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News + PoliticsMediaWildly inaccurate story leads to death threats for activist, 48hills writer

Wildly inaccurate story leads to death threats for activist, 48hills writer

Lisa Gray Garcia, who writes as Tiny, gets attacked after New York Post does a sensational story about her work with UCLA medical students.

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A wildly inaccurate and inflammatory New York Post story on Lisa Gray-Garcia, who is known as Tiny and writes regularly for us, would be little more than a bad joke—except that now she’s getting death threats.

This, sadly, has become all too common in a world where misinformation saturates social media circles patronized by violent right-wing Trumpists.

Tiny, who is wearing a Cuba hat (not anything to do with Hamas) talks about the threats with UCLA med students supporting her.

And now Tiny, a formerly unhoused person who works tirelessly for the rights of those left out of society’s bounty, is getting calls on her phone (and UCLA is getting calls) saying she is going to die and “we are coming with knives and guns.”

All of this because she gave a talk to medical students suggesting that they pay attention to poverty (and made what are hardly radical or unusual criticisms of the modern medical and scientific model).

A UCSF doctor said much of the same thing in a recent New York Times oped piece.

From the Post:

First-year medical students at the University of California Los Angeles were forced to sit through a lecture given by a Hamas supporter who blasted modern medicine as “white science” and ordered them to pray to “mama Earth.”

First: Like many, many people in the United States today, Tiny is horrified by the death toll in Gaza and has been outspoken about Palestinian rights.

That does not in any way make her a “Hamas supporter.” In fact, I can say with full confidence, after knowing her for many years, that Tiny is not a supporter of any governmental or military organization, anywhere on this planet. She doesn’t support Hamas, or the government of Israel, or for that matter the US government.

“I’m not a Hamas supporter,” she told me. “I’m not any government supporter. I am a supporter of oppressed people everywhere.”

Then: The idea that medical students were “ordered” to “pray to Mama Earth” is just as silly; I’ve heard Tiny speak many times, and she often offers secular prayers invoking Native American ancestors and the planet we share. But I don’t think she’s ever “ordered” anyone to do anything.

Right now, she’s a visiting activist in residence at the Luskin School of Public Affairs at UCLA, where she’s been giving lecture (which nobody is “forced to attend”) on poverty issues.

After the death threats, she’s had to postpone another talk about community reparations. “It’s been hell,” she told me. “That’s the saddest part. Doing this time-wasting BS means more homeless people will die in LA.

“But I’m not going to stop.”

48 Hills welcomes comments in the form of letters to the editor, which you can submit here. We also invite you to join the conversation on our FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond
Tim Redmond has been a political and investigative reporter in San Francisco for more than 30 years. He spent much of that time as executive editor of the Bay Guardian. He is the founder of 48hills.

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