Reflections on My Oakland Trayvon Rally Assault

Picture 6I’ve had a lot of reflecting to do since my experience at the Oakland Trayvon rally last week, documented impressively by The Daily Caller’s Charles C. Johnson. Having been asked many questions about it, both on and off the air, I’ll briefly share a few of my thoughts, both regarding the incident, and its implications.

But first, the raw video taken in the moments before the assault:

As you can see, the only interview I had a chance to conduct was purely straightforward. I’ve done hardball interviewing, I’ve done undercover, I’ve done ambush and other forms of judo-journalism — none were my MO this time.

There were only four “provocations” I am responsible for: 1) Having a camera; 2) consistently refusing to leave when repeatedly threatened; 3) merely being seen by two protesters who were looking for a straw man to foist their emotional insecurities upon (a kind of social microcosm of a larger national trend); and 4) being in the throes of an emotionally unstable crowd motivated by pure knee-jerk Bay Area groupthink.

It took me a while to fight them off because: a) I was outnumbered; b) I was preoccupied with maintaining my grip on the camera as they tried to pry it out of my hand while straddling, socking and kicking me on the pavement ground; and c) given the journalist cap I was wearing at the time, I exercised a certain restraint so as to minimize my influence on the course the story took.

Some have asked if I have any regrets. My answer is: Too few to mention. I was there to cover a story, and the plot simply thickened. The assault was an occupational hazard. I’ve reported in Wisconsin and Ohio during militant union protests, at another Trayvon rally in South Central Los Angeles, in Baghdad during the war. The risk of physical danger and potential pain and injury comes with the job — that is if the job is being done right.

To me, this was a job worth doing — I knew this the second I saw an elementary to middle school-aged child being escorted by his mother and led in the chant: “No justice, no peace — fuck you pigs, die in your sleep.”

The objects of the chanters’ disaffections, the police, whose “overbearing presence” protesters decried, were so overbearing that that after my assault, I had to schlep half a block down — where they were camped out in the police vehicles — to inform them of what had happened. I was told their post-Occupy posture was deliberate, as the force had become increasingly reluctant to involve themselves in public rallies given the risk of inciting violent reactions. I suppose it’s safe to say that whatever the Occupy movement intended to accomplish, it won on that front.

However, the police down the street were not the first contact I made, but rather, the ABC news van on the other side of the corner. The van doors wide open, I demanded to know from the reporters inside if they had caught any of the incident a moment ago. “What incident?”

Alas, the narrative of peaceful Oakland protests was momentarily preserved by ABC’s wandering eyes. Though the dissemination of my account would prove to obstruct that narrative via the laudable proactivity of Charles Johnson, The Daily Caller, The Drudge Report, Laura Ingraham and others, I find that it also reinforces an unfortunate, yet common, sentiment about my place of birth and youth, and it is on that note I find it worthwhile to briefly digress:

Oakland is better than this. Incidents like this, though unfortunately somewhat typical, is not one for which I hope the town would be recognized. What happened was not symptomatic of an Oakland problem, but presently an American one. And sadly, one that too many Americans don’t wish to solve, as to them a solution itself would pose a problem of its own.

Booker T. Washington wrote: “I am afraid that there is a certain class of race-problem solvers who don’t want the patient to get well, because as long as the disease holds out they have not only an easy means of making a living, but also an easy medium through which to make themselves prominent before the public.” This was in 1911.

Last week was not my first Trayvon rally. Nor was it the most disturbing or exhibitive of Washington’s fear. In April 2012, I attended a rally at a church on Crenshaw Boulevard in South Central Los Angeles, headlined by certified race-problem solvers and Reverends Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson. Outside the church, SEIU canvassers collected signatures like raffle tickets at a Dodgers game.

But it got even more surreal inside the building, as the Rev. Sharpton took the stage — Trayvon’s parents seated directly behind him. Demanding a first-degree murder charge for George Zimmerman (this being a year before the case even went to trial), the reverend presented a grocery list of political causes for which he insisted the occasion of Martin’s death should have somehow sounded a “wake-up call.” They included everything from saving public education to protecting the U.S. Post Office from privatization.

It was outside that rally that I confronted Sharpton about his authority to be speaking on civil trials given his role in the Tawana Brawley case, let alone on the subject of racism, given his role in a notorious riot culminating in a mob beating similar in circumstances to, but far, far graver than mine. Sharpton’s stubbornness in this interview days later reawakened the ire of Yankel Rosenbaum’s family.

So goes the story of two thugs looking for a fight, finding a target, and catalyzing a chain-reactive pile-on among bellicose groupthinking bystanders while a major media entity stands by and the presence of law is deliberately withdrawn.

Now you decide if that sentence describes my incident last week, or America the past few years. If the latter, then all that is warranted is a replacement of the word “street thugs” with “reverends.”

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  • OfficialPro

    It’s a strange mutation of the mob mentality, that.

  • toryu88

    Their behavior reminds me of the line in the first GodFather movie where they were discussing whether to get involved in the drug trade. One Italian character says something to the effect that they should keep the drugs in the Dark community…. “they’re animals, let them lose their souls.” Everything I am seeing of late, the black on black violence, the herd/mob mentality, the quick resorting to violence all shows the prescience of the script writer. Just two days ago a white-black woman shot a white-black man here in Houston at a gas station, then paused long enough to take pictures of the corpse and drove off. She showed no more emotion than you or I would have swatting a fly. They have indeed lost their souls.

    • Rocky Mountain

      I don’t understand the “white-black” descriptor. I assume you mean a black woman shot a white man?
      Mob mentality is nothing new but always troubling and dangerous. I attended college in the Bay Area in the sixties and witnessed the birth, or pretty close to the birth, of the current leftist rage while at SFSU. They functionally shut the school down for a semester. About five years ago I was at a college wrestling match between my local school and SFSU. I had the opportunity to talk to the SFSU coaches before the match and introduced myself as an alumni from the sixties. Their response was unbelievable – they knew very well about those days and they said the University has never really recovered and was still in constant upheaval; basically a continuous mob mentality for over 40 years!

      • toryu88

        Its called sarcasim. lol. Barry is a White Blackman as sure as George Zimmerman is a White Hispanic. Michelle B is a White-Black woman. According to the old slavers definition, which the blacks cling to like it was a holy writ: “One drop of black blood makes you black”. They define themselves by it. So it seems does one drop of white blood taint George Z in the Zimmerman case. We will never be rid of race so long as racial groups can use it as a tool to further their own cause, all the while beating whitey on the head with it. For instance, Hispanics seem to define themselves by their language, embracing all races under their racial umbrella from the looks of the HOLA awards show. They include as Hispanic anyone who speaks spanish or has Spanish roots, including Charley Sheen, regardless of whether they are a pennisularo, a mulatto, quadroon or octaroon, or a spanish speaking Native American. All are hispanics, which is the point of view of La Rasa too. I had a great great great high yellar grandmother (probably mulatto or quadroon) does that make me black? Hardly. So I use the term White-Black man because in my estimation, one drop of white blood makes someone white. Do you think it was the white half of Barry or the black half that qualified him for the whitehouse? I know it was the black half that got him into college and through Harvard on a wave of affirmative action. The black half also got him into politics into Chicago and into the Whitehouse, so I assume it is that half that also makes him an incompetent pathological lying narcissist.

        • DUSTY

          According to the old slavers definition, which the blacks cling to like it was a holy writ: “One drop of black blood makes you black”. They define themselves by it
          By that definition Zimmerman is a black man.

          • toryu88

            No actually he would be a “hispanic”. I have not heard any reports that his mother had black in her. His father was white, hence the label “white-hispanic”. That is unless you are referencing the claim that all of us have DNA from Africa, which is not quite the same thing. My point is that African Americans are the true racists. They cling to outdated and archaic definitions to define themselves, in order to lay claim to “victimhood”. Why else would an other wise predominately white (3/4 white) woman or man claim to be “black” when in truth only one fourth of their makeup is African American? If being Black in America is so bad, why would they not lay claim to their white half? They continue to let history define them, and lay claim to the definition that was originated to keep them in their place, a tool of segregation. If they refused to be labeled black, who in todays world would refute them? Black Hispanics do it all the time. Most Carribean Islanders can label themselves Hispanic and no one questions it, the only difference between them and African Americans is they speak spanish, and truth be told, the African Americans have more white genetic material in them than the Caribbean Islanders.

  • WhiteHunter

    This is a terrifying video. I’d expect a scene like this — a lethally dangerous, screaming, violent, out-of-control mob of savages — in Mogadishu, not in an American city. I’d be wrong.

    This is Jackson’s, and Sharpton’s, and Spike Lee’s “base.” And frighteningly, it’s also Rangel’s. And Obama’s. They feed it, pander to it, incite it, rationalize and excuse its savagery, and profit from it.
    God help us.

  • CowboyUp

    Covering the msm not covering the violence at leftist protest might make for some interesting reports or features

  • tagalog

    One encouraging factor that the video shows is the small number of blacks involved in the demonstration. I guess the black folks with sense stayed home.

    Not to stereotype the white folks who are shown in the demonstration, but they have exactly the appearance I would expect of white-boy demonstrators of this type.

  • 1proactive2

    In this event, the press only reaped what it has sown.

    Unstable blacks, which is to say, most all black urban crawlers, have been given an MSM pass on their violence or removed from personal responsibility for their other destructive actions. That this naïve “reporter” says he was “just doing his job” speaks more about his lack of common sense than commitment to the job.

    When the blacks are in riot mode, see also during “demonstrations”, stay out of their neighborhood. They will beat a White, Hispanic, or Asian, guaranteed. They will also kill them if given a chance. Ghetto blacks are savages, and they enjoy the power and chaos. Even the cops bow out of the mayhem.

    Pass the word, oh noble “reporter”. You may just save a life in the future.

  • semus

    And this is exactly what our President wants.

  • Toa

    I rather suspect that the chinless/sunken chested white guys’ participation in this activity is more like “protection money” on their part, in a cowardly effort to avert friction (to put it nicely) from the underclass blacks whom they so fear.

  • DNR

    Stand your ground.

  • cynthia curran

    In Orange County the verdict had a very mild reaction only 60 protesters that’s because the county is only 2 percent black. Occupy Wall Street and the Hispanic groups like La Raza were more interested in the cops shooting a Mexican gang member last year in Anaheim that lead to vandalism by Mexican gangs and some Occupy Wall Street, even the left if there were hardly any blacks in the area were interested in other things.

  • tanstaafl

    Mob rule.

  • American1969

    Disgusting. And they wonder why people look at them sideways and act nervous around them. It’s not because people are racist, it’s because of the way these people ACT. If you’re going to act like a thug and an animal, why should anyone have any respect for you or believe that you’re anything else?
    As for the Oakland PD—-they probably didn’t have permission from the ACLU, so they weren’t allowed to do anything.

    • OfficialPro

      it’s like reverse pavlov’s dogs. Instead of a reward though, a bad thing is associated with it.

  • AbsolutelyRight

    Obama and Holder love this….this is exactly as Alinsky taught them. This gives them power to intimidate all whites, but especially the rinos, who will fold like a cheap suit ..because they feel they must suck up to these evil ignorant violent masses that leftists ginned up on phony race charges for democratic votes and profit.