Carroll Fife 
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Re: “Opinion: Why We, As Black Oaklanders, Are Voting for Libby Schaaf



This article is shameful and desperate. It is condescending, reductionist, arrogant and ignores the experiences of many of Oakland's historic African American residents. Concrete data by the City's very own DRE Equity Indicators Report disproves much of the content and gives Oakland a score of 33 out of 100 for faiiling to address areas of intense disparity. She has booed so terribly at many flatlands forums this election season, it's embarrasing. History and reading are fundamental. So here:

"...moderate negroes who are getting somewhere need to always remember that it was us extremists who made it possible." Malcolm X

Malcolm was reminding Black folks who'd benefitted from being "power-adjacent", to remember those in the "alleys"; those who protested,fought bled and died for justice and change. Those who put their bodies on the line for the masses because others were too scared or too comfortable to make sacrifices for our people.

Some negroes only cared about their personal goals vs collective freedom while Malcolm and others bore the brunt of challenging the white supremacist status quo reality of the time.

The truth is that we are living in those times now. Who will stand up and tell the truth. With proper analysis there can be no proper solution. Home ownership and affordability are abysmal, public schools are seperate and unequal, African American unemployment is double digit, the trades have taken living wage job training out of schools, Oakland PD still stops and mistreats Black residents disproportiantely, and that doesnt take into account the general negative treatment many Black folks receive just living in the Town. In almost every corner of the rapidly changing city, black folks I know are made to feel unwelcome. Even generations old churches, drum circles and bbq'ers are under attack. How have the writers missed this?

A while back Libby told me that there is more than one black community in Oakland; more than those of us who met with her that day. Her Black Oakland. She was right. They are the writers of this piece. They are paid staff. They are the often ambitious and opportunitic. They want a fast track to power and have no north star. Sometimes they are paid with Warriors tickets and committee appointements. But in Oakland we are lucky. We also have freedom fighters, legacy holders, culture producers and more..the soul of oakland. They are fighting for their lives, their futures and their communities.

Libby is working to undermine and/or co-opt the growing movement of organizers/candidates by manufacturing "leaders", and by using old fashioned classic manipulation. Who knows how far she'll go to maintain her authority. But here's one lasting legacy of Oakland that we all know: the power is always with the people and we're bending the arc of history toward justice. And we gone fight all day night until we get it right.

The Other Black Oakland

Posted by Carroll Fife on 11/06/2018 at 2:31 AM

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