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Notes from the occupied territories: Black America and the police
by Jean Damu via SF Bay View
Wednesday Mar 25th, 2009 7:20 PM
When the full story is finally told and, though not likely freely admitted by many, deep within the spiritual thinking of numerous African Americans, an emotional candle will be lit in memory of Lovelle Mixon, the man who, in a horrific shootout in which he was finally killed, shot five Oakland police officers, four of whom have died. They will then say to themselves, “But for the grace of God I could have been he.”
Mixon, whom family and friends say was not a monster - “He didn’t walk up and down the street killing people” - was by many accounts a marginally normal person in African American neighborhoods. But the truth of the matter is, Lovelle Mixon, who, police say, is suspected of an earlier killing and rape, represented the man to whom society had given almost nothing, the man of whom society expected nothing. Lovelle Mixon was America’s worst nightmare: the Black man with nothing to lose.

The line between those of us who have something to lose and those of us who don’t is tenuous at best. In many cases the line of separation is almost invisible. Virtually every African American has a family member or knows someone who has been to jail or prison, or remains there today. There are no economic boundaries to this truth. Is there one African American oriented church located in the Black communities that doesn’t have a ministry that outreaches to the incarcerated? Likely no.

The day before the East Oakland shootout, this writer was on the phone talking to a long time friend whose husband had been released last year from Angola prison after serving 25 years. Louisiana paroled him to California where he landed a job with a CalTrans program for parolees.

Too bad Mixon, who had been trying to get a job, wasn’t guided toward that program. But chances are it wouldn’t have done any good.


Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Curly Estremera
Friday Mar 27th, 2009 12:21 AM
Wonderful and intellectual way of framing Lovelle Mixon!! Why is it so hard for pettit bourgoise intellects to understand the self evident- that Mixom was just freaking tired of being racially profiled?. Go ahead and use the dictionary to make your words seem so acceptable. Programs funded by Cal Trans and other non-profit entities mean sheist to people on the ground. You should be ashamed of yourself for weaving words so profoundly in order to send a negative subliminal messsage to negro inetellectuals. Think about this- Almost a million dollars of your intellect public funds will be utilized in order to make the four retired porkchops seem so humane at an arena tommorrow. Highways will be closed, and you intellectuals will be re-routed and FORCED to bear the brunt of of a system gone awry. I know you'll say that you won't mind. Indeed you may make any excuse in order to be accepted into the fold. Malcolm X spoke about the house negro and the educated field negro. We stand at the crossroads of his live edumacational doggone illustrative explanations of how these here things be. Do I sound unedumacated enough for you to dismiss? Is my diction unnaceptable? I remember readin a whole lotta damant history bout how somma yo'all talkin horse cacad bout the lotsa bad thingamajigs what Nat Turner done did. But sommahow it just plain ain't righteouses how anna why yo all do dis. Why yo all talk to us like we ain't da same assa yu? Please dismiss me, along with a whole generation of trully educated young black men and women who cannot seem to come to grips with the reality which they have to face when they are stopped by the racist PO- POLICESMENS. For once I would like to think that some of US who were fortunate enough to get an education could at the very least relate to our roots and the ones who were forcefully forefully interned into the prison industrial complex. Please do not take this as a personal attack- please don't. I do love educated people like you- even if now and then they turn to lower learned people and seek to sell them bullshit and blue sky. Sometimes making us seem like we are incapable of understanding what history and the STATE has taught and done to us. I was once taught that black people throughout history have been forced to learn things by rote in order to pass the lessons on. I love the Bay View newspaper, but often reporters seem to try and get ahead of us and talk down to us. Believe me- we know that Lovelle Mixon was raging- as most of us who have been hassled while going to church in our Sunday best have been forced to the pavement for the safety of gun toting gunslingers armed to the teeth with the military hardware with which to kill us. In the same way you reporters spend much time teaching us about gentrification in the black community, but please side with us when it really matters. In many ways you ARE our voice when we cannot raise it. Please be objective FOR US. Please do not for one minute take your eyes off the prize. If not for someone like me who has had a history of sacrifice and struggle, then at least for the voiceless who cannot intellectualize around the very existence which they are forced to live. iF WE ARE TO BE WITH YOU, THEN STAY WITH US. Please MAINTAIN..............