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Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Death Threats, Rape Threats: Woman From Infamous SFSU Dreadlocks Video Speaks Out

Posted By on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Bonita Tindle speaks. - CHANGE.ORG
  • Bonita Tindle speaks.
The missing voice in the fracas following publication of the now-viral San Francisco State University dreadlocks video has spoken. Apparently, the worldwide media who largely derided Bonita Tindle in the aftermath of her encounter with fellow student Cory Goldstein over the latter fellow's dreadlocks has been uninterested in airing her side of the story.

It appears only the SFSU student newspaper, the Golden Gate Xpress and our friends at SFist have published her response, in which she outlines the death threats, rape threats, and racist backlash that forced her to go underground for a few weeks. 

On April 11, according to the Xpress, Tindle wrote a public post on her mostly private Facebook page addressing what happened in a video — and what was not shown on camera — that has been viewed more than 3.7 million times since it was posted March 28.

Tindle rightfully points out that no matter what happened between her and Goldstein, the reaction to her has been nothing short of dehumanizing, horrific, and potentially criminal.

“In the aftermath, I have been the subject of violence in the form of death threats, rape threats, sexual harassment, and anti-Black hate speech,” Tindle wrote on her Facebook page, according to the Xpress. “Further, the racist and misogynistic vendetta against me has resulted in my own personal information including home address, phone number, social media accounts, places of employment and other details about my private life leaked and mass distributed on YouTube comments, Facebook posts, and other Internet forums.”

Tindle also says an important exchange between her and Goldstein took place before the camera started filming. She was distributing flyers to an event when Goldstein passed by.

“While passing out flyers in Malcolm X plaza, I saw a white male approaching with dreads,” Tindle wrote on her Facebook page, according to the Xpress.

“Triggered, I unconsciously move my arm holding the flyer further. He does not approach me to receive a flyer and continues on to his destination. Attempting to react to what triggered me, I jokingly say in a quiet voice ‘Not with that hair’ in the opposite direction of him. My intention was to collegially provoke thought within the man to critically think about his dreads and the racial implications it has as a non-Black person. During the entire incident including what was caught in the viral video, he never refers to the flyer, which he later would intentionally report to the police in order to create a ‘hate crime’ narrative over the flyer. Rather, he then verbally assaults me. He called me a ‘Bitch.’ As a black woman, verbal assault by men comes easily as women are dehumanized, objectified, and over-sexualized by them. I look for the man, going into the building, naturally, to confront him about the verbal slur, tired of being silent. Tired of being docile. I asked him ‘Did you call me a bitch?’ He denied having called me a ‘Bitch.’ He then asked me why I said that about his hair.”

The part about Goldstein using the B-word was corroborated by witness Maddy Gray, also an SFSU student.

As the Xpress noted, Tindle’s Facebook post has since been removed.

Although a report was filed with campus police, no charges were filed against Tindle. And it’s clear Tindle did not deserve any of the treatment she received over the video. As SFist said, “the real appropriation in all this story, as it seems to me, is that Goldstein and the media have conveniently borrowed a narrative of oppression. She criticized his hair, and someone threatened to kill her for it, but somehow, he's the oppressed party? Now that's offensive.”
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