On June 23rd, 2010, in the midst of Oscar Grant’s murder trial, one of the leaders of the nonprofit organization, Urban Peace Movement, wrote in an email (in full below):
“We need to begin ‘innoculating’ our bases and the community at-large so that when the verdict comes down, people are prepared for it, and so that the ‘outside agitators’ who were active during the initial Oscar Grant protests are not able to incite the crowd so easily.”
The paternalist and racist assumption made by non-profit sector activists portrays those who participated in property destruction as child-like noble savages easily corrupted by superior beings from afar (read: “outside agitators”). This should come as no surprise to anyone, seeing as how the non-profit organization is historically rooted in colonial assumptions that the oppressed are mindless brutes that require, for better or for worse, intellectual guidance (read: “inoculation”) from above. The non-profiteers see their role as missionaries, saviors, and saints that carry the burden of pity for the downtrodden.
Who is really the outside agitator? And what does the state and the politically interventionist non-profit sector object to most, the outside part, or the agitator part?
During this past week’s phase of the trial, leading Bay Area journalist JR Valerie observered:
“. . . 4 out of 6 black males under the age of 40 were kicked out of the courtroom in the 2nd day of Meserhle testifying . . . .” (rough transpcription from Hard Knock Radio archive, June 25th, 2010, min. 32:20-32:48, http://kpfa.org/archive/id/62141)
As Mehserle ran through a rehearsed emotional display, one black male courtroom observer from Oakland stood up and called out “save those tears.” He was promptly jumped by Deputies, removed from the courtroom and now faces charges. Did any “outside agitators” incite this black male to speak out against the false cries of a murdering agent of the state? Would the Urban Peace Movement give this man credit for calling out the courtroom process, which is structured against the “biases” of the people’s sense of justice? Or for them, is the bourgeois white supremacist legal apparatus the legitimate carrier of justice? Continue reading