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In the face of terrorism

July 20, 2011

by Malaika Kambon

At a press conference bristling with TV cameras on Monday, July 18, on the site where Kenneth Harding lay bleeding to death Saturday for a half hour as police aimed their guns at him and held off witnesses who wanted to help him, the Black and Brown people who crowded around the speakers were unanimous in condemning police brutality and occupation of their neighborhoods. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
In the face of the U.S. power structure’s continuing attempts to force communities of color to hide in our own hoods, a 19-year-old Afrikan youth, Kenneth Harding, was shot to death Saturday over not having a transfer for a $2 light rail ride.

As he lay dying in a pool of his own blood, reaching out for help, raising himself up and crying out in agony, only to be surrounded and circled by police who were armed to the teeth with assault rifles and other tools of war, the similarities to this scene in the predominantly Afrikan Bayview Hunters Point community and that of every poor neighborhood in Haiti were striking.

A case in point was that of Titus Simpson, 23, a pro-Aristide, pro-Lavalas demonstrator in Bel Air, Haiti. He was shot dead by U.S. trained Haitian Special Forces, just 30 yards from an American journalist and left lying in the street, in a pool of his own blood.

He too was allegedly armed. Yet the only thing found on him was his WALKMAN disc player.

In the Hunters Point case, Harding has been accused of being armed. Yet no gun could be seen anywhere near the victim while he clung to life.

The point here is that as he was allowed to bleed to death on the sidewalk in full view of armed officers who were circling like sharks, making no attempt to give him aid. And small children, other youth, elders – everyone on the streets in those moments can bear witness: KENNETH HARDING WAS DEFINITELY NOT ARMED as he lay prone, in agony, crying out for life, dying.

No ambulance came. No paramedics came. There were no on-the-spot attempts to save this youth’s life. In fact, people were kept away from him.

It was as though he were nothing more than a piece of meat.

So – now Afrikan life – anywhere in the world – is not worth the price of a $2 light rail ride?

Lori Davis knows how a mother feels whose son has been killed by police. Her son, Raheim Brown Jr., 20, was assassinated, as she describes it, by Oakland school police on Jan. 22. She is campaigning to remove police from the schools and restore the $5 million they cost to teaching and counseling. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
That is good to know. Because the noon hour press conference held Monday, within 48 hours of the shooting, was the community speaking back at U.S. attempts to terrorize, torture and intimidate us into silence – into the acceptance of atrocity.

Shit like this is normal now, a commonplace occurrence.

Ministers, laborers, mothers of slain sons, writers, people off the streets and community activists from Bayview to the East Bay said enough is enough. We will take no more.

But this has been said before.

El Hajj Malik El Shabazz said, “There will be no more days like this,” and proceeded to suit actions to words. So the U.S. power structure had him assassinated.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “I’ve been to the mountain top, and I’ve seen the promised land.” He said this even as he realized and began to speak out on the interconnectedness of the garbage workers’ strike in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Vietnam War. So the U.S. power structure had him assassinated as well.

The Black Panther Party said the same things – and Panthers were felled like trees by the U.S. power structure.

Bay View publisher Willie Ratcliff explains how, in San Francisco and other cities, Blacks are locked out of jobs and business opportunities and oppressed by militarized police to drive them out so wealthy whites can reclaim their inner city neighborhoods. Monday’s press conference was organized by the Idriss Stelley Foundation and co-sponsored by Education Not Incarceration, Poor Magazine and the San Francisco Bay View. – Photo: Malaika Kambon
They keep slapping us hard – but we keep getting right back up and speaking truth to power.

So stay tuned. More is to come. Community unity is the key.

And perhaps our call to action will be heard in Haiti – and Haiti’s calls for action will begin to be heard here.

Malaika H. Kambon is a freelance photojournalist, owner of People’s Eye Photography and a master’s degree candidate in Interdisciplinary Studies at San Francisco State University. She can be reached at

Alert: Police Chief Greg Suhr has called a community meeting for Wednesday, July 20, 6 p.m., at the Bayview Opera House, 4705 Third St., to lay out the facts of the case, he says. “Police officials, Mayor Ed Lee and elected lawmakers are expected to attend,” KQED reports.


8 thoughts on “In the face of terrorism

  1. yeezy

    Why ya'll supporting this guy? He was shootin up the neighborhood. He was a pimp and a rapist. And he prolly killed that girl up in Seattle. I don't want that kinda trash in the neighborhood.

    What happen to Oscar Grant was a travesty of justice. What happen to this fool Kenneth Harding WAS justice.

  2. John Mulligan

    I wonder if they guy wearing the Lovelle Mixon t-shirt also owns a Phillip Garrido shirt. I mean, my God, how do you wear a shirt with the picture of a guy who raped 3 young women, one of them 12, in 2009? This was established by DNA evidence. Has this kind of behavior become so business-as-usual in the community that people are willing to overlook it just to blame the cops? Somebody paid money to have that guy's picture put on a shirt because some dude intended to wear it in public. Jesus.

    Yeah, guys like Mixon and Harding kill black people, rape black people, rob black people, but so what right? It only matters when the cops kill them, that's when it's time to get upset. How can you reason with people like that? As is written in the article:

    "Shit like this is normal now, a commonplace occurrence."

    1. Mahatma

      They don't post retractions here. Being proven wrong only makes them print more and more conspiracy theories. Like Tawana Brawley, the black communities seem to get behind the worst possible cases to further their causes. They cry wolf and then no one takes them seriously. If they didn't pull this crap every time some lowlife is shot, people would have taken notice when they stood up in opposition to Oscar Grant and Meserlhe would have gotten some serious time. But since they protested on the wrong causes dozens of times before and after Oscar Grant, no one hears their voice.

      1. Selina

        It's not about if someone is or is not listening to us (Blacks)

        As long as we are constantly vigilant of the police and people with the mentality like yours

        We will always be successfull at what ever we do.

        We don't need anyone to take up our causes, we set an example and whenever you (Caucasoid, Latino, Asian, Arabs and Homos) meet the same type of situation you mimic our strategies in hopes of trying to be just as successful

        Being with the Civil Rights Movement and the Black Panther Party

        We ( Africans) are warriors and we don't need anybody's pity nor attention. We make it happen.

  3. Seamus

    Mr. Harding appears to have shot himself. Please don't whip up the Bayview with distortions and conspiracy theories. I think the Bayview has enough on its plate already.

  4. Kwamame Edimmame

    The pigs have planted a gun on another of our proud black youth so they could kill him in cold blood over a bust ticket. They are trying to slay all of our people in this way! While we suffer in our neighborhood the white devil has all of the material possessions and all we see on TV are smiling WHITE faces! Look what they did to Redd Fox on Sanford and Son. Hounded him till he was dead with tax debts. Whitey did it.

    Whitey Bulger, that is. HAHAHA, you bunch of idiots. Made you laugh. Why don't you go tear up your own neighborhoods now, so I can laugh too.

  5. butch

    When the ones posting the negative comments are faced with adversity, then the mockery of this travesty will end. I am not sure why the SFPD decided to pull off 10 rounds in 6 seconds on this kid, but its not right. This could of happened any where, to any of us.


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