Video nasties

I often see things on the internet that I do not understand. Here’s one:

It’s a YouTube video, in which three or four fellas have set up somewhere on Market Street in San Francisco, to address passersby on the subject of…something, though it’s never clear exactly what.

A woman – in standard college-student uniform: t-shirt, jeans, sneakers, backpack – is arguing with them, about…something, though it’s never clear exactly what. They seem mostly focused on provoking each other, not on explaining, persuading.

A third party is recording video. This person is never identified, and his / her connection with either the fellas, or the woman, is left unexplained.

After a few minutes of rather pointless back & forth, one of the fellas pushes the woman away; she falls to the sidewalk.

“That was uncalled for!” says a passerby. Police are summoned, but it’s the woman – visibly upset, possibly injured – who is handcuffed & taken into custody.

Meanwhile, the fellas shout hateful slogans.

The whole scene seems a bit off – staged, faked, or just carefully edited so as to deceive. I would like to know more about what (if anything) actually happened, but the comments are as YouTube comments usually are: uninformed, incoherent, & (artlessly) vulgar.

Faced with something so disturbing, yet so bereft of context, people tend to see in it confirmation of the biases they already hold. If I am just confused, rather than outraged, what does that say about my biases?


This just in:

The fellas are apparently street preachers from The Real Israelites, an organization with a…unique perspective on the world.

Still no idea who the woman is.