At a recent debate for Los Angeles mayoral candidates, things got a little exciting.
And a video that’s making the rounds online shows the dramatic moment when Melina Abdullah, a professor from Cal State Los Angeles and a local Black Lives Matter leader, was “brutally removed” (her words) from the closed-door event, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Turns out Abdullah didn’t have a ticket for the event, but that didn’t stop her from showing up and causing a ruckus.
The debate became contentious long before the candidates even took to the stage, thanks to a policy that excluded certain mayoral contenders. Anticipating the numerous protests that preceded the event, the debate organizers kept a close eye on attendance, which was limited to only about 40-50 people.
“Debates should be public… especially at a public university,” Abdullah wrote in a text to the LA Times, decrying the fact that students, faculty, and members of the public were disbarred from entering the venue’s “near-empty theater.”
Predictably, Abdullah hinted that her race may have played no small role in her removal.
Today I attempted to watch the mayoral debate held on the campus where I’ve taught for 20 years. As I waited for it to start, the white @PBI director called the police on me. He and each of the candidates watched as I was brutally removed. @CalStateLA
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) May 2, 2022
— sara sadhwani (@sarasadhwani) May 2, 2022
“Today I attempted to watch the mayoral debate held on the campus where I’ve taught for 20 years,” Abdullah tweeted of the incident. “As I waited for it to start, the white PBI [Pat Brown Institute] director called the police on me. He and each of the candidates watched as I was brutally removed.”
Videos of the event show campus police officers physically ejecting Abdullah from the venue. The officers can be seen taking hold of the professor’s arms and legs, lifting her out of her seat, and removing her. Meanwhile, a group of what appear to be Abdullah’s supporters attempted to obstruct the officers, standing in their way or screaming at them.
“You’re hurting me!” Abdullah can be heard yelling in the clips, “you’re hurting me…this is a public university!”
It’s not the first time Abdullah has found herself at the center of a controversy. As a prominent BLM leader in Los Angeles, she campaigned for Gavin Newsom in last year’s recall election, and slandered his Republican opponent, Larry Elder, as the “Black face on White supremacy.” Among the professor’s many foolish and wrongheaded ideas, she has called for the abolition of police departments altogether.
She also recently labeled Elon Musk a “racist,” after the billionaire entrepreneur and futurist purchased Twitter.
.@elonmusk is a racist, who owns @Tesla, where Black employees are regularly called the n-word and their workplace is named “the slave house” by supervisors.
When he buys @Twitter, #HateSpeech is sure to be mislabeled as #FreeSpeech and enabled. https://t.co/rGB7ZYQXul
— Melina Abdullah (@DocMellyMel) April 27, 2022
In a statement to the LA Times, Abdullah wrote:
“I should have been able to watch the mayoral debate that was happening on my own campus. I’m still processing the fact that Raphe Sonenshein [Executive Director for Cal State LA’s Pat Brown Institute for Public Affairs], someone who called himself a friend, who I’ve known well since I was in graduate school, called the police and had me forcibly and brutally removed…I’m processing that as I was yelling for help, that I was being hurt and called for Karen Bass and Kevin De León…two people who have been very close for more than 20 years, they said nothing, not even a simple ‘Please put her down,’ nor did any other candidate. It’s both hurtful and outrageous.”
Perhaps they were just embarrassed that Abdullah was making a fool of herself.
Following the incident, the debate apparently went on without interruption.
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