Pathological Nigg*s Part II.

“Ain’t No UZI’s made in Harlem”.

There is nothing quite like a moment of clarity.

The second reason why Birkhold’s statement was important
is that it helped me look at another article with a clearer set of eyes.

For the past couple of days I have been e-mailing with Barry Michael Cooper,
the screen writer of New Jack City. Birkhold learns this and says,

“Ask him for a copy of the article he wrote in the Village Voice.”

“The one that New Jack City was based on?”

“Yeah, that one.”

So I get it this morning and I can’t believe it.

I realize that HIS PIECE and it the complete antitheses of Meredith’s.

It was published almost EXACTLY 20 years ago, on December 1st, 1987.

And it is about how young Black men in Detroit
were killing each other the way folks drink Kool-aid, reflexively.

The distinction between Barry’s and Meredith’s piece, is that
Barry provided the historical context in which the murders
in Detroit were taking place.

He mentioned how in 1943, this countries bloodiest race war
up until that point took place in Detroit.
34 people lost their lives, 25 were Black,
and over 1000 were wounded. (But wait. What about the
Tulsa Race Riots?)

“If you failed to inspect the political underbelly of the community
during that period, a riot in 1967 Detroit would have seem
outlandish….Detroit was one third Black, and
Blacks made up a substantial portion of the workforce.”

All these folks, with these good jobs, needed doctors, and lawyers.

The 1967 riot in Detroit changed everything.

Barry asked, “Why didn’t Detroit recover? “

The Black and White middle class left and the ones that
remained installed gates and bought guns.

He answers writing that,

” Conventional logic doesn’t force the city’s political
power to admit that the bounty of the 60’s wasn’t equally distributed.
Conventional logic doesn’t scream out that the riot wasn’t why Detroit
unravels. It merely burned away the facade that had hidden
Detroit’s invisible society, the invisible underclass.”

Upon reading these words I realized that the Oakland, Jersey, Philly murder
rate served the same purpose.

And for that matter so did Hurricane Katrina.

They serve as events that burn away the facade.

Barry describes the precursor for all the Black youth killing each
other in ’87 when he describes “how 30 year old man, John Leroy
was shot by a National Guardsman at a roadbock in Lycaste street.”
in Detriot 67. And now we find ourselves in ’07.

Leroy is barefoot, and chest down, bleeding profusely;
he looks like he’s treading concrete.”

So, pre-riot the Black working class the Black Elite flourished.

Post riot. Not so much.

Reading it, I heard Birkhold’s words in my head saying, “if you don’t
provide the historical context for a current situation, you risk making it
sound pathological.”


Why is it that when writers talk about Oakland, Jersey,
Detroit, Philly, that white flight, black flight and factory job
flight and just garden variety racism is either NEVER mentioned
nor meaningfully considered and analyzed?


In My Oakland Gristle

Man listen. There is an article in the Chronicle today
about Oakland
and murders. It had me livid, inspired,
depressed AND heated all at once.
You can read it here.

In the last five years, 557 people were slain on the city’s streets, making Oakland the state’s second-most murderous city, behind Compton.

Most victims are young, black men who are dying in forgotten neighborhoods of East and West Oakland.

A handful of their killers, speaking from prison, describe an environment where violence is so woven into the culture that murder has become a symbol of manhood.

The inmates say the only difference between these neighborhoods and prison is the absence of walls. The same hierarchies apply – the meanest rise to the top. It’s a survival skill that ensures ownership of drug corners, a sense of self-worth, female attention and protection from attack.

See. Here is the context.

Yesterday, I was speaking to Birkhold about how difficult it is to
write fiction.
My problem is that I am attempting to write about
real things
I have seen AND I am cautious, perhaps, too cautious
about perpetuating sterotypes about Black people, specifically,
Black teenage mommas.

His response was gone head and write about it, because if you do,
and your readers feel you,
THEN YOU CAN take them to
another place. And I had nothing
to say to that. He was right.

So this morning. I woke up energized. And started on my stories.

Then this article comes up. And it had me and never really quite let go.

I must have spoke to 5 people today about it, including my father.

Now, if a resonable person reads this article, it serves as evidence that
East Oakland just needs to be bombed a la Philadelphia “MOVE” and
because there is no redeeming it.

And the comments (all 486 of them), which I normally enjoy reading as a
sort of journalism anthropology experiment, I couldn’t bring myself to read
I can’t take what those folks have to say on this topic. They have no
“skin in the game” so what room do they have to talk?

The more I thought about it the more I realized why the article about
why it was egregious.

The article offers NO historical context for why East Oakland, and Philly,
Detroit, D.C., Newark, Pittsburgh and most of the RUST BELT
have evolved to be the way that they are.

For example, there are NO MORE factory jobs in East Oakland. Cats who
had factory jobs now operate in the underground economy.

Second welfare to workfare was egregious WITHOUT an educational component.
You and I both know that education is what gives people options in this country.
Straight up and down.

And if you disagree with me, then why was it ILLEGAL to teach
an enslaved African’s to read. Right? Right.

Thirdly, prisons are the new steel mills. White rural counties LOBBY to get jails
built in their counties because of the jobs that they create.

Fourth, if a Black child encounters a babysitter for a teacher in two years,
in either first, second or third grade, they will likely NEVER recover.
Those years are so precious that the harm done academically takes and act
of congress to recover from.

So yeah.

Im vexed.

Oh. And on the bus home tonight I witnessed an E.S.O dude
going back on forth with two women. The women were obviously a couple
and he disprected one of them and THEY WERE not having it.

Street dude + lesbian couple + BUS = BAD combo.

And I am thinking to myself, please don’t provoke her.

I can feel the situation escalate. He starts talking another DUDE about
BROADS that mess with OTHER BROADS and all I am thinking is
NOTHING good will come of this.

Just then, a cat walks back and says,

“Yo, I hear yall, and I just want you to know that my daughter here
seen 3 murders and she is only 5. She is five.”

He pointed at the ladies and said, ” You have your point” and points to him
saying “He has his point, but it ain’t nothing worth getting smoked over“.

Things were smoothed over between the two parties.

And the gentleman took his daughter and sat down.

At that very moment I thought to myself. This is what the article missed.

The perspective of someone who has their “skin in the game”.


What was the last article you read that had you livid?

How did you respond?

When was the last time you had to deescalate a situation?

Why so much violence? ( For the record, I get violence, I understand it
I had to in order to survive. I am asking YOU, why so much?)


Black Editor, Chauncey Bailey, Murdered by Black Muslim

When an out of the ordinary murder happens in Oakland, my mind automatically begins to wonder.

When I learned that Chauncey Bailey, Editor of the Oakland Post was killed, execution style with a shot gun in downtown Oakland on his way to work on last Wednesday, I immediately thought that it was, his Lovers Husband or that he owed someone some money.

I was wrong.
Apparently, It was a member of the Oakland Black Muslims.

A suspect in the daylight ambush shooting death of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey was being formally booked today on suspicion of murder, authorities said.

Devaughndre Broussard, 19, was in the process of being booked at the Alameda County jail in downtown Oakland in connection with Thursday’s slaying of Chauncey Bailey, 57, at 14th and Alice streets.

Broussard was a handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery who confessed to police Friday night that he ambushed and killed Bailey with a shotgun because he was upset with the journalist’s coverage of the group, the Oakland Tribune reported today. Bailey was a former Tribune reporter.

Oakland police did not immediately respond to requests for comment today.

When he was 15, Broussard participated in a mentorship program at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business that was geared for disadvantaged Bay Area youth. Mentors sought to inspire youths “through challenging and fun business, finance and entrepreneurship curricula” according to the program’s Web site.

He wrote for the Tribune for hella years.
Thats were I know his work from.

Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post and a former reporter for the Oakland Tribune, was slain by a masked gunman on a downtown Oakland street Thursday, police said.

Bailey, 57, was shot shortly before 7:30 a.m. on 14th Street near Alice Street while walking to work, police said. Paramedics were unable to revive Bailey, an outspoken advocate for the black community and an unabashed critic of corruption.

Black Men in Oakland are murdered all the time. BUT. THIS was a stand up dude. A journalist.

Apparently a life considered by many to be more valuable than the 300
or so Black and Brown men that have been murdered in oakland in the last 2 and
a half years.
I keep trynna tell fools. Oakland, like ME, has its own code. There are certain things that happen in the street that are dealt with in the street.

While I don’t share Oakland’s code per se, I do agree with the notion that there
is an appropriate an an inappropriate way of dealing with conflict.

For Oakland, most of the time it does not involve Popo or the legal system
at least until after the fact.

I posit that this same rationale exists in Texas, L.A., New Orleans (Fa’ Show) and Philly.

Apparently, a Black Muslim murked Bailey because Bailey,
like me, liked being an “in the gristle muckracker”.

Bailey hadn’t written about both the good and the bad within the
Black Muslims and was working on writing more.

Peep the irony of a) the fact that he was killed by a Black man
b.) the fact that I mentioned in my previous post how when you
get a certain amount of success as a Black Male Athlete
you were suppose to shut the f*ck up.

The Black Muslims in Oakland have done both things that
can be appreciated by the Black community as well
as things that should have them on the R. Kelly Justice Plan.

The Black Muslims are precisely that, Black Muslims in Oakland
and accordingly they have their own code under wich they operate.

Like the Panthers back in they Day, they are some cats that even some
East Oakland GOONS, don’t wanna f*ck with.

OAKLAND ? A son of controversial Black Muslim leader Yusef Bey was shot and killed Tuesday night while pumping gas at a North Oakland station.

Antar Bey, 24, was at the gas station at 55th Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Way just after 7:30 p.m. when he was shot as he waited to fill up his black BMW 745, police said.

Police said Antar Bey, the appointed successor to the late Yusef Bey, had stepped away from the car and was talking on his cell phone when he was shot. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, police said.

Shots had been fired at Antar Bey at least twice during the past several weeks, but he was not injured, authorities said.


Violence erry day around my way. How do you deal with the violence you encounter in day to day life?

Does it make a difference that Bailey was killed by a Black Man?


New York Times Speculates on Surge of Oakland Murders

You and I both know.

It get hot.

Somebody dying in Oakland this weekend.

Thats how it is. Thats how it’s allways gonna be.

The Times devoted 2 pages to assessing why so many cats
are getting murked in the ‘Town.

I almost was going to type the headline:
“Hip Hop Responsible for
Increase in Oakland Murders”.

Then I decided not to.

Ironically, while I am reading the article and simultanously preparing this post,
I get to this on the second page.

Respect for traditional social norms was on the decline, Mr. Patterson said, in the face of a growing hip-hop culture that puts an emphasis on street credibility for respect.

The COMEDY is that it took the author, 17 short paragraphs, and
the 2nd of two pages to get to THE quote that blames Hip

The shootings are part of a cresting wave of violence in Oakland, which recorded 148 homicides in 2006, a 57 percent increase over 2005 and the highest number in 11 years. As of last week, 43 people had been killed in 2007, fewer than the 60 killed over the same period last year, but still far short of a turnaround.

My first question is how many n*ggas gotta day for the government to realize that
this is a statewide emergency.

You know whats gonna have to happen. Will a series of white
Oaklander’s have to die
in order for the politicans, police
and the government to grasp the seriousness of the

Murders have an materially adverse affect on city life.

1. Investigating murders take diverts police from investigating other crimes.
2. Murders impact the quality of life of the neighborhoods, of the working folks,
of the victims families.
3. Young bucks coming up seeing so many people they love die young, get desensitized to murder at a young age.
3. It affects business owners perception of Oakland as a place to avoid investing in.

Here is a voice that I would like to hear from. Dr. Javid Sadjadi, of Highland Hospital:

Dr. Javid Sadjadi, an emergency room doctor at Highland Hospital, Oakland?s main public trauma center, said doctors there treated 425 shooting victims last year, some of them several times.

?We?re starting to see the same people getting shot several times in several different incidents,? Dr. Sadjadi said, recounting a 14-year-old shooting victim who died recently after being admitted to the hospital, his third admission for having been shot.

Dr. Sadjadi recalled one day last summer when the hospital treated more than 10 victims of shootings.


The Good old prison explanation,

Possible explanations include large numbers of violent parolees returning from prison, increasing gang violence, the availability of guns, a growing methamphetamine trade and police recruitment shortfalls. But some of those factors also exist in San Francisco and San Jose, which has a comparable number of parolees and, arguably, a larger and longer-standing gang problem than Oakland.

The town has something both cultural and voilatile.

There is a wild wild west, F*ck the Police, I am going to handle it my way
attitude in ‘The Town.

And UNTIL the Police, Policy makers and Educators
these murders ARE only gonna get worse.

The variable and somewhat mysterious homicide rates in the Bay Area mirror a national pattern in crime data for 2006 released earlier this month by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The data show killings increased significantly in some cities, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, and decreased in others, including Dallas, Los Angeles and Miami, with no definitive explanation for the difference

Reading articles like this give me survivors guilt like a mug.

Here I am tripping off working strategizing to work for
a Judge, the SEC or Target, NEXT SUMMER and being
angry at myself for not better planning THIS SUMMER
(cake is wobbely ‘yall) and in the mean time, my people are dying.

God really knows how to put sh*t in perspective for you.


Why do you think so many cats are getting murked inna ‘Town?