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Blacks working in Black communities: a revolutionary idea!

February 25, 2010

Bay Area Black Builders meets every second Saturday; next meeting is March 13, 12 noon, 1099 Sunnydale, Vis Valley, San Francisco

by Joseph Debro

Six days after a provocative interview with Joseph Debro was broadcast by CBS5, two armed white ex-cops working for Lennar showed up at the mosque in Hunters Point for the Feb. 18 standing-room-only meeting sponsored by EPA on the City/Lennar Draft Environmental Impact Report. They were arrested.
Young Black men have been killing each other for decades. It has gone mostly unnoticed in the larger community. These murders are only reported as criminal acts in order to sell the news. No notice has been paid to the root causes of this violence. No attempt has been made to cure this pathology. These violent acts are used to justify hiring more police. These police are an occupying force.

It appears that a Kabuki (provocative statement) that I presented to the press (Mr. Debro was interviewed by CBS5 News on Feb. 12; see CBS5 interviews Bay Area Black Builders: ‘The only thing this country understands is violence’ed.) is the only way to attract attention to this horrible situation. I suggested unemployment in the Black community is directly related to Black people being locked out of the public works construction in our communities. My Kabuki imagined that these same Black youngsters who kill each other might turn their guns on those who are using Black community turf to sell their labor. This Kabuki suggested that white people might be in danger working in a Black community without a diversified crew.

Alarms went off. The messenger was vilified. The message was elevated. Working a diversified crew in a Black community is a revolutionary idea. It was not done in the Western Addition, it was not done in the Fillmore, it was not done in Hayes Valley, it was not done when the Third Street rail was laid, and it is not being done at the Hunters Point Shipyard.

Why should it be done here and now? Why should it be done in Hunters Point?

Federal money comes into San Francisco, to a large extent, because of the number of poor people in Hunters Point, Bayview and Vis Valley. This money is used to build structures in those communities. The people who are the reason for the money coming in are prohibited from working on those structures. Instead of jobs and contracts, they are given government cheese and Section 8 housing.

This is not unlike the welfare that the Black community has been handed over the past 50 years. Keep them dependent and poor. Do not build self-sufficiency. Keep them dependent. We need a dependent poor community. If we cannot develop and maintain one, we will import one. Our borders are porous because we need to import poor people to supplement the poor Black population.

There have been some unintended consequences from my public Kabuki. Two white ex-cops working for Lennar appeared at the mosque armed (for the Feb. 18 standing-room-only meeting sponsored by EPA on the City/Lennar Draft Environmental Impact Report and were arrested – ed.). This incident was not reported in the major press.

The San Francisco police called me. They were worried that my call for mitigation of Black violence might spill over into the white community. White workers were feeling some guilt about non-diverse work crews. Some organizations to which I belong felt obligated to distance themselves from my revolutionary ideas. A Black man working was too strong a statement for some people. The San Francisco Examiner is reporting that the non-diverse crew at the shipyard was afraid to come to work.

Bay Area Black Builders does not advocate violence. We do advocate doing all that is required to unlock the doors to economic opportunity for Black people. We do plan to make it uncomfortable for public officials and large white contractors to continue to keep us locked out of the construction process, funded largely by a census of poor people.

If the thought of a Black man working is not too revolutionary an idea, we would like you to join us. We plan to picket the library site in Hunters Point and the Cox school site in Oakland. Our phone tree will announce the date.

Joseph Debro is president of Bay Area Black Builders. He is also president of the Visitacion Valley Community Development Corp., co-founder of the National Association of Minority Contractors, a general engineering contractor and a bio-chemical engineer. He can be reached at

6 thoughts on “Blacks working in Black communities: a revolutionary idea!

  1. Karp

    Thank you for your bravery. There is no articulation from the other side. They want threats and violence so there are reasons to violently retaliate otherwise they cannot respond rationally because the goal is to protect Lennar and other SF inside pocket cronies. Support!

  2. murban

    So you want only blacks working on projects in black neighborhoods? How about only black teachers to get through to black students? Or only black police to patrol black neighborhoods? How about only black representatives to represent black citizens? This seem like a fair and reasonable solution to you? They did this once before in South Africa. Called Aparthied. Seperate but equal was the law of the land until 1954 but you did not like it then. You want to go back to that because you can’t learn to live up to society’s standards of behavior and accountability? Keep listening to your “Black Leaders” who want to keep you ignorant and powerless because it lines their pockets and gets them elected. It’s not Whitey doing that.

  3. John Mulligan

    Let me see if I understand you. Are you suggesting that black people shoot work crews who are using federal assistance money to improve black communities? Are you saying that black people in black communities should assess the level of color of the work crews independently and then, based on whatever conclusion, kill those who don’t meet standards? Have you lost your damn mind? Public money is pouring in to aid communities like Hunter’s Point in the form of welfare, free medical care and new housing. Public money is provided through a bidding process. Every bidding process is published for the public. Failure to abide by the bidding process is grounds for a lawsuit. Please list in your article which black firms submitted bids for these projects but were turned down. Oh, maybe you just mean workers. Please list which black workers were denied employment on the basis of race. Last time I checked, more than half of the workers at any construction site are Latino. Do you have a problem with Latino workers? I know of several black men and women who work, one of them is the President. Wonder why so few people in Hunter’s Point work? Check out how the kids behave in class or how the parents raise their children. Ever hear the phrase, “don’t you tell me how to raise my child?” Well, there you go.

  4. S Murph

    Contract On Us

    Thanks Mr. Debro for stating the obvious. It is unfortunate that the truth has to be framed as you framed it but sometimes you have to tell the in your face raw like sushi butt naked TRUTH. The reality is that in this nation the primary objective is to keep Black folks in a constant state of dependency. From the time they bought the first of our ancestors to these shores to this present time the goal has always been keep us dirt poor dirt healthy and dirt ignorant. That way we become prime candidates for the prison industrial complex and if we keep our noses half way clean we are prime candidates for the military industrial complex (boy what a choice).

    It is also no big secret that the bidding process for construction projects or anything else where government money (be it local county state or federal) is involved is a rigged game. All you have to do is look at the bidding process or lack of any bidding process for the contracts that were given as before during and after conflict in Iraq. This is a perfect example of what goes on here only it happened in another country.

    Even before the war started the contract vultures were licking their collective chops. They bellied up to the government trough and got No Bid Cost Plus (imagine that) contract to rebuild Iraq, supply and provide services for the military state dept and Iraqis or so we thought. They got the cash and then got ghost. Projects that were bought and paid for with US government money (IE US taxpayer money) were NEVER built/provided or were started and NEVER finished or so badly botched that they could not be finished. The money disappeared and the contractors keep coming back for more contracts and mo money (Great Job Brownie). The level of corruption collusion fraud and out right theft is staggering. And oh by the way it is still rolling like that in Iraq right now today!!! Is it just a coincidence that Haliburton Blackwater KBR and other shady contractors that had inside connection to folks in the white house at that time got the lion share of the No Bid Cost Plus contracts??? I just wonder???? Just like Mr. Debro states it is a small circle of family relatives and friends or a well connected politician/bureaucrat that makes the difference.

    Here are some examples

    What would make anyone think that what has and is still going on in Iraq is NOT going on right here in the USA??? This is where it started at. Remember the Enron bid/price/contract rigging that created the energy crisis that started the financial disaster train that Cali in now riding (You remember)!!!

    Just like in Iraq the bidding process for projects construction or other wise in our neighborhoods are a closed loop ole boy network affair. Projects no matter what kind in our community NEVER employ any significant number of the people who live in said community. Half the time we never even know about them. The contractors will go out of town out of state and out of country to get workers before hiring the people who live in the place where the project is going on in any significant numbers. In spite of organizations like (Bay Area Black Builders) that represents qualified skilled and experienced people who could work in these projects, which blows up the standard lie that there are no qualified people in the black community to fill the jobs.

    Black folks have always been herded and corralled into the places we live in so that we can be effectively isolated and cut off and cut out of the rest of the functioning community. In these isolated and cut off places people can be easily abused deprived and exploited without anyone paying any attention much less caring. The Black community gets pimped like two dollar tricks. Everyone can come into the Black community and do just about what ever the hell they want and we are helpless to stop them. Arabs East Indians Europeans Asians (Not hating on anybody) can come into our communities open stores shops and start businesses at will. We dutifully patronize them and they take the money and leave. Try doing that in their neighborhoods (I dee double dare ya!!!).

    I know it takes a lot of courage for Mr. Debro to say what he said out loud. Nobody wants to say incendiary stuff or incite hostilities but sometimes you have to call bullsh*t what it really is BULLSH*T!!! Black folks have always accepted the go along to get along bust out instead of calling out politicians/bureaucrats and other civic and social leaders/spokes persons for the half truths and out right lies that they tell. This is one really really good example of some one speaking truth to power.


    S Murph

  5. Don Brough

    This is the most obsured, one-sided, essay I have ever read (I dare not use the word journalism). This is about dividing-going back in time, as opposed to moving forward. Look at your streets, your neighborhoods, your schools in your community. Who are the vandals? Why can’t these kids read and write to the appropriate gread level, why does no one want to step into your community.

    Look in the mirror.


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