I love Youtube. The site has become more and more integrated into our culture over the past year. Here are some important moments that might not have reached the international consciousness had the site not existed:
Iraqi kid runs for water.
Soldiers giving out drinking water in Iraq made children run for miles in order to get it. Apparently they thought it was funny. Another video featured a soldier wanting to use deadly force against rock-throwing children. Subsquently, the Pentagon investigated.
Iranian student tasered at UCLA.
Mostafa Tabatabainejad was tasered after refusing to surrender his student ID in a library computer lab. Tabatabainejad claims he was singled out due to his ethnic profile; UCLA officials and some students that were there at the event disagree. On-campus protests ensued.
George Allen’s macaca jibe.
Virgina Senator George Allen was on his re-election campaign when he encountered a man of Indian descent who was videotaping him for an opposing campaign. He used the word macaca to refer to him, which was widely seen as a racial slur. The video hit the news, and Allen lost the election.
LAPD use undue force on William Cardenas.
The LAPD arrested William Cardenas by applying pepper spray and then repeatedly punching him. His quote – “I couldn’t breathe. They just kept hitting me. Do you know how hard it is to breathe with pepper spray?” – says it all. Both the LAPD and the FBI are investigating.
Michael Richards unleashes a racist tirade.
Michael Richards was famous for Seinfeld. Now he’s famous for an angry, racist explosion during one of his stand-up gigs. He apologised, weakly; it’s not going to do much to help him. The final kiss of death: Mel Gibson has said he empathises.