Tasers In The Sanctuary

Libraries have always been havens for immigrants; they've certainly felt like that to me ever since I first walked wide-eyed into the Flushing branch of the NYPL all those years ago. Maybe that's why what happened Tuesday night in the UCLA library of all places is doubly disturbing. If you can stomach it, witness this cell-phone footage of campus security officers using a Taser stun gun on a 23-year old Iranian man who refused to show his ID during a routine random late-night check:

So it's come to this, has it? Strident, important words like "secure" and "safe" can no longer serve as adjectives describing one of my favorite nouns: "sanctuary." Still, that age-old whisper of desire isn't going anywhere, despite all the shouting.