Saturday, February 20, 2016

Bernie Handcuffed for Resisting Arrest?

Does 1963 Video Show Bernie Sanders Being Handcuffed for Resisting Arrest? 

Photo evidence (including digital video) is a very well established approach to proving a point.  The updated take on it that we see in this case, though, is most interesting. Here we have a news clip that has emerged and which is presented not as incontrovertible truth, but as possible/probable truth. Notice that this video's  title, after stating what it hopes it might prove, is punctuated with a question mark. There was a time when news consumers would have insisted on receiving nothing but solid, journalistic ferreting out and presenting of the truth. But we media hungry citizens of the 21st Century want to be included in the process of getting to the truth, or dabbling in getting to it, as early as possible. And we love being entertained by assertions of what is the truth as much as by proven fact, and to us it's all entertainment, anyway. 

Further, while much explanation of this story, that presidential candidate hopeful, Bernie Sanders truly has a life-long history of social consciousness, social activism, and of taking personal risk to support positive American change, has appeared in print news, it really has gotten much more traction through viewers seeing bits and pieces of it in videos, both broadcast on mass media and through YouTube and its clones. But YouTube is much more than video, it is more truly a form of social media that carries, archives, distributes, and facilitates human exchange about video. What's the full story here? That's not so easy to pin down, but we get a somewhat full picture of this story through splicing a few video vignettes together.

 Below is a headline and news segment taken from the NY Times online FirstDraft section. Interesting that the centerpiece is an embedded digital video clip, which both supports the story that appears in text and really provides the very gist and crux of it, as well. I think that the Times has been at the helm of a movement that has moved us to a version of mass journalism that blends and depends of such embedded clips. And while some Luddites and print authenticity snobs may assert that this is watered down news reading, I think that what I get is a far richer experience.

Man Captured on Film Being Arrested in a 1963 Protest is Bernie Sanders, His Campaign Says

In recent days, Hillary Clinton’s campaign has questioned Senator Bernie Sanders’s commitment to civil rights, trying to cement her support among black voters who could be crucial in upcoming primaries such as South Carolina’s.

Is this Bernie Sanders being arrested?
from Kartemquin Films on Vimeo.

A lifeline has now arrived for the Sanders campaign, in the form of film footage more than half a century old. On Monday, a film company, Kartemquin Films, uploaded footage of a young man, wearing thick glasses, surrounded by police officers who grabbed him by his arms and carried him away..."

This particular clip uses the vimeo platform, which strikes me as very, very similar to YouTube. By the way, in addition to possibly verifying Bernie Sanders' claim to having been arrested for standing up for Civil Rights, this video shows some of the lunacy of those times, and I think communicates their flavor in much higher fidelity than print might.  For one thing, back in '63 apparently some very smart individuals concluded that the only way to influence the American 'system' to honor the very constitution under which it was set up, a constitution that promises all Americans equal treatment under the law, was to stage acts of civil disobedience; disrupting traffic, for instance, in order to get a university to desegregate student housing. For another, and this piece of lunacy jumps out of this video at me strongly, is the newspaper clip that shows that Sanders was arrested for resisting arrest. Huh? By any logic I know, he might have been charged with resisting arrest as an ancillary charge to something that you might logically arrest a person for; unlawful assembly, public mischief, creating a public nuisance, something like that. But how do you arrest someone solely for not allowing you to arrest him? Seems to me to be the kind of thing that Alice might have observed the police department of Wonderland do, you know, that place behind the looking glass. Further, we are WITNESSING the arrest in the video. If that's resisting, then what would cooperating look like? Did those cops not like the lack of spring he put into his step as they lead him to and placed him in "the wagon?" C'mon!

Sanders on his arrest during 60's civil rights action

This video (above) appears to have been posted by CNN and at this writing has drawn 12,689 views. As part of our new relationship to media, I guess, eveyone attempts to extract some bandwidth and value from anything that proves itself worthy of 5 minutes of our attention. By the way, check out this headline posted on the CNN website:

"CNN announcesDemocratic town hall

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