I wanted to share this article I read from Los Angeles WAVE (THE LARGEST BLACK NEWSPAPER IN THE WEST). It touched on many subjects in one article that I take interest in such as a senseless death of a young Afro-Latina by a recently released parolee who was panhandling, dealing with people begging for handouts and the danger, how people have become so matter of fact about certain things in society, no one stepping up to handle that actually problems that are in your face and willing to turn a blind eye, parolees being released early, how people can start to make something the norm…great article and please share with everyone…..we have to take justice back and stop depending on others when it starts with self…
Christine Calderon’s Stabbing Death Says Much About Our Current Society
By ANTHONY ASADULLAH SAMAD, Ph. D., is a national columnist and author of “REAL EYEZ: Race, Reality and Politics in 21 Century Popular Culture.” He can be reached at http://www.AnthonySamad.com and on Twitter at @DrAnthonySamad
One of the most outrageous and egregious events ever occurred in Hollywood last week. It was troubling because it was a sign of society’s break-down in both the law and policy.
Christine Calderon, a 23-year-old Afro-Latina, walking the tourist strip in Hollywood, had her life taken because she took a photo of a sign being held by a panhandler and refused his demand to give him a dollar. A dollar.
Christine Calderon lost her life for one dollar. That is only where the outrage begins.
At one of the city’s busiest tourist attractions, Hollywood Boulevard and Vine Street to Hollywood and Highland Avenue, where people-watching is the attraction, a recently released prisoner of the state’s prison realignment program was able to blend into the oddities of a tourist space. Then he was able to hold up a sign that said, “[Bleep] You, Give Me A Dollar Please.”
Now thing about that. This is not about free speech because every state and city has permitted restrictions to free speech and obscenity is not protected by free speech. Let me put it to you this way. Would someone be able to hold up such a sign outside of, say, Disneyland? The answer is hell, no!
More troubling is that we witnessed a convergence of cultural issues that nobody seems to want to talk about. We have become an irreverent society. Irreverence is a staple of a society in rebellion. It’s expressed in our language and in our cultural expression.
The fact that Calderon’s alleged killer could post up on the corner of Hollywood and Vine with such an irreverent sign is an active demonstration of our cultural irreverence by the simple fact that his presence was simply viewed as part of the character of the tourist attraction. He was part of the scenery.
People walked past him without a second thought. Some looked and kept going. I saw him on the Saturday before Calderon’s death on my way to the jazz festival at the Hollywood Bowl.
I said, “That’s the devil, right there” and kept going. Others stopped and took a picture.
That’s the whole reason he was there, to be seen. Some tipped, some didn’t. This is where the clash comes in. We are now an “Instagram” society. We take pictures of everything and tweet’em, post’em, share them without regard for permission or commission. We believe we own what we see.
Calderon believed she was taking a photo of the cultural tourist scenery. Her alleged killer thought he was entitled to charge for being part of the scenery. It was a classic culture clash.
It is most troubling because literally nobody noticed. Beyond a few mentions on the evening news, nobody has demanded any justice, questioned the motives, called into question why the circumstances existed or even called for assistance for the family.
No Black press ran the story. No press conferences were called to demand accountability of government. No candlelight vigil to pray for justice. Not a single word from any of the so-called civil rights groups, who tend to call out the obvious anyway, on the civil liberty and civil rights violations of the event. Not a peep. No politicians (except one) called for any investigation.
More disturbing than the killing of Calderon, is the continued perpetuation of fake advocacy that misses the issues that impact our communities the most and waits for a bell to ring or a camera to show up before they speak. It is this kind of absence of sophistication in the advocacy– driven by anti-intellectualism, of course–that robs us of legitimate awareness in exchange for faux notoriety.
Waiting for “monkey see, monkey do,” we are also robbed of our outrage, waiting for people asleep at the switch to give us the signal. Our community missed the bell on this. Why? The so-called activists slept through it. The Calderon stabbing proves it.
How can you not be outraged by this tragedy and circumstances that surround it?
The county Board of Supervisors (thank you Supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Zev Yaroslavsky) have called for an investigation as to how Dustin James Kinnear was released early and what county mechanisms supervised that release.
The state released another 9,000 this month to meet the court ordered mandate of reducing the state’s prison population by June 1913. This is the opening of Pandora’s box, as the complexities of how parolees find work and merge civilly into the society become real. In the meantime, how does the city and county address the obscenity and panhandling issues that have become more pervasive in our increasingly irreverent society?
We can’t let Christine Calderon die for a dollar and say nothing about the circumstances that brought about her death. The absence of advocacy will not equate to an absence of outrage.
I’m deeply disturbed by this and will not feed into ignorant silence. In the cause of cultural irreverence to stop obscene signage and panhandler aggression, take a picture of this my middle finger.
- Panhandlers Stabbed Woman to Death for Not Paying $1 After Taking Their Pictures at Hollywood ‘Walk of Fame’ (katenews2day.com)
- Suspect In Hollywood Stabbing Was Recent Parolee Released Under Prison Realignment (losangeles.cbslocal.com)
- Woman Fatally Stabbed After Refusing To Give Panhandlers $1 (newstalkcleveland.com)
- Woman killed on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame over $1 (nbclatino.com)
- Stabbing death in the heart of Hollywood’s tourist district (vineoflife.net)
- Christine Calderon murder 6/18/2013 Hollywood, CA *Stabbed to death because she refused to give some transients money; Three men charged* (mylifeofcrime.wordpress.com)
- Hollywood stabbing murder suspect had been released from prison early through AB 109 (abclocal.go.com)