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Justice, Not Revenge

Thursday, Jan. 08, 2009 3:59 AM

The questions about the shooting of Oscar Grant by BART Police Officer Johannes Mehserle on New Year's Eve won't get answered any faster because a bunch of idiots went on a rampage in downtown Oakland, setting fire to vehicles and trashing storefronts.

Especially when some of those businesses are owned by African-Americans.

"This is what you call a protest?" asked Leemu Topka, owner of Creative African Braids.

One protester sneered at the 'We Shall Overcome types' and proclaimed that they were doing something different. Great. Let's check the scoreboard - you damaged a bunch of police cars. Who pays? That's right - you do, through your tax dollars. Trash a business or two? Who pays? That's right - you do, through the store having to raise its prices, let go of employees, close its doors, or even if it impacts insurance rates in the neighborhood.

The purpose of the protest is to seek justice for Oscar Grant. You need to reach out and win public opinion, not alienate and divide the community. Be creative, not destructive. Picket outside BART stations, or throughout downtown Oakland.

Officer Mehserle has apparently resigned from the BART Police - which means he does not have to face an internal affairs interview.

It would seem to me, then, that if his excuse is, 'I'm no longer a BART Officer, so I don't have to answer to BART Police investigators,' then you're now just another thug who shot an unarmed man in a BART station, and you should be arrested, arraigned, and held without bail.

The story fed the press was that Blair House, the traditional temporary residence of the president-elect prior to the inauguration, was booked with various soirees and affairs, though no foreign dignitaries were visiting.

It turns out that there were no such events booked, and the only guest - former Australian Prime Minister John Howard - was invited after the Obamas had been told they couldn't stay at Blair House. Blair House is actually four networked town homes, with a total of 119 rooms, so I'm sure the Obamas could have moved in and not even run into Mr. Howard.

I'd like to know why Mr. Howard couldn't be the one to stay at the Hay Adams. Or perhaps, as a former head of state, stay at the Australian Embassy.

Howard is slated to receive the Medal of Freedom, handed out to servile lapdogs like George 'Slam Dunk' Tenet and Former British Prime Minister Tony Bliar Blair.

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