The woman in this video is Mona Eltahawy. She is vandalizing an ad. The woman who runs up to the poster with a camera and assaults her is Pamela Hall.
[I placed the ad Eltahawy was vandalizing here but have removed it because frankly I don’t feel like looking at it. I’m sure you know to which one I’m referring.]
Clearly racist. I am not concerned about addressing the ad in particular, though it’s a very telling backdrop, or about the question of vandalism, but about the initial response to Eltahawy’s spray-painting with Hall in the way and the simultaneous deliberate refusal to acknowledge Hall’s assault on Eltahawy.
It was Pamela Hall, not Pamela Geller (Pamela Geller is the one who made the ad, which is why Eltahawy asks her if she is Pamela Geller), which made me resent Pamela Hall significantly less than the first time I watched the video. It means she’s not batshit enough to have made such a racist ad, and it means she did not in fact lie about her identity, which would render her a coward who didn’t want to own up to her actions. That does not change the fact that she committed assault. She forcefully pushes Eltahawy away from the poster. It does not change the fact that she got away with it while Eltahawy was arrested for Hall stepping into the way of the paint. Because let’s be clear: that was why the police arrested Eltahawy, not because of vandalism. They decided on the vandalism charge later. In the video one officer says, “Why didn’t you stop spray painting?” in response to Eltahawy inquiring about her arrest. There was in various articles mention that the police were concerned the paint could have damaged Hall’s eyes. They had arrested Eltahawy immediately because Hall stepped into the spray paint and Eltahawy did not stop–not immediately because of vandalism–yet Hall was not arrested for PUSHING Eltahawy when she recounted to them what happened. The policemen should be fired for blatant favoritism and neglecting to arrest someone for assault and for not reading Eltahawy her Miranda Rights.
And here’s why my reaction is so strong: Pamela Hall is white. Pamela Hall is a white woman who stepped in front of spray paint and was seen as some fragile martyr protecting a system defending racism that treats her exactly like some fragile martyr who could be hurt by spray paint (by someone who wasn’t even aiming for her) but who can’t possibly in turn hurt a woman who is not white if she happened to push that non-white woman into the tracks or prodded her away with a monopod. Especially if that woman is so damn uppity and has the nerve to employ civil disobedience! Against a delicate white woman? Against her patriarchal establishment that treats her like a princess among savages? No way!
Pamela Hall stepped in the way of paint; Eltahawy continued painting around her. Unlike Hall, who aimed to push Eltahawy, Eltahawy was not aiming to harm.
Pamela Hall made first physical contact with the monopod. She shoved Eltahawy HARD, more than once, with her entire body, and she was not arrested.
God forbid anyone ever touches a white woman with some paint. But she can go around pushing whomever the hell she wants.
The police arrive, Eltahawy asks for her Miranda rights. She does not resist arrest. She asks for her Miranda rights continuously. And what does one of the officers do at each request? He SNEERS.
He sneers at her for asking for her Miranda rights.
And then, INSTEAD of taking the time to state the charge as he is legally obligated, he walks over to Hall and whispers something to her ear, clearly so that Eltahawy cannot hear it. Hall can be seen mouthing the words thank you in return.
Eltahawy meanwhile tells the other officer she was pushed. He tells her she kept spray painting. She insists (and we have proof) that no one was there when she arrived. Hall had placed herself in front of the paint. Unlike Eltahawy, however, she conveniently had men racing over to protect her AT ONCE.
Knights for the lady please!