Ihsan

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Alcohol smashed in Oakland, California

Update 12/1: The store that was set on fire was looted yesterday, and a community meeting was held to discuss the liquor stores:

"People want a grocery store in the community," Pastor Raymond Lankford said. "They want more variety certainly more fruits, more vegetables other than the liquor they're selling. There used to be grocery stores. We don't have grocery stores in West Oakland anymore."

See also Sunni Sister's blog entry on this issue: Pops

Update: 11/28: One of the two alcohol stores that was trashed was set on fire (police say arson) and was completely gutted.

Thank you everone for commenting here on ihsan, and on the indybay site. Maybe I've been a bit harsh in this blog entry - but this is a very serious matter. And I agree that trashing up these stores is not an answer, still, at the same time - we have to find ways to address these issues.

Here is excerpt from one of the comments on Indybay - giving some more background on these stores.

"Community leaders wanted to reduce crime and related problems linked to liquor stores. They pressured city leaders to revise city regulations governing those businesses. The new law created an Alcohol Beverage Action Team charged with responding to complaints, performing investigations, conducting minor-decoy operations and bringing repeat violators before hearing officers. If necessary, the ordinance provides for revoking a store operator's business permit. click here to read


A soon-to-be-released book by sociologist Robert Nash Parker, "Alcohol and Homicide: A Deadly Combination of Two American Traditions," cites a 20-year study of 256 U.S. cities demonstrating that alcohol outlet density has a significant effect on that area's homicide rates, and that the nationwide increase in outlet density from 1960 to 1980 played a major role in the skyrocketing violence during that period. click here to read


With adjustment for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics at the census tract level, every unit increase in liquor license density is associated with a 9% increase in domestic violence click here to read

"What is the relationship between outlet density and violence? A number of studies have found that in and near neighborhoods where there is a high density of places that sell alcohol, there is a higher rate of violence. That is, when bars, liquor stores, and other businesses that sell alcohol are close together, more assaults and other violent crimes occur. click here to read


updated 11/27 - scroll down...

Wednesday, near midnight, about a dozen or more African-Americans, apparently of Muslim background smashed two alcohol stores (owned by Muslims of Arab background) in Oakland, California.

Before we go about doing our usual round of condemnations - lets take a look at some facts:

1. Oakland has a poverty rate of nearly 20%. However, for the area (near West Oakland) where these two stores were located, this rate is far higher: upwards of 60 to 70%, and the residents are primarily African American and Latino Mexican and Central American backrounds).

2. Oakland has over 350 liquor stores, and, in some of the poorest areas - there are two or three of these "stores" (call 'em drug pushers) on a single block! This means that the bulk of these stores are located in poor neighborhoods.

3. Community activists in Oakland have been attempting to restrict and shut down some of the worst liquor stores for some time - but have had little success because alcohol is a legal substance. A very mild and ineffective voluntary measure is in effect that close the liquor stores down at 12:00 A.M. instead of 2:00 A.M.

4. Alcohol (along with other drugs) has been pushed in many inner cities of the US - includng East Oakland. The Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth notes that alcohol has been marketed to underage African Americans:


• Two formats—Urban Contemporary and Rhythmic Contemporary Hit—with music types including R&B, rap, hip-hop, house, and dance, accounted for almost 70% of the alcohol advertising reaching underage African-American youth on radio.


5. According to a recent study (pdf), neighbourhood violence goes way up as the numbers of alcohol outlets increase:

The strong connection between alcohol and violence has been clear for a long time – but now we know that this connection also relates to the location of places that sell alcohol.
The TV news coverage came up with a "Qur'an expert" who did the usual, robot like, condemnations (is there a standard condemnation form online somewhere?). But he said not a word about the role that these stores play in the destruction of communities, families, and especially the youth of the neighbourhoods.

And so you can expect that the usual suspects will line up to condemn this act. But that does not at all address very fundamental questions about alcohol stores, and exactly what are Muslims doing selling alcohol in the first place, and that too in very poor inner city neighborhoods. Not just in Oakland - but all over the United States!

Maybe asking such questions about Muslims is not very progressive of me - but they do need to be asked.

In an article on racial tension in the American Umma, Kelly Crosby wrote:

But one of his (Kelly's father) comments stayed with me long after we finished talking. He said, "there is no way for African-American Muslims and immigrant Muslims to come together on anything in this community until we all address the problem of Muslim-owned cornerstores."
And so pardon me if I don't shed any tears when I watch the video of alcohol being smashed.

Update: There is an interesting conversation/debate/flame on the Indybay web site click here to view/participate.

A couple of excerpts from some of the comments:

"While people can make their choices on their own (as well they should,) a closer look at both the presence of liquor stores and the presence of crack and heroin in these communities doesn't paint a healthy picture. As such, the line between providing ample access and shoving it down people's throats is finer than you think. I do think its messed up that an individual shop owner was targeted -- just another example of ordinary people being divided against each other in the midst of a genocidal war. But I can also understand how people get to that breaking point."

"There are 3 liquor stores within 6 blocks but not a real grocery store for miles. Literally miles.

"I do see where people might come to seriously resent these stores, though, and it's so ironic than many are run by Muslims who would never partake in what they are selling in poor neighborhoods everyday -- things I myself buy. But a good bit of anger should also go towards companies like Safeway who pulled their last store out of the neighborhood about 6 years ago (they had one on Broadway). Even older grocery stores in the area are now scraggly church's. There is a Whole Foods coming about a mile or so from here, but it will be a madhouse when it opens as the first return of a real grocery store in years and years to a long underserved neighborhood."



28 comment(s):

  • Got a call from one of the Bay Area TV stations to have me come on and talk about it. The reporter was drawing parallels to the vigilantism that is occuring in Iraq, and I tried to give him some of the background that you've provided. I hope, however, that we don't come across as condoning vigilante behavior as a response to the cornerstores - that's not what we as a Muslim community need right now.

    By Blogger Shahed Amanullah, at 11/25/2005 01:43:00 PM  

  • Shahed, vigilante behavior of this kind does not just come about in a vaccum: the context i've given above is important.

    But even more important is the almost total lack of interest in the wider Muslim communities to this kind of exploitation of neighbourhoods.

    Given the class differences - most upper middle-class doctors engineers, MBAs etc. don't set foot in these neighborhoods. Other than to do one or two days of charity work on one or two major holidays.

    If anything, after consultations with community activists, there should be Muslims demonstrating against these stores. But I won't be holding my breath for this kind of action - given the apathy and fear that runs in the veins of so many Muslims these days.


    By Anonymous altaf, at 11/25/2005 02:01:00 PM  

  • An African American dressed in a suit does not a Muslim make. A spokesperson for the NOI denied any involvement in this action. I have to live in my surroundings and have two choices: Flee or Stay and Make it Better. In all of the studies mentioned, I did not see one on how Vigalante Violence improved the situation of a community. Care to give some feedback?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/25/2005 02:22:00 PM  

  • anon: you are right - that is why i said "apparently" - maybe i should've made the ambiguity about them being Muslims more clear.

    The community has attempted to make their area "better" - specifically addressing the liquor stores... this is not a new problem.

    Also this was directed specifically at the property/liquor that are deemed to harm the communities.

    There is a history of actions that groups such as even the pacifist Catholic Workers have taken against missiles - they have taken sledge hammers to damage/destroy those missiles. For which several have served time in federal prisons.

    There is a difference between vigalante violence against persons, versus those directed against harmful property.

    While I agree with Shahed that we should not condone these actions, we should also not blindly condemn them and just move on as if there is no problem with the liquor stores.


    By Anonymous altaf, at 11/25/2005 02:57:00 PM  

  • Has it occurred to you that the only reason these stores exist is because the community supports them with purchases?

    No one forces people in the neighborhood to buy liquor. There are convenience stores and supermarkets who sell liquor in my neighborhhod, and I don't feel compelled to buy.

    Stop bullying storeowners and get the black community to clean up its own act.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/26/2005 08:22:00 AM  

  • There's a discussion on indybay around this topic, using this article as a starting point. See http://www.indybay.org/news/2005/11/1785540.php.

    Some of the people there don't seem to get how this is an issue of empowerment for the black community, and that the attack is only part of the picture.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/26/2005 02:19:00 PM  

  • It's odd to me that the goons that trashed that store were so flagrant about showing who they were to security cameras. That's big balls.
    I'm a white man, I live in Oakland, a nasty part, I have lived in nasty Houston, nasty Chicago, and nasty Baltimore.
    I don't pretend to know a black man's mind, but i know if blacks want to have cleaned up communities, nobody else is going to clean them up for you.
    I salute the NOI guys. My experience has also been that Arab Muslims do not think very highly of American blacks, & think y'all exist for them to sell Kools & King Cobra to.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/26/2005 05:39:00 PM  

  • The emphasis seems to be missing the mark again. While yes, I appreciate pointing out the lack of condemnation of the surplus of alcohol in poor communities in place of condemning the smashing of windows etc. is typical, I have never seen possitive results come from scaring people from selling or doing anything, by smashing their businesses. The entire genre of smash to build, smash to teach, smash to prohibit is completely insignificant. They are not subtle enough and are ultimitely misdirected. These acts can be spun into any number of realities (interpretations) and usually just get filed in the "disturbance/vandalism" category.

    Equating this act to protestors smashing missles is a huge stretch. Getting drunk and getting satisfaction based on dominating another country by destroying their infrastructure and human population, is like comparing an apple and a tomato. Yeah they're both fruit but... one's a "deadly nightshade" and the other "keeps the doctor away."

    The issue is so much deeper, this is just a brush against the surface. Alcoholism stems from the psychology of people with not enough money, people with tons of money, and people with just the right amount of money. It stems from internal perceptions of one's world, and can also be hereditary. Telling people it's haram does nothing, smashing a few (all) liquor stores does nothing, making it illegal does nothing. In fact most of these demonize alcohol to such an extant that there is a number of arguments that could prove that this approach makes the environemtn for alcoholism more "fertile."

    Remember, rich alcoholic CEOs don't have to drive into some "seedy" part of town to get drunk.

    Arguments ellucidating the crazy divide between the amount of liquor stores in poor communities and the amount in richer communities is absolutely vital. ANY validation of smashing those stores is simply futile. The owners of those stores lives are most likely ruined because of this. Whereas they mostly numbed the hard lives of others. Contributed to a problem no doubt, but then no one is a saint in this.

    And this act wreaks of racism/religious-ism and basic bigotry anyway.


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/27/2005 07:11:00 AM  

  • That is one tough mess of problems. All the little shit I do, volunteering and stuff like that, it's not even a popcorn fart in hurriccane. Changing minds is the work that needs to happen, & there are so many, and so many of them are in lockdown.

    It's easy to say "fuck those clowns", & walk away, & most of the country That can, has. Safeway didn't close because of no business. Safeway closed because of "inventory shrinkage", which is a euphemism for they were being robbed blind.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/27/2005 08:26:00 AM  

  • b.a.rak doles out the usual liberal line of "alcholism" is everyone's problem - without bothering to look at how people in poor black/brown/red communities are specifically targeted...

    His/her categorization of this as "racism/religious" ism is the kind of right wing crap that is being played out in the media - while completely ignoring the real racism of alcohol.

    the b.a.rak dude sounds like she just woke up in his nice subarbian house.

    see another interesting study here that talks about this issue... your co-religiousts are killing poor people with this drug.

    "Researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health have shown that predominantly black, low-income neighborhoods in Baltimore were eight times more likely to have carry-out liquor stores than white or racially integrated neighborhoods. Conversely, in higher-income Baltimore neighborhoods a higher percentage of black residents was not associated with a higher per capita number of off-site liquor stores."

    "The authors noted that this disproportionate concentration of off-premises liquor outlets is significant in that these stores typically sell alcohol chilled and in larger quantities than in taverns or restaurants (40 and 64 oz. bottles), ready for immediate consumption on a street corner, in a nearby park, or in a motor vehicle -- drinking patterns more likely to result in excessive drinking, public drunkenness, automobile crashes, and physical violence. Some past studies have further suggested that such drinking behaviors in low-income black communities also distort black youths' perceptions of what constitutes an appropriate level of alcohol consumption."


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/27/2005 08:57:00 AM  

  • As Salaam u Alaikum,

    I wonder if people would respond differently if a commuity had attacked the local drug dealers....

    I fail to see the line between the two....one is legalised and licensed pushing, while the other is illegal....

    how would most of the store owners react if somebody was pushing alcohol upon their Muslim children? or if an outsider started opening liquor stores and bars in their countries and communities back home?


    Al-Tirmidhi #2776 Narrated Anas ibn Malik "Allah's Messenger cursed ten people in connection with wine: the wine-presser, the one who has it pressed, the one who drinks it, the one who conveys it, the one to whom it is conveyed, the one who serves it, the one who sells it, the one who benefits from the price paid for it, the one who buys it, and the one for whom it is bought."


    By Blogger malangbaba, at 11/27/2005 04:35:00 PM  

  • My own curiousity is that these liquor store owners were not Black and appear to be Arab/Muslim. By the sound of all of the discourse, there mustn't be one Black owned liquor store in these neighborhoods. It seems very odd to discount flat out racism as a motivation for the attack.

    If these Vigilantes wanted to clean up their neighborhood, why not track down and turn in to the police all of the local drug dealers (of all races) selling illegal substances to the Black community? Last I heard, illegal drugs were not adding to the prosperity of the Black community. I would hope that apologists would not defend the drug dealers as ones that are just trying to put food on the table. These Vigilantes don't seem strong enough to have to turn in some of their own people to the "Man". Additionally, working with the police is probably considered blasphemous since "cooperating with the Man is definately not Kosher."

    So well dressed Black people go after Arab/Muslim store owners instead. Seems like a pretty racist move by targeting the weakest, minority group in this community without really accomplishing much to really clean up the community's problems.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/28/2005 07:34:00 AM  

  • With all due respect Anonymous, I am in no way dismissing the absolute racism in marketing/pushing/pumping alcohol into predominantly black lower-income neighborhoods. This is an immediate concern requiring immediate action. What I am saying IN ADDITION is that the problem of alcoholism (and there really is such a thing) ignores race and economy. The addiction to alcohol, the psychology of "covering up" one's problems that comes with over-drinking is way deeper. The fact that money obsessed peoples have specifically targeted the troubles of poorer communities is a huge issue. HUGE. But smashing the livelihood of a member of that community is futile.

    Take the logging situation in Oregon. Judy Bari was against the logging, which was the livelihood of her community. She was a member (founder) of Earth First! She was eventually killed by the US government for her activities. Not because she smashed and blew up logging trucks, but because she engaged the minds of the actual loggers. She began to convince the loggers that environmental activists were not the cause of their livelihood going down the drain, but rather the trade of logging itself. (Choppable trees take 40 years to grow!) It was only then that the gov't saw that they had a problem on their hands. Because it had real lasting effects. She was changing the views of the loggers themselves, because she actually spoke with them in a very real way.

    I believe the same can be done with owners, sellers of alcohol who are basing their livelihood on the addictions of others. Mind you I don't think alcohol is some evil to be wiped out. It's use to manipulate the masses is criminal and should be controlled, but a little fermented barley is rather harmless.

    Convince people they are doing more harm then good and they will come to your understanding. Smash their shop and you've just made another family homeless.

    Most people just aren't up for real engagment with others.


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 07:52:00 AM  

  • >Convince people they are doing more harm then good and they will come to your understanding. Smash their shop and you've just made another family homeless.<

    Well, yeah. Dialogue is always preferable to vigilante action, especially in situations such as this one.

    >Most people just aren't up for real engagment with others.<

    I see it more as a matter of being human -- some people aren't up for engagement (and if this is the case, their actions are inexcusable,) while others who may otherwise be up for dialogue break under pressure and do extreme things.

    You mentioned Judi Bari -- consider how she got Earth First! activists to stop tree spiking. If the people spiking trees weren't up for real engagement, then why did spiking effectively end when Judi spoke out against it?


    By Anonymous no heroes save ourselves, at 11/28/2005 08:10:00 AM  

  • I don't agree with the actions - but they also cannot just be dismissed. And if anything this should be taken as a real cry for help, in a situation that has to be addressed now, not later.

    But b.a.ak? smashing the livelihood? So, no smashing livlihoods that end up killing people? Excuse me? Like you are going to now defend livelihoods of drug pushers? How about mercenaries?

    I agree that these folks who should also go after the other drug pushers in the community. And actually there are cases when some do - you don't hear about them in this public way 'cause no one comes to the defense of "illegal drug" pushers.

    The Muslims/Arabs who have accepted the role of being middle men cannot just be excused. They too have a responsiblity in the kind of drugs they are pushing. (yeah, yeah, i know it is "legal" and what not.)

    Alcholoism is multi-faceted, but one key ingredient is the wide saturation of your community with alcohol. All this mumbo jumbo about "deeper psychology" and what not is all good and well - but all of that ignores what is going on in these poverty striken communities.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/28/2005 09:15:00 AM  

  • >You mentioned Judi Bari -- consider how she got Earth >First! activists to stop tree spiking. If the people >spiking trees weren't up for real engagement, then >why did spiking effectively end when Judi spoke out >against it?

    I'm not sure what you're getting at, but I'm interested. Can you offer more here?

    To be clear, I'm talking about tactics. Things that have real effect. Reaching the breaking point and smashing a store is understable in that it happens (though I am not convinced this is an act of "pure" frustration. These acts are usually riddled with racism, elitism, sexism, male-I'm a big guy-ness, to be anything that really impresses me).

    I'm also not advocating some idealistic hey let's sit around a campfire and talk situation either (though that may be nice if impossible). I'm just saying, if a person is ready to engage in real acts to influence real change, there needs to be a serious amount of consideration.

    1. What change would I like to see happen?
    2. Who am I to say this is the right change?
    3. What kind of action would have long-term possitive effects?
    4. What has been done in the past and what were the longterm results. Regardless of how glamorous it may be to smash it up, in what instances has it worked or failed?
    5. Mistakes are inevitable, but in working towards this change, who will be hamred from this change?
    6. Will our actions hurt people we don't want to hurt (economically, physically, emotionally)?
    7. Again, who am I to determine who is righteous?

    etc etc. Anything less, is just more of the same. You're better off making some hollywood movie cause most acts of "social justice" are just fodder for our egos.

    I have found even in myself that once I start probing my intensions, I realize I have no plan. And when I carry out where I would like to be I realize that a lot more is required from me than I am willing to give. I have found that others who take a hard look at themselves and there intentions find out that for instance: "Hey I'm a racist? I didn't know that" Well you didn't include black people in your plan, so it's pretty clear to me. And then you work on that.

    Probably more important anyway.

    I'm just talking here.


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 09:22:00 AM  

  • b.ar.ak - have you ever been to a community meeting in these kinds of neighborhoods? have you ever talked to us Black folks about conditions there? No, I don't mean doing some anthropological survey -I mean livin' there and seriously talking?

    What you describe sounds nice, but frankly they are so textbookish - that they would sound condescending when you really get down to talking with people.

    "social justice" fodder for egos? Tell us where exactly do you live? Do you live in an area that has drug runners on one side, and brutal police gangs on the other? Is that were you live? Because you sure make big statements - and think you know what you are talking about.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/28/2005 09:35:00 AM  

  • Anonymous.

    I defend all those people. So-called "illegal drug pushers" as well. (By the way, who cares whether it's illegal or not. Just chill on the demonizing of alcohol and medicinal plants. That's a WAY western view of those things, and by no means universal).

    You have to try and see the bigger picture. Everyone is a part of a larger structure. Not in a crazy hippy metaphysical way, in a very tangible way. It's like Malcolm X coming to understand that racism infects white people just as it does black people. Racism is the issue, not white people. They are the pawns used by racism to further its own agenda: distruction. This is NOT to say that responsibility does not need to be taken, but rather that eliminating these people does not solve the problem at all. Never has. Never.

    Alcohol, isn't the problem. Drugs aren't the problem. Greed and ultimitely "fear" is the problem. This all becomes clear when we look at indigenous cultures whose entire understanding of plants and cultures (the fermented kind not social) was different then ours. There wasn't such a thing as "alcoholism" or "drug-use." Those are manifestations of modern frames of thought. Native Americans weren't alcoholics until white men came in and their demonizations came into play. Throw in a little displacement, removal from lands, rape a few women, and wha la! Alcoholism.

    Follow the money is always a good idea. In this case, follow what pushes people to addiction. Follow what pushes people to exploit poor communities. There's plenty to work with there. And plenty that deserves immediate attention.

    Again, this isn't a dismissal of other immediate issues, just an addition.


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 09:37:00 AM  

  • Anonymous.

    Just to clarify, I have lived in poor "crime ridden" neighborhoods in Trenton and Philadelphia. And by crime I am NOT only talking about civil, I'm talking about civil service crime as well (cops, institutions etc). Of course, being white, society has an agreement that I am supposed to be able to leave whenever I wanted to. I'm aware of that, and so there is no pretense here. I am really just reporting what I have heard and seen and bene involved in.

    And though it may be coming off textbookish on this discussion board, I feel safe in saying that people in the communities that I have lived in understood me and I understood them, and I'm getting most of this from what my nieghbors talked to me about. I didn't organize anything there. I didn't hold any meetings. didn't plan some white lead overthrow of the oppressive "superstructure". I just listened and asked questions when I was using the payphone or sitting on the street or just hanging out. It may sound one way, but in reality it has played out quite differently. I just happen to read a lot, so you know, my written language runs a bit "scholarly."

    Point taken nonetheless.


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 09:48:00 AM  

  • I asked for your background - because the kind of stuff you talk about is exactly what White/middle-class liberals bring to Black communities.

    They don't bring solutions to immediate problems, they don't talk about concrete issues such as the drug pushers. Rather they swing the topic away from these issues to some "grand scale" that ends up not addressing very real problems. It ends up being not only a distraction, but years end up going by without any solutions, and people die.

    You are doing the same here. Seen it all before.

    Malcolm X and Muslims with him seriously worked in both fronts - individual and community. He recognized the need to address both. He never forgot about the horrible skewed power relationships between white racists, and blacks who were being targeted. Sure you as a white person will latch on to the whites are also oppressed deal... that is not what we black folks are dealing with it.

    but i still appreciate your responses, at least you are willing to talk and listen.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/28/2005 09:55:00 AM  

  • I said: people ending tree spiking when Judi Bari spoke out against it

    and B.A.Rak said: I'm not sure what you're getting at, but I'm interested. Can you offer more here?

    Sure. Basically, I'm agreeing with you in part -- dialogue is key. What I'm taking issue with is your statement that "Most people aren't up for real dialogue with others." I have to agree with the posters here who have asked if you've been to a community meeting. What you're posting infers that people aren't already doing what you're saying they "should* be doing.

    In terms of clarifying what I'm saying, though: it's my understanding that the people who spiked trees thought that it was necessary, but Judi was able to convince them it was wrong (because of the personal injury that it could cause to loggers) through dialogue.

    How does that apply to the situation at hand? Well, think about it. Judi convinced people in the political community she was part of to re-evaluate their ways (which by the way, is exactly what the NOI is saying people should do.) Male EFers, like most activists, can be every bit as stubborn as the people who you appear to be criticizing (not to mention as sexist, if not male supremacist.)

    What tends to *not* work is people who aren't dealing with the same issues that the people who are engaged in controversial behavior to dictate, effectively from outside, how to change their behavior. Look at how effective the admonitions from loggers, logging companies, etc. were in terms of stopping tree-spiking.

    Basically, what I'm getting at here is that you're making presumptions that appear to be based on privilege.


    By Anonymous no heroes save ourselves, at 11/28/2005 10:14:00 AM  

  • Anonymous.

    I completely hear what you are saying. But let me stress, I am NOT saying we need to take our eyes and efforts off of the everyday in lue of "grand schemes." That is why I am super critical of white people coming into black communities and trying to "lead" them to some salvation. I'm behind the Black Panther 10 pt program that puts the leadership and decision making in the hands of the people of the community. This whole time I have only been really talking about the smashing of liquor stores as a means to stop alcohol coming into communities. I actually think some vague support of it has racist overtones in assuming that the people in these communities will "destroy their neighborhood again" as the white family states while watching the news.

    My purpase in regards to these matters has mostly been one of getting my white well-meaning community to back off the rhetoric a little and give a little breathing room to black communities that have a plan of action. Fade to the back and only help when you're asked.

    I shy away from giving "advice" on how to deal with drug-pushers, as an act of humility. I don't have the answers there. I'm not of that world. I'm trying to get the lower class white racists in my old neighborhoods to ease up on some of their bigotry in the only way they will hear me, by me hearing them. That has been the most revolutionary act. Letting them tell me why they think the way they think.

    But then again. I don;t live there anymore, so the challenges are different now.


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 10:59:00 AM  

  • no heroes save ourselves.

    I am hearing your criticism and seriously taking it to heart.

    > Basically, what I'm getting at here is that you're making presumptions that appear to be based on privilege.

    I gotta cool it.

    Frustrating!


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 11:13:00 AM  

  • >I'm trying to get the lower class white racists in my old neighborhoods to ease up on some of their bigotry in the only way they will hear me, by me hearing them. That has been the most revolutionary act. Letting them tell me why they think the way they think.<

    Cool, that's important work. Sounds like you've read "Pedagogy of the Oppressed." :-)

    nhso


    By Anonymous no heroes save ourselves, at 11/28/2005 11:30:00 AM  

  • Well done!

    Own it. Haven't read it yet. :)


    By Blogger B.A.Rak, at 11/28/2005 11:45:00 AM  

  • Article on arson at Oakland liquor store

    http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_3259436


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/28/2005 04:25:00 PM  

  • Greetings,

    There have been some comments related to civil rights on this forum. With that thread, I would like to mention an upcoming event that I believe to be very relavent to this discussion as well:

    Martin and Malcolm
    Implications of their Legacies for the Future With
    Dr. Cornel West and Imam Zaid Shakir
    http://www.cognizance.us/
    cognizancenow@gmail.com

    Friday, December 2, 2005
    Doors Open: 6:30 PM; Program: 8:00 PM
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    Event Cost:
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    $16.50 Student (Available Online Only, Must Present Valid ID at Pickup)
    Ticket Prices Subject to Increase
    Optional Parking: $7/Car

    Due to timing and logistical constraints, questions for the two speakers will taken from those submitted online in the forums section of the website.

    We are also looking for Sponsors and Donors to help defray the costs and also to help keep the ticket costs affordable for those that wish to attend this historic event. Please contact us if you are able to contribute.


    By Anonymous Atif, at 11/28/2005 05:58:00 PM  

  • http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=b4e9325402f2cb20b16c3b6e6e49b95f
    http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=de07d8311523400686599b218482867d


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12/04/2005 09:12:00 AM  

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