Friday, October 12, 2007

First the Jena Six... now this!!

Do you ever ponder the imperfectability of human nature?

Right at this second, you and I have at our fingertips the greatest information technology of all time... instant access to a near-infinite volume of words and images.

Yet what does this lead to? A proliferation of enlightenment and wisdom?

No. It leads to big bullshit wastes of time and energy. People jumping to conclusions that fit their own ideologies. And layers on layers of staticky noise, crowding out the calm voice of reason.

Take the percolating drama surrounding the “Palmdale Four.”

Pleajhai Mervin is a high-school student in Palmdale, Calif. On September 18, she dropped a piece of cake in the school cafeteria, and ended up in a physical confrontation with a big burly security officer over the matter of cleaning it up. Mervin says the security officer broke her wrist.

Pleajhai Mervin is black. The big burly security officer is white.

(Al Sharpton, please pick up the white courtesy phone. Al Sharpton, white courtesy phone...)

Part of the confrontation was recorded on a cell-phone video camera. Eventually, Mervin and her mother and two other students were arrested and charged with battery.

Before you could say “clusterfuck,” this incident ricocheted from L.A.’s mainstream media to fringe political websites to the black blogosphere.

“School Guards Break Child’s Arm And Arrest Her For Dropping Cake,” read a September 28 headline on The subhed: “Pandemic of police and security violence continues unabated.”

( is one of several websites run by Alex Jones, a libertarian and conspiracy theorist.)

“Security guard breaks wrist of student for dropping cake,” read an October 5 headline on the website of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. The subhed: “Yet another case of racist excessive force.”

The Rev. Al Sharpton indeed showed up in Southern California a week ago in support of Pleajhai Mervin.

“You have a young lady with a broke arm here, with a video of the man assaulting her, and she's charged with battery,” Sharpton told the media. “That may be even more egregious than Jena.”

On Monday, blogger Michael Fisher posted images of the Palmdale confrontation with these words: “Failure to pick up pound cake crumbs => assault => broken wrist...”

Well, there’s only one problem.

The doctor who treated Pleajhai Mervin told L.A.’s Channel 7 Eyewitness News yesterday that the girl’s wrist had NOT been broken, and that she wasn’t injured at all. (Read the story here.)


Another big bullshit waste of time and energy, I guess. And it ain’t over yet. These things create their own weather.

I’ll probably have more to say about this mess in the future. Meanwhile, I have a related audio bite to share.

Click here to hear Mervin’s mother, LaTrisha Majors, on Alex Jones’s radio show on October 1.

If you don’t know about Alex Jones and where he’s coming from... oh boy, get ready for something wild. Real wild.


SJ said...

Alex Jones is crazy (and not just because he's a libertarian). He's like the "father" of the 9/11 "truth movement", and the guy even believes that the London bombings were done by the government.

Undercover Black Man said...

I've heard Jones on George Noury's "Coast to Coast" radio show, SJ, and he didn't sound half as nutty as he does on his own program. Wow.

Invisible Woman said...

Yes, I saw this x-ray today (nothing broken), as well as Mychal Bell going back to jail for some pre-Jena shenanigans. I guess a lot of black people are inclined to believe the worst, because they've been treated the worst in plenty of scenarios (including myself). They are fed up and ready to jump on anything for justice, because for too long we've been apathetic, and I don't blame them.

I think you're right tho, about the wait it out factor. It's disappointing to hear that there is more to it after you've been worked up. But I don't think any little girl should get slammed to the ground by a 300 pound man for dropping some cake. That to me is b___sh__t.

Undercover Black Man said...

I understand what you're saying, Invisible Woman. But do people have to go for the bullshit every time?

And just watch... the fact that youngster's arm wasn't broken isn't gonna slow some people down. They'll just spend more time and energy trying to spin this incident into a matter that means something.

And in the scheme of things, it means nothing.

BLACKinUSA said...

It speaks volumes to the fact that this country is in a "Police State". One could easy say nothing here...just a Black girl getting arrested for the very serious crime of waisting food... keep the line moving folks.
Is this normal?
9-11-01 changed America in many of ways, arguably for the worse.

AirBourne said...

I am surprised you haven't touched the Megan Williams issue yet, from West Virginia? (Feel Free to Browse the end of Sept. '07 in Bajan Reporter)

ria said...

The thing is, regardless of what injury she did or did not receive, a point is being missed here: what's on the video is uncalled for. If the girl's "crime" was that she dropped cake and did not clean it up, there is no justification for mahandling her that way. She was in school (could have been on the streets, or having a baby somewhere). I think if a security guard treated my child like this, you would not hear the end of it from me. It's wrong and an abuse of power.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how fast people can make a rush to judgment, so far the facts have revealed the following:

The girl was not arrested for “dropping cake and not cleaning it”, She was arrested for assaulting a female security guard.

Her wrist was not broken.

The other two students were arrested for alleged disrupting and inciting as well as for assault.

The mother assaulted no less than 3 faculty members.

People must try to remember that the job of Newspapers and “other” media outlets is not necessarily to tell the truth as much as it is to make profits via viewer ship/readers, hence the term “If it bleeds, it leads”. Racist attack on teenager sells much more ad space than Blacks arrested for disruptive behavior.


Latimer said...

I think that this is more a product of our developing police state than a product of racism... no to claim that it wasn't a component.

Radley Balko's blog the agitator talks about excessive use of police force quite a bit and it is something of a pet issue of mine.

Still... a broken arm over cake? Someone needed to lighten up.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Just to repeat: Her arm was not broken.

Thuyen Tran said...


How would you say the Jena six issue is BS people should not have fallen for?