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2016 November

Monthly Archives: November 2016

Embracing discomfort, Bayview’s ‘Blackness in America’ dinner series forges dialogue

In the wake of racial tension the United States is currently facing, renowned chef and author Tunde Wey has been making his way around the nation hosting a dinner series titled Blackness in America. On Tuesday night, he teamed up with Caleb Zigas of La Cocina, Fernay McPherson of Minnie Bell’s Soul Movement, Reem Assil of Reem’s California and Birite Market to host a conversation about racial and social inequalities that African Americans residents face daily in their communities over dinner in the Bayview’s Southeast Community Center.

Richard Washington brings luxury to Bayview

Along with the many changes and new development that has come to Bayview Hunters Point, one in particular is extremely motivating. Bayview native Richard Washington, 44, is an inspiring entrepreneur who has set out to bring a little elegance and class back to the community. Once involved in a life of crime, he has decided to come back into his community and devote himself toward constructing a luxurious nail care salon for both the women and men of Bayview.

The need for a united front against fascism

If there was ever a time to organize around a United Front Against Fascism, it is now. The next leader of the “free world” has just been “elected” – more like “selected” – to be president of the United States. He has thereby been given the authority to use power and weapons as he sees fit. This same so-called president-elect has shown limitless disdain for all who are not white, heterosexual and Christian.

The people of Haiti are under attack as they fight for their liberation!

The following is a compilation of two breaking news reports that have come in from Haiti within the past two days. Even as we speak, bullets are flying and people are dying in the streets. The presidential elections in Haiti on Sunday, Nov. 20, were a repeat of the October 2015 fraudulent elections in favor of Jovenel Moise, the candidate supported by former Duvalierist president Martelly. The Provisional Electoral Council (CEP/KEP) carried out their electoral coup d’etat giving him a 55 percent win.

Baridi X Williamson: I went inside my heart to survive the torture in the...

Leaving out of Pelican Bay solitary confinement torture prison facilities/units/cages for the first time on Jan. 23, 2015 – after arriving there Nov. 29, 1990 – I remember witnessing my first sunrise. It would be the first of many first time experiences of using my natural senses again after being buried alive in that concrete box deprived of the natural use of those senses for the last 25 years – a quarter century.

To all the brothers on the yard: Help us help ourselves

The San Francisco Bay View is an African American newspaper based in San Francisco, California. For over four decades, its progressive liberation journalism has been championing human right issues nationwide, especially on behalf of the thousands of men and women being warehoused inside one of the hundreds of dungeons dotting the national landscape of America. The owners of this newspaper, Willie and Mary Ratcliff, have been uncompromising in their support for prisoners. We owe them not only our support but our appreciation for being our spearhead in advocating for a variety of prisoners’ rights issues.

African American Breast Cancer Conference 2016

The Concerned Network of Women under the leadership of Dr. Betty McGee and the new president of the board, Regina Coleman, held its annual African American Breast Cancer Conference on Oct. 23, 2016. Recognition from Congresswomen Nancy Pelosi was presented with a letter of commendation denoting the dedication and spirit of volunteerism of the organization. The attendance was overwhelming again this year with 127 women.

Open letter to Colin Kaepernick about Mumia Abu-Jamal

Greetings Colin, We salute your courageous action protesting police brutality throughout the U.S. We are heartened to see others, including entire teams and athletes in different sports, joining you. Besides shooting Black people to death in the streets every day and every night, American law enforcement is seeking the slow death in prison of dozens of heroes of the resistance of the ‘60s and ‘70s. We urge you to speak out on the case of Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Twelve ideas post-election from front line organizers

When you find yourself in a suddenly darkened room, what do you do? Some rush blindly to where they think the door might be. Others stand still, let their eyes adjust to the different environment, re-orient themselves, then, cautiously and sensitively, move forward. Some search out people who might be able to show the way. Post-election, a lot of people are re-assessing and searching for the best way forward. Here are some ideas from experienced, thoughtful people who are organizing on the front lines.

Will Trump be willing to drain the student loan swamp?

Ten years ago, when the Democrats took over Congress, I wrote a piece begging them to drain the swamp surrounding the Department of Education and the federal student loan system. In the absence of standard bankruptcy protections, statutes of limitations and other fundamental free market protections, the student loan system had become a big-government, predatory beast that was wrecking the lives of millions of citizens.

Long live the spirit of Comrade W.L. Nolen

For those who are not familiar with W.L. Nolen, this beautiful New Afrikan brotha was one of the founders of the Black Liberation Movement in the California Prison System, along with Comrade George Jackson. Comrade W.L. Nolen was instrumental in shaping and molding the exemplary model of undaunting resistance that many of us New Afrikans now find ourselves emulating today.

Standing Rock: We are here to protect the water – because we all live...

This camp is an “occupation” by the Standing Rock Sioux, the Oceti Sakowin, whose sacred ground is being desecrated as the pipeline is being built and whose watershed will be the first to be polluted when the pipeline breaks. They are supported by millions of people around the world who sense that this is our last chance to secure the human right to clean water. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced on Black Friday the imminent eviction of Oceti Sakowin Camp, where the call is out for reinforcements.

Salute to a great freedom fighter: The indomitable spirit of Fidel Castro will live...

Fidel Castro can never die. He departed the physical plane, but he will live on forever. His intellectual prowess and wisdom were extraordinary among mortals. His legacy and influence is global and monumental. This humble man, from a small Caribbean country, can truly be said to have changed the world. One of his greatest contributions to humanity is the example of his unwavering revolutionary determination and courage in the face of enormous obstacles placed in his path. He became an inspiration to all who fight for true independence.

Fidel Castro: Africa has lost a friend

Fidel Castro will go down in history as a revolutionary leader who strongly supported the liberation struggle in Africa. The courage with which he withstood and confronted years of intimidation and threats from the gatekeepers of the “might is right” ideology, and on his own terms, inspired and will inspire the alternative world of genuine hope and freedom. Fidel is dead – but alive because the revolution he led is eternal in our spirit and that of posterity.

Poor people don’t have presidents

Poor, unhoused, barely housed, indigenous, Black, Brown and Red people don’t have presidents. We have prison wardens, police, sheriffs, anti-social workers, landlords, judges, bailiffs, poverty pimps, case manglers, ICE agents, CPS workers and debt collectors. Under Clinton, we lost welfare and the criminalization and incarceration of young people was institutionalized. Poor people don’t have presidents or governors or mayors. We have ourselves.

Standing Rock: Water cannons fired at water protectors in freezing temperatures injure hundreds

Cannon Ball, N.D. – Hundreds of water protectors were injured at the Standing Rock encampments when law enforcement blasted them with water cannons in freezing temperatures Sunday evening, Nov. 20. The attacks came as water protectors used a semi-truck to remove burnt military vehicles that police had chained to concrete barriers weeks ago, blocking traffic on Highway 1806. LaDonna Allard, director of the Sacred Stone Camp, says: “We are asking for clean water, for the right to live. Instead they attack us, because they protect oil.”

Organizer ‘Malik’ Washington transferred to toughest prison in Texas

On Nov. 10, 2016, the state of Texas transferred me and 43 other men to the Administrative Segregation Unit at the Eastham Unit in Lovelady, Texas. Eastham is one of the oldest units in the state. The conditions there are much worse than at the Telford Unit. The most glaring issue for prisoners and guards alike is contaminated drinking water! High levels of copper and lead have been found in the water supply. The water has a horrible stench to it. And the taste? absolutely repulsive!

Ten ways to fight Trump

If you care about everything from civil and human rights to economic justice and climate survival, Trump’s impending presidency is terrifying – but the amount of wreckage he can cause depends in part on how people respond. Already, a Dump Trump rebellion is rising up in the streets and online; it’s also worth remembering Trump lost the popular vote, the Senate is close to tied and not filibuster-proof, and things have a way of see-sawing in American politics.

The jig is up!

Tell me, what does it mean when a white adjudicator is unmoved by the racism, oppression and police terror that Black folks in this country are subjected to but becomes unhinged when a Black man decides to demonstrate in opposition to it. Again, what does it mean? That “white adjudicator” just so happens to be United States Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As for that Black man, he is no other than San Francisco 49er quarterback Colin Kaepemick.

Black buttons tell Black history

It is a hobby that began almost 50 years ago. Now, decades later, Albert Feldstein has the desire to preserve this history and share his button collection with others in a purposeful manner, the result being a new and unique poster entitled, “A Black History of America in 110 Buttons: The Events, The Issues, The Organizations, The People.” The goal of Feldstein’s poster is to recall the historic people and events which characterize African-American history. For some, it will rekindle memories – while for younger generations it will provide an impetus for research and a greater appreciation of past struggles.