Oakland Police Die in Gun Battle
I got up this morning to see the news that a brother and three police are dead in Oakland, another officer is fighting for his life. I am saddened by this news from my beloved city by the Bay, city of my childhood, city where I learned black consciousness, city of black studies and Black Panthers, once one of the most radical cities in America. Of late she has become a house of death with the black on black homicide, often instigated by the police with weapons sold by the police. As they were in the 60s, the police are an occupying army of mostly white racist officers, and many of the black officers are no better, sometimes even more brutal to prove themselves to their white comrades. Chauncey Bailey is dead partly because he was writing about black police murder squads and shakedowns. The chief recently resigned because journalists were inching closer to his role in allowing abuse under his watch.
The killing of three officers by a young brother may be symbolic of things to come. As we know the new year began with the BART police murder of young Oscar Grant. Yes, the universe has a way of righting itself when things go out of control. We see the universe stepping in to bring humility to the greedy capitalist bloodsuckers of the poor and those addicted to wretched materialism. So it is time to reflect on this rampant violence in Oakland that has left so many people grieving for lost loved ones. And now the police get a taste of their own medicine. As thou has done, so shall it be done to thee. There is no escape for wickedness, especially in high places or low places either. The people do not deserve to live under occupation and violence under the color of law. Their is a limit to what a people can take, especially when they see no justice in the land, when the criminals are instituting and administrating the law for their own wicked purpose.
The Black Panthers fought forty years ago against the police--yet today it is business as usual with the "pigs," who banned my open-air classroom at 14th and Broadway, at which people noted I made things better downtown by talking with spiritually burdened youth and adults, counseling them and listening to their problems of homelessness, hunger, ignorance, disease and unresolved grief, so often brought on by the murder of their loved ones. Isn't it strange that youth rioted at the very spot where I taught and tried to bring peace, love and understanding?
I did not discriminate when the white mentally ill came by wanting a dollar, something to eat or simply a kind word like good morning, have a nice day. Often the police would stand next to me, yes, I knew they were listening to my conversation while they supposedly watched young weed dealers making their hustle. For several years the police said nothing to me, then after three or four years they informed me I was vending my books in a restricted area. Restricted for what purpose, there are hardly any stores downtown Oakland, it is a virtual cemetery, especially after dark while downtown San Francisco is bustling with people all night long.
Oakland has a glorious tradition of radical social action, but it is a tradition soaked in blood, often the result of bad and brutal police relations with the community. Why can't Mayor Ron Dellums use the model the US military exercised in Iraq when they subdued the insurgents by giving them jobs securing their communities? Just as in Iraq, we have young men marginalized and alienated from society, ready to do any crime to "get theirs," but secretly wishing things didn't have to be this way, that all they want is economic parity with the rest of society that likes to eat in fine restaurants, wear nice clothes and take care of their families. Clearly, the OPD has not and cannot secure the community, so why not be radical, Mr. Radical Mayor Dellums, hire youth to secure the hood you know the police cannot and never will, at least not until there is a radical revamping of this rotten, crumbling capitalist society, restructuring not only the police, but the schools, economic, political and religious institutions, social relations and in the process ending America's cowardly addiction to white supremacy, white privilege
and the desire to dominate the world.
We pray for all those grieving loved ones who are now deprived of their men due to gun violence. We are exhausted from attending funerals, but understand death is life and funerals are a way to help us understand and transcend the pain and suffering of losing the ones we love.
We pray the people of Oakland will rise to the occasion to become the great and valiant community recognized around the world for radical social action.