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The mentally disturbed woman whose videotaped manic meltdown on a MARTA train became an instant viral sensation was still in a DeKalb County lock up as of yesterday, according to DeKalb’s justice system website.

Nafiza Iman Ziyad, the self proclaimed “Soulja Girl” – dubbed “MARTA Girl” by bloggers – was arrested after being positively identified by the senior citizen who was the target of the brunt of Nafiza’s verbal tirade on the train.

The above mugshots culled from Nafiza’s booking info online shows the progression of her mental illness since being diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder in 2003. The graphic video and its aftermath has been virtually ignored by the AJC and other national media outlets.

Do I have to say that if the elderly woman was white instead of black, the incident on MARTA would have been headline news for a week straight?

Need I say that if the old woman was white instead of black, the AJC’s biased editors would demand to know what MARTA planned to do to ensure the safety of “the public”?

IS THIS STORY in the AJC more important than the story of a young black woman who fell between the cracks of Georgia’s inadequate mental health system?

Is it not important for the local rag paper to throw a spotlight on the lack of funding for mental health services in Georgia prisons?

Does the AJC’s lack of coverage of this story imply that working class blacks and Hispanics who make up the majority of MARTA’s ridership don’t count because research studies show they don’t read the AJC?

As a matter of fact, the only local media outlet to mention this story consistently is WSB’s Channel 2 Action News. Today, Channel 2 plans to reveal more information about Nafiza’s troubled past – apparently she’s been in the news before.

By the way, Channel 2 Action News is the ratings leader beating out all other local news programs in the April sweeps. Why am I not surprised?

  • krbinc

    why the race card all the time?

  • http://www.myspace.com/bettathaniwasb4 2bme

    You answered your own question..if the elderly woman had been white this entire story would have taken a different turn

  • kogletree

    Go ‘head Sandra!

  • Anna

    krbinc Says:

    why the race card all the time?

    I am mixed and I see more blacks who fall through the cracks than whites. Sometimes the race card is mentioned because it’s reality.

    Nafiza has aged quit a bit in 5 yrs.

  • hellava10

    I also think if the elderly woman had been white, the people would have done more than sit around and watch. I think they did the safest thing of not engaging her while she was manic and just being verbal—But I also believe if she were white, someone would have stepped in.

  • shannon04

    This is so sad to me. Looking at that video showed that the problem was much deeper than just flipping out for no reason. This really is what happens when you don’t receive adequate healthcare. Having to live this life with this form of mental instability would make anyone age this way.

  • observer

    Sandra for major!! the non reporting in the mainstream media is clearly to do with race… no if, no buts!

    although it does seem like half the time, the white media has to tow the line when dealing with issues like this as they could easily use something like this to generalise us as a whole…

    anyway, i guess this chapter is concluded?

  • black beauty

    Sandra,

    I do aggree with you mostly but, can I also say that if the national media have chosen to run this story black people would complain that they are making us look bad and exploiting this girl- just my opinion

  • MAJAHINEVERYWAY

    From what was reported by WSBTV this morning, Nafiza was also missing for two weeks last year and they said they reported it. She clearly is disturbed and I wish her the best. I hope the elderly lady’s nerves are o.k. too.

  • http://www.myspace.com/birdshu Bird

    I don’t think this is about race. It’s just not an interesting story. Do you know how many mentally ill people go of on trains in New York on a daily basis? Should the news report on all of them? This is not a story.

  • Bsoul

    It’s the nature of the episode as well. Some (even Blacks) saw this situation as comical because of the nature of her antics. Had she been singing “Helter Skelter” instead of Soldier Boy’s song, most would have reacted differently.

    My friend use to drive for MTA in Los Angeles said there was a French woman on one of their buses. She was ranting and hollering about shooting passengers. Some of them were actually laughing…until this woman pulled out a gun, shooting and killing 2 or 3 of the passengers.

    While some of the passengers found it funny, the end result proves quite the contrary. The best thing in these situations is to remove yourself from the presence of anyone threatening violence and then call the police–especially in a public setting.

  • browni007

    I agree with Bird. My friend works in the mental health field in NYC and for real I’ve heard some crazi stories (of course without clients names for patient confidentiality). It is a large problem that definitely needs to be addressed. Some of these people are drs., lawyers, teachers, professors, etc.

  • kalvonel

    @ Bird

    I couldn’t have said it better myself. Ride MARTA as long as I have and you’ll see that type of mess all the time. MARTA is full of the homeless and mentally ill. It’s almost as if Grady puts them on the trains, buses, and even the stations. While most are comical, it wouldn’t make too much sense to report on everyone – even LESS sense to report on them often. The blame is on the LACK of MARTA security and the LACK of chivery in today’s world.

  • http://www.smokiesays.blogspot.com/ Smokie

    Ger real. This is Amerikkka. Until we own our own networks, and get some real power, this is all you can expect. We always want THEM to report about US when they don’t give a damn about US. We better get it together and give a damn about ourselves.

  • kalvonel

    oops…I meant “chivalry”

  • Mia

    Nicely put Smokie. This is definitely a no-win situation for the media. If they show it, they’re only showing it to make African Americans look bad. If they don’t show it, then they don’t care about black people.

  • african_dude

    i see that black people will justify anything and evertyhing even the bullcrap, that heffa needs to be a in a nutshouse period. i have seen drunk and crazy black people attacking white folks and believe it doesnt end up on the local newspaper let alone the national media, some of yu are so obsessed with race, its not even funny anymore
    i live in the washington dc area and you have just as many white crazy folks, this is the failure of the federal government and more especially the reagan administration he is th eone who came up with the de-institutionalisation of mental facilties, saying they are the one to check themselves into those facilities, but the question is how do you expect a crazy person to really know that he`s crazy? many of us think we have good health until we get to the doctor and he tells “hmmm i think you should be careful with this or that…“
    so brothas and sistas leave the race card somewhere and read books
    sandra rose why are you not covering the story of that 17 yr old black girl who was going to prom night dressed like a prostitute and who got handcuffed??? i guess it was white peoples fault too? i guess white people are the ones wo told her father/mother to let out of the house like that…..nothing worse than people living in denial

  • NYCUTIE

    Why aren’t there any cops on Marta? Safety is the main issue and it is not only an issue on Marta, it is a MAJOR issue in Atlanta PERIOD!!!

  • NYCUTIE

    african_dude PREACH!!! I totally agree a 1000 %

  • j-lo843

    Aight..the race thing has been established…what I want to know is why is she still in jail on a $300 bond…to me evidently if her family can’t afford to get her out on that little bit they definetly can’t afford proper medical care…basically she was a time bomb waiting to explode…

  • Keish

    This story is what makes sandrarose.com more than a gossip website. Sandra is using her “gossip” blog to bring light to an audience of folk who may not ever hear this story if it weren’t for this post. So, thank you for posting this SR. While many blogs found this young lady’s outburst worth blogging about, I can only see one blog whose author took the time to post about her mental illness, and then “call out” the lack of care for our mentally ill in our communities. Kudos!

  • http://myspace.com/mullatos SnootyPooty1

    @african_dude … I concur. That prom dress thing was a mess. How sad because she did not get it at all.

  • http://notenoughrealmen.blogspot.com 2thick4u

    Every state needs more mental health funds.

    I still haven’t watched the video and chose not to.

    I am glad the old woman was okay but her family needs to make sure that she stays on her meds or out out a Mental Health Warrant on her.

    That is what we have done for my sister. Since she hasn’t admitted her problem we have stopped enabling her. She is no longer welcome to visit her children or come around her immediate family if she is not on her medicine. If she get in trouble she will be sent to the Mental Hospital and not jail (that way she will get help and no be put in jail)!!!

  • http://notenoughrealmen.blogspot.com 2thick4u

    *put out…typo!!!

  • MOCHAMOMMY

    African dude u read my mind….. I work in a mental institution and its not easy. Most of the patients here are ppl who were forced in thru an intervention. Its very sad because they feel they’re normal.

    However, I dont think its the govt’s responsibility. If ur loved ones see that something isnt right, then they need to address it. I may feel this way because i came from a close knit family. I know Big Mama would tell my crazy ass to go somewhere quickly if I did something out of the ordinary. Everybody doesnt have that… So what do they do? It’ll always be an unanswered question, unfortunately

  • african_dude

    @mochamommy

    i agree with you, i forgot to also mention the fact nobody takes care of nobody in our community, itall about chasing the green bill
    you know, sometimes when i see those folks i keep asking myself the same question over and over and over again “dont these folks have family?“ nobody said you should take care of them like babies but make sure these people are in facilities adapted for people in their situation, now we see them roaming the streets and all, its so embarassing, you know!

  • http://www.keminications.com mediakemi

    Sandra leave this story alone. You are violating her medical privacy rights. No way is the AJC gonna touch this. I keep telling you to google HIPAA and you keep deleting my comments!

  • LovelyLady

    African Dude I agree with you also…………I also was waiting for Sandra to do the story on the girl with the prom dress……….but what i don’t like is that you automatically assumed that her parents let her walk out of the house like that…………that’s so not the case………the girl was grown as hell and wasn’t even living at home the time of the prom………..when her mom called into the radio station she also stated that her daughter shouldn’t have been allowed in the prom if there was a dress code…………so sometimes kids are just grown a** kids and the parents try and do their best although I’m not 100% sure in that case

    As for the race card always being pulled……….people tend tho think that America is some how all of a sudden reunited………as I emailed Sandra in regards to something similar this morning………racism is still live and well……..that’s the country we live in………..if you notice the difference between the comments…you’ll see what I’m talking about.

    Perez Hilton covered the story of the girl in the prom dress and all of the comments were racist comments; for example “she’s black what would you expect”, “typical nigger”, “she’s to cheap too be a $10 whore she’s a $5 crack whore” or things like “her mother most be a crack head” i mean like wtf………where did the race thing come from

    I’m not saying you don’t agree racism is alive your comment in regards to race and the prom girl gave me the chance to express how I felt about how we are still so not united.

    So yes racism is still well and alive here today………some people just act as if it’s not. I’m Just Saying

    BACK ON TOPIC

    I agree with you 100% as far as the mental issues go.

  • http://stylerazzi.blogspot.com stylerazzi

    mediakemi Says:

    Sandra leave this story alone. You are violating her medical privacy rights. No way is the AJC gonna touch this. I keep telling you to google HIPAA and you keep deleting my comments!
    ________________________________________________________

    I don’t see this as violating any HIPAA laws. Her family was on the radio and brought light to her mental illness. No one has actually went into her medical records and pulled charts as to what doctors have said or medications she supposed to be taking. So, when we talk about Lil Wayne, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, etc….’s drug use, are we also violating HIPAA laws? I think not and this case is similar. Only difference is this woman isn’t a celebrity

  • Darnisha30

    It almost makes you feel bad for laughing at this point. It’s a sad situation. Very sad… I hope her family gets her some help.

  • LovelyLady

    Well then again I agree with you %78 African Dude.

    MOCHAMOMMY, I understand where you are coming from………but I do feel as though it’s the governments responsibility or some of it. Just like it’s the responsibility of the police officers to keep us safe and away from killers, rapist, etc. The government has a responsibility to ensure the safety of the USA. And in no way in hell is a person with mental issues safe to his/her self nor the community they live in. Does it take her to kill someone for them to place her in a facility or to take some type of action. I’m not saying leave the responsibility totally up to the government, but to protect our communities SOME LAWS DO NEED TO BE CHANGED OR REVISED.

    I’m just saying

  • MistaO

    Have you been online lately? Anytime in the past two years? Well of course you have, and that being said, you should know that if the “media” put every video of some mentally sick person melting down on, there would be simply no time for anything else.

    Plus, I’m glad they didn’t put this all on blast like that. Heck the viral stuff is enough. Yes there clearly is a need for greater mental healthcare (in general) but in the prisons as well. They say over half of all inmates suffer from some form of mental illness.

    But again, I’m glad the nationals didn’t pick this up, it is not really all that newsworthy, what with us still in a couple of WARS, and what with all these folks LOOSING THEIR HOMES, and what with gas being an ARM and a LEG! And plus we have probably the biggest most important Presidential election in probabably the history of the country coming up. Much bigger stuff to be focusing on than some sick chick who lost it. Happens every day…

  • http://www.sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

    sandra rose why are you not covering the story of that 17 yr old black girl who was going to prom night dressed like a prostitute and who got handcuffed??? i guess it was white peoples fault too? i guess white people are the ones wo told her father/mother to let out of the house like that…..nothing worse than people living in denial

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I don’t think she got arrested because she was dressed like a prostitute. She got arrested because she was acting belligerently.

    This story is important because it shows there is a major problem with Georgia’s mental health system. The jails are full of Nafiza’s who don’t get adequate mental health treatment. This story is big because it was viewed by millions of people on YouTube and because the victim was an elderly lady. If the elderly lady was white you wouldn’t believe the worldwide coverage this story would have received.

  • Bsoul

    mediakemi Says:

    Sandra leave this story alone. You are violating her medical privacy rights. No way is the AJC gonna touch this. I keep telling you to google HIPAA and you keep deleting my comments!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    ME: No she isn’t. If that were true, all those stories reported about Britney would have landed everyone and their mama in hot water. Most simply reported observances–not a violation.

    Had Sandra diagnosed Nafiza and then posted it here, she’d be in violation. Up to now, Sandra has blogged about what is accessible to anyone with access to the media wires.

  • prynsexxx

    #20 said:

    what I want to know is why is she still in jail on a $300 bond…to me evidently if her family can’t afford to get her out
    _______________________________________

    The 15th will be here in a couple of days.

  • Island Princess

    My fiance has bipolar and I have been through some shit with him. You can not make them take their meds. He did not know he had it but I knew. I had him go to a behavior neurologist and that is when they told him that he had bipolar. People with bipolar are up and down, they can be suicidal, have social anxiety disorder and depression.

    She needs theraphy and support from her family. If you do not give 110% to a loved one with bipolar, they will hit rock bottom and will end up in a menatl institution, jail or deceased. I am sorry but it is true.

  • wiggy2272003

    sandra rose said:This story is important because it shows there is a major problem with Georgia’s mental health system. The jails are full of Nafiza’s who don’t get adequate mental health treatment. This story is big because it was viewed by millions of people on YouTube and because the victim was an elderly lady. If the elderly lady was white you wouldn’t believe the worldwide coverage this story would have received

    If this young woman does not have medicaid which I doubt she doesnt, Georgia’s public mental health sevices operate on a sliding scale. Sandra as you state quite often you were a nurse so I am sure you are aware she obviously was not taking her meds. I feel it is actually her family who have dropped the ball with her not the system. If her family sees her in a manic state dont let her out the house, call her doctor, have him have her hospitalized DO SOMETHING. WE MUST STOP LOOKING TO INSTITUTIONS FOR EVERYHTING!

  • missdisrection

    I don’t think it has anything to do with race but that’s my opinion. BTW Sandra, the story is on CNN’s website; is that not national enough for you?

  • Bsoul

    If she were my relative and I couldn’t afford to get her the help she needs (which might be her family’s case) I wouldn’t bail her out either. At least in jail she’s being monitored to some degree.

    Even if they have the money, it’s difficult to get someone help if they DON’T want it. Most people who really need psychiatric attention are the last to realize or acknowledge it.

    Withouth the proper attention, once she gets back on the street without her medication(s) she will wind right back where we saw her. Maybe jail is the best place for her right now.

  • missdisrection

    I should have added this; the story is on CNN under Top US Stories then under South.

  • jamil2008

    You’re so right Sandraa, although I can’t say that I shocked that this story wasn’t given more attention.

  • tintin

    wow life must be hard, she’s aged poorly in the last few years.

  • hellava10

    What the hell is going on with people calling radio stations to defend/justify/whatever…..? Since when did this become the outlet for family members to air out their business.
    As far as that 17 year old, that is how she portrayed herself…like a straight $5 crack whore-doing an interview in that mess of fabric and some sneakers in the park. And no child going to the prom is grown…are her parents responsible, yes. Even if your child has moved out of your house, that doesn’t make you no longer responsible as it doesn’t no longer make you a parent. Even when my children left our house, they are still representing me and my family and how they were raised. Any daughter of mine would get whooped on tv for touching the hanger that rag was on at the store and they wouldn’t even think of putting something like that on to go out in public. It’s stories like this that make headlines and that child doesn’t have a mental illness other than wanting to get attention and I fully support the school giving her the boot. People are afraid to deal with mental illness and it’s a growing issue that needs cooperation on all sides. It’s sad but until she can comply with taking her medication, maybe for her safety and the safety of others…jail might be her best option. It’s not the solution by far, but hopefully she can ge evaluated further.

  • terika83

    Sandra, I feel you, but honestly I’m kinda glad the news didn’t report on this story. The racist and stereotypical comments the youtube video itself received further let me know that white people sit back and wait for one of us to mess up to pin it on our whole race. Such a disgrace….

  • T.Michelle

    To be Honest I am glad they did not put it in the widestream media. It’s embarrassing for both parties involved. Especially the elderly lady it’s hard enough being disrespected but to see it live out daily in the media is a bit much….And plus the way the media spins things the story would have been about just another “Crazy black Person” and we all know how people who are ignorant to who we are as a people will generalize the story to be all of us!

  • prynsexxx

    I she rockin’ a straight jacket with a white Tee in the Jan ’08 pic?

  • prynsexxx

    *Is

  • http://stylerazzi.blogspot.com stylerazzi

    Well, Sandra, AJC must’ve read your post or heard about it b/c they have thrown together a little story and put it on their homepage. I emailed you the link!!!!

  • http://www.myspace.com/missjenee MissJenee
  • http://www.sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

    @ MissJenee:

    They JUST published that article today – after my post on the subject and 5 days after Nafiza’s arrest. To me that’s typical of the AJC to focus on a damn t-shirt when an elderly MARTA passenger was almost physically assaulted on a train.

    @ Style Razzi:

    Thanks for the link!

  • http://www.sandrarose.com Sandra Rose

    prynsexxx Says:

    I she rockin’ a straight jacket with a white Tee in the Jan ‘08 pic?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    No, that’s a mask and hospital gown. Either she was spitting at the corrections officers or they thought she had tuberculosis or something else contagious.

  • MzDetermined

    Poor child!

  • Pingback: Update on MARTA’s Soulja Gal | Peach Pundit()

  • http://www.myspace.com/millyly milly

    yes if the old lady was white the story would have had more shine…but then again Marta is full of crazy folks,someone just happen to have their phone camera on this time

  • krbinc

    YEAH YA’LL RIGHT! IF THAT OLD LADY BEEN WHITE, PEOPLE ON THE TRAIN WOULD HAVE STOP THAT A LONG TIME INTO IT!

  • omina-homina

    Excuse me, but I don’t see how national media attention will help anyone in this case. The person that needs the most help is the young woman. Yeah, the elderly lady was verbally assaulted, but it was nearly un-deliberate since the young woman has a mental disorder. She couldn’t help herself – she’s ill.

    You see it right there the progression of this mental disorder and confirmed diagnosis. The old lady identified the girl and she’s now in custody. What else do you want?

    You have to consider all the events that go on in the world between people of whatever racial background, or combination there of, and how hundreds and thousands of instances go un-reported on the main stream news circuits. Everything is not going to be on the news, be it news worthy or not.

  • omina-homina

    Also, I’m sure many mentally, or otherwise, ill white people have fallen through the cracks of the health care system in Georgia as well as all over the country.

    The NEWS isn’t NEW that the US Health Care System SUCKS, for not only in the case where Black/African descended people are concerned, but for the rest of the population.