Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Devil and the Deep Blue Sea


ChickenBones: A Journal

for Literary & Artistic African-American Themes


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I know the media loves sensationalism, but the positives of YBMB outweigh the negatives,

and this is where Chauncey went wrong and it cost him his life



Books by Marvin X

Love and War: Poems  / In the Crazy House Called America / Woman: Man’s Best Friend Beyond Religion Toward Spirituality

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The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

(In Memory of My friend, Chauncey Bailey)

By Dr. M (aka Marvin X)


How does it feel to get caught between the devil and the deep blue sea? How does it feel when a friend is murdered and the suspected murderers are someone you know as well, ever since they were children. It is a feeling of immense sadness, grief and disappointment. It is a feeling of guilt even, for we wonder why we didn’t mediate the situation, force the opposing parties to sit down to reason together before things got out of hand, before a brother had to join the ancestors, as in the case of our friend and colleague, fellow writer and journalist, Chauncey Bailey. 

Yes, Chauncey was seeking the truth to tell us all, but it is possible he was working on the wrong story, or maybe the wrong aspect of the story, if it is true he was working on a story about the financial situation of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a family business that appears to be in the process of having its doors closed, the result of criminal activity, tax liens and creditors, but more importantly, moral issues, beginning with its founder, the late

Dr. Yusef Bey

, who was a friend that worked with me on many community projects, someone I miss dearly, though I am thankful I never had to experience his dark side, and I am genuinely sorry for those who did, especially the children.

He fathered 43 children and it appears the sins of the father have visited some of them. One son was killed trying to rob dope dealers, another killed when someone car jacked him, and the current CEO, Yusef Bey IV, faces multiple charges, although someone else at the bakery has confessed to killing Chauncey because of his past articles and planned story on the financial situation. The suspect was a handyman at the bakery, so we are supposed to believe handymen are capable of plotting assassinations afro solo.

But as per Chauncey, the financial situation should not have been a priority, rather the essential and critical story should have been about how this family, especially its children and mothers, could be healed from its shame and trauma, and the business saved as a community asset. Tell me where one can find a loaf of bread baked by black people in the Bay or across these United Snakes of America. Where can just released inmates from jails and prisons find immediate employment, housing and food? Where can broken down dope fiends get their lives together and never look back. Where can the community find the example of a successful black business?

I know the media loves sensationalism, but the positives of YBMB outweigh the negatives, and this is where Chauncey went wrong and it cost him his life, and with the bakery closed, it will affect many other lives, including the community in general so desperate for natural food and examples of do for self enterprises, i.e., independently operated businesses, especially family run so that children can see a future beyond a wage slave job at a white supremacy corporation more interested in outsourcing for cheap labor rather than securing a future for American workers of any ethnicity.

So we have here a double tragedy that approaches the best Shakespearean drama: what happens when the king dies or struggle for succession rights (rites), and what happens when the court jester or truth seeker seeks too much truth, especially from those who are supposed to be champions of truth, but have corrupted truth due to flaws in their moral character, resulting in the virus infecting the king’s children to the degree that they self destruct, demolishing the kingdom, destroying all the good.

But is this the end of the drama or merely a necessary phase, since there are 43 children and perhaps the good children are yet to be seen and heard, especially the women who may now be forced to the front of the line to take authority over certain posts of whatever remains.

We love you Chauncey, we love you Dr. Bey—maybe ya’ll can work it out in heaven.

Now this drama has villains more sinister than even the murderers, for as James Baldwin said of those who killed Malcolm X, “The hand that pulled the trigger didn’t buy the bullet.” Isn’t it strange that with a plethora of unsolved murders in Oakland, this murder was solved in less than 24 hours—Chauncey was killed around 7:30am, by 5am the next morning, the police had a confession and murder weapon, as though they knew exactly where to go to apprehend the killer. Is it likely they knew beforehand what was planned, especially since they had the suspects under surveillance for over a year. Couldn’t they have prevented Chauncey’s murder—perhaps they too wanted him dead since he was also investigating police corruption. There is no doubt they had undercover agents and/or snitches at the bakery who kept them abreast of planned activities. The killer himself could have been a police agent. These are possibilities any serious thinker should consider.

Again, I want to say that the community failed the Bey family for decades by not treating them with healing love, especially after they gave so much to the community. Their isolation only deepened their trauma and of course things go from bad to worse. The children were traumatized but left to drift into madness and psychosocial pathology.

When I spoke at the bakery a few months ago, they were happy and elated that adults had come by to visit their meeting, for nearly all of those present were young people associated with the bakery. They were even happier to discover the other adults at the meeting were my longtime associates and friends of their father. They let us know how pleased they were that we took the time to visit with them. We must reach out to the Bey children because they are our own.

Their negative actions have now impacted the community in a big way—for Chauncey was no ordinary Negro but a very special guy doing a very necessary work. And as the community mourns his passing and heals, let us not forget the children at the bakery who need much healing as well—and certainly they contributed much good to this community and therefore deserve our unconditional love.

posted 6 August 2007

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Journalist Gunned Down on Oakland Streets— With the murder this morning of journalist Chauncey Bailey on his way to work as editor of the Oakland Post, the black middle class will join the masses in mourning the senseless deaths of Oakland’s citizens. Perhaps they will think seriously about how to end the carnage in the streets of this once radical city by the bay that gave birth to the Black Panthers, the west coast black arts movement, black studies and other meaningful endeavors. Chauncey Bailey formerly worked for the Oakland Tribune, but was recently appointed editor of the Oakland Post, a black newspaper published by Paul Cobb. Witnesses told police a masked gunman shot a man, then fled on foot to a waiting van and drove off. Bailey, 57, was the apparent victim of the 7:25 a.m. shooting at 14th and Alice streets, downtown. Only yesterday, Bailey had come to Dr. M’s outdoor classroom at 14th and Broadway to show him a copy of the story he was planning to run on M’s latest book, How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. “He came to let me know the story would be in this week’s paper, after it did not appear in last week’s edition due to space problems. He showed me the story then hurried back to his office. He disappeared so fast I told Post photographer Gene Hazzard that Bailey was Clark Kent, the journalist who was Superman’s alter ego. I am extremely saddened by his death because he was not only a good writer but also a good friend.” Dr. M (aka Marvin X). Oakland’s Top Black Journalist Murdered 2 August 2007

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Dr. M (aka Marvin X) is author of the just released How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy: A Pan African 12 Step Model for Africans, Europeans & Others. Foreword by Dr. Nathan Hare, afterword by Ptah Allah El (Tracey Mitchell), $19.95. Black Bird Press, POB 1317, Paradise CA 95967. Available at De Lauer’s News, 14th and Broadway, Oaktown

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rebuttal to the devil and the deep blue sea I have read Mr. X’s commentary twice and want to be careful with what I have to say. How dare he call Chauncey Bailey a friend and then turn around and make the victim the wrongdoer. I find it absurd that Marvin X, a man who is a renowned writer and activist, would say what one should write.   We do not know what Mr. Bailey was going to write nor will we ever know entirely. Who is Mr. X to presume to know what angle Mr. Bailey’s story was going to take. Mr. Bailey was the consummate journalist; articulate, thorough and professional. How could he not report the downfall of Your Black Muslim Bakery and not report about the history, the good works, and the glory days?

Unfortunately, those days are over, and Mr. X is blaming the community and the police. Yusef Bey was at the crux of unraveling his empire and standing in the community. For years there were whispers of multiple wives, dozens of children and the impregnation of young girls. We did not want to believe it but when the charges came out in 2002, we in the Black community hung our heads in shame. Suddenly, the good did not outweigh the bad. Many, many African Americans stopped patronizing the YBMB; the bean pies, bread and fish sandwiches were suddenly unappealing. What is more chilling, Mr. Bey’s lack of remorse for his pedophile behavior was reprehensible.   For far too long, Black people have chosen to look the other way when the spiritual leaders and representatives of our community shame us but people said enough is enough. Now there are 42 children, many of them dysfunctional, traumatized and psychologically impaired, and now the murder of Mr. Chauncey Bailey as their legacy.

Most of the family and original followers have chosen to distance themselves from the band of thugs who choose to use violence to settle a score. As it was stated in today’s Oakland Tribune, August 7, 2007 (Josh Richman, Slain editor’s bakery source surfaces) it was pure unadulterated greed, fraud, and mismanagement that is at the root of the latest troubles of YBMB.   Of course, there is the young man who confessed to Mr. Bailey’s murder. It is heartbreaking to see this 19 year old who, a few years ago was in a U.C. Berkeley bound program, now life is in ruins. It grieves so many of us that Mr. Bailey, a man who cared about our community and our youth was cut down by one who could have possibly been mentored by him.   No, Mr. Bailey did not do anything wrong; revealing truth is never wrong. Do not blame the victim.  I appreciate the contributions and talents of Marvin X; I do not always agree with his views but I respect him but he got this one wrong.—Ramona Jones, Oakland Resident, August 7, 2007

Source: e-drum

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Ramona Jones may have a point about my suggesting what Chauncey should have written about—and I thought about having the nerve to tell him such—but it was after his passing that I said this, so one should take it in that light, although I am not beyond being told what to write and not to write. In fact, my advisers told me emphatically not to write my History of Islam in the Bay: 1954-2004. I have considered their advice and put the book on a low priority although I consider it a very necessary contribution to the history of North American Africans in the Bay and nation. The two most significant organizations during the historic 60s were the Panthers and the NOI and both played a primary role in the Bay Area. The history of Your Black Muslim Bakery has been known for at least thirty years by most of us in the know here in the Bay, the light and the dark side. The police have let YBMB get away with murder for years and everybody knows it. They only acted when Chauncey was killed because they had to before the black bourgeoisie exploded, although how many murders in the hood have been solved? The social service agencies let Bey get away with sexual abuse of children for years before doing something about it. Dr. Bey was a victimizer and victim (he was sick with an addiction to white supremacy values of domination and exploitation, and some of his children suffer the same)—and of course when nothing is done in a community to heal a sore the virus spreads and infects others. Chauncey was but the latest and perhaps most prominent victim. Contrary to Mayor Ron Dellums remarks at the funeral today, the solution is not more police, more state troopers and national guard. The solution is to hug a thug with unconditional love, understanding and patience; to gather them together for manhood training rites and spiritual consciousness sessions—yes, peer sessions will work but even one on one will help. These killers are our children, first of all, and claiming they are a matter for the state and federal government is slothful thinking that will only prolong the agony of a community in pain. These young killers have no consciousness because they have seen too many contradictions in the behavior of adults and have lost respect for them, including parents, teachers, preachers and politicians.—Dr. M (aka Marvin X) / /

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if i may be perfectly honest with you, unwillingness to call out our sacred cows has long been a troublesome reality in the black community, even when evidence of those cows’ unholiness becomes apparent. bailey should be commended for being a fearless crusader of truth, but the bey family does not deserve a “pass” for their wickedness, compounded by the fact that they have committed their heinous crimes under the aegis of religion and through deceiving the community of their true nature. To say that the community has failed the bey family, and not the other way around, seems to be the exact opposite of what has actually happened. hopefully in time you will see this tragedy for what it is, not for what you wish it was.—eric / Eric Arnold / Media Relations Manager / Ella Baker Center for Human Rights /  Oakland, CA    

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Eric, thank you for your comments. I have known the dark and light side of the Beys for over thirty years, as have many in the Bay, including police, social workers and politicians. This matter could have been cleaned up decades ago but people were silenced by fear. When I was prepared to approach Dr. Bey my advisers told me to leave it alone since the white man has a police force but was doing nothing, and even Farrakhan knew but did nothing—even with his army.  So no one is in denial. My eyes are wide open to what is going on in this community. And I say the Bey family needed help and none was there, so the sore continued to fester until it finally exploded.

Bey was probably no worse or better than the lot of Bay area leaders, including the political, religious and educators who are responsible for this climate of  death and have no solution whatsoever when it is a simple matter of raising consciousness beyond vote for me I’ll set you free, beyond Jesus saves, and why can’t johnny read. This community and America is suffering from a spiritual disease that will not be healed by more cops, more miseducation and more religious propaganda to prolong white supremacy.

If the police who you seem to support were doing their job this matter would have been solved 30 years ago.

As per Chauncey, of what importance was financial mismanagement vs. traumatized human beings? This matter is far beyond finances but of course this is important for those stuck in the mire of materialism and naked capitalism. Human beings don’t matter, only the arrangement of financial accounts.

You can knock the bakery for all its evil, but you have nothing anywhere in  the Bay to equal what they tried to do even with their negrocities. When you find some holy men and women who will do things 100% right, drop me an email. I don’t condone evil and wickedness for one minute, but those who have a real alternative to murder and drug dealing among our youth need to present their case. There will be no real solution until there are radical changes made in the spiritual condition of this community and nationwide, for that matter worldwide, for how can we sit back and allow Bush and his bandits to kill around the world but expect there to be peace in the hood.

War and the ravages of war are all around us, in our families, in the minds and hearts of our children who see no solution to a problem but through violence. Keep walking around like we are in la la land rather than put on the armor of God and act like we are in a war zone and we shall see a continuation of murder and mayhem coast to coast. —Marvin

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A warrior, without a war, wars on self.—Frantz Fanon The Fanon quote, often offered by Marvin X, keeps circling in my head. I was reading some George Jackson the other day he spoke about oppression and cycles of resistance. In particular how oppression breeds resistance, which inspires oppression, which then incites more resistance. Resistance is often colored as criminal. In fact, if one is not willing to break oppressive rules, then one is not in truth capable of being free. To survive in poverty and chaos is an act of resistance, to find the means to do so, is to exercise the will and right to exist. So much of oppression questions your very right to be. Some of us are so accustomed to being oppressed we require no masters. Others struggle, some with conscious, dream grand dreams, some unconsciously struggle in the dark not towards light just away from the whip. Some forget the original dream in the wake of the ongoing nightmare. Corruption, malfeasance, moral turpitude, oppression, resistance are a part of the parcel of our reality here in North America. I, like Marvin, wonder about the ongoing surveillance of YBMB by numerous official entities. I find it hard to believe that there were not informants in place that would have made it possible to prevent the murder of Chauncey Bailey. I too suspect that the powers that be were not fans of his investigation into the finances of the City of Oakland as power passed from Brown to Dellums.

He was also investigating the Port of Oakland. In short he was doing what a reporter does or should do. He was looking for truth. I don’t know if there are truths that should not be told and I don’t know that anyone has the right to tell a writer what to write, where to look, what to see. Better perhaps, the holy, the leaders, the Shepard’s have less to hide.  It is easy to hide things hard to consider in language like “conspiracy theory.” But when do we take the long look and tell ourselves the truth. Eric you accuse Marvin of being too close to see. We are all in the belly, we have eyes, we refuse to see. I can see how the powers that be might have allowed Chauncey to be the final brick on YBMB. I do not see any logic why the raid that happened the day after Chauncey was murdered didn’t happened before he was murdered. It is beyond words and accounting by anyone of reason that 13 per cent of the national population accounts for 50 per cent of the nations homicides. Is this concrete enough for those who eschew the realm of theory? We are dying here. We are murdering ourselves. Our young men 18 – 25 are leading this trembling edge. What the hell are we going to do?

We the silent choir, that tunes up in tragedy and mumbles to itself the rest of the time; what are we prepared to do? There is so much blame here; I wonder at the rush to articulation. Where were the elders in the Nation to bring the prodigals back into alignment with the original dream? Are their hands clean enough to approach? Where were those like Marvin, who at least comes forth to say he saw, he knew, and accepted counsel to do nothing.  How many others knew? Bey died out of  answering for the abuse of power and trust he inflicted on his family. But the sins of the father live on and are visited upon the sons. What a huge Shakespearean parable for us to consider here and while we wring our hands I hope we open our eyes. We create what we have by our actions or inaction’s. We are not just victims and there are no innocent bystanders. We are actors/authors in the dramatic event of our lives. See, the last time I checked I was the heir to African captives, repatriated to America. My ancestors never agreed to the trip. They were taken like booty by plunderers, we were and are captives. We did and do have a financial value to our captors. Thus we are tolerated. We were and are involved in resistance. Many of us can not see this, they think we are free, and that freedom is enough. I am reminded daily we are at war here. In struggle ongoing and with shifting battlefields. I see the weapons of destruction turned inward for we dare not look master in the eye even now. We are at once harder on ourselves than others and in failure to hold ourselves accountable in a way than increases our odds for survival.

We have many festering sores, that are untreated, how soon before cancer eats the whole body. We continue to choke on an un-manifest dream that poisons us daily. Most times it’s not me checking my roots it’s those I come in contact with, those who know me before I speak despite credentials or experience. The boxes and glass ceilings, the indeterminate sentences, the accessibly of drugs and weapons, the inaccessibility of treatment programs, decent education, lack of re-entry programming, decent housing, and medical care define and effect all of us; even the Black Establishment of Oakland and other dissolving urban centers. I chafe at terms like the black elite, or the black establishment, and say here that the way the least of us is treated is the way that all of us are viewed. I refuse to separate myself from those who articulate themselves in unacceptable ways. I don’t believe it’s possible in an outside mass view of us and I understand they are speaking a portion of my own dark angst in a form I refuse to indulge, but that they are still a part of the voice from my own strangled throat.

I will not engage in naming thugs: some wear suits, silk ties, and lie in press releases. I can’t engage in distancing my self, we need so desperately to be closer and we are in fact all a part of the same soup bubbling here in the belly. I do not condone but I do acknowledge my connection. My refusal to see my connection will not absolve me of its weight or its consequence. We are in crisis. Not a crisis of the moment, but a long suffered and ever present crisis that is reaching an ugly head. According to Jackson the resolution to cycles of oppression and resistance is victory by one side or the other. What does that mean to us today here in Babylon by the Bay. Does anyone smell the scent of victory? I feel an overwhelming sense of loss. I fight daily to feel opportunistic in the face of impending doom. We are dying at epic rates. We are our executioners more often than not. The Cavalry is not interested in stemming this tide but rather in containing us. WE need to save ourselves. Please excuse the in-exact-ness of this missive. I am still trying to sort out how this will play out for us collectively in our traumatized collective consciousness. The hugeness of it urges me to ask that we look at the ALL of this and  SEE it, and what it wants us to comprehend about how we are and who we are becoming.

We cannot cast out the children for they are us. Yet we cannot let the children rule the day if wisdom is seated elsewhere. What do we do with warriors who have lost the direction of the battle? What do we do for those who refuse to see the war?

In prayer for us all, WordSlanger

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What’s Going On?: Black-on-Black Homicide Hits Home

By Kam Williams

“Mother, mother, there’s too many of you crying Brother, brother, brother, there’s far too many of you dying You know we’ve got to find a way, to bring some lovin’ here today Hey, what’s going on?”— Marvin Gaye, “What’s Going On?”

I last spoke to Chauncey Bailey just a couple of days before he was assassinated on the streets of downtown Oakland on the morning of August 2nd. He was murdered in broad daylight on his way to his office by a thug in a ski mask who pumped three rounds from a shotgun directly into his chest before jumping into a waiting getaway van.

I wish that I could say that Chauncey and I had shared some deeply meaningful exchange during that last chat, but it merely addressed a mundane concern of mine in my capacity as a syndicated contributor to the Oakland Post. In fact, since he took the job as the paper’s editor-in-chief this past June, all of our conversations had been brief and of a professional nature. 

Still, I was very impressed with his work ethic and publishing acumen, and was quite confident that the Post would be in good hands during his tenure. Now, upon his passing, I have come to have my suspicions about the man confirmed by all the glowing tributes and testimonials about him by those who knew him well, both as a dedicated journalist and as a loving father.

The police already have a suspect in custody, Devaughndre Broussard, a 19 year-old ex-con who has reportedly confessed that he committed the crime in response to Bailey’s having written an unfavorable review of the Black Muslim Bakery where he was employed as a handyman. Quite frankly, this tragedy wouldn’t have registered more than a blip on the radar, if it weren’t for the victim’s esteemed status in the African-American community.

For seven more black folks were shot dead in the City of Oakland in the 48 hours immediately following the slaying of Bailey. Among those being treated like statistics was Byron Mitchell, 29, who was fatally wounded while being robbed. Jacqueline Venable, 40, was gunned down while eating cake at a friend’s house. Khatari Gant, 25, perished after his car was peppered with bullets from an assault rifle. His brother and an acquaintance were also shot, but survived. Kevin Sharp, 20, was home watching TV when he answered a knock at the door only to have his head blown off. And three others.

Meanwhile, here in New Jersey, the hip-hop Holocaust exacted an equally-shocking toll in Newark last Saturday night, when three Delaware State University college students, Terrance Aerial, 18, Iofemi Hightower, 20, and Dashon Harvey, 20, none of whom had any police records, were lined up against a wall, forced to their knees, robbed and executed by bullets to the brain by a gang of gangstas. A fourth student, Natasha Aerial, 19, miraculously survived somehow, and is in stable condition in the hospital.

This skyrocketing black-on-black homicide rate is a shame which suggests that African-Americans’ sense of self-worth has plunged to an all-time low. And now that it has hit home, it makes me wanna holler “What’s going on?”

Lloyd Kam Williams is an attorney and a member of the bar in NJ, NY, CT, PA, MA & US Supreme Court bars.

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The assassination of Chauncey Bailey

The transformation of warfare and reparations

By Jean Damu


Is Black on Black crime, which lately saw a prominent Oakland journalist assassinated, not form of low-intensity warfare?

The brutal and shocking murder of Oakland journalist Chauncey Bailey, that police believe was allegedly committed by a member of a small East Bay Muslim faction, while rightfully inspiring outrage and disgust on the part of most citizens, should be seen as something disturbingly symptomatic of what is wrong with not only the American social fabric but large parts of the rest of the world as well.

And because the assassination of journalists is such a rare occurrence in the US, maybe we should examine the phenomena of Black on Black violence from a new perspective.

Furthermore, how is it not possible to consider the various alleged crimes of the youthful members of the surely now defunct “Your Black Muslim Bakery” and not be reminded of the bodies that turned up in the desert and the disappearance of the noted bookkeeper that marked the disintegration of the Black Panther Party 30 years ago?

Both organizations, the cadre of “Your Black Muslim Bakery” and the Black Panthers started out as organizations with a vision to improve the conditions of Black folk in America.

At the height of the Black Panther Party’s influence FBI officials in what was intended as an insult but was seen by many as a compliment, denounced the Panthers as the nation’s greatest threat to security and labeled them “internal Viet Cong,” the guerrillas of the National Liberation Front that the US then faced in Viet Nam.

In retrospect maybe this is a good a place to begin a re-examination of what is taking place in many of the urban centers of America today—to consider that the Panthers were an internal form of the Viet Cong.

In his widely read but rarely discussed work, The Transformation of Warfare, Martin Van Crevald, who is often credited with being the most forward thinking military historian of our time, argues that since the end of World War II warfare has transformed itself radically since the days Von Clausewitz

Carl Philipp Gotlieb von Clausewitz, was a Prussian military officer (1782-1831) whose writings on warfare influenced and have been accepted by virtually all succeeding Western military theorists and strategists.

Essentially Clausewitz argued that all warfare was “trinitarian warfare.” That is warfare and its participants were divided into three distinct groupings. 1. Nations or governments of nations were the only bodies who had authority to declare war. 2. Departments of Defense and national armies and navies were the only components given license to conduct warfare. 3. Civilians were, as much as possible, to be exempt from warfare.

Van Crevald says that mainly since the end of World War II none of this has been true. Of the 60 odd wars conducted globally since 1947, only a handful have subscribed to Clausewitz’s definition. The vast majority have taken on the character of wars of national liberation, where people’s organizations have conducted warfare against formal states, where often it has been impossible to tell the difference between the people and the combatants, or as was often the case in Viet Nam, the combatants were the people.

Other more recent examples include Hezbollah’s successful struggle against Israel just last year and the current struggle against US occupation on the part of Islamic militias in Iraq. Often these military struggles, usually but not always conducted by insurgent organizations against formal governments are referred to as low-intensity warfare.

To date Western defense departments that are ideologically and economically tied to huge corporations that build dollar intensive technological war machinery that has been proven to be almost useless in fighting popular insurgency wars, are hopelessly mired in unwinnable situations. One need to look no further than the Soviet Union’s sad experience in Afghanistan or the US today in Iraq to see how universal is this trend.

What has all this to do with the assassination of Chauncey Bailey? Within days of the former Oakland journalists’ death the statistics bureau of the US Dept of Justice announced that as of the latest recording date African American homicides now numbered half the US total; this despite Blacks make up just 13 percent of the total population.

Should we not consider the Black on Black crime, which includes much of the Black homicide rate, a form of warfare?

If one accepts that conclusion then the local police departments that attempt to quell the violence in the streets are in just as an unwinnable situation in inner city America as the US Army now finds itself in Iraq.

There are lots of holes in the Iraq-Inner City America analogy but if the US can seriously undertake to rebuild Iraq, as flawed as that effort has been then why can’t it seriously attempt to rebuild those portions of Black America that obviously need reparations?

Jean Damu has been active within the reparations movement and a long time supporter of the movements for African liberation.

posted 13 August 2007

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For Chauncey Bailey

By Marvin X

There is a dance we do

ain’t the Boogalou

call it the Twist and Shuffle

a dance of death

in the midnight hour

or in the dawn before work

slow dance on the killing ground

something from years ago

some play was it not

or was it

or is it


a real life drama

in the here and now

not some distant past

a Shakespeare tragedy

but right here in Oaktown


for all to see

how can you kill the light

the pen who helps us see through darkness

what madness is this

what horror

what shame of a people

a people of radical traditions

what strange movement in the night or early morn

who plotted this drama

so tragic to kill a soul who tells the truth for all to see

and so we dance

making holy ghost movements into the mirror at the club

there are few partners left who will join us in dance

we are on the floor alone

the mirror our partner

we wiggle we gyrate to the beats that warm our soul

the air is hot yet cold

as death in the morning

when so few will speak will report the good news

we silence them for eternity

for whatever reason

money power love sex jealousy

don’t matter

a soul is gone

and we are diminished

by the silence of his pen.


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Marvin X Tribute sponsored The Oakland Post, show #1

Authors and Writers pay tribute to Chauncey Bailey and talk about the importance

reading makes on a more mature, happier successful, healthier and wiser adulthood.

Marvin X: Who Killed Chauncey Bailey and A Short History of Black Muslims in the Bay

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#23 – Thugs And The Women Who Love Them by Wahida Clark

#24 – Married Men by Carl Weber

#25 – I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang by Leonce Gaiter


#1 – Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable #2 – Confessions of a Video Vixen by Karrine Steffans #3 – Dear G-Spot: Straight Talk About Sex and Love by Zane #4 – Letters to a Young Brother: MANifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper #5 – Peace from Broken Pieces: How to Get Through What You’re Going Through by Iyanla Vanzant #6 – Selected Writings and Speeches of Marcus Garvey by Marcus Garvey #7 – The Ebony Cookbook: A Date with a Dish by Freda DeKnight #8 – The Isis Papers: The Keys to the Colors by Frances Cress Welsing #9 – The Mis-Education of the Negro by Carter Godwin Woodson

#10 – John Henrik Clarke and the Power of Africana History  by Ahati N. N. Toure

#11 – Fail Up: 20 Lessons on Building Success from Failure by Tavis Smiley

#12 –The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander

#13 – The Black Male Handbook: A Blueprint for Life by Kevin Powell

#14 – The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore

#15 – Why Men Fear Marriage: The Surprising Truth Behind Why So Many Men Can’t Commit  by RM Johnson

#16 – Black Titan: A.G. Gaston and the Making of a Black American Millionaire by Carol Jenkins

#17 – Brainwashed: Challenging the Myth of Black Inferiority by Tom Burrell

#18 – A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

#19 – John Oliver Killens: A Life of Black Literary Activism by Keith Gilyard

#20 – Alain L. Locke: The Biography of a Philosopher by Leonard Harris

#21 – Age Ain’t Nothing but a Number: Black Women Explore Midlife by Carleen Brice

#22 – 2012 Guide to Literary Agents by Chuck Sambuchino #23 – Chicken Soup for the Prisoner’s Soul by Tom Lagana #24 – 101 Things Every Boy/Young Man of Color Should Know by LaMarr Darnell Shields

#25 – Beyond the Black Lady: Sexuality and the New African American Middle Class  by Lisa B. Thompson

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Killing the Messenger: A Story of Radical Faith,

Racism’s Backlash, and the Assassination of a Journalist By Thomas Peele

Killing the Messenger is a searing work of narrative nonfiction that explores one of the most blatant attacks on the First Amendment and free speech in American history and the small Black Muslim cult that carried it out. Award-winning investigative reporter Thomas Peele examines the Black Muslim movement from its founding in the early twentieth century by a con man who claimed to be God, to the height of power of the movement’s leading figure, Elijah Muhammad, to how the great-grandson of Texas slaves reinvented himself as a Muslim leader in Oakland and built the violent cult that the young gunman eventually joined.

Peele delves into how charlatans exploited poor African Americans with tales from a religion they falsely claimed was Islam and the years of bloodshed that followed, from a human sacrifice in Detroit to police shootings of unarmed Muslims to the horrible backlash of racism known as the “zebra murders,” and finally to the brazen killing of Chauncey Bailey to stop him from publishing a newspaper story. . . . An enthralling narrative that combines a rich historical account with gritty urban reporting, Killing the Messenger is a mesmerizing story of how swindlers and con men abused the tragedy of racism and created a radical religion of bloodshed and fear that culminated in a journalist’s murder.

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The Persistence of the Color Line

Racial Politics and the Obama Presidency

By Randall Kennedy

Among the best things about The Persistence of the Color Line is watching Mr. Kennedy hash through the positions about Mr. Obama staked out by black commentators on the left and right, from Stanley Crouch and Cornel West to Juan Williams and Tavis Smiley. He can be pointed. Noting the way Mr. Smiley consistently “voiced skepticism regarding whether blacks should back Obama” . . .

The finest chapter in The Persistence of the Color Line is so resonant, and so personal, it could nearly be the basis for a book of its own. That chapter is titled “Reverend Wright and My Father: Reflections on Blacks and Patriotism.”  Recalling some of the criticisms of America’s past made by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, Mr. Kennedy writes with feeling about his own father, who put each of his three of his children through Princeton but who “never forgave American society for its racist mistreatment of him and those whom he most loved.”  His father distrusted the police, who had frequently called him “boy,” and rejected patriotism. Mr. Kennedy’s father “relished Muhammad Ali’s quip that the Vietcong had never called him ‘nigger.’ ” The author places his father, and Mr. Wright, in sympathetic historical light.

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The White Masters of the World

From The World and Africa, 1965

By W. E. B. Du Bois

W. E. B. Du Bois’ Arraignment and Indictment of White Civilization (Fletcher)

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Ancient African Nations

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Negro Digest / Black World

Browse all issues

1950        1960        1965        1970        1975        1980        1985        1990        1995        2000 ____ 2005        


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The Death of Emmett Till by Bob Dylan  The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll  Only a Pawn in Their Game

Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson Thanks America for Slavery /

George Jackson  / Hurricane Carter

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The Journal of Negro History issues at Project Gutenberg

The Haitian Declaration of Independence 1804  / January 1, 1804 — The Founding of Haiti 

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update 1 February 2012




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