Majora Carter in Olympic Torch Scuffle

Majora Carter ’88 was involved in an incident with San Francisco authorities yesterday during the Olympic torch relay ceremony.

Carter, a notable Wesleyan alum and clearly an awesome individual, was selected as a torchbearer for part of the San Francisco relay due to her humanitarian work in New York City. AP:

At least one torchbearer decided to show her support for Tibetan independence during her moment in the spotlight. After being passed the Olympic flame, Majora Carter [’88] pulled out a small Tibetan flag that she had hidden in her shirt sleeve.

“The Chinese security and cops were on me like white on rice, it was no joke,” said Carter, 41, who runs a nonprofit organization in New York. “They pulled me out of the race, and then San Francisco police officers pushed me back into the crowd on the side of the street.”

From the Daily News:

“Apparently, I’m not part of the Olympic torch-bearing entourage anymore,” Carter quipped.

Carter’s maverick move was the most successful act of defiance in the cat-and-mouse game cops played with the thousands railing against China’s crackdown on dissidents in Tibet and its unwillingness to denounce genocide in Darfur.

[EDIT 5:15 pm] A video of Carter explaining her feelings about the incident:

And another video of Carter speaking at a Free Tibet rally shortly after the incident.

Thanks to Izaak Orlansky for the tip, and Leah Lamb of Current Media for the video!

30 thoughts on “Majora Carter in Olympic Torch Scuffle

  1. Anonymous

    it’s sad to see so many people blind to inspiration. she broke no code; instead, she gracefully reminded us that we have a responsibility to speak out against injustice whenever we are given the opportunity to do so. in a time when the masses have forgotten the passion that’s involved with a movement, i applaud community leaders who are not afraid/ashamed to express protest in a non-violent manner. majora is the kind of person who understands that sometimes one must choose to make a bold statement quietly in order to create a stir and ultimately promote change. honestly, i haven’t heard this much talk about a free tibet since the 90s…admit it people, she got us talking about it again…in my opinion, job well done. i’m proud to call her a fellow south bronxite :-)

  2. Anonymous

    it’s sad to see so many people blind to inspiration. she broke no code; instead, she gracefully reminded us that we have a responsibility to speak out against injustice whenever we are given the opportunity to do so. in a time when the masses have forgotten the passion that’s involved with a movement, i applaud community leaders who are not afraid/ashamed to express protest in a non-violent manner. majora is the kind of person who understands that sometimes one must choose to make a bold statement quietly in order to create a stir and ultimately promote change. honestly, i haven’t heard this much talk about a free tibet since the 90s…admit it people, she got us talking about it again…in my opinion, job well done. i’m proud to call her a fellow south bronxite :-)

  3. Anonymous

    11:56 am – what? if you think she’s just concerned with “making a name for herself” by being a torch relayer, clearly she’s made a bigger name for herself just by being involved in this incident. She’s probably not at all concerned with pandering to China to further her own career, since she is already very successful and is probably being applauded for this action by all the people who can help her advance.I think this was a classy move on her part – it was nonviolent and nonconfrontational, and being removed from the torch run is just a symbolic price to pay for a more important cause. If this affects her life in any way, it will probably be for the better.

  4. Anonymous

    11:56 am – what? if you think she’s just concerned with “making a name for herself” by being a torch relayer, clearly she’s made a bigger name for herself just by being involved in this incident. She’s probably not at all concerned with pandering to China to further her own career, since she is already very successful and is probably being applauded for this action by all the people who can help her advance.

    I think this was a classy move on her part – it was nonviolent and nonconfrontational, and being removed from the torch run is just a symbolic price to pay for a more important cause. If this affects her life in any way, it will probably be for the better.

  5. Anonymous

    I think she’s an idiot. She ruined a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a name FOR HERSELF. Is she that surprised that she was removed from the torch run??

  6. Anonymous

    I think she’s an idiot. She ruined a once in a lifetime opportunity to make a name FOR HERSELF. Is she that surprised that she was removed from the torch run??

  7. Jacon

    Majora is getting an honorary degree from The New School this spring, as an aside. Obviously she rocks.

  8. Jacon

    Majora is getting an honorary degree from The New School this spring, as an aside. Obviously she rocks.

  9. Anonymous

    i would think that there was something wrong with people if they didn’t use the olympics as grounds for drawing attention to the inhumane behavior of the Chinese government. similarly, i would hope that if the olympics were being held in the U.S. people would use the opportunity to protest inhumane actions by the U.S. such as the war in Iraq.

  10. Anonymous

    i would think that there was something wrong with people if they didn’t use the olympics as grounds for drawing attention to the inhumane behavior of the Chinese government. similarly, i would hope that if the olympics were being held in the U.S. people would use the opportunity to protest inhumane actions by the U.S. such as the war in Iraq.

  11. Anonymous

    ok nobody is bashing the chinese people, at all. This is clearly a very complex issue, but the bulk of the people protesting take issue with the actions of the Chinese GOVERNMENT, which has been oppressive to the Tibetan people, continues to ignore genocide in Darfur, and is otherwise autocratic and indifferent to human rights situations. Tibet was forcibly invaded by the Communist Chinese government after WWII, and systematically stripped of its culture and right to self-determination that it enjoyed for a long while before the Chinese government showed up. Where do people get off claiming Tibet has always been part of China? Do your homework, and you’ll see that while there has been overlap between Tibetan and Chinese powers, they have been more or less distinct over the past few centuries.

  12. Anonymous

    ok nobody is bashing the chinese people, at all. This is clearly a very complex issue, but the bulk of the people protesting take issue with the actions of the Chinese GOVERNMENT, which has been oppressive to the Tibetan people, continues to ignore genocide in Darfur, and is otherwise autocratic and indifferent to human rights situations. Tibet was forcibly invaded by the Communist Chinese government after WWII, and systematically stripped of its culture and right to self-determination that it enjoyed for a long while before the Chinese government showed up. Where do people get off claiming Tibet has always been part of China? Do your homework, and you’ll see that while there has been overlap between Tibetan and Chinese powers, they have been more or less distinct over the past few centuries.

  13. Anonymous

    ok nobody is bashing the chinese people, at all. This is clearly a very complex issue, but the bulk of the people protesting take issue with the actions of the Chinese GOVERNMENT, which has been oppressive to the Tibetan people, continues to ignore genocide in Darfur, and is otherwise autocratic and indifferent to human rights situations.

    Tibet was forcibly invaded by the Communist Chinese government after WWII, and systematically stripped of its culture and right to self-determination that it enjoyed for a long while before the Chinese government showed up. Where do people get off claiming Tibet has always been part of China? Do your homework, and you’ll see that while there has been overlap between Tibetan and Chinese powers, they have been more or less distinct over the past few centuries.

  14. Anonymous

    ok nobody is bashing the chinese people, at all. This is clearly a very complex issue, but the bulk of the people protesting take issue with the actions of the Chinese GOVERNMENT, which has been oppressive to the Tibetan people, continues to ignore genocide in Darfur, and is otherwise autocratic and indifferent to human rights situations.

    Tibet was forcibly invaded by the Communist Chinese government after WWII, and systematically stripped of its culture and right to self-determination that it enjoyed for a long while before the Chinese government showed up. Where do people get off claiming Tibet has always been part of China? Do your homework, and you’ll see that while there has been overlap between Tibetan and Chinese powers, they have been more or less distinct over the past few centuries.

  15. Anonymous

    its offensive to the chinese people.i am so sick of all this china-bashing.there are chinese students on this campus. why don’t you go and talk to them before you go and mindlessly cry “free tibet!”

  16. Anonymous

    its offensive to the chinese people.

    i am so sick of all this china-bashing.

    there are chinese students on this campus. why don’t you go and talk to them before you go and mindlessly cry “free tibet!”

  17. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 3:00:First, Wesleying isn’t “championing” anything in this post. Sheek has simply expanded on a tip that a reader sent in. And it’s relevant, because it’s both related to current events, and also involves an alumna.Second, while I could see how extinguishing the flame (as some European protesters attempted to do) would be “anti-Olympian”, running with the flame while holding a small Tibetan flag isn’t so much going against the Olympic spirit as it is symbolically calling out the Chinese government for their flagrant disregard for human rights, most clearly shown by their actions in Tibet, but certainly not limited to that area.

  18. Justin L.

    Anonymous @ 3:00:

    First, Wesleying isn’t “championing” anything in this post. Sheek has simply expanded on a tip that a reader sent in. And it’s relevant, because it’s both related to current events, and also involves an alumna.

    Second, while I could see how extinguishing the flame (as some European protesters attempted to do) would be “anti-Olympian”, running with the flame while holding a small Tibetan flag isn’t so much going against the Olympic spirit as it is symbolically calling out the Chinese government for their flagrant disregard for human rights, most clearly shown by their actions in Tibet, but certainly not limited to that area.

  19. Anonymous

    I don’t condone China’s treatment of Tibetans/Tibet in the least, but I do wish that Western media was doing more to cover the ways that non-Tibetan Chinese civillians (and other ethnic minorities living nearby places where protests are happening) are getting mistreated, abused, and otherwise hurt in the wake of all the unrest.

  20. Anonymous

    I don’t condone China’s treatment of Tibetans/Tibet in the least, but I do wish that Western media was doing more to cover the ways that non-Tibetan Chinese civillians (and other ethnic minorities living nearby places where protests are happening) are getting mistreated, abused, and otherwise hurt in the wake of all the unrest.

  21. Anonymous

    more powerful video -http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?o=1&f=/c/a/2008/04/09/MNDS102IIM.DTL

  22. Anonymous

    “an athlete”–it’s not anti-olympian behavior! it’s anti-fucked up shit in the world and we shouldn’t stand for it behavior, which is, as 3:14 said, very much olympian behavior.(worst sentence ever, sorry!)

  23. Anonymous

    “an athlete”–
    it’s not anti-olympian behavior! it’s anti-fucked up shit in the world and we shouldn’t stand for it behavior, which is, as 3:14 said, very much olympian behavior.

    (worst sentence ever, sorry!)

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