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Re: “You Don't Know Jack

@ anonymous: we could certainly say that just to be fair. I was actually out of town when I saw the piece on CNN, and I was watching with some other friends and family that knew nothing of the area. Having been there, I was able to provide more insight and information to what was showed on the tv. I was able to really connect with the story because I had physically been there and knew some of the people shown during that segment persoanlly. So, I would say those type of stories should inspire a thirst for truth and first hand knowledge about any subject. Not accepting the viewpoint of someone else as your truth. I don't have that much respect for the media.

Posted by P. on 11/30/2009 at 11:29 AM

Re: “You Don't Know Jack

In my opinion, anyone who bases their facts on what they hear in the media is the worst kind of clown. I am not afraid to get my information first hand. That is what the Village Bottoms is all about. Knowledge of self... independent thought and action... freedom of self expression.

I don't have to ask others for information or to show me pictures of what's going on. I go straight to the source and find out for myself. If you are too afraid or uninterested to do that, they why waste the time perpetrating your mythical ideas about what is really going on... anywhere in the Black community? I am glad at least I can view it as the pure entertainment that it is. LOLLOLOL!!!! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! HATE! LMAO This is so hilarious I would expect to see in on a tv variety show.

Posted by P. on 11/29/2009 at 10:11 PM

Re: “You Don't Know Jack

it saddens me that the average non-involved "joe blow" thinks that everyone working with Marcel are a bunch of naive followers. The trouble they will find is that you are fighting a group of leaders. No one here has to follow Marcel. We are all working together for a common goal.

So if you somehow manage to send him leaving town with 'his tail between his leg' (Ha! good luck with that one), will there be additional attacks on all of the remaining community leaders as they continue the work being done here? I actually think it is more naive to believe that you can successfully drive one man from his home, family and community with petty slanderous arguments. I think he has much more invested in the community to allow something like this to drive him away. The notion is almost comical.

Here we are a community of people working peacefully in our own community and a bunch of people who are not even involved are fighting to destroy... what? This one man? Our entire vision for the community? To implement your "outsiders" view of what this community needs?

I applaud all of the organizations partnering with the community and allowing us to speak for ourselves and supporting our ideas of what this community needs. I am glad to know that these individuals and organizations exist and are prepared to do the work necessary to revitalize this community. And all those who are fighting against that... will have way more than Marcel Diallo Jack to deal with.

Posted by P. on 11/28/2009 at 4:19 PM

Re: “You Don't Know Jack

Wow. Seems like lightseeker has a personal vendetta against Marcel. This is the only person I see ranting and railing 'like a scared little boy with daddy issues'. Grown men are not afraid to walk around their own neighborhoods, especially if they have spent their hard earned money to purchase a home there. I don't know any grown men that run to the newspapers when someone wrongs them. All the grown men and women I know would go discuss the issue directly with the person or persons involved. From what I read in the article, the only admittedly scared individual is Max Allstadt. And daddy issues... well, I don't know Max's family situation. Did his daddy loan him the money to hire the lawyers? Did he let his daddy know that there was a poor little Black man in Oakland harassing him? Did his daddy advise him to get a restraining order? These are just some of the questions that cross my mind.

As far as the Oakland police... OMG. I personally am wondering why the police would be hovering around such a 'sparsely populated area' after midnight? And if they are not looking for trouble, what the hell are they doing there? Don't we pay the police to actually look for trouble and keep our streets safe? One man moving a piece of furniture from around the corner to his own home doesn't sound like a red flag issue to me. Why don't the police hover around E14th (or International Blvd. for all you hipsters) or San Pablo and pick up some of these tricks or pimps out here abusing women and young girls in the streets every night? Where are the police when gun fire rings out in the night and there is a new memorial left on the streets from another person (usually young and black) killed in the night? Where the hell were the police when that young girl got gang raped!? Hanging out on Wood and Pine street? What a joke. Protecting people never seems to be a high priority, but they are always ready and willing to enforce extreme discipline for any disorderly conduct. I guess according to lightseeker, every Black person from Oakland and beyond must be 'vindictive by nature' for the 'torrent of angry Black justice' over the Oscar Grant incident.

If I were less of a woman, I might be afraid to know that people like Max Allstadt live in my neighborhood. Every circumstance involving this man has only served to render my state more painful, and heighten my apprehensions and opinions of the cruelty of some white people. Someone so removed and ignorant to the truth of the issues facing our community. Not a wise man like Rick Holliday who entered the neighborhood and was a bigger man for working as an ally for peace in the community. A man knowledgeable and understanding of the larger social dynamics at work here. Someone who knows that giving a little for the greater gain is not just noble, but necessary.

Or maybe Rick is just a wealthier man, who doesn't have to whine about giving a little because he has it to give. Maybe Rick could come to the Black Dot and hold some workshops for some of the other "newer residents" on positive community building and interpersonal skills. Or maybe Max should review some of his college humanities coursework or simply go buy a copy of How to Win Friends and Influence People. I am sure there is something he can read or something better this man can do so he doesn't have to feel like such a frightened "man" in a racially tense community. It's all Love from where I stand.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by P. on 11/26/2009 at 3:08 AM

Re: “You Don't Know Jack

I personally have not experienced Marcel to be a hateful or racist man. I don't see how someone with so many non-black friends and supporters could be a racist. I recognize some of these friends posting on this board and they are maliciously attacked and portrayed as crybabies. It seems like the most hate-filled people here are the one's speaking out against Marcel.

The Black Dot Cafe stage is a platform where anyone can come and express themselves freely. Marcel does not seek to control what comes out of the mouth of every person that speaks on that stage. Nor does he use the cafe as a for profit business, although in light of what has been printed about him in the newspapers in regards to his finances, maybe he should!

I have attended many events at the Black Dot, and even volunteered to help support these events. If you did not attend the Dead Prez event, or any other event, then what you will probably never know is that no one is ever charged at the door to enter these occasions, nor is anyone turned away for not paying whatever price is asked. If you have never been there, then you will never know how much is given by Marcel and other volunteers to help these events happen. Everything cost money; from the food, drinks, soap, and the toilet paper available for guests to clean their behinds! All the little things people take for granted cost someone some money. The cups you drink from, the chairs you sit on, the lights and equipment. Everything cost money. So again I say how heroic of this man and an entire collective of already impoverished individuals to pull their resources and finances together to create these meaningful experiences for everyone to share. Knowing what I know about the cost of operating a home, much less a community business, give me the heart to pay twice as much when I am able. And because I also know that when I am not able, this community will not turn me away.

And you know what else, I like Dead Prez. I enjoy their music and have never had the opportunity to see them live... and I am a little saddened that I missed the opportunity to see them right in my hometown. It is unfortunate the same people that hate Dead Prez for calling white people "crackers" support other rappers that talk about nigga this... bitch that... I just got shot up... now Imma go shoot me sum mo niggas... get paid... spend that money... etc. etc. I can hear that crap on the radio all day if I chose to listen. But a group that says- " these schools ain't teachin us what we need to know to survive" or "Imma African and I know whats happenin" get no airplay, and labeled as hateful racist. Every Black artist is not going to present themselves as the charming, harmless, genial, grinning "darky" so loved by the american people.

I did have the pleasure of attending an educational workshop where Dr. Fu Kiau came to enlighten and educate us on African heritage and cosmology. Enlightening us to the fact that without knowledge of your history and your worldview you will remain forever lost; and educating the audience on African traditions and spiritual principles. I was able to bring my two young children and receive this knowledge with no cost to me. And at the end of the night, a community member gave me and my children a ride home, free of charge. That is the kind of love I am talking about. Experiences like this one are priceless to me. Why is there never any mention of positive occasions like this one, of which there have been many?

So I will tell you where I think all of the money went. I think it went to the day to day operation cost of all of these community venues... and if they are in fact foreclosed, then that tells me that will all that a handful of people are doing to keep these things alive, It was not enough to conquer the monster that is the American economy. That with even the wealthiest members of society crumbling under the pressure of the recent recession; the poor little Black folks of West Oakland, California did not have the 'financial wherewithal' to escape the financial woes of an entire nation. But my God... they sure make poverty look good... taste good... and a real feel good, good time.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by P. on 11/26/2009 at 2:27 AM

Re: “You Don't Know Jack

Even if it were true that Marcel is ruined, I for one am happy that there is an entire collective of people who hold this vision and will continue the work. That is the great thing about movements. You can slander, stop and even kill the so-called leader, but you can not kill the movement. It would actually be nice if Marcel could be done with so that everyone will then be able to see the numerous people that will follow through with this vision until the dream is realized. Some of us do not need Marcel to follow the "plan". Some of us have it written on our hearts. Oh what a wonderful sight it will be when all of these people rise to the occasion.

Posted by P. on 11/24/2009 at 11:01 PM

Re: “You Don't Know Jack

I have experienced that the Black Dot Cafe and every other community space that has been made available in the Village Bottoms are places where people can come and express themselves freely. If you can't totally understand what is going on, then I can understand why you would be afraid.

Most people of color come from living the experience that "white is right", and everything anyone else says, does or feels is questionable and even persecutable if it does not fit into the ideology of the white majority. Ok. We get it. And most of us are forced to accept it, or at least comply with it in one way or another to live a comfortable life in this society.

It is nice to have a place that you can go and just be yourself. Say what you want to say. Express your feelings around people who can understand where you are coming from. People are dealing with a lot of serious social issues like oppression and poverty... and it is not always easy to walk around with a smile on your face because any sign of frustration or unhappiness makes the white people around you uncomfortable. If I happen to be at one of these community meetings and I hear someone expressing some frustrations about "honkeys" or "suicide bombing" or any other outpouring of emotional frustration... I am not afraid because I know where these feelings come from. I don't worry about this person leaving the community meeting on a "white people killing spree", because I know they feel better after being able to express themselves in a circle of caring individuals who can share love and support and hopefully resources to help them overcome whatever they may be facing. There are no feelings of hate or separatism any of the gatherings I have been to at any of the establishments in the Village Bottoms, and I have seen all nationalities present. These are not Black only meetings or establishments.

My heart goes out to the young people I see standing out in the streets dealing with these heavy issues alone, with no love or support. These are the people behaving senselessly; fighting, killing and dying unnecessarily. If only they had the love and support of a caring community to at least hear them out... I believe the outcome would be different. They could receive reasonable solutions to their problems so we would see the eruptions of violence in the streets. But then where would the well-meaning saviors of the community get there money if these problems didn't exist.

The way I see it, the Village Bottoms Neighborhood Association presents a real solution to some of the problems facing the community and the "challengers of the neighborhoods traditional black and progressive power structure" are not happy with this because if Black people were able to support, educate, work and live peacefully... on their own... then what would people who feel like it is their destiny to control others do? Go back to college... or go to work in the society they created? What is the problems with leaving a group of people alone to do for themselves? No one is getting hurt. People are not dying. I thought that was what we all wanted for Oakland. Or is it only okay when it is "handed" to the natives by the "superior powers". Why is freedom among Black people so scary?

I dunno. Something just doesn't seem right here. And from what I can see, it is not the artistic collective that stand for peace and love in the Village Bottoms, or Marcel Diallo. His haters have called him out as a poor, little man with no financial wherewithal. Why then is he so feared by these people?

Posted by P. on 11/24/2009 at 3:27 PM

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