Oakland--the Death and Resurrection of A City
A city dies a natural death when it becomes morally bankrupt, politically effete, economically depraved and spiritually caught in the morass of the cross and lynching tree. Signs of moral bankruptcy are clear when the righteous are defamed and the guilty heralded in spite of clear evidence to the contrary. A city called Jerusalem was defamed when its citizens cried,
"Give us the thieves and away with the righteous man."
In such a city the voice of truth is crushed under foot and lies are raised to the level of facts and intelligence. For many years Oakland lived under the lies emanating from a businessman. Even though many people knew the truth of his business or rather the dark side of his business, he was raised high as the example of morality and community stability. Even though one of the abused women cried for years like the Eloquent Peasant of Egyptian literature, her cries went unheard, but finally she was vindicated.
But today Oakland is beset with problems of truth in the media, apathy and lack of taking authority in the Mayor's office. The Mayor was recently shamed before the nation when the family of slain OPD officers commanded he not speak at their funeral. The question is who runs the city, the OPD or the Mayor? We know the OPD is a gang of brute beasts in blue uniforms, and like any gang they rule through terror and intimidation. The Mayor submitted to them even though he is the one who represents the City of Oakland, not the OPD. And so he is guilty of lacking moral leadership as well as political stewardship, and so power flows down, lack of power as well.
In the media we see people projected as heroes who are pseudo revolutionaries that have been exposed as agent provocateurs, yet the people are in denial just as they were in denial about the businessman. The person is being defended even when evidence is presented to the contrary. The people are like starry eyed idealists believing in a balloon even though it has burst before their eyes and all the air dissipated.
What can save such people? Surely we know things go from bad to worse. In the hood things are at such a desperate level every man is armed and ready to kill at the drop of a hat. There is no conflict resolution, there is no healing for the traumatized families who must suffer their pain of loss in silence.
The church is on every corner, but it is like the liquor store adjacent to it, providing an opiate to tranquilize the people into more apathy and degeneracy, with church whores running amok and mothers paying tithes with money from dope dealing sons and daughters, and of course the preacher happily accepts the ill gotten gain to extend his lifestyle of conspicuous consumption while preaching a world of make believe and pie in the sky after you die.
The school system is a total sham and scam. They have become merely holding cells for the neo-slavery department of corrections, or simply a place where no learning takes place because half the children drop out and the other half are maintained on drugs to keep them from their attention deficit disorder caused not by any mental problem but by a totally boring white supremacy curriculum, making them unprepared to deal in the global economy with millions of jobs outsourced to India and China, yet the educators are not preparing them for the new economic era because they are not prepared themselves.
There are those conscious people who clamor for a more Afrocentric education but do not prepare their own people to become teachers, and when conscious teachers express any degree of Afrocentricity, they are immediately booted out and join the unemployment lines. In short, there are few black teachers today, not only in Oakland but throughout the state and nation. Thus the irrelevant classroom is turning girls to prostitution as young as twelve, thirteen and fourteen. On the streets they receive an education more exciting and glamorous than studying math and English. They can be seen nightly on Oakland's International Blvd. where they join the sex trade and become further abused and marginalized from society.
The so-called conscious community is so fractious that the very thought of unity is avoided because of ideological narrow-mindedness, whether from the pseudo conscious hip hop sector or the older ideologues steeped in ideological purity from the 60s, still dreaming of some Marxist heaven or Pan African paradise in Africa. Thus the conscious events are seldom events where the common people can gather for conscious knowledge and wisdom, political education that transcends the sect and cult.
And so things go from bad to worse as Murphy told us. More killings, more drugs to medicate the wounded souls trying to exist in a once valiant city with a revolutionary tradition that shook up the world, but now a wounded elephant shot with a tranquilizer gun into nothingness and dread.
No real radical solutions are presented because it would require radical action and the status quo must be maintained to allow the blood suckers of the poor to get their checks and continue their conspicuous consumption in their pitiful world of make believe.
We have suggested repeatedly offering micro loans to brothers and sisters in poverty so they can come up as millions of poor are doing around the world. To decrease the violence we have suggested the model used in Iraq to stem violence by allowing brothers and sisters to secure their own neighborhoods by paying them to do so. But no, the blood sucking businessmen want to hire armed guards to patrol the streets, and of course they want to increase the OPD with more foreign, alien officers full of racism and white supremacy notions of how the natives must be subdued, pacified, profiled and occupied. Then when the people react to the foreign army in their midst, they are criticized for their "obscene pride" as Dr. Fritz Pointer called the peoples reaction to the actions of Louvelle Mixon who chose death as freedom rather than return to the neo-slavery of the prison system and dire lack of employment opportunities, especially for a growing number of ex-felons, most convicted of the petty crimes and would not be incarcerated if they'd had proper legal representation.
The resurrection of Oakland can only begin by thinking out of the box of yesterday's worn-out ideas that have failed repeatedly although some have benefited and thus their resistance, such as those bureaucrats in city government who are resisting the Mayor's attempt to hire ex-felons by not putting their criminal past on the employment application.
The schools must be totally and radically revamped for education in the global economy. The present curriculum must be destroyed for the relic of a gone era that it is, and perhaps many teachers will be disposed of in the process of cleaning the educational house.
We call for peer teachers from among the bright students who can obviously explain lessons in the language of their peers. Even many of the socalled out of control students are in reality leaders who are simply bored and refuse to remain silent, thus they can be trained as peer teachers as well.
The spiritual community must simply preach a new way with a new message and mission of spiritual liberation and consciousness to become synchronized with the Information Age that will not permit dogmatism, sectarianism and religiosity to continue unchecked to the point of religious and culture wars across the planet. The religious community must be shaken out of its comfort zone, whether Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Rasta, Yoruba or Atheist.
Oakland cannot die except by continued self deception and denial that anything is radically wrong and anything less than a radical solution will resuscitate the dying body politic. When the media pundits from the right and the left are no longer guilty of perpetuating the world of make believe, the mighty Lazarus called Oakland will rise again to astound the world.