You Don’t Know What Is Happening Here, Do You, Ms. Katehi?

Verrry interesting. The slow tap tap of her heels … in all that silence. Just devastating.

Depending on which video you see, her face is quite visible, and she seems to look out over that long line of students with some surprise. No threat. That there was no threat to her was palpable. That extraordinary silence. The smartest damn protest I’ve ever seen. We’ve come a long way since the Sixties. When general melee was all. That or stopping troop trains, that was a fair biggie. Then of course the trains were routed elsewhere, and eventually the tracks torn up. But whoa, lost in the past again.

Well-cut trenchcoat, stylish scarf, chancellor-casual hair. Meaning perfect-touseled, perfect-highlights. What you would expect of a woman of her position. Her income. Her expensive shoes (you can tell by the sound.)

I seemed to see … someone both frightened and let down. Did you? Did you see her look at the students, then down at her feet, then back at the long rows of students. Follow that gaze. Follow its movement. That’s what spoke. I don’t understand this,  I don’t understand any of it—and I am embarrassed. Nothing has prepared me for this. I have my answers prepared. Should anyone question me. But this silence …

Then as she neared her car, someone from the press finally spoke, and the act of replying seemed to pull her together. I am going to speak at the general assembly on Monday.

And then, from the car, faintly: “No, I don’t feel threatened.”

I agree. I think you felt something quite worse, Chancellor. Perhaps a bit naked? Perhaps, alone? With no script? With no idea what to think?

. . .something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?

Poor woman. Not the first fucking clue.

9 thoughts on “You Don’t Know What Is Happening Here, Do You, Ms. Katehi?

  1. Actually I think she did feel threatened at a very primal level – her very core being was being dismantled by silence. maybe this Christmas instead of thoughts of dancing sugar plum fairies she’ll be hearing the silence. I’m most impressed by the students being quiet – it’s not like it is something anyone could have planned.


  2. Thanks for coming by! Yeah, I thought it was stunning …. stun as in she looked kind of like she’d been stunned. (You know, that cattle-prod look.)


  3. You’re right, of course. Her cluelessness is of a piece with the shoes and the hair—all part of the bubble-wrap of privilege that surrounds these people for life.

    Except for little glimpses … like last night.


  4. Jesus-freakin’-Christ! Devastating is exactly the right word. I’ve never seen anything like it. Wow. Just wow. My admiration for those students overwhelms me right now. Thanks for this post. I’ll be sharing it.


  5. Being clueless is a sort of belief system for those who have embraced the status quo because it meets their needs and serves their purposes.


  6. It was justice. She will be stalked by this bad dream for all the time left to her. She’ll taste this bitter, copper penny almost every day she lives. Yes, ma’am, “The smartest damn protest I’ve ever seen.”


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