Part 20: My Friend the Devil
I am so thankful for having had a relationship with Eldridge Cleaver, Huey Newton and Bobby Seale. They taught me how to get my nuts out the sand and represent myself as a black man on the planet. Eldridge, as minister of information, taught me how to write with force and power, as did Elijah Muhammad and Mao, and of course Amiri Baraka. But Eldridge taught us how to resist this devil in our midst, even though he might have been a devil himself--sometimes we must fight fire with fire, so he showed us how to move beyond rhetoric to action, violent action if and when necessary.
It might be true that the pen of a scholar is worth a thousand ignorant worshipers, but there does come a time to resist oppression with violence.
On the other hand, Martin Luther King, Jr. showed how to use non-violence as a tactic to defeat the enemy. Malcolm solved our conundrum with, "Any means necessary."
But isn't it amazing how a group of mostly young brothers from Oakland backed the pigs up off the backs of black people? They were intellectuals as well, well read with fearlessness in face of the beast, and Eldridge was of this lot, no matter his social psycho pathologies. Eldrdige, Huey, Bobby and thousands of other Panthers gave their all to the liberation struggle here in the belly of the beast.
Oakland is today suffering from being under the occupation of racist pig gansters who operate under the color of law. What shall be the response today, especially after Oscar Grant and Louvelle Mixon? What do the intellectuals have to say, or more importantly, what shall they do? Shall they give a mickey mouse response like that of Attorney John Burris, and I say this even though I consider him a friend, but the truth is the black people of Oakland should not have allowed Mayor Ron Dellums to be disrepected at the funeral of those racist brute beasts in blue uniforms.
I abhor violence in any form, but there is a time for everything, and it is indeed sad to see the streets of Oakland turned into a war zone, an internal war between the brothers and an external war with the pigs. It is a dangerous place to be these days and I am happy to be away for a few days.
Clearly, as in the 60s, the leadership must arise from below and not from above. The present leaders are part of the problem, not part of the solution, something we heard from the Minister of Information, Eldridge Cleaver.