P. Young Man

       
« Last Edit: August 25, 2014, 08:48:38 pm by APEXABYSS »

Offline Battle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9147
  • M.A.X. Commander
    • View Profile
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2014, 06:43:07 am »
Alright, I can provide an inside-scoop you’re not gonna hear in the media. First thing, Ferguson is suburb. It’s one of the last (African American) hubs, neighborhoods or outposts before you enter into a predominantly all white suburb. Kinda like Long Beach in L.A..

Anyway, the worst part about Ferguson has always been the police. Everybody here in “The Lou” knows about that area. Driving-while-black is the #1 crime in north county. Why? Racism? Yes & No! You see, the street where all the chaos has taken place is called West Florrisant. West Florissant use to be a popular “Cruzing” strip. Well, before all the police harassment.

Cruisin= A slang used by car enthusiasts meaning to go for a drive. Cruzes don't always have a destination but generally begin from a predetermined place and time. It is also a way to meet other car people and hang-out as cruzes will often stop to chat, rest, and take pictures.

http://youtu.be/WlzY6cWpoMQ

If you wanted to see fancy-cars or motor-cycle clubs, just take a ride down West Florrisant. Police in Jennings & Ferguson decided to step-up their patrols just to curb all the traffic. I’ve cruzed down the strip with my family & friends. Every city has a cruising street. The cruzin' aspect is another reason why there’s a disproportionate number of blacks being pulled-over by the cops, in Ferguson. I don’t agree but understand. 

Everything that lead up to the shooting is clouded in politics & years of police brutality. Why loot & burn down the Quik-Trip, if that was NOT the store he allegedly stole from. That part seems fishy. They called the QT “Ground-Zero”? Hhhhhhmmmmm! Hours laying in the street? Odd, indeed!  R.I.P. Young Man





Interesting...   Here's an observation:

That white woman in Ferguson that spoke in support of that cold blooded killer in a police uniform...? talkin' sh!t as if this was some sort of pep rally at some American high School...?
She doesn't even realize the severity of what has actually happened
...or what those police riots in Ferguson REALLY meant.

Take a look at the movie, 'Schindler's List'  the scene where the nazis start moving the Jewish citizens out of their homes and into streets and ghettos using machine guns and all kinds of military weaponry...

...then...

...look at those first 3 nights in Ferguson,  where the police start moving into those citizens, launching tear gas and pointing guns at them (if not outright discharging their weapons at them).



The comparison looked just like that.

Offline Hypestyle

  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 5844
  • Intellectual Conqueror
    • View Profile
    • Hypestyle's Homebase
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2014, 04:29:44 pm »
...as a Gen-X guy, I've come to grudgingly accept that the vast majority of the black "celebrity class" in this country are not going to be the entertainer/activists of the 1950s/1960s/70s. That dynamic-- or worldview-- just scarcely exists anymore. For the rapper who is, say, 25, the civil rights era of the 1960s is an abstraction at best. Even their parents may not have lived through it. Whatever their formal schooling may have taught may have been modest at best. "Afrocentric" supplemental educational initiatives of the 60s and 70s took a dip in the Reagan 1980s and may well have dwindled in the 90s and 2000s, dovetailing with the challenges of local, urban nonprofits that may have been offering such programs. Especially with respect to federal support, in the post-Gingrich Clinton era and the George W. Bush era, forget it.

Specifically with respect to the rap/hip-hop personalities, it probably helps to understand that many are not that politically "sophisticated"/"informed", not unlike much of the general public. Many may not consider themselves "political" in their day to day, week-to-week lives. Many don't vote, and have never voted. (And of course, depending on their state of residence and legal status regarding any criminal violations, many cannot vote.) With the rappers, except for their lyrics about police, that's as far as they go with "political statements". Most don't feel compelled to get involved in "activism" activities, since that's "for other folks." They're concentrating on getting their next concert fee, product endorsement or royalty check. As professional entertainers, that's certainly their prerogative.

For a lot of folks rapping about "going to war" with cops, it's basically just shtick. The more successful "hardcore rap" guys are living in gated communities, sending their kids to wealthy public or private schools. They're living a privileged lifestyle while promoting records that infer an image of an outlaw lifestyle. Don't expect a sharp critique of the excesses of capitalism from the guys who are all about bragging about their luxury vehicles, reams of jewelry and opulent homes (whether or not their real life assets genuinely include that or not).

And yes, a lot of people just plain don't care unless it's a situation that's directly affecting them in their personal life. A whole lot of people have very much assimilated the notion that not living until 21 and to be killed by a cop, a burglar, or a random bullet from a gunfight between other folks, is just a normal facet of life, and so they've made the choice to simply "get that paper" as long as the hustle is good.

Philosophically, I consider it kind of sad, but pragmatically, I really don't expect much from the music/TV/film folks. It's more important than ever now for grassroots folk to get active, both via social media and person-to-person.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2014, 04:32:21 pm by Hypestyle »
Be Kind to Someone Today.

APEXABYSS

  • Guest
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2014, 04:25:03 am »
The contested murder of Latasha Harlins
Leo Duran | Take Two | August 26th, 2013, 10:06am 
via Los Angeles Times

 
The 1992 LA race riots and the name Rodney King are almost synonymous. It's understood that the violence was sparked when four of the CHP officers in King's case were acquitted of assault.

But several targets in the rioting were Korea-American owned shops for a very specific reason.

"I was at a book signing," says UCLA professor Brenda Stevenson, "And there was a young man who talked about being from South Central Los Angeles and he said, bravely, that, 'I went to Koreatown to burn it because of Latasha Harlins.'"

Brenda Stevenson (photo courtesy of UCLA)Stevenson explores Harlins' death on March 16, 1991, for her new book, "The Contested Murder of Latasha Harlins."

Harlins was a 15-year-old African-American girl living with her grandmother in South Central.

On that day — less than two weeks after King was beaten — she walked into the Empire Liquor Market on South Figueroa Street. She grabbed orange juice from the refrigerator and placed it in her bag, $2 in her hands to pay for it.

However, the store's owner, Korean-American Soon Ja Du, believed that Harlins was stealing the juice.

A scuffle ensued at the register when Du tried to pull Harlins' bag across the counter. Meanwhile, Harlins fought back, knocking the then-51-year-old woman down.

Harlins took the orange juice out of her bag and put it back on the counter, and then turned to leave. However, Du picked herself off from the ground with a handgun from the counter, shooting Harlins in the back of the head from three feet away.

Harlins died with that $2 in her left hand.

The case exacerbated an already tense relationship between Korean-Americans and African-Americans in the community.

"From the perspective of Soon Ja Du and her family, they had a lot of trouble with some gang members in the neighborhood," says Stevenson. Harlins was not known to be a part of a gang.

"From the perspective of the community, however, they had not been very good shopkeepers. They were known to be rude and dismissive of customers," said Stevenson.

Du was tried and convicted of voluntary manslaughter. However, while the charge carried 16 years in prison, the judge opted to sentence her to five years probation, 400 hours of community service, and a $500 fine.

The sentence outraged members of the community, and over the course of a year Du's store was firebombed twice. Then on April 29, 1992, when the verdict in the case against the officer's in Rodney King's beating was announced, rioting started in South Central LA, but also Koreatown.

"I think [Latasha Harlins' death] is why 2,300 Korean shops are burned and damaged," says Stevenson. But as the riots' anniversaries come and go, they're more associated with the verdict in King's case rather than Harlins' death.

"The Rodney King case received so much more attention because it was conflict males. We just got into that tradition of looking at racial conflict in that way," said Stevenson.  "Just looking at the Trayvon Martin case, for example, that was a typical scenario of a male who's biracial but part white, and an African-American. That resonated with people's sense of racial injustice."

By reinvestigating Harlins' death, Stevenson hopes to give her story new life and help LA to learn the background of race relations in the city.

"I want people to understand that African-American youths can be victims, that they're not always the aggressors."



on a side-note:
The Harlins family moved from East St. Louis to Los Angeles as part of a migratory trend of African Americans.



« Last Edit: August 28, 2014, 04:33:20 am by APEXABYSS »

Offline Reginald Hudlin

  • Landlord
  • Honorary Wakandan
  • *****
  • Posts: 9884
    • View Profile
Re: THE BODY IN THE STREET
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2014, 10:18:39 am »
Great post, thanks!