Empathetic Nervous System

First thing this morning, I learned about the murder of Oscar Grant.  The following is from an email I got over a listserv — I hope it might be helpful to some of y’all.  Please know that I am not here to nag you into action, only to pass along resources in case any of them resonate.

5 Things You Can Do Right Now

About the Oscar Grant Shooting

Share w/ your peeps

by Makani Themba-Nixon

1. Digg the story so that the national media can pick up on it (Thanks, Jabari For this link): http://digg. com/world_news/Oakland_Police_Officer_Shoots_Unarmed_Man_Handcuffed_Man


2. Contact BART Director Carole Ward Allen and demand that 1) the officers involved be taken off duty without pay and charged and fully prosecuted; 2) there be an independent investigation of the shooting that includes a review of training and hiring practices; and 3) BART establish an independent residents’ review board for the police Call her at 510-464-6095 or email the BART Directors at BoardofDirectors@bart.gov

3. Call the BART police to complain about the officers’ conduct and demand immediate action:

Internal Affairs: Sergeant David Chlebowski 510.464.7029,dchlebo@bart.gov

Chief of Police: Gary Gee 510.464.7022, ggee@bart.gov

Call them toll free at 877.679.7000 and press the last four digits of the phone number you wish to reach.

4. Talk it up on your blogs, networks and talk radio shows (call Michael Baisden 877-6BADBOY or Rev. Al, etc. to get this on the national radar)

5. Stay tuned for other actions, protests, etc., especially if you are in the Bay.


For those who haven;’t seen the horrific video take a look and note that this our tax dollars at work

Watch the video —

After watching a dozen versions of video footage, I cracked open, and my mother held me as I cried.

It’s impossible to separate my sadness for Oscar Grant from my pain over the Gaza massacres.  I can’t even separate it from my love for my father, or my own personal fears and occasional despair. It’s like one giant, continuous upwelling.

That’s part of what makes empathy magical, I guess.

2 thoughts on “Empathetic Nervous System

  1. Ana January 10, 2009 / 2:23 am

    Thankyou for this clear information. I had a friend attend the protest in Oakland, from so far away I wondered what/how to do anything. I did the five suggestions above & it helped lift some of my need to be heard on this. To do something/anything.
    Thankyou Again.

  2. Freesia January 14, 2009 / 9:56 pm

    your last two paragraphs articulate exactly what i have been feeling the last couple of weeks.

    thank you for this clarity.

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