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Message to the Community Regarding the Upcoming Oscar Grant Verdict
by Black Elected Officials and Clergy
Wednesday Jun 30th, 2010 7:46 PM

An Open Letter to the Community:

Within the next couple of days and/or weeks there will be a verdict in the Oscar Grant case. This case has struck a nerve in Oakland and around the world. In anticipation of the verdict the Black Elected Officials and Clergy of the Eastbay wanted to share some information with our community.

Representatives of our organization have been monitoring this case since Oscar Grant was senselessly murdered by Johannes Mehserle on January 1, 2009. We demanded that a reluctant District Attorney file criminal proceedings against Mehserle; we helped to organize community pressure on BART to bring about organizational change and implementation of polices and procedures to ensure that a tragedy like this never happens again; we have attended all of the court proceedings; and most importantly we have demanded justice for Oscar Grant, his family and everyone that Oscar represents – because we all could be Oscar Grant.

A community needs to know that its leadership will stand to protect their interests. While we are hopeful that our Justice System will be just; we are mindful of incidences where it has failed us. When the system failed us in the Rodney King case, the Justice Department stepped in to ensure that the Community’s interests were protected. We, the Black Elected Officials and Clergy of the Eastbay, stand prepared to call upon all State and Federal agencies to seek any and all recourse if an unjust verdict is rendered in this case.

We know that emotions may run high depending on the outcome of Johannes Mehserle’s criminal proceedings. The current State Court proceedings are just one step on the road to justice for Oscar Grant. As such, we are asking that you work with us to shut down anyone who would engage in destructive behavior in our community. We are also asking that you work with us as we continue to demand justice for Oscar. We have been assured that the Justice Department is monitoring the Mehserle case.

Martin Luther King said that peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice. In the same vein as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Rodney King, and many others we will receive JUSTICE FOR OSCAR GRANT.

The struggle continues,

Hon. Desley Brooks
Hon. Keith Carson
Minister Keith Muhammad
Rev. Dr. Harold R. Mayberry
Rev. Zachary Carey
Hon. Darleen Brooks
Hon. Kathy Neal
Hon. Marlon McWilson
Bishop Keith Clark
Rev. Dr. Kevin Barnes
Hon. Darryl Moore

Comments  (Hide Comments)

I think the Black clergy, and Minister Keith Muhammad in particular, should have thought twice before they decided to aid and abet the city and the cops in their Open Letter. Demonizing Black youth and the community at large in this way is counterproductive.

These community leaders deserve much credit for all the countless hours of work they have put in fighting for justice since Jan. 1, 2009, but this prediction of and warning against a coming "destruction in the community" only plays into the hands of the power structure that killed Oscar.

Knowingly or unwittingly, the Black clergy are providing cover for the riot cops and other pigs who will retaliate and intensify their brutalities against Black youth all over Oakland after the verdict is announced.

In their Open Letter, Black community leaders are endorsing the actions of the police in advance, giving them permission to conduct the onslaught they've been planning.*

* See here:
Oakland Cops Stage Riot to Prep for Oscar Grant Verdict

by SAY WHAT???
Wednesday Jun 30th, 2010 10:03 PM
by The Streets
Wednesday Jun 30th, 2010 10:32 PM
"As such, we are asking that you work with us to shut down anyone who would engage in destructive behavior in our community."

These words could have come straight from Anthony Batts' mouth. You don't control shit. Do you really think the kids who want to break windows give a god damn about church?

You are just doing the police's work for them. I won't be surprised when half of you start pointing kids out to the cops.
by shiiiit
Wednesday Jun 30th, 2010 11:35 PM
Classic example of the ol house negro. Telling the other slaves "things is good with masta!" "masta will take care of it!" "Leave the masta's mansion alone! Stay out in the fields and we might give you some crumbs too!"
Malcolm X would rip you apart if he were around today.
by konsider
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 2:38 AM
If not for people rising up there would never have been a trial in the first place.

If people don't want to engage in particular ways of resisting than fine, but asking others to resist in, their perception of, the right way is arrogant and pretentious.
by slim
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 9:37 AM
The lines being drawn are based on class -- remember class? The blackoisie is showing their true colors (mean green), pre-emptively siding with the cops, the city administration, and in general the forces of law and order and commerce. It's not about black versus white (it never was!), but about ruling class versus working class and poor people of all colors. If they want to snitch on those of us who've had enough of their sham leadership, fuck em. Who elected them anyway? Self-appointed guardians of the status quo... they got to go!
by swarm
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 12:03 PM
Giant thumbs up on Slim's comment!
by **
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 12:21 PM

That is so fake. Please work harder.

What I can't stand seeing in the buzz about all of this is story changing into one of victimized better-off people who are given a pass to hate on the unemployed, or poorer people who they've been told are out to get them. Get over yourself. You know very well that only BART stations or a few slummy apartments downtown are going to be near any protest. It was exactly like that during the Rodney King riots - which are going to be about 20X larger than any response next week.
by srsly
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 12:31 PM
To **'s previous comment: Have you ever even been to Oakland? Looked at it on a map at least? Doesn't sound like it. Maybe do a drive through before making such hilariously erroneous, misinformed comments toward people.
by The Black Star
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 1:57 PM
Keep in mind that when Martin Luther King Jr marched and preached peace and non violence there were many such as the Black Panthers who set up institutions for the community and defended them "by any means necessary", and that is what scared the into submission, because when confronted with Dr. King and the more militant factions of the Black Panthers and other liberation movements Dr. King was more appealing to the State. He would of not achieved anything with out the community standing up and defending themselves with fists and firepower. All Power to the People!
by **
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 2:23 PM
So you're claiming downtown is filled with the wealthy? I don't know about that. They have too many other neighborhoods to choose from. Even when you see recently built lofts or shiny buildings, those are often in foreclosure. Not only that, I don't think anyone who cares about this case has any malice towards the broad public. Talk radio and newspapers are sure trying to sell people on the idea that you need to hide in your basement and keep your car off the street, but I don't think anyone would bother walking NE of Lake Merritt.
by and MLK said....
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 2:47 PM
MLK: "Riots are the language of the unheard!"

And it seems like the Black elected officials and clergy do not realize that no one at the Mayor's office or OPD or the courts for that matter are HEARING what they or the people are saying. The people are thus speaking and will continue to speak with their feet in the Streets.

Real leadership is that which recognizes what the people are saying, wanting, demanding, and engage with them from that starting point. It is not about siphoning the energies of folks in ones own agenda, be it of the RCP or of the Black bourgeoisie...

People will come out to the streets whether one likes it or not, the question is what do you do then when the power of the people is speaking??? Do you condemn it in advance as the statement here is doing, or do you stand with the people, talk to the people, engage the people??? This is leadership, not condemning them...
by me two
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 3:24 PM
I'd like to hear from Archbishop King. Do all black clergy in the Bay Area stand by this statement? If not, I hope he and others offer a more inspired message to the people.
by @**
Thursday Jul 1st, 2010 6:33 PM
Sure, a lot of downtown has been gentrified to the detriment of the poor, but not everyone here has money. I've lived downtown for about 3 years now, but will soon be moving or possibly homeless as we cannot afford our place anymore, not everyone in downtown lives in a luxury condo, although because there are so many of these abominations now there is no doubt they will be highly protected by the pigs in blue, they also have their own private security, i've been watched carefully just walking through their private playgrounds so be careful to not get trapped in these areas. Solidarity, see you in the streets,

With love from a
Broke ass anarchist.