Part 27: My Friend the Devil
And then shit hit the fan in Oakland. For several months I would read the San Francisco Chronicle to keep up on news in the Bay. The OPD had been killing a black man month and I was getting disgusted reading about it. After all, I was on a magic carpet ride in Reno, living the life of a licentious fool, taking a break from revolution, but one morning I saw the headlines about yet another black man killed by the OPD. I threw the newspaper down in disgust, but picked it up later for some reason, then turned to the back page to find my friend and best Arabic student, Mustafa Abdul Rahim in a photo with his sister, Charla Black. They were protesting the OPD murder of their 15 year old brother, Melvin Black. I was horrified and screamed. I couldn't believe what I was reading. It was totally crushing because the photo revealed the pain and sorrow on the face of my friend and his sister.
I made a call to our mutual friend in the Bay, Rasul Taifa, who told me it was time for revolution and to bring my ass back to the Bay ASAP. He let me know the pain my friend and his family were experiencing, especially since Melvin Black was the baby boy of the family. "Come on, Marvin X, it's time to get down for Black Nationalism, leave them KKK alone in Reno and get yo ass down here!" I said, "Ok, Taifa, I'll get back to you." I knew my party was over in Reno and soon I was on the road back to the Bay. When I arrived I saw that all the brothers were ready to do something in revenge.
We talked with Julian Richardson of Marcus Books and he told us to exact revenge and that we were cowards if we did not. Well, to Julian's disgust, we did not. Instead we organized a human rights rally at Oakland Auditorium. I called Minister Farrakhan to attend and he agreed. I called Angela Davis, Oba T'Shaka, Paul Cobb, Desey Woods-Jones, JoNina Abrams, editor of the BPP newspaper. And of course Eldrdige wanted to attend since he knew Mustafa. When I approached Huey Newton he initially agreed only if he could speak before or after Eldridge. Angela Davis didn't want to be on the stage with him. Huey Never showed but we gathered five thousand blacks into the auditorium from 12 noon to midnight without incident.
Eldridge gave a powerful speech after the heckling died down, in fact, he was applauded for his remarks denouncing Oakland's first black mayor, Lionel Wilson for not attending. He denounced Congressman Ron Dellums as well, tracing the history of Democratic party Negro sycophants.
All the speakers denounced the OPD as racist pigs, some calling for a police review board which was later established but is weak as water even today. The main speaker was minister Farrakhan, but he was preceded by Khalid Abdullah Tariq Al Mansur who went on and on about establishing a Pan African state in South Africa. I was forced to grab the mike from Al Mansur (aka Donald Warden) after Farakhan called me into the green room and told me if I didn't get Al Mansur off the mike he was was leaving immediately for Chicago. So I went to Mansur and gently eased the mike from his hand and told the audience the minister was about the speak and the crowd exploded with applause. The minister was escorted on stage by Khalid Muhammad and Minister Billy X (Rabb Muhammad). The minister reiterated the words of Eldridge, lambasting the absent mayor and congressman, calling them pitiful examples of black leadership in a time when the people are suffering. Following the words of Julian Richardson, Farrakhan said there comes a time when the temperature of water reaches the boiling point and the black people of Oakland had reached that point and would be justified in executing revenge. The crowd applauded loudly.
Mysteriously, after the Melvin Black Human Rights Forum, the OPD killing of blacks ceased, but what followed was the appearance of Uzis and Crack cocaine on the streets of Oakland, including drive by killings that have continued to this day.
I have called for employing young men to secure their community, similar to the model used in Iraq to pacify the insurgents, especially in Anbar Province.
I have additionally called for setting up a program of micro loans to help the impoverished young men and women come up. A few hundred dollars can put a brother on the road up from poverty. This concept is being used around the world to bring people out of poverty. The founder of the concept, Muhammad Uniss, was recently awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It is obvious to any thinking person that more police and armed guards who are not from the hood will not suffice.