Oakland cafe owner keeps it in perspective

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On Saturday night, the window of Oakland’s Awaken Cafe got smashed after protests erupted in response to George Zimmerman’s acquittal.

“We had a show going on. It was startling, but the band kept playing,” says cafe owner Cortt Dunlap. Since it’s located along the perimeter of Frank Ogawa Plaza, renamed Oscar Grant Plaza when Occupy Oakland's tent city materialized there in the fall of 2011, the vandalism threw Awaken into the spotlight.

“I just noticed people, journalists, passers-by, stopping and snapping pictures of my window,” Dunlap said. “So I thought, I’m just going to put something in the broken window that kind of changes the conversation a little bit.”

He spent a few minutes printing up a sign to inform onlookers that the window would soon be fixed. But “When will the US Justice System?” The message asked. Or “archaic gun control laws?” He also threw in some stats (gleaned from Wikipedia) on racial disparity in rates of conviction and incarceration. It wasn't long before his message started making the rounds on Twitter.

Dunlap says he wasn’t exactly glued to the news about Zimmerman’s trial, but nevertheless he has a strong opinion about the death of Trayvon Martin. “If Trayvon had been white like me,” he said, “this wouldn’t have happened.”

Pick up a copy of this week's Guardian for editorials by San Francisco Sups. London Breed and Malia Cohen on the Trayvon Martin tragedy, and stay tuned for our post on yesterday's rally and candlelight vigil at San Francisco City Hall, where African American leaders gathered to issue a call to action.

Comments

Sub-headline: Masochistic shopowner wants you to break his windows again anytime you have a beef with The Man.

Rebecca was too lazy to add that breaking a small businessman's window does absolutely nothing to fight amerikka, but it will cost this cafeowner a pretty penny and a good amount of some time.

So, Anarchist Shitbags, keep on pummeling Oakland tonight before you drive home to the Burbs.

Posted by Anony on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 2:21 pm

Thank goodness this brand of violence now happens in Oakland instead of San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 3:55 pm

I hope an enormous earthquake destroys San Francisco soon and leaves Oakland intact. SF is full of nothing but racists. That's why I left, and I'm glad I did.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 5:25 pm

I'm sorry for the above comments, they're from disgusting people who do not represent SF! I hope the revolution comes to SF and rattle our cages!!!! Love you Oakland!!! Keep up the fight, we're watching and learning!!!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 10:11 am

San Francisco is full of racist? What alternate plane of reality are you living on? SF is a an extremely diverse city and one of the least racist cities on the planet.

Also, you are so ignorant that you don't realize that if an earthquake hit San Francisco it would destroy Oakland, too.

It is always an improvement to the City when idiots like you leave. It would be better for the whole Bay Area and the California if you would take the next step and move out of state. Given your extreme level of ignorance I would suggest Naples, Florida--that state is always welcoming of another fool.

Posted by Chris on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 10:49 am

dozens of small neighborhoods which are often dominated by one race. The city looks diverse if you just look at the states but, by and large, the chinese, mexicans, russians, irish, blacks etc. stick to their own.

Not that I'd categorise SF'ers as racist that much - that's just envious Oaklanders who cannot afford SF trying to denigrate us. But SF is really 100 villages and each one is it's own ethnic fiefdom.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 11:17 am

I disagree with your point of view, but that is beside the point.

My main point was that the poster is ignorant and his comment was beyond the pale.

The Bay Area would be much better without people of his mindset.

Posted by Chris on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

Yeah,

The person who probably broke his window was black as well. The reason why 28% of them end up in prison is because they are a more violent race.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 5:01 pm

And my guess is that whites are a more presumptuous race who are good at leaping to conclusions
oh and shoot unarmed people with 9mms.

wow, I get it, this racism stuff is so much fun.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 7:27 am

That's the hallmark of a racist i.e. believing that you can infer behavior from race.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 7:41 am

explains white boys and men blowing and shooting up schools, churches, theaters, buildings and clinics???

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 2:26 pm

So diverse that people of color are isolated into the tl or bvhp. Stop kidding yourself.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 3:28 pm

Lots of Hispanics in the Mission and Excelsior.

Get out more.

That said, races often segregate themselves, choosing to live in area's where they are a majority.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 6:17 am

This strategy could be really good and I guess that many other owners should apply it!

Posted by yachtbooker on Feb. 19, 2014 @ 12:54 am

While I completely disagree with that persons statement about wishing a catastrophe on any location. Living in San Francisco was very difficult for me too, I found it extremely racist and everyone had the same attitude you do. "It's so diverse and it's better than anywhere else so our shit doesn't smell".

You need to flip that script and actually look at your diverse city, the distribution of wealth there, and who is continually marginalized and pushed out.

Get a grip.

Posted by Avery on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 5:50 am

how do you know that these are anarchists, from the suburbs, who have cars? (don't say "I just know") do you know any of these people? or do you just have a suspicion of who they are? What is this suspicion informed by? do you spend time in anarchist spaces? or is that just what you read in the newspapers?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 4:41 pm

"Anarchist spaces" is an oxymoron

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 4:53 pm

Anarchist spaces in academia, economy and media!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 10:12 am

Look at the records of the arrests made by the Oakland police. The vast majority of those caught doing this kind of damage were from outside Oakland.

Posted by TheTruth on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 5:10 pm

The people who were arrested were NOT from Oakland. That's how I know.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

Because they managed to escape?

Perhaps it helps knowing the streets and escape routes due to regular criminal activity huh?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:44 am

According to today's Chron.

The third was from San Jose.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 9:34 am

Most of the 'anarchists' I've met at occupy, Grant, and Martin protests are fucking morons who mostly want to break shit because they don't know how else to disown their white privilege.

Posted by Galser on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 11:35 pm

Wow, good job at totally missing the point. I'm sure the cafe owner isn't happy about having his window broken, but he was using the attention to make a point about injustice. Better than trolling the internet spreading useless negativity.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 5:23 pm

Or he just doesn't want his windows to get broken again. Kind of like putting up the "we are Oscar Grant" flyers during the Oscar Grant riots or putting up a "Black-owned" sign up during the Rodney King riots.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 7:37 pm

of meaningless left wing gibberish.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

Man, way to trash a silver lining. You really broke the window on that one.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 8:29 pm

It's been proven time and time again that police are able and willing to do false flag type dirty work to shit on anarchists---and there are plenty of stupid kids who identify as anarchist who will shit on Oakland to express their outrage with the police and judicial system.

In the end it's a ploy to discourage protests, peaceful or otherwise.

Posted by Kendon on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 9:38 am

Crime victimization surveys line up with incarceration results by race.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 4:12 pm

What?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 8:33 pm

The sign says 28% of black males go to prison. The reason: black males commit crimes at a high rate

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 8:22 am

The reason is that they are CONVICTED at a high rate, not that they commit crimes at a high rate. High rate compared to? They are prosecuted at a high rate as well. Please remember that incarceration requires somebody to be prosecuted and successfully convicted, and that requires interface with the criminal justice system, which means scores of individuals with their own perspectives and pathologies. This says nothing of the individual's choice, or the conditions which led to that choice, or whether, even that choice ought to be considered illegal or not. Those are even more considerations when we look at the reasons why 28% of black males go to prison.

Don't you ever want to know why?

Posted by che on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:28 am

criminals do not get arrested?

Because, by definition, they are not in the system.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 11:46 am

That's why I wrote that crime victimization surveys match incarceration rates, genius. Black men commit more crimes than Hispanic or white men according to victims of crime.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 19, 2013 @ 1:15 pm

Should enforce some sort of crime busing?

How is the justice system going to force certain groups to commit more crime?

What does that last line even mean?

"When will archaic gun control laws?" do what? Force Whites and Hispanics to carry a guns and then go to jail?

The perspective is that this sign makes no sense.

The interviewee also claims to not have followed the trial but has strong opinions on the whole thing.

The typical progressive.

Posted by matlock on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 5:05 pm

A small percentage of the protesters that were marching for what they deemed an injustice on the verdict outcome of the trail, the majority were there to fuck up what ever they could, and steal from looted stores like Foot Locker this is called a fun night out in Oakland. Down town Oakland is trying to attract new business, no business in there right mind would rent or lease in down town Telegraph Ave. or Broadway.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 7:17 pm

Once the three pro sports teams leave, it will be a wasteland. The natives there are welcome to smash it up, as long as we keep them out of SF.

Posted by anon on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 10:46 pm

Good thing I do not rely on SFBG for any news.

Posted by anon on Jul. 17, 2013 @ 10:47 pm

I was just wondering what he meant by Archaic Gun Laws, since he doesn’t explain,
and why he thinks if he attached a man with a gun and was beating his head against the pavement that being white would save him, just wondering.

Posted by GuestJW on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

further violence, and I don't blame him or credit him unduly for the content of it.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:32 pm

If he would of been white, it wouldve been more like a shooting rampage..yea archaic gun laws!!!

Posted by EV on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 12:40 pm

funny how both cases were in FLA but all the crazy rants and protests were all out of state.. if youre goint to talk $hit about FLA first look at the ignorance around you. atleast Fla can be more mature about the situations. and SAN FRAN?? HAHA COME ON!! the city of gays.. lol you guys have more to fix than anyone else.. GOD made adam and eve not adam and steve

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 1:17 pm

Wow!
Did you come up with this all by your wee lil self sweetheart? A for effort F for YOUR WHACK DUDE!!!!

Posted by Reasonably Annoyed on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 1:36 pm

Perhaps spontaneous generation--possibly the result of an eddy in the phlogiston due to the guest posting at 1:17 pm's having a brain fart?

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 4:31 pm

In the words of Rodney King:
"Can't we all just get along?!"

All of you commenters sound really "intelligent" (sarcasm here) right now
Lol!
All of u need to take a seat!
You all missed the point!
SIT DOWN!!!
(Notice, I cursed or degraded none of u. Lets see
which one of u will loose all will power and explode
On this web blog)
Goodnight!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

In the words of Rodney King:
"Can't we all just get along?!"

All of you commenters sound really "intelligent" (sarcasm here) right now
Lol!
All of u need to take a seat!
You all missed the point!
SIT DOWN!!!
(Notice, I cursed or degraded none of u. Lets see
which one of u will loose all will power and explode
On this web blog)
Goodnight!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 2:09 pm

In the words of Rodney King:
"Can't we all just get along?!"

All of you commenters sound really "intelligent" (sarcasm here) right now
Lol!
All of u need to take a seat!
You all missed the point!
SIT DOWN!!!
(Notice, I cursed or degraded none of u. Lets see
which one of u will loose all will power and explode
On this web blog)
Goodnight!

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 2:13 pm

Cafe Owner: Oakland gets in the news where a lot of violence happens... People in Oakland are proud to see the converation back to where it matters: http://voicerussia.com/radio_broadcast/70924886/118157961.html

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 2:41 pm

Question: why are there endless protest about one man being killed in Florida, but no protests about the record number of senseless murders in Oakland?

TWELVE robberies a day, every day in Oakland!
Just TODAY an 8 year-old African-American girl killed, two children and a Grandmother injured by (certainly illegal) gun violence. FIFTY-FOURTH homicide of the year. FIFTY FOUR!

This is somehow the fault of the justice system? Or gun laws?

But y'all are worried about Trayvon. I guess that is a nice distraction from the failure of your own community. Good job.

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 3:03 pm

The reason black people are more likely to go to prison is because they can't keep from committing crimes. Mexicans are better at that but are still not the best

Posted by Guest on Jul. 18, 2013 @ 3:10 pm