Friday, August 14, 2009

The McCaskill Town Hall Incident: told from every angle

User BluePearOnline, also known as Peter Glickert, posted this video to YouTube yesterday, entitled: "Full Story of Poster Altercation at McCaskill Event: by Peter Glickert." In this video, Glickert reconstructs what happened at a town hall meeting held by Senator Claire McCaskill in Hillsboro, Missouri by piecing together different sources of footage all taken at the event from different angles.

Here's a summary, though we strongly encourage you to watch the video, in which Glickert gives an account of each scene in the story.

CNN and other television news outlets reported that a black woman in the audience at a town hall was being escorted against her will while Senator McCaskill is talking. The woman is physically resisting against the policemen, and the crowd cheers as Senator McCaskill stops the meeting to interject while the police force the distraught woman to leave. Glickert follows this clip with a piece of footage captured by another citizen attending the town hall, who caught the entire thing from a different angle. This piece includes what happened before the woman was approached by the police. Here you can clearly see that the woman was provoked by a man who stole her poster, but the mainstream media outlets that covered the incident didn't capture or report on this part of the exchange.

Glickert continues his narrative with footage taken by others present, who documented conversations held afterwards between police officers and citizens in attendance, as well as an angry exchange between the woman who was kicked out and other town hall attendees outside of the venue.

All in all, it's a fascinating work of citizen reporting that illustrates the power of a crowd to tell a story in full.


Michael said...

Thank you SOOOOO much more posting this. This needs to get out all over the media.

Bill said...

Thank you for posting this. I also thank my co-worker Mac D'Allesandro who posted to his Facebook wall. I have now also shared it on my FB page and I plan on moving info on this broadly to other friends and family members. Here is why:

Every single many different ways...on the street, on the job, at shops, in the courtroom.....similar disparate acts constantly take place. It's good to see a videographer shine a spotlight on it. Makes my blood curdle and boil. There needs to be a way to get the same kind of attention paid to the issue when it isn't so politically expedient.

Newsflash to the police working the event: It not only LOOKS bad to only escort out black people, it actually IS bad--particularly when they did NOTHING wrong, and the white men to whom you gave a pass WAVED THEIR WRONG DOING in your face.

I pray this clip heals the blind spots of those who have been unable or unwilling to see. I pray it enrages everyone who cares about social justice. I pray it provides confirmation & consolation to the countless people of color who daily endure the same kind of disparate treatment in pained silence.

Anonymous said...

What you also do not hear, is that the Man who ripped the poster was escorted out as well. What you also do not hear, based on other video at the event, was the woman was sitting on floor level seats, not in the back like the 'Dont Tread on Me' small towels. She had a Full On Poster Sized Image of(For Whomever Knows Why) picture of Rosa Parks, AT A TOWNHALL ABOUT HEALTHCARE!!!

Is everyone missing what is HAPPENING HERE!! Obamacare is BEING MET WITH LEGITIMATE CONCERNS BY PEOPLE OF ALL COLORS! A democratic process is at work, and the current American Regime is detesting it. So now they are desperate to turn this thing into a Race War. Can't you see it happening?!?!

You have to be absolutely, far down the Kool-Aid drinking path to think that only white racists are opposed to Obamacare. You have to be flat out uninformed and programmed like robots by corporate news like FOX, MSNBC, CNN, New York Times, etc to honestly believe that.

Remember what name calling does. It trades the topic of discussion and discourse, from logic, facts, and substance for off-topic rhetoric, name-calling, and confusion. Don't get suckered in to corporate news people, they are trying to hook you into thinking that this is racial hatred at work, common thug tactics.

Bill said...

The Black Woman's poster was laying on a chair. The White Men held their flags high aloft, even while they were being confronted by the police.

Was there a ground rule that said signs and flags in the back of the room are OK but not on the floor? If not, what is the point you are trying to make? Whether the White Men with flags were in the back or on the floor, they were DIRECTLY IN THE MIDST THE WHITE MALE POLICE OFFICERS WHO WERE SELECTIVELY ENFORCING THE RULES.

That fact that it was a poster of Rosa Parks has ZERO relevance to the disparate act of escorting a Black Woman out of the room for trying to retrieve her property from the White Man who stole and destroyed it. If anything, the fact that it was a poster or Rosa Parks made it MORE BENIGN. Whether you understood the reason why she chose that poster or not, it certainly wasn't offensive, and she was not brandishing it before she was escorted out. I vigorously support the right of everyone to express their opinions--pro or con--about the five different Health Care proposals currently in development in Congress.

However, anyone who is unable or unwilling to see the disparate treatment of the black woman in this video has blinders on.

We fundamentaly disagree on healthcare. That's perfectly OK. But hopefully, we can agree that the difference between the way the police handled the Black Woman with the poster and the White Men with the flags was just plain wrong.

Bill said...

For anyone who can't see the disparate treatment in this situation, it may help you to do so if you take the following steps:

Close your eyes for a moment. Imagine a white woman sitting in a chair on the floor. Laying on the chair in front of her is a poster that says "Don't tread on me." A reporter walks up, leans down to talk to her about it. Before the conversation gets very far, a black man walks up grabs it, rips it, and tosses it. The woman walks over to confront him and retrieve her property, but then black male police officers swoop in and escort the white woman out of the room, as the largely black audience cheers and applauds. Later, in the back of the room, the same three black police officers approach some black men holding flags bearing the image of Rosa Parks and discuss the facts that they should not be doing so. The Black men continue to hold the flags, saying it is within their rights to do so. The police do nothing, standing beside them as they do so.

Does this help you. Can you see the problem now?

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