Birgeneau apologizes for police response to Occupy Cal

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released audio recording Tuesday apologizing for police actions during Occupy Cal.
Barbara Sullinger/File
UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released audio recording Tuesday apologizing for police actions during Occupy Cal.

UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau released an audio message Tuesday regarding the campus response to events of the past few weeks.

He said he takes full responsibility for the events of Nov. 9 — which elicited widespread condemnation from faculty and students after police used batons to clear through throngs of protesters — and “will do (his) very best to ensure that this does not happen again.”

Read the transcript of the recording:

“I have been hearing from many of you about police procedures on our campus, and I want to share my thoughts directly with you. I sincerely apologize for the events of November 9 at UC Berkeley and extend my sympathies to any of you who suffered an injury during these protests. As chancellor, I take full responsibility for these events and will do my very best to ensure that this does not happen again. I look forward to working with the Office of the President to identify best practices in this area. I have made it clear that I want the review of events on November 9 to be completed as soon as possible. I pledge to follow up aggressively to implement its recommendations. We will improve our performance.

“In my four decades as a faculty member and, more recently, as a senior leader, these are among the most challenging issues that I have faced. I consider academic excellence, social equity, public service and free speech to be at the very foundation of who we are as an institution. These are the values that attracted me to UC Berkeley, and they must be preserved.

“Even in these difficult times, I am thankful that we have a community that is so passionate and dedicated to this university and everything it stands for. I look forward to working with all of you as we move forward. Let me finish by wishing you and your families a very happy Thanksgiving.”

Soumya Karlamangla is the assistant city news editor.

Please keep our community civil. Comments should remain on topic and be respectful.
Read our full comment policy
  • Anonymous

        UC Berkeley Chancellor Robert Birgeneau was shouted down by students last night and told to “…leave Berkeley”. Here is the story:http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=%2Fc%2Fa%2F2011%2F12%2F08%2FBA0V1MA2Q4.DTL  

  • Anonymous

          BTW, the  Chancellors who enjoy having peaceful protesting students assaulted and battered with pepper spray and night sticks by their police, voted themselves and other campus administrators a raise  while having the balls to explain the reason for higher student tuition is the budgetary cuts!

          What a crock!! Get rid of these people!!!

           See story here: http://www.dailycal.org/2011/11/29/uc-board-of-regents-approves-raises-for-campus-administrators-lawyers/

  • John

    I can’t believe that Birgeneau puts up with you idiots.  There are two sides to every story.  Did you see how those students and faculty (WHO SHOULD BE FIRED AND WOULD BE IF THEY WERE IN THE PRIVATE MARKETPLACE) who are inciting this were behaving. Spitting on police officers, swearing and than crying “Poor Me”.  Give me a break, Go Get a job and thank the chancellor for putting up with this crap

    • Anonymous

      John, the only ones who deserve any sympathy in this situation is us who put up with you.

  • Anonymous

    WHAT A TURKEY!!! We know what he looks like so let’s go Occupy his house!!!   Occupiers did it to the Mayor of New York! Why not?

  • Roger Hollander, Class of ’62

    A key word is conspicuous in its absence: JUSTICE.  Will those who authorized and committed acts of brutality against students and faculty be held accountable; that is, will they be brought to justice.  Or, like the Obama cop-out on torture, does the Chancellor prefer to look forward rather than backwards?

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WRACM77JT2RXUR3LMGDPPUGUYY Tony M

      Roger, get over it. There was no “brutality”. The protesters chose to get into a physical confrontation with the cops over their stupid idea that they have to set up tents everywhere, and the police use the necessary force to deal with the situation. Seriously now, if you have ever seen the way that police deal with such behavior in other countries, you would realize that such miscreants are treated with kid gloves. No permanent injuries, no broken bones. Get some perspective…

      • Anonymous

        Tony M…get a life!

  • Eric

    ” I want to share my thoughts directly with you.” And by “directly,” I mean indirectly, in a statement recorded at an undisclosed location.

    • Its1967

      How do you spell c-o-w-a-r-d!

  • Its1967

    To Chancellor Birgeneau:    Grow a pair, cowards hide behind “commissions” and “studies”! 
       Your police Chief Celaya, presented himself to the media a day or 2 after the cop riot* on campus, threatening the campus community with weapons of massive destruction saying he has every intention of using “…gas & rubber bullets…” on the community if they returned to their protest!! These are weapons used in the 3rd world to exterminate opposition to tyrants! Look at Cairo today! Soweto & other places in the past!    Chief Celaya should be FIRED on the spot!
       At least Chancellor Katehi, a woman, has the courage to put the police on public “leave” while the “STUDY” is conducted for the next 4 years! Courage you lack! Symptomatic of academic twits!
      Further, if you have been at Berkeley for 40 years you’ll remember the Anti-Apartheid campaign and shanytowns of the mid-1980s and the violence the UCPD, BART police and the notoriously ultra-violent Alameda County Sheriffs! (aka: “Blue Meanies” a term assigned to them on campus due to their needless violence) . You’ll note, it was, typically, the “Blue Meanies” doing the most vicious & needless violence Nov. 9 against the campus students & faculty! Why are they allowed on campus. Use your prestuge as Chancellor of Berkeley to call for his Recall!
      TAKE REAL RESPONSIBILITY and stop obfuscating and hiding! Fire Chief Celaya NOW! for his remarks alone! Aggressively advocate for the recall of the Alameda County Sheriff! You are clearly being dishonest in your remarks to the community.
    * (cops using excessive force &/or taking advantage of the fact that only they are allowed to carry loaded guns) 

    To some of the posting trolls: Just like the San Francisco Chronicle editorial comments are a SF cops (when they should be doing their job and not hanging out in inet cafes) it’s clear the ed postings here are the UC cops and fellow travelers in other cop depts.
    GO BACK to your tax-paid jobs!

  • crusty

    he should take full responsibility.he should resign.so should ucpd chief celaya.how about it?eh?

  • Disgusted

    “It is unfortunate that some protesters chose to obstruct the police by
    linking arms and forming a human chain to prevent the police from
    gaining access to the tents. This is not non-violent civil
    disobedience.”

    Yes, let’s not forget that he really did say that AFTER the video evidence was widely available for him to look at. Then he thought he could insult our intelligence by retracting his statement, claiming he had been abroad and hadn’t had a chance to see the evidence before commenting. WTF????? This guy makes a statement like THAT to the community before he had a chance to review the videos and other evidence? Even if he is telling the truth, that just shows that he automatically sides with the police and their enablers in administration.
     
    Then only after the video went viral bringing on worldwide criticism did Birgeneau finally issue a pitifully inadequate apology. Then he insults our intelligence again with an equally inadequate apology?

    GO Birgeneau, just GO. Chancellor Katehi is getting all the heat now, but I think YOU need to go more than she does. And take that good-for-nothing student affairs Vice Chancellor Harry Le Grande and the rest of his staff with you.

  • Disgusted

    Birgeneau had many chances to deal with UCPD’s excessive force, most notably in fall 2009 and he has failed miserably. He did NOTHING. He has had many chances to deal with the administration’s repressive stance against students, including encouraging police brutality against students, BLANTANTLY violating their constitutional rights and convicting them of trumped-up  “conduct charges” through kangaroo courts. Again, Birgeneau has completely failed to do anything. It’s like he’s completely soulless without any sense of justice or morals.

     

    • Its1967

      Let us guess, he accepted responsibility for that too!

    • Anonymous

      That police brutality has been allowed to occur unmediated by Birgeneau for at least two years is a very good thing to remember and bring up in light of the continued (and I think escalating) violence that we see today.

      It would also be good to remind people of his email responses to the campus community after each event, including the most recent gem: “linking arms is not non-violent”, which clearly implies that police violence was justified – despite virtually universal condemnation of their actions.

  • Disgusted

    If Katehi goes, he needs to go too. At least Katehi has attempted to directly communicate with students by attending their general assembly. She has appeared to be sincere in her apologies. Birgeneau has done nothing but issue this dispassionate meaningless “apology” that rings as hollow as those cops’ brains. 

  • Disgusted

    Too little too late

  • Brad

    Birgineau, as an employee of Cal, let me echo the setiments of many of my colleagues by saying you are a disgrace and you are embarrassing this fine insitution in the nation’s spotlight.  Didn’t you say in a previous email that encampments wouldn’t be allowed on campus?  So once the tents went up, what was UCPD supposed to do?  Ask a mob politely to pull up stakes and leave?  They used the correct amount of force as they are trained to do.  Grow some balls Chancellor and stand up for your police dept trying to enforce the law and stop worrying about the political correctness crap in this age of appeasement.  Thank you.   

    • Disgusted

      Yeah right Brad. You’re an “employee of Cal.” I can’t imagine what position at Cal you would be allowed to have with the writing skills of a 10 year old — unless you’re on the police force. That would explain the echo of “setiments” [sic] from your “colleagues.”

      • Calipenguin

        1) it’s “setiments [sic]“, not “setiments” [sic]
        2) typo frequency is not an indication of occupational prestige
        3) if you’re going to post, write something that contributes the conversation.  consider my contribution here encouragement to engage people’s arguments rather than ad hominem attacks

    • Anonymous

      Brad, 

      Let me start by saying I assume you are UCPD. If not, insert “UCPD” for “you” where appropriate.

      So Brad, there is a  movement to remove police from all UC campuses. Do you know why?

      It’s OK…I’ll give you more time to think…

      Yes! That’s exactly right. It’s because you fucked up and beat the shit out of peacefully protesting students 10 feet from the place UC Berkeley dedicated a monument to the student who gave rise to the Free Speech Movement in 1964. In case you didn’t know Brad, UC Berkeley trades of an internationally recognized brand that consists of  (1) academic excellence, and (2) a tradition of successfully fighting for, gaining, and protecting freedom of speech.How long did you think you could get away with fucking with that? I know…in this post-9/11 world where campus police were issued really neat Hotwheel-style vehicles with mag wheels, dual exhaust and bitchen mat-black bumpers along with riot gear, m16′s, military-grade pepper spray, body armor, and the direction to be on the alert in case the campus were overrun by Al Qaida, things got out of control. I get how that can happen.

      But that’s over now, thanks to you beating students and beating a poet laureate of the United States and beating professors and pepper spraying students and yanking professors by the hair and throwing them on the ground when she acknowledged her “lawlessness” by holding out her hands and said “please arrest me”.

      Welcome to the real world, Brad, where people have a reasonable expectation that civil disobedience and peaceful protest will not result in injury – let alone at the hands of the police who are charged with protecting them…where violence and brutality are against the law…and where social change is facilitated by a process that in some ways originated on the campus of UC Berkeley.

      Brad, if you are UCPD, then I hope you take what I say to heart. If you are not I still hope you do. And most of all I hope other UCPD officers read this comment. If you wanted a job “busting heads”, as an old cop acquaintance of mine used to say, what the hell were you thinking when you accepted a job at UC Berkeley?

      • Its1967

        Alum- Thank you for writing this, it was needed but I thought it was like lecturing an earthworm. Touche!

      • Brad

        Nope, not UCPD, but thanks for the compliment.  My experiences with them have been very positive and they run an outstanding dep’t with average response times of under 2 minutes.  Try getting that in Oakland.   They’re also the ones who shot the guy with the gun on campus possibly preventing a Va Tech incident.  And I got bored about half way through your rambling to finish whatever it is you were trying to say.  Their use of force was indeed justified and they showed restraint, too.  Live with it.   

        • Anonymous

          Yeah, they do seem to be reasonable and well-mannered until challenged by opinion-wielding students intent on expressing dissatisfaction with the direction of the university, the cost of attending it, or other grievance. I think the police and national guard were exceptionally well-behaved in the 1960′s too until they were faced with a similar situation. I assume you know how that worked out.

          …and that speaks to my point, which I was going to boil down to a few sentences but decided to let you figure out for yourself, or not. Honestly my post became about something other than you very early on, and since you’re not with the UCPD and since you think they’re doing a great job then it probably doesn’t concern you.

          I saw your support of the UCPD as emblematic of something and ran with it. I do appreciate the inspiration, and your good natured response. 

        • Disgusted

          Well then Brad, I guess you’re part of the 1% (actually less than 1%) of the Cal community who thinks the UCPD runs an “outstanding department.” Everyone I know, even conservative McCain-voting alumni I know, think UCPD sucks. Some will even say that it’s weird that UCPD can be so sucky when Berkeley city police is so good (so they’re obviously not anti-police in general).

          As for Chris Travis, the man UCPD shot, there is no indication that UCPD prevented another VA Tech incident. The guy did not threaten any students and it’s doubtful he even threatened police. I think you’re being ridiculously alarmist & dramatic, obviously exploiting the situation to make UCPD look good — evidence that you’re UCPD. 

  • Anonymous

    What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?  The UCPD’s job is to be an unstoppable force.  The protesters’ job is to exercise free speech, but not to be an immovable obstruction to justice.  Birgeneau has no reason to apologize.  Just think, what if 11 Muslim protesters from Irvine link arms and refuse to allow a speech by a visiting Jewish VIP?  Would UCPD be able to remove those 11 protesters?  What if fundamentalist Christians from Kansas formed a human chain on public sidewalks in front of Planned Parenthood and yelled obscenities at female patients?  Should police be allowed to remove those protesters? 

    • Disgusted

      “The UCPD’s job is to be an unstoppable force. ”

      An unstoppable force against what? The students and faculty? I understand this is the police mentality in general, and that being the case, we should question why we have a full police force on the Cal campus to begin with. Other colleges with the same size student body don’t have full police forces like this and they do JUST FINE. We don’t need it. It’s much much MUCH more trouble than it’s worth. Do you know how much this “unstoppable force” is going to cost us in law suits?

      We need to STOP this “unstoppable force” NOW!!!

      • Anonymous

        Columbine and Virginia Tech were “just fine” before their massacres.  UCPD needs to be an unstoppable force because Cal is an open campus surrounded by high crime neighborhoods and all kinds of sexual assaults, robberies, and violent protests have occurred here.  Just think about that Haas student waving his gun around.  What if he started shooting students and faculty members like the crazy VT student?  Do you want a disarmed UCPD to just let him make his point and hopefully run out of ammunition?  Or do you want UCPD to be an unstoppable force?

        • Disgusted

          Drama much?

    • Its1967

      Penguin: The Supreme Court months ago said Westboro Baptist does indeed have that “right”! I disagree with that decision and others like their original stance on slavery, “sodomy” and now “corporations are people”. But then what do you expect from lawyers who make mental constructs in the sky and expect us to live in them?

  • joe

    This excerpt (link below) is an interesting glimpse into how Birgeneau has responded to past activism (behind the scenes) acquired through California public records.

    http://excrementalvirtue.com/2011/11/22/the-chancellors-statement-on-how-professionally-the-police-dealt-with-protesters-was-written-the-day-before-anything-had-happened/

  • http://anonymoustroll.myopenid.com/ anonymous

    UCPD needs to resign en masse to protest the refusal of the administration to stand beside their lenient and correct actions.

    • Disgusted

      Please would you?

      • http://anonymoustroll.myopenid.com/ anonymous

        Oh, don’t worry, they’d be quickly rehired when Bobby realizes that they’re the thin line protecting him from the angry mobs that want to burn his house to the ground (literally.)

        • Disgusted

          LOL, right. Drama much?

  • Guest

    If he were truly sorry he’d resign his incompetent ass

  • Curt

    The best way for Birgeneau to apologize* for police brutalization of students…would be to Fire John Yoo.http://www.firejohnyoo.org/2011/11/the-best-way-for-birgeneau-to.html

    • Anonymous

      Fire John Yoo?  He didn’t do anything that Obama isn’t doing right now in Afghanistan.

  • Righton

    Chancellor Birgenau is correct, it is vital for this educational institution to practice what it preaches.    Life doesn’t come with an owners manual, sometimes we get what we deserve and sometimes we don’t and thank goodness for both.

    • Guesty

      And precisely because life doesn’t come with an owners manual, it’s important we hire people with good judgment to run our public universities.  Given that this is not the first time Birgeneau has met non-violent protest with violence (2009 protests in which my friend received a concussion for trying to prevent his girlfriend from getting beaten; another friend had her hand hit so hard one of her fingers had to be surgically reattached), it’s clear that this was not a one-time egregious error for an otherwise stellar Chancellor. 

      • Disgusted Alum

        Ughhh….I will make it a personal mission to make sure that Cal does not get ONE MORE CENT from me and other Cal alums I know until the brutal, demoralizing MONEY PIT that is UCPD is shut down!!!!

        • http://anonymoustroll.myopenid.com/ anonymous

          Please. Stop pretending you have money to give to the University. You’re probably some unemployed loser.

        • Guest

          There’s no way you donate money to the University.  That would go against everything you stand for.  Why would you actually want to SUPPORT the institution, when you can rant against it?

    • Disgusted

      So suddenly, after nearly a decade of being chancellor, Birgeneau gets the epiphany that the university should “practice what it preaches” in reaction to international scrutiny and criticism. This is not the first time we’ve seen outrageous repression and police brutality against students in the past several years. Add to that trumped-up student conduct charges and prosecuting students in kangaroo courts. UC Berkeley has stood out as the most repressive university of democratic nations. FUCK YOU Birgeneau.

  • Language Yo

    this is UC Berkeley, but many comments here read like middle school writing

    • Seriously…

      Agreed w/ the above – I’m not sure if any of the people posting these things are actually students here but I can’t imagine most of the people I know who go here – passionate standout students from incredibly diverse backgrounds – writing things this juvenile and poorly thought through. You can disagree with each other without embarrassing yourselves and our school. 

      • Calstudent

        “Jason” and “Seriously Bro”…your internet flame war is not adding anything to the conversation – not really a good use of anyone’s time. Don’t you guys have studying to do?

    • Disgusted

      Because some of these comments are from the group of far-right trailer trash trolls who target what they perceive as liberal media targets in the Bay Area. UC Berkeley is “hippie central” to them and their number # target. Some of the comments also seem to be coming from UCPD (or their supporters) who are equally stupid.

    • Anonymous

      I think some of them are in middle school. How awesome would it be if these boards were actually moderated and had a terms of service agreement that precluded people from saying things like “libtard” and “fuckface”.

  • Jack B

    Well stated Chancellor Birgenau! The Occupy protesters deserve equitable treatment, but they should not be allowed to encamp and accomplish their ultimate goal of shutting down the campus.

    • Guest

      Im sorry…but when did it become their goal to shut down the campus? They’re protesting to keep public education affordable and accessible for the future, i.e. save the public university…the effectiveness of the methods may be questionable but to say they’re trying to shut down the university is a ridiculous, slanderous claim. 

  • Guest

    Resign

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002302463965 Stephen Diamond

    An apology is beside the point.

    There are three possibilities: 1) Did the Chancellor order the police to remove the protestors by force, or not? If so, then he is responsible for their violent behavior and he should resign;  2) If he did not order them to use force then he was negligent in allowing the police too much latitude and he should resign because he is in over his head running a public university; or 3) The only other possibility is that he was ordered by Yudof and/or the Regents to clear the Plaza by force in which case his only excuse is that he was “just following orders.” If that is true then he, Yudof and the Regents should resign.

    No matter which of these three possibilities occurred, the investigation should be handled by an independent prosecutor appointed by the Governor with the approval of both the state senate and assembly.  Transparency and public accountability should be the watchwords here.

    • Seriously, Bro

      If I tell you to open a door and you decide to open it with an axe instead of  using the handle, should I be liable for your actions? If the Chancellor tells the police to remove the protesters, that does not mean he knew they would remove them in this way.

      Try using that tiny liberal brain of yours, bro.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002302463965 Stephen Diamond

        Then why is he apologizing?

        • Anon

          Because he’s a classy guy, unlike the filthy hippies who are trying to tear him down.

      • Calipenguin

        If managers are not accountable for the hiring and firing of personnel, based on the quality of their performance, for what are we holding them accountable?  If a manager were unaware of how an employee would perform a task, wouldn’t you want to fire the manager for being a poor judge of character?  If not, I would expect your boss to fire you for not taking responsibility for getting rid of a manager whose judgment about personnel decisions cannot be trusted.

        • Anonymous

          Seriously dude, get your own login name.

          • Calipenguin

            Thanks for contributing to the conversation.

  • Alum

    Not enough.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BMEPJOY23EODXZL2FZX5TRQLQA Jason

    Birgeneau is a no-talent ass clown

    • Seriously, Bro

      Jason is a no-talent ass clown

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_BMEPJOY23EODXZL2FZX5TRQLQA Jason

        What are you, Birgeneau’s bitch? Why don’t you do us all a favor and mace yourself in the face?

        • Seriously, Bro

          What are you, Occupy’s bitch? Why don’t you do us all a favor and mace yourself in the face? 

          • Guest

            real classy, bro. if you have nothing to say, gtfo and stop spamming

          • Seriously, Bro

            real classy, Jason. if you have nothing to say, gtfo and stop spamming 

  • Anonymous

    This is the kind of leadership you get for $450,000/yr +? The fact that he says he “sincerely” apologizes calls his sincerity into question. Why not apologize sincerely by actually being sincere? He does not specifically say what he’s apologizing for, or acknowledge his role in the police misconduct.
    What does it mean to take full responsibility? It means he must bear the consequences of the policies and actions of the UC administration and police. If there’s criminal or civil liability, he must accept that liability. At minimum, this must include his resignation.

    • Guest

      how do you know he is not sincere?
      do you have a sincere-o-meter?

      • Anonymous

        Saying you’re sincere is like saying you’re honest. Would you feel comfortable having your car repaired by a repairman who told you he was honest? Sincerity and honesty are qualities evidenced by behavior, not assertions.

        • Guest

          So I guess that’s like how when the Occupy protesters say they think they’re just exercising their First Amendment rights by camping, that makes it clear that they’re lying and they’re fully aware that the First Amendment does not authorize tent encampments on public or private land.

  • Guest

    Another fake bullshit statement meant to appease the anger of all of us who were appalled by the events on campus last week. Instead of reassuring us that it doesn’t happen again (which it probably will), how about doing something about it, Birgeneau? This is a perfect case of “actions speak louder than words,” and right now, your words don’t mean shit.

    • Seriously, Bro

      Doing something like what, fuckface?

      • Guest

        Like reforming UCPD, firing the people who called the shots and allowed the beatings to occur, and actually listening to the protestors’ demands instead of doing this damage control bullshit.

        • Seriously, Bro

          The UCPD doesn’t need to be reformed. The people who called the shots didn’t authorize the beatings. Birgeneau has no control over what the protesters are mad about since the cuts are coming from the state level. Fuckface. 

          • Anonymous

            Yes, the Chief of Police, Mitch Celaya, authorized the beatings. He should go. In fact, I think UCPD should be disbanded or disarmed, period. In most places in the world,  universities don’t have armed security guards wandering on campuses, and police only enter (very rarely) for specific purposes.  Fuck Birgeneau. He should resign. 

          • Seriously, Bro

            No, he didn’t. Disarming & junking the UCPD sounds like a student rapist’s fantasy.

            Get maced.

          • Guest

            “Disarming the police” sounds great.  Until you get robbed and then all of a sudden you’re crying for the police to protect you.

             

          • Usha

            I just love your style of writing, “Bro”. When you don’t have anything substantive to say – curse! 

          • Seriously, Bro

            Thanks for your continuation of your string of fucktarded comments that have nothing to do with the issue at hand, Usha! You never disappoint!

          • Guest

            Are you for real, Asshole? If the Old Fart DOESN’T have control over what his employees do, it’s time to fire his worthless ass.

            AND we oughta fire the worthless dipshit that let you into this university as well. You’re bringin’ down the curve “Bro”.

          • Disgusted

            Thanks “Seriously, Bro” for being the unofficial UCPD spokesperson.

      • Guest

        It Isn’t Nice

        It isn’t nice to block the doorway,
        It isn’t nice to go to jail,
        There are nicer ways to do it,
        But the nice ways always fail,
        It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
        You told us once, you told us twice,
        But if that is Freedom’s price,
        We don’t mind.
        It isn’t nice to carry banners,
        Or to sit in on the floor,
        Or to shout our cry of Freedom,
        At the hotel and the store,
        It isn’t nice, it isn’t nice,
        You told us once, you told us twice,
        But if that is Freedom’s price,
        We don’t mind.
        We have tried negotiations,
        And the three man picket line,
        Mr.  Bobby didn’t see us,
        And he might as well be blind,
        Now our new ways aren’t nice,
        When we deal with men of ice,
        But if that is Freedom’s price,
        We don’t mind.
        How about those years of lynchings,
        And the shot in Evers’  back,
        You said it wasn’t proper,
        You stood upon the track,
        You weren’t quiet just like mice,
        Now you say we aren’t nice,
        And if that is Freedom’s price,
        We don’t mind.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swZGbG7_e3s
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malvina_Reynolds
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Dane