Bay Area Black Authors Salute Chauncey Bailey
Call for Papers:
The Black Chauncey Bailey Project
an anthology of essays on the assassination of Oakland Post Editor Chauncey Bailey
Edited by Marvin X, published by Black Bird Press, Bay Area Black Authors and the Post Newspaper Group. Deadline, September, 2011.
We welcome papers, essays, memoirs, opinion, critical reviews, investigative reports, scholarly writings on Chauncey Bailey, who was assassinated in broad daylight on his way to work at 7:30 in the morning.
We invite authors to approach the topic from any angle that transcends the Jim Crow Media's version that he was killed by the Black Muslim Bakery Brothers solely because he was investigating the financial records and sexual behavior of bakery founder, Dr. Yusef Bey.
We welcome investigative writings that also focus on the role of the Oakland Police Department, City Hall under then Mayor Jerry Brown and Mayor Ron Dellums, and possibly other local, state and national politicians.
Papers can address the life and times of Chauncey and his work, especially at the Oakland Tribune, California Voice, Soulbeat Television and as Editor of the Oakland Post.
Another approach can be the unique fact that he is one of the few journalists killed in American history, especially compared with journalists in other countries such as Mexico, Columbia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, China and many African nations.
The killing of Chauncey Bailey can be approached historically as it cannot be separated from the killing of black men in the Bay Area and America in general. Why does such killing continue under the color of law? The Black Panther Party began partially in reaction to the police killing of Denzil Dowell in Richmond, California. Because the OPD is yet to be charged in the assassination, doesn't absolve them of conspiracy in the matter. Their officers may yet be indicted, most certainly in the court of people's justice.
Length should be one thousand to two thousand words, but there can be exceptions. The proceeds from this anthology will go to a trust fund for Chauncey's son and Bay Area Authors. Writers will be compensated for their submission.
We invite you to submit your manuscript as a MS Word attachment to email@example.com.
Marvin X, Editor
Bay Area Black Authors Black Chauncey Bailey Project
BABA's Black Bailey Project wants to investigate the real reasons Chauncey was killed, not the phony reasons the Jim Crow Media's Chauncey Bailey Project has disseminated in the press, focusing solely on the Black Muslim Bakery Brothers as the culprits.
Why would he be killed for investigating what was public information, the bankruptcy proceedings of the BMB? Why and how were the BMB brothers brainwashed into believing that the man who was their father's longtime friend and colleague at Soulbeat Television, was suddenly the mortal enemy of his sons?
Bay Area Black Authors will publish an anthology of their writings on the assassination of Chauncey Bailey, one of the very few journalists killed in American history.
Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb says, "Chauncey was our soul, blood and bones. And we take authority on the matter of facts concerning his assassination. We are taking authority on his legacy to our community and the world.We do not accept the OPD's, the DA's, the CBP's explanation of his cold blooded murder."
Marvin X concurs, "We think the BMB brothers were used as patsies by the OPD, just as the kidnappers of Patty Hurst brainwashed her and turned her into a revolutionary named Tanya. The OPD mentored the BMB brothers into doing devious acts, reminding us of Iago's tipping the scales of Othello's mind to make him kill his beloved wife Desdemona in Shakespeare's classic drama.
And then the media concurs with the conspiracy to make millions off the blood and bones of Chauncey Bailey. The Bay Area Black Authors and the Post Newspaper Group ask for an accounting of how much money the CBP has received and want an equal share of any future monies derived in his behalf.
BABA and the PNG will establish a fund for the future education of Chauncey's son and a trust fund for BABA. Royalties from the forthcoming anthology by BABA will be divided between the two. BABA and PNG want to know how many million were received in the name of Chaucey by the Chauncey Bailey Project, the UC Berkeley School of Journalism and the Robert Maynard Foundation?
Mayor Jerry Brown (now Governor of California) said he was going to stop that nigger from snooping around city hall and the OPD. Thus, the real reason Chauncey was smoked was his investigation of City Hall corruption and corruption at the OPD. There are witnesses willing to testify that the same officer who mentored the BMB brothers was part of a Black OPD shakedown squad, similar to the Riders, who robbed dope dealers, planted false evidence and conducted false arrests and other acts under the color of law.
Chauncey Didn't Need a Byline
Every writer wants an attribution to his story, a byline. Chauncey Bailey wrote thousands of stories with no byline. It only said California Staff or Sun Reporter Staff or Oakland Post Staff or Oakland Tribune Staff, yet it was all Chauncey Bailey, multiple personality, yet one essential message, truth.
Chauncey was so bad!
He didn't need a tape recorder
his mind worked
in the tradition
he looked into your eyes
then told your story
you could look at Chauncey
what dis nigguh doin
but he got it all
gist of it for sure
I love you Chauncey
I miss you.
Sponsors: Journal of Pan African Studies, Black Bird Press, Ethnic Studies Department of San Francisco State University, It's About Time, Eastside Arts, Kakakiki Slave System, Oakland Local, Black Hour, Greg Bridges of KPFA, KPOO Radio, San Francisco Recovery Theatre, Lower Bottom Playaz, Hug a Thug Book Club, Academy of da Corner Reader's Theatre, Black Dialogue Brothers.
For more information, call 510-837-5107. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
www.blackbirdpress.blogspot.com. Please make a generous donation to this project. Your donation can be tax deductible. The Post Newspaper Group will purchase books from 15 selected authors for donation to juvenile hall, jails and prisons.
Part Two: Why the Chauncey Bailey Book Fair
It has come to my attention that there are those in our community who are in need of healing regarding the Chauncey Bailey matter, that there are those who are emotionally challenged as a result of the assassination. Some persons have expressed their dislike for all Muslims as a result, so emotionally challenged they cannot think critically but only emotionally.
Simultaneously, other persons have expressed their dislike of Chauncey Bailey, for one reason or another, as if Chauncey was a perfect man without defect. For all these reasons, I say it is time for us to get a healing so necessary for intellectual advancement and community unity.
Of course, many of us have been brainwashed by the Jim Crow Media (Ishmael Reed term) into accepting the biased, racist propaganda of the Chauncey Bailey Project, a group of journalists who have pimped the Chauncey Bailey story, making millions from media articles and grants for researching his murder. Yet their stories have mainly blamed the Black Muslim Bakery brothers and downplayed the fundamental role of the Oakland Police Department in conspiring to kill Chauncey.
We ask one simple question, how could a man long associated with Dr. Yusef Bey, especially having worked with him at Soulbeat Television for decades, suddenly become the mortal enemy of Dr. Bey's children for possibly writing an article on the bankruptcy proceedings that was public information? The Jim Crow media journalists wrote their stories and were possibly threatened for exposing the dark secrets of Dr. Bey, but they did not suffer assassination.
We must look in the deep structure of the matter for critical understanding. There we see a crucial role of the OPD in mentoring the Bakery brothers to believe Chauncey was their mortal enemy. One is reminded of Shakespeare's Othello wherein the character Iago convinces the Moor Othello that his wife has been unfaithful and the Moor is so convinced that he kills his wife Desdemona and then himself, yet it was all a ruse concocted and conspired by his evil, jealous so-called friend and adviser Iago. The OPD is Iago, the Bakery boys Othello! Chauncey was Desdemona.
We know the more important writing project of Chauncey was investigating corruption in the police department and City Hall under then Mayor Jerry Brown who is reported to have said, "I'm going to stop that nigger from snooping around City Hall and the OPD." Indeed, Chauncey was on to Jerry Brown's gentrification agenda and fraudulent loans and grants for the Ice skating rink, the Fox Theatre and the School of the Arts, among other projects.
As per the OPD, Chauncey was investigating a suspected Black Riders, North American African police officers on the OPD who were shaking down drug dealers, money laundering, planting false evidence and false arrests. Such behavior is a well known tactic in police departments coast to coast and most certainly below our border in Mexico, so why would it be so fantastic to imagine such actions in the OPD?After all, the OPD White Riders were charged with such behavior though found innocent after dubious trials.
Chauncey didn't live to publish his findings and somehow his brother unwittingly released his computer to the Chauncey Bailey project associates, thus we may never know the content of his notes.
Again, we do not claim Chauncey was an angel. He had his foibles. I have recalled how he once reported an off the record conversation with me on his news show. His report upset people at a writer's conference after he broadcast my critical remarks. And though I was angry with Chauncey, I am known to do the same thing.
And so it is time for this community to get a healing. There are Muslims who are hesitant to attend the Chauncey Bailey Book Fair because they feel uncomfortable about how the media has painted the picture of Muslims as killers. Yet how often do we hear suspected murderers called Christian killers?
Be aware of the Jim Crow Media that is determined to create chaos and division in our community. The young men suspected of killing Chauncey are victims just like Chauncey. There is no doubt in my mind that the OPD played a crucial and fundamental role conspiring to take him out.
We need only look at the brutality of police in Egypt to see such debauchery is possible, and imagine that their behavior is paid for with money from America. Imagine, the majority of Oakland's budget goes to the OPD to brutalize and oppress citizens like a foreign occupying army.
Our Constitutional rights of assembly are violated at every turn. Last Friday night a social event was interrupted by the OPD because they received a "report" that a large crowd of black people were on the street. I was standing on the corner of 14th and Franklin with Oakland Post Publisher Paul Cobb when the OPD arrived. He had to convince them nothing was going on out of order so they departed.
The Bay Area Black Authors shall carry on the tradition established by the Black Press since 1827 with the founding of Freedom's Journal to tell the truth. Indeed, one of the last comments Chauncey said to me was recalling the historical significance of Freedom's Journal that was created while we were deep in the oppression of the American slave system. We honor Chauncey because he was squarely in the tradition of Freedom's Journal, also David Walker's Appeal, 1829.
to be Released on Eve of Chauncey Bailey Trial*
It has come to our attention that a book by Thomas Peele of the racist/zionist/anti Muslim Chauncey Bailey Project, a consortium of Bay Area Journalists, is scheduled for release just weeks before the March, 2011 murder trial of the young men accused in the broad daylight assassination of Oakland Post Editor, Chauncey Bailey three years ago.
Members of the Black Muslim Bakery are the accused but there is substantial information they were fall guys for the Oakland Police Department's "Black Riders," a shake down squad of officers who were involved in drug dealing, money laundering, planting false evidence and false arrests.
The lead officer in the Chauncey Bailey murder was an adviser and mentor to the Bakery brothers. This officer was also in charge of the crime scene and drove away from the scene when approached by an eye witness.
Officer Longmire also visited the Bakery unofficially on the night before the murder. A raid on the bakery was scheduled and occurred the day after the assassination. The officer and his men were able to find the murder weapon and get a confession from a handyman at the bakery.
He then claimed the case solved in less than 24 hours, the quickest murder solved in the history of Oakland.
The author of the forthcoming book, Thomas Peele, has been the lead writer of the Chauncey Bailey Project that refuses to substantially investigate police involvement, rather his focus has been on the Black Muslim Bakery brothers and spreading hatred about Muslims. His book will continue his sham investigative reporting and further inflame the anti-Islamic phobia in the Bay Area and America.
If he cared about not inflaming the atmosphere on the eve of the trial, his publisher would at least delay releasing the book until after the trial. We understand the book is a history of the bakery and its controversial founder, Dr. Yusef Bey. It is an in depth account of all the sordid deeds that supposedly occurred at the bakery. We wonder will it explain the evidence found at the bakery after the murder of Chauncey and the police raid. How could numerous bullet casings be found on the roof by the new owner of the building if the police had done a thorough investigation?
Chauncey Bailey was killed because he was investigating police and city hall corruption under then Mayor Jerry Brown, now Governor of California. As Attorney General, Jerry Brown was requested by Mayor Ron Dellums to investigate the Bailey murder after suspected police misconduct, especially the behavior of lead investigator Longmire. In truth, the investigator of the investigation, Jerry Brown, should have been investigated!
We are for freedom of the press and speech, but, again, we think the release of this book just before the trial will do nothing but poison the atmosphere against Muslims and shift the focus away from the police and City Hall, the real reason Chauncey was assassinated.
His death above the US border is no different from the murder of journalists below the border in Mexico, Central and South America by politicians, police and soldiers in league with drug cartels. His death is similar to the supposed suicide of San Jose Mercury journalist Gary Webb who exposed US involvement in the Crack dealing of Nicaragua Contras in the ghettos of America to obtain money for arms in their war against the Sandinista Government in Nicaragua. Gary Webb was blacklisted and became emotionally distraught after investigating the US/Contra Crack connection.
We feel Thomas Peele's forthcoming book will possibly lead to bitter reaction by Muslims and/or Christians instead of securing justice for the real killers of Chauncey Bailey.
Marvin X was an associate of Chauncey Bailey. See his collection of essays Who Killed Chauncey Bailey, Black Bird Press, Berkeley. They are also in the online archives of the Oakland Post and the San Francisco Bay View newspapers.
* We were informed the book will be released in 2012.
The new Oakland Police Department Chief Bates says guns, drugs and gangs are his priority. We suggest he reconfigure his priorities to gangs, guns and drugs, for he must first consider his organization a gang since it has been known to behave as such, to wit: the Riders and "black Riders," police officers suspected and/or charged with corruption under the color of law, including shaking down drug dealers, planting false evidence and false charges and having conflict of interest in criminal investigations, including and especially the broad daylight, downtown Oakland assassination of journalist Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post newspaper. Yes, I feel a personal connection to the murder of Chauncey since he was a friend and colleague whose last story was a review of my book How to Recover from the Addiction of White Supremacy. The day before his assassination he came to my outdoor classroom at 14th and Broadway to show me his review of my book. We know at the time of his death he was investigating corruption in the police department and City Hall, during the tenure of Jerry Brown as mayor. Mayor Jerry Brown is reported to have said, "I'm going to stop that nigger from snooping around the OPD and City Hall!" Not long after, Chauncey was fired from his longtime job as a reporter at the Oakland Tribune for frivolous reasons.
Officers suspected of involvement in the murder of Chauncey Bailey are still employed by the OPD, a supreme insult to the people of Oakland, but we understand one suspected officer was returned to duty just prior to the retirement of the chief, allegedly to keep the officer quiet about the chief's role in corruption. All gangs protect their members, and of course deny criminal activity.
Guns and drugs were the other items of concern by OPD Chief Bates. But again, Chauncey Bailey's notes suggest the OPD was/is involved in the proliferation of guns and drugs in Oakland, in conspiracy with Mexican drugs gangs and politicians. Indeed, the DEA was in town at the time of Chauncey's murder, but were investigating bigger fish in the political hierarchy of Oakland.
We know Mayor Jerry Brown deleted his Internet notes before he left town to become Attorney General. Ironically, Mayor Ron Dellums asked Jerry Brown to investigate the police investigation of Chauncey Bailey! Sounds like asking the fox to guard the hen house.
With suspected involvement by police and politicians a well known feature of Mexican culture, why is such behavior so incredulous on this side of the border, especially with prior cases of police misconduct within the OPD?
But more importantly, we wonder why the new OPD Chief Bates, along with Mayor Ron Dellums and President Obama, cannot find the political acumen to do at home that the US is doing abroad in Iraq, and preparing to do in Afghanistan and Yemen to stem violence among the mostly young insurgents or "terrorists," i.e., provide schooling, employment and housing. This is nowhere in the agenda of the President, Mayor or Chief of Police. Is this a case of myopia or simple disregard for the plight of our young men committing homicide and suicide in our cities, mainly from lack of education, employment and housing, exactly the same reasons for violence abroad that is supposedly a threat to the national security of America? You mean violence at home is not a threat to the national security of the US?
Gangs, guns, drugs? Maybe there is truth in the notes of Chauncey Bailey. We know the US is the numer one gun dealer of the world. We know there are know cites in the hood where guns can be purchased 24/7. We also know drug traffic in Afghanistan decreased during the rule of the Taliban, but increased after the American invasion. Presentinly opium is flowing like water, with the addiction of entire villages, including men, women and children, and drug addiction is crossing the border into Pakistan, thanks to the US. So we suggest the OPD Chief Bates do an in-house investigation of guns, drugs and gang activity within the OPD. He may be utterly surprised.
It has been revealed that the brothers at Your Black Muslim Bakery were only patsies for the OPD, local politicians and Mexican drug dealers. The OPD was shaking down black drug dealers so the Mexicans could take over the black tar heroin trade. The OPD black shake down squad (similar to the Riders) then used the Muslims to fence the dope and jewelry taken from the blacks.
This case reveals the din of iniquity Oakland has become. It is almost impossible to separate the good guys from the bad. It is clear to me Chauncey was not killed because he was planning to write something negative about the Muslims. The Muslim Bakery problems were public information, including their bankruptcy proceedings. Bailey was thus not killed for investigating the Muslims but because the OPD, politicians and the Mexican drug gangs feared he knew about their scurvy activities, including the behavior of former mayor Jerry Brown, now attorney general, who is quoted as saying when Chauncey worked for the Oakland Tribune, "I'm going to stop that Nigger (Chauncey) from snooping around City Hall and the police department." Brown orchestrated Bailey's firing from the Tribune. The above information has been known by the OPD and the Chauncey Bailey Project but they have failed to disclose the Mexican drug connection. The former Chief of Police warned Post publisher Paul Cobb if he filed a complaint based on this information he should get a bulletproof vest.
Marvin X says it is time to tell the truth, so help me Allah (God). A community living on lies and denial can only go down as Murphy’s law tells us. Lies become an addiction until we are consumed by them. We cannot even face our children and family because they know we are cowards whose manhood and dignity is crushed under foot by fear. Our ancestors paid the price in full for us to stand tall and tell the truth, not scurry around like rats.
Who Killed Chauncey Bailey?
We are tired of the sham reporting of the Chauncey Bailey Project, a consortium of journalists and Bay Area newspapers that have made millions infecting the Bay Area and the world with misinformation and most importantly, committed the sin of omission by focusing on one of two reasons my friend and fellow writer was assassinated. The Bailey incident reminds us of the killing of Malcolm X, a conspiracy between the Nation of Islam and the New York Police. What is even more striking in Bailey's case is that he was not only doing a story on the Black Muslim Bakery, but was also writing an expose of black police murderers on the OPD, similar to the "Riders" case in which white and Latino police were killing, shaking down and planting false evidence on mostly black victims.
Why has not the Chauncey Bailey Project focused on the second reason Chauncey was killed? No doubt it has been to poison the pubic against Muslims, as in the Malcolm X case. The media so poisoned the atmosphere that even today black intellectuals are guilty of revisionism when attempting to write Black history, often omitting or down playing the importance of Elijah Muhammad, who was our master psychologist and had a profound influence not only on Malcolm X, but Muhammad Ali, Farrakhan, Warithdin,Amiri Baraka, Sonia Sanchez, in short, the Black Arts Movement, Black Studies, Black Psychology, theology and most importantly, economics.
As per Chauncey Bailey, not only does it cause me great pain that he was killed, but I also have great empathy and sympathy for the mothers of the young men allegedly involved in the assassination and other activities, such as the alleged kidnapping and torturing of two women. I’ve known the mothers and their children for many years, and recently forced one of the mothers to hug me because I wanted her to know I felt her pain, grief and shame.
I want to focus on the second and perhaps primary reason Chauncey was taken out. Yes, the first reason may have had to do with succession to the throne and inheritance rights/rites, as in the African tradition or European tradition for that matter.
Of course there were mothers and children who felt their children or siblings should have taken over the Black Muslim Bakery after the transition of founder Dr. Yusef Bey. But the officer who befriended the Bakery young men was in change of the crime scene, although he refused to interview an eye witness who had breakfast that morning with Chauncey and was told by the killer to get out of the way as he proceeded to pump shotgun blasts to his body.
The officer then led a raid the next morning on the Black Muslim Bakery compound, seizing a suspect, the murder weapon and later arranged a confession from the suspect in less than 24 hours. No other murder in Oakland has been solved so quickly, so it would appear. The suspect later recanted his confession. Indeed, the eyewitness says the young man who is charged is not the man who told him to get out of the way. There were persons at the crime scene who recognized the officer as part of a group who are known for shaking down drug dealers, planting false evidence and other criminal acts under the color of law. There are brothers in prison willing testify that they were victims of shake downs by certain black Oakland police, including the one in charge of the crime scene. Bailey was killed because he was getting too much information on the actions of the black police murder and drug shake downs.
The chief of police is aware of the actions of his men but is nearing retirement so is dragging his feet so he can exist in peace. The DEA is in town and they too are aware of police involvement in the drug trade, but supposedly are after even bigger fish who may soon face indictment for other crimes related to political activities. The killing of a nigguh is not a priority.
The so-called Chauncey Bailey Project has written thousands of words about the Muslim connection but very little about the police connection to the bakery and officers involvement in the drug trade and homicides in the hood. We say the journalists on the project are guilty of the sin of omission by not aggressively pursuing the police connection to the murder of Chauncey Bailey. They have reaped millions of dollars pimping his story in a totally subjective, racially and religiously biased manner, fanning the flames of hatred against Muslims in the Bay Area and around the world.
The Cross and the Lynching Tree
From the 12th floor office of the Oakland Post newspaper at 14th and Franklin, one can look down the block to a tree at 14th and Alice. Chauncey Bailey was lynched near that tree, although it was not in the tradition of a white lynching, but in the neo-America, his lynchers were black. And although the suspect is a young black man, there are witnesses who say the killer was an older person. Does it really matter, except for the fact that we are now doing the work of the KKK. We wear the hoods these days, and the fad is to wear gear with “stupid” designs, including skull and bones, thus signaling to the world our deathly intentions. We have become death angels, as sinister as the suicide bombers in the Middle East, although we have no purpose, no mission, except to kill another black, for of the nearly 130 killed in Oakland last year, not one white man was killed by a black. And for the most part, this is true throughout America. Our youth exhibit an
animal consciousness as opposed to their spiritual consciousness. No, they do not use the mind God gave them, as my mother told me to do, but they seem motivated by a demonic spirit of hatred of self and kind, causing them to perpetuate the internal violence Dr. Franz Fanon wrote about in Wretched of the Earth.
Mao Zedong told us some deaths are higher than Mount Tai, some deaths lighter than a feather. At least Chauncey gave his life for the cause of truth, no matter that we did not always agree with his abrasive attitude, who can deny the man was dedicated to seeking the truth? We all have defects of character, but are we fulfilling our life’s mission as Chauncey was doing? Are we trying to inform the blind, deaf and dumb, to educate the ignorant? Many of us say let the blind stay blind, and that the youth are a lost cause, yet we saw in the film the Great Debaters, youth will do the right things when guided right by sincere and dedicated adults. The only excuse for youth behavior is adult behavior!
The tree at 14th and Alice stands still, a monument to a fallen soldier. From the window, our eyes zoom down to the tree, eyes full of tears and heart full of sorrow. Bill Moyers asked Rev. James Cone the meaning of the cross and the lynching tree. He said they are one and the same, for on the cross Jesus was crucified and on the tree the black man was done the same. And just as Jesus transcended the cross, the black man must rise above his self crucifixion and ascend to spiritual consciousness. The crucifixion ends when the resurrection and ascension begins. We must rise up from the grave of ignorance, from the lynching tree of hatred, jealousy and envy. We must heal from the wretchedness that allows us to kill another brother at the drop of a hat, yet never approach the real enemy. And perhaps the real enemy doesn’t exist except inside of our selves. White supremacy/lunacy has no power over us except when we allow it. As Rev. Cone explained, the
lynching tree has no power over us because in our crucifixion comes resurrection and ascension.
Paul Cobb observed how white women can jog past West Oakland’s Campbell Village housing projects at night without fear. No one dare harm them because they are white and thus sacred. To speak harshly to them is a terrorist threat, to harm them is a hate crime that qualifies for the death penalty. But there is no crime for speaking harshly to another black, and killing another black does not qualify as a hate crime, although most surely it is the absolute essence of hate, self hate.
And so we dig our own grave these days. We put the noose around our necks, as some rappers have demonstrated. We killed our brother Chauncey because he was just another nigguh, therefore worthless, in the imagination of the killers, whoever they are. And then perhaps they recognized his importance and were instructed to eliminate him, for writers and journalists are killed around the world, simply for their dedication to telling the truth.
But we see after the thousands and thousands of words written about him, we see death has no sting, ithasnovictory.
On a horrible day last August, the tree at 14th and Alice gave forth a strange fruit that shall rise from the earth and give blessings from high heaven. Because Chauncey lived, we shall be a better people, a people who shall one day fulfill our radical tradition and destiny to free ourselves and the world. The attempt was made with the Oakland branch of the Pullman Porters, and it was made with the Black Panthers. Chauncey extended that tradition into the present era, for he gave his life in the cause of truth, freedom, justice and equality. Yes, he transcended the lynching tree. His death was not lighter than a feather but higher than Mount Tai.
The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
How does it feel to get caught between the devil and the deep blue sea? How does it feel when a friend is murdered and the suspected murderers are someone you know as well, ever since they were children. It is a feeling of immense sadness, grief and disappointment. It is a feeling of guilt even, for we wonder why we didn't mediate the situation, force the opposing parties to sit down to reason together before things got out of hand, before a brother had to join the ancestors, as in the case of our friend and colleague, fellow writer and journalist, Chauncey Bailey. Yes, Chauncey was seeking the truth to tell us all, but it is possible he was working on the wrong story, or maybe the wrong aspect of the story, if it is true he was working on a story about the financial situation of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a family business that appears to be in the process of having its doors closed, the result of criminal activity, tax liens and creditors, but more importantly, moral issues, beginning with its founder, the late Dr. Yusef Bey, who was a friend that worked with me on many community projects, someone I miss dearly, though I am thankful I never had to experience his dark side, and I am genuinely sorry for those who did, especially the children. He fathered 43 children and it appears the sins of the father have visited some of them. One son was killed trying to rob dope dealers, another killed when someone car jacked him, and the current CEO, Yusef Bey IV, faces multiple charges, although someone else at the bakery has confessed to killing Chauncey because of his past articles and planned story on the financial situation. The suspect was a handyman at the bakery, so we are supposed to believe handymen are capable of plotting assassinations afro solo.
But as per Chauncey, the financial situation should not have been a priority, rather the essential and critical story should have been about how this family, especially its children and mothers, could be healed from its shame and trauma, and the business saved as a community asset. Tell me where can one find a loaf of bread baked by black people in the Bay or across these United Snakes of America. Where can just released inmates from jails and prisons find immediate employment, housing and food? Where can broken down dope fiends get their lives together and never look back. Where can the comunity find the example of a successful black business? I know the media loves sensationalism, but the positives of YBMB outweigh the negatives, and this is where Chauncey went wrong and it cost him his life, and with the bakery closed, it will affect many other lives, including the community in general so desperate for natural food and examples of do for self enterprises, i.e., independently operated businesses, especially family run so that children can see a future beyond a wage slave job at a white supremacy corporation more interested in outsourcing for cheap labor rather than securing a future for American workers of any ethnicity.
So we have here a double tragedy that approaches the best Shakespearean drama: what happens when the king dies or struggle for succession rights (rites), and what happens when the court jester or truth seeker seeks too much truth, especially from those who are supposed to be champions of truth, but have corrupted truth due to flaws in their moral character, resulting in the virus infecting the king's children to the degree that they self destruct, demolishing the kingdom, destroying all the good.
But is this the end of the drama or merely a necessary phase, since there are 43 children and perhaps the good children are yet to be seen and heard, especially the women who may now be forced to the front of the line to take authority over certain posts of whatever remains.
We love you Chauncey, we love you Dr. Bey--maybe ya'll can work it out in heaven.
Now this drama has villians more sinister than even the murderers, for as James Baldwin said of those who killed Malcolm X, "The hand that pulled the trigger didn't buy the bullet." Isn't it strange that with a plethora of unsolved murders in Oakland, this murder was solved in less than 24 hours--Chauncey was killed around 7:30am, by 5am the next morning, the police had a confession and murder weapon, as though they knew exactly where to go to apprehend the killer. Is it likely they knew beforehand what was planned, especially since they had the suspects under surveillance for over a year. Couldn't they have prevented Chauncey's murder--perhaps they too wanted him dead since he was also
investigating police corruption. There is no doubt they had undercover agents and/or snitches at the bakery who kept them abreast of planned activities. The killer himself could have been a police agent. These are possibilities any serious thinker should consider.
Again, I want to say that the community failed the Bey family for decades by not treating them with healing love, especially after they gave so much to the community. Their isolation only deepened their trauma and of course things go from bad to worse. The children were traumatized but left to drift into madness and psychsocial pathology. When I spoke at the bakery a few months ago, they were happy and elated that adults had come by to visit their meeting, for nearly all of those present were young people associated with the bakery. They were even happier to discover the other adults at the meeting were my longtime associates and friends of their father. They let us know how pleased they were that we took the time to visit with them. We must reach out to the Bey children because they are our own. Their negative actions have now impacted the community in a big way--for Chauncey was no ordinary Negro but a very special guy doing a very necessary work. And as the community mourns his passing and heals, let us not forget the children at the bakery who need much healing as well--and certainly they contributed much good to this community and therefore deserve our unconditional love.
Chauncey Bailey's Last Story
Chauncey Bailey's last story did not have his byline as he was known to do with many stories. The story was more important than his name, after all, he said to me, "Do you know how many stories I write in a week?" But his last story was a review of my book How to Recover from the Addiction to White Supremacy. It was a good review, not detailed as the Reginald James review that appeared in the Post, but the short story Chauncey was known for when he came into the editorship of the Oakland Post.
When it did not appear in the Post the week scheduled, I did not call to ask why. But a few days later Chauncey came down to my outdoor classroom at !4th and Broadway to show me a copy of his story and informed me it would be in the current week's paper. He wanted to let me know he wasn't "jiving." I said OK, but could I have a copy of it? He said no, then in what seemed like a flash, he was gone around the corner, like Clark Kent. He disappeared into eternity because I never saw him alive again. He fell victim to an assassin's bullet early the next morning, a few blocks down 14th at Alice.
I appreciated Chauncey because he was the "writer's writer," who wrote daily as I do--dedicated to his craft. When he interviewed me for the story, he had no tape recorder, nor did he take extensive notes. After all, he knew his subject, having written about me several times throughout his career while at the Oakland Tribune and the California Voice.
As news director at Soulbeat television, he appointed me as commentator, although it was short-lived because Chuck Johnson removed me for giving a radical opinion of the first Gulf war. The real reason was because Chauncey did not tell Chuck of his appointment. Chauncey would do silly things like that. There was a writer's conference at the African American Library/Museum in which I participated, but I left the conference when only a few people showed up. I went to the Black Cowboy event at Defermery Park. When Chauncey saw me there, he asked why wasn't I at the writer's conference. Off the record, I told him because all the nigguhs are at Defermery--look around. I thought my remarks were off the record, but Chauncey reported them on the Soulbeat evening news, totally upsetting the conference planners, who demanded I explain my remarks. I couldn't get mad at Chauncey as I am known for doing similar things when people tell me information that
should be kept off the record.
But again, Chauncey was the writer's writer, often without tape recorder or even without taking notes. His brain was his tape recorder and note book. Yes, he was that good.
25 July 2009