Ramona Jones may have a point about my suggesting what Chauncey should have written about--and I thought about having the nerve to tell him such--but it was after his passing that I said this, so one should take it in that light, although I am not beyond being told what to write and not to write. In fact, my advisers told me emphatically not to write my History of Islam in the Bay: 1954-2004. I have considered their advice and put the book on a low priority although I consider it a very necessary contribution to the history of North American Africans in the Bay and nation. The two most significant organizations during the historic 60s were the Panthers and the NOI and both played a primary role in the Bay Area.
The history of Your Black Muslim Bakery has been known for at least thirty years by most of us in the know here in the Bay, the light and the dark side. The police have let YBMB get away with murder for years and everybody knows it.They only acted when Chauncey was killed because they had to before the black bourgeoisie exploded, although how many murders in the hood have been solved? The social service agencies let Bey get away with sexual abuse of children for years before doing something about it. Dr. Bey was a victimizer and victim(he was sick with an addiction to white supremacy values of domination and exploitation, and some of his children suffer the same)--and of course when nothing is done in a community to heal a sore the virus spreads and infects others. Chauncey was but the latest and perhaps most prominent victim.
Contrary to Mayor Ron Dellums remarks at the funeral today, the solution is not more police, more state troopers and national guard. The solution is to hug a thug with unconditional love, understanding and patience; to gather them together for manhood training rites and spiritual consciousness sessions--yes, peer sessions will work but even one on one will help. These killers are our children, first of all, and claiming they are a matter for the state and federal government is slothful thinking that will only prolong the agony of a community in pain. These young killers have no consciousness because they have seen too many contradictions in the behavior of adults and have lost respect for them, including parents, teachers, preachers and politicians.
Dr. M (aka Marvin X)
>>DIA: rebuttal to the devil and the deep blue sea
I have read Mr. X's commentary twice and want to be careful with what I have
to say. How dare he call Chauncey Bailey a friend and then turn around and
make the victim the wrongdoer. I find it absurd that Marvin X, a man who is a
renowned writer and activist, would say what one should write.
We do not know what Mr. Bailey was going to write nor will we ever know
entirely. Who is Mr. X to presume to know what angle Mr. Bailey's story was going
to take. Mr. Bailey was the consummate journalist; articulate, thorough and
professional. How could he not report the downfall of Your Black Muslim Bakery
and not report about the history, the good works, and the glory days?
Unfortunately, those days are over, and Mr. X is blaming the community and the police.
Yusef Bey was at the crux of unraveling his empire and standing in the
community. For years there were whispers of multiple wives, dozens of children and
the impregnation of young girls. We did not want to believe it but when the
charges came out in 2002, we in the Black community hung our heads in shame.
Suddenly, the good did not outweigh the bad. Many, many African Americans stopped
patronizing the YBMB; the bean pies, bread and fish sandwiches were suddenly
unappealing. What is more chilling, Mr. Bey's lack of remorse for his pedophile
behavior was reprehensible.
For far too long, Black people have chosen to look the other way when the
spiritual leaders and representatives of our community shame us but people said
enough is enough. Now there are 42 children, many of them dysfunctional,
traumatized and psychologically impaired, and now the murder of Mr. Chauncey Bailey
as their legacy. Most of the family and original followers have chosen to
distance themselves from the band of thugs who choose to use violence to settle a
score. As it was stated in today's Oakland Tribune, August 7, 2007-
greed, fraud and mismanagement that is at the root of the latest troubles of
Of course, there is the young man who confessed to Mr. Bailey's murder. It
is heart- breaking to see this 19 year old who, a few years ago was in a U.C.
Berkeley bound program, now life is in ruins. It grieves so many of us that Mr.
Bailey, a man who cared about our community and our youth was cut down by one
who could have possibly been mentored by him. No, Mr. Bailey did not do
anything wrong; revealing truth is never wrong. Do not blame the victim. I
appreciate the contributions and talents of Marvin X; I do not always agree with
his views but I respect him but he got this one wrong.
August 7, 2007
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea(In Memory of My friend, Chauncey Bailey)By
Dr. M (aka Marvin X)
How does it feel to get caught between the devil and the deep blue sea? How does it feel when a friend is murdered and the suspected murderers are someone you know as well, ever since they were children. It is a feeling of immense sadness, grief and disappointment. It is a feeling of guilt even, for we wonder why we didn't mediate the situation, force the opposing parties to sit down to reason together before things got out of hand, before a brother had to join the ancestors, as in the case of our friend and colleague, fellow writer and journalist, Chauncey Bailey. Yes, Chauncey was seeking the truth to tell us all, but it is possible he was working on the wrong story, or maybe the wrong aspect of the story, if it is true he was working on a story about the financial situation of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a family business that appears to be in the process of having its doors closed, the result of criminal activity, tax liens and creditors, but more importantly, moral issues, beginning with its founder, the late Dr. Yusef Bey, who was a friend that worked with me on many community projects, someone I miss dearly, though I am thankful I never had to experience his dark side, and I am genuinely sorry for those who did, especially the children. He fathered 43 children and it appears the sins of the father have visited some of them. One son was killed trying to rob dope dealers, another killed when someone car jacked him, and the current CEO, Yusef Bey IV, faces multiple charges, although someone else at the bakery has confessed to killing Chauncey because of his past articles and planned story on the financial situation. The suspect was a handyman at the bakery, so we are supposed to believe handymen are capable of plotting assassinations afro solo.
But as per Chauncey, the financial situation should not have been a priority, rather the essential and critical story should have been about how this family, especially its children and mothers, could be healed from its shame and trauma, and the business saved as a community asset. Tell me where one can find a loaf of bread baked by black people in the Bay or across these United Snakes of America. Where can just released inmates from jails and prisons find immediate employment, housing and food? Where can broken down dope fiends get their lives together and never look back. Where can the community find the example of a successful black business? I know the media loves sensationalism, but the positives of YBMB outweigh the negatives, and this is where Chauncey went wrong and it cost him his life, and with the bakery closed, it will affect many other lives, including the community in general so desperate for natural food and examples of do for self enterprises, i.e., independently operated businesses, especially family run so that children can see a future beyond a wage slave job at a white supremacy corporation more interested in outsourcing for cheap labor rather than securing a future for American workers of any ethnicity.
So we have here a double tragedy that approaches the best Shakespearean drama: what happens when the king dies or struggle for succession rights (rites), and what happens when the court jester or truth seeker seeks too much truth, especially from those who are supposed to be champions of truth, but have corrupted truth due to flaws in their moral character, resulting in the virus infecting the king's children to the degree that they self destruct, demolishing the kingdom, destroying all the good.
But is this the end of the drama or merely a necessary phase, since there are 43 children and perhaps the good children are yet to be seen and heard, especially the women who may now be forced to the front of the line to take authority over certain posts of whatever remains.We love you Chauncey, we love you Dr. Bey--maybe ya'll can work it out in heaven.
Now this drama has villains more sinister than even the murderers, for as James Baldwin said of those who killed Malcolm X, "The hand that pulled the trigger didn't buy the bullet." Isn't it strange that with a plethora of unsolved murders in Oakland, this murder was solved in less than 24 hours--Chauncey was killed around 7:30am, by 5am the next morning, the police had a confession and murder weapon, as though they knew exactly where to go to apprehend the killer. Is it likely they knew beforehand what was planned, especially since they had the suspects under surveillance for over a year. Couldn't they have prevented Chauncey's murder--perhaps they too wanted him dead since he was also investigating police corruption. There is no doubt they had undercover agents and/or snitches at the bakery who kept them abreast of planned activities. The killer himself could have been a police agent. These are possibilities any serious thinker should consider.
Again, I want to say that the community failed the Bey family for decades by not treating them with healing love, especially after they gave so much to the community. Their isolation only deepened their trauma and of course things go from bad to worse. The children were traumatized but left to drift into madness and psychosocial pathology. When I spoke at the bakery a few months ago, they were happy and elated that adults had come by to visit their meeting, for nearly all of those present were young people associated with the bakery. They were even happier to discover the other adults at the meeting were my longtime associates and friends of their father. They let us know how pleased they were that we took the time to visit with them. We must reach out to the Bey children because they are our own. Their negative actions have now impacted the community in a big way--for Chauncey was no ordinary Negro but a very special guy doing a very necessary work. And as the community mourns his passing and heals, let us not forget the children at the bakery who need much healing as well--and certainly they contributed much good to this community and therefore deserve our unconditional love.
--Dr. M (aka Marvin X)8.4.07Oaktown
Dr. M (aka Marvin X) is author of the just released HOW TO RECOVER FROM THE ADDICTION TO WHITE SUPREMACY, A PAN AFRICAN 12 STEP MODEL FOR A MENTAL HEALTH PEER GROUP, BLACK BIRD PRESS, 2008, 111 PAGES. Foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare, afterword by Ptah Allah El (Tracey Mitchell), $19.95. Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95967. Available at De Lauer's News, 14th and Broadway, Oaktown
Sick sense of humor? Visit Yahoo! TV's Comedy with an Edge to see what's on, when.