How Rodney King Could Help SF Muni

Catfight reveals tension between cultures

By Jessica Greene
|  Monday, Oct 26, 2009  |  Updated 1:21 PM PDT
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How Rodney King Could Help SF Muni

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Rodney King's question "Can we all just get along?" has been invoked countless times since he first asked it in 1992.

That's the approach San Francisco community leaders are taking as they try to repair relationships between two ethnic groups after a fight on one of the transit's Chinatown buses earlier this month.

Video of the fight, which went viral withing a few hours of being posted on YouTube, shows an Asian woman and an African-American woman fighting over a seat on a bus.

Community leaders will look at ways to reduce tensions between the city's Asian and African American communities during the panel discussion and media roundtable to examine the underlying issues that contributed to the incident and to begin "a plan for reconciliation and healing."

Kevin Weston, director of new media for New American Media, one of the participants in today's meeting, said the video highlights existing  problems between the communities.

He said groups are considering forming a permanent working group to address the issues.  Weston said the existing tensions have arisen, in part, from an influx of Asian immigrants into traditionally African American neighborhoods in Sunnydale and Visitacion Valley, and of African Americans into Chinatown.

The video has accumulated more than 300,000 views so far and has spawned many lookalikes upon searching for "Muni fight." Some of them are rants responding to the incident, some are the actual fight video set to music, making light of the tense situation.

WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO AND OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE

Bay City News contributed to this report.

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