Moonlight drenches 2017 Oscars in history making magic!

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Trouble in Black Paradise follows two landmark filmmaker’s trail!


A first glimpse of Moonlight caught me during a theater preview.  It was almost startling to see yet another unmistakable Black 2016 theme, in a string of serious dramatic studies “magically” lining-up—I was then attending Free State of Jones.

This followed a year industry elites gave a flagrant reminder.  Hollywood still guards & wields racially blighted tradition at its leisure: no Black actor was deemed to be worthy enough for any of 2015’s Oscar nominations


A new line-up did predictably find oppression threading a common tie.  But stark “contemporary” grit has Moonlight standing out. Those other depictions, The Birth of a Nation, Hidden Figures, Loving, Fences, & James Baldwin’s I Am Not Your Negro ranged from slavery’s era to battles for mid 20th century Civil Rights.  The documentary 13th uncannily ties U.S. slavery with 21st century mass incarceration & O.J.: Made in America examines a “sold-out” Black superstar’s murderous tragedy.

But Moonlight’s modern-day core proposed another battle: homosexual conundrum set squarely in the “hood”—showcased in turbulently impoverished millennial youth—giving a rebel subject its precarious place; infiltrating a customarily hostile family table.  The cultural battle among social renegades is now unavoidably internal.


Moonlight’s cast (L. to R.): Trevante Rhodes, Jharrel Jerome, Jaden Piner (front), Janelle Monae, Alex R. Hibbert (front), Aston Sanders, Mahershala Ali, Naomi Harris & Andre Holland.

To this day white protocol still overwhelmingly dictates & skews Afro tales—the rare Spike Lee’s, John Singleton’s & emerging Ava DuVernay’s fighting to reverse the tide.  Heterosexual protocol similarly demands the same—limiting gay presence to woeful buffoonery, or insufficient figures doomed to tragedy—if depicted at all.  Irony binding the two here should miss no one.

Many of us veteran Black gay activists fought hard to have our stories find daylight—told & produced by us in our literary words—through our own nitty-gritty “vision”—let alone hit the big screen.  We had no gained legalities to cushion society’s ruthless physical & emotional response to our courage.  And Black gay filmmakers who’re all but extinct—Oakland’s Marlon Riggs collaborating with DC’s Essex Hemphill (1989 Tongues Untied)—now long deceased, forged on in spite of this.  My own book Trouble In Black Paradise chronicles the testament on this behalf.


Gay filmmaker Marlon Riggs (left) & poet/writer Essex Hemphill in Tongues Untied state: “Black men loving Black men is the revolutionary act of the 80’s.”

We as oppressed know all minorities here suffer the same problem: a hostile, domineering segment controls all avenues of narrative.  Battle “winners” tell the tale—and regulate the “outlets.”  But like Caucasians Black mainstreamers cared not to include credible gay “visuals” in Afro schemes—let alone our “truths.”

So I took a deep breath before this movie started, apprehensive about where it would take me.

It makes the sparkling work of two pioneering, audacious young Black filmmakers all the more thrilling—even miraculous!  Moonlight received 8 Oscar nominations, winning 3, with no established “superstar” actors.  Tarell Alvin McCraney 36 & Barry Jenkins 37 are the story’s author & director/screenwriter respectively.  Both come from Miami’s predominantly Black Liberty City slum—Moonlight’s setting—their identical circumstances uncanny, each modeling all character’s conditions.  All but one: writer McCraney is “gay identified”; director Jenkins a heterosexual.


Moonlight author Tarell Alvin McCraney (left) & director/screenwriter Barry Jenkins receive the Best Adapted Screenplay Award.

Suddenly I saw my own family & early “hood” setting spread strikingly bare across this screen.

Protagonist Chiron’s dilemma is followed in 3 phases: prepubescent, adolescence & young adulthood.  Chiron (pronounced “Shy-ron”) plagued by typical tragic “hood” conditions, has an absentee father & a mother Paula (British actress Naomi Harris, its Best Supporting Actress Nominee) ravaged by crack addiction.  Struggling with this crippling inheritance is compounded by his “latent” homosexuality, its vibrant “pulse” making him horrified—signs spill out providing barefaced public recognition—tormenting Chiron far beyond his understanding, or control.

Chiron’s excruciating attempt to figure out this “pulse” & why it draws such violence & ostracism to him, is bone crushing weight for a young child—no mentor for soothing clarity; demoralizing attack permeating & as inescapable as the air he breaths—even at home.  McCraney & Jenkins brilliantly convey this in all phases—rewarded with the Adapted Screenplay Oscar.


British talent Naomi Harris (Chiron’s mother Paula) nominated for Best Supporting Actress.

But these adroit artists also dare go beyond one dimensional portrayal of “hood” & hostility toward gays.  Layers of human empathy & support creep forth just like in real life—from most unexpected places—images revealing tenderness & caring do lie lodged in hardened urban crust—situations standard filmmakers never offer general viewers.

Mahershala Ali (Free State of Jones, Luke Cage) also from Oakland, plays Juan, a hardened dominant drug dealer whose products also service Chiron’s mom.  Juan knows all players & circumstances.  Inner reflections hint that Juan sees the bigger picture—the greater tragedy where institutional racism (& homophobia) boxes an entire people in, causing victims to monstrously devour one another—exacerbated by a domineering religion’s corrupted morality, strangling greater possibility on the human spectrum.

A gleam of guilt flickers—Juan’s better potential having been robbed itself—thus he takes battered underdog Chiron under his wing.  Juan’s girlfriend Teresa (recording artist Janelle Monáe; also Mary Jackson in Hidden Figures) lovingly accepts being big sister—offsetting Chiron’s self-consumed mother.


Mahershala Ali accepts the coveted Best Supporting Actor award for Moonlight’s role of Juan.

Ali marvelously enacted Juan’s internal process—undoubtedly adding weight to his un-dubious walk-off with the coveted Best Supporting Actor trophy.  And the rarity of a ghetto hardened grown male seen as a sensitive surrogate for a confused young homosexual boy I knew would be for some a difficult swallow.  A conversation later drove this home:

One social justice activist, an older white female, had trouble with that depiction.  It just didn’t “sit right” with her—somehow it seemed not plausible.  Even my experience outright lending the segment credence—adding the importance of such realities finally being showcased (broadening perspectives beyond exclusively depicted “hood” callousness)—didn’t budge her: those locked in “feelings” overriding the intrusion of humanity suddenly seen conceived in a Black slum thug.

It shows the glue power, especially of “racial stereotypes” fixed on a psyche—comfort with a narrow, diminishing perspective not being dislodged by inconceivable counter “truths”—and why our reversal campaigns must be huge & diligent.

Incidentally, Juan’s character was modeled on writer McCraney’s younger brother’s father; a figure who stepped-in to nurture & protect McCraney—just like Juan.

Again, I saw my family & neighborhood all over that screen.


Chiron (Aston Sanders) dreads leaving school, having to daily face an anti-gay mob.

Once in 1964 I witnessed my older nephew drawing vicious attack, reminiscent of Elizabeth Eckford’s in 1957’s Little Rock Nine.  We were movie buffs, I about 9-years-old & Larry about 15, off to the local park.  A flash-mob styled crowd slammed us out of nowhere corralling Larry, venom exploding squarely in his face & slashing at his heels—a hornet’s nest of angry Black youth unleashed torrents of feminine denigration—calling him “freak,” taunting with physical threats.

They were like Arkansas’ white schoolyard mob, rippling with unspoken “authority” to do so.  And like Eckford, with trembling head held high, Larry fought to ignore them—carful steps planted to find his destination.  Though shocked & stunned they ignored me.  After the movie they picked-up where leaving off—every step up to property’s end.  It explained why Larry only came & went out our “back” door.  I, a traumatized 9-year-old, cried privately when we got home, unable to comfort Larry—or even mention it.

In 1969 Larry received an “undesirable discharge” from the army.  The next year he walked out our backdoor & into an uncertain historical mystery—never to be seen or heard from by us again.


Viola Davis garnered the Best Supporting Actress award for Fences.

And of surrogates:

My loving, involved father offered opportunity to my peers whose father’s were nonexistent.  Growing older I did the same to fatherless nephews & nieces whose mother—my older sister—preferred self-absorbed recklessness & child neglect.  As Juan does for Chiron I took them to San Diego’s nature, entertainment & educational venues they’d never have experienced—most “hood” children never taste their own city’s renowned resources.

But a reverse twist finds many of these same family members celebrating their extreme homophobia—on a level of “worship”—the rift polarizing us impossible to bridge.

Hence a thing Moonlight doesn’t directly address is this:


Ezra Edelman accepts the Best Documentary Feature award won with Caroline Waterlow for O.J.: Made In America. He dedicated it to Nicole Brown Simpson, Ron Goldman and all U.S. victims of police violence and social injustice.

“Radicalized” Christianity commands standard Black worship—inhumane Protestant & Catholic ideology co-opting “hospitality”—permission given to suspend protecting the “downtrodden”—Afro psyches commanded to explosively render gay “visuals” taboo.  Basically the same religious “blueprint” white protocol uses when justifying brutal acts waged against Black lives.

Progress means this topic must eventually be hit head-on.  But Moonlight’s well depicted story truly implies what unspoken corrosive sources lie beneath.  And so many marvelously executed roles: Alex R. Hibbert, Aston Sanders & Trevante Rhodes as Chiron in phases leading to adult; Jaden Piner, Jharrel Jerome & André Holland as 3 stages of his friend Kevin.

Jenkins rightfully drew a Best Director nomination.

Moonlight flows, is beautifully filmed & well put together—hence wining nominations for Film Editing & Cinematography.  Keenly selected music tagging a knock-your-socks-off ending also slipped it into the Best Original Score category.


Moonlight’s Black, the adult Chiron (Trevante Rhodes at left) and grown Kevin (Andre Holland).

And the Academy’s “crown jewel”: Moonlight for “Best Picture!”

Unprecedented!  It’s the first ever for both an “African-American” director and an LGBTQ theme: both thought socially at odds but paired again—like Dr. King & Bayard Rustin—forging new progress ground.  Here’s one major testament to a project with a mere 5 million dollar budget—filmed in 4 months.  Unspoiled by an ironic, Oscar blunder for-the-ages—the incorrect envelope handed, initially bringing up the wrong recipients.

 12 Years A Slave was first to win in 2014, but for “Afro-British” director Steve McQueen.

Seven Black themed works received nominations (including Hidden Figures, Loving, 13th & I Am Not Your Negro) with three winning—Viola Davis also got Best Supporting Actress for Fences; O.J.: Made in America Best Documentary “feature.”

But for breaking Oscar ground & blazing thematic trails—the night belonged to Moonlight!


Slain man Amilcar’s vigil goes straight to SF DA George Gascón’s home!

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Trouble in Black Paradise follows the trail to motivate “justice!”


This past Wednesday, February 8th, the vigil for Amilcar Perez-Lopez amped it up!  Usually held weekly from 6-7pm at SF Mission District Police Station—where his killers still work—this time we went directly to DA George Gascón’s house.

February 26th will mark 2 years since Amilcar was murdered in Mission District, right outside his residence.  Locals know six shots cut him down fired by undercover cops Craig Tiffe & Eric Riboli.  Immensely problematic is the police report saying Amilcar lunged at them with a knife.

Locals here have seen autopsy reports clearly showing police falsified accounts.  Medical reality illustrates what’s more in line with Walter Scott, killed in South Carolina by Officer Michael T. Slager: Amilcar was shot in the back—one striking his head—fleeing for his life; justified by cops playing the “fear card.”  Slager in S. Carolina was charged with murder & is awaiting a second trial.


Organizer Father Richard Leslie Smith at right & Mark Scandrette listen during the “speak out.”  Scandrette heard the six shots that cut Amilcar down.  photo by Adilifu Fundi.

Under coalition pressure DA George Gascón finally said he’ll soon announce whether to charge Tiffe & Riboli with murder—but that was last year!  So I joined frustrated advocates taking our spiritual plea—through “speak outs,” song & prayer—directly to Gascón’s neighborhood.

Our entourage arrived to a dark, rain swept hillside.  Stately manors sat snuggly stacked—an eerily gracious welcome to all but abandoned high-end streets.  Enduring clouds still sent balmy comfort, clamping a pause on wind force & patiently withholding testy showers.  Then when a well rounded moon chanced to peek, her sky curtains shimmering “affirmation,” that chaperone glow lit something else casually waiting.


Protesters set a beacon for “justice” in SF DA Gascon’s neighborhood.  photo by Adilifu Fundi.

Half dozen cops on mopeds sat lined up by our intersection, seemingly ignoring us—quietly in conversation.  In this vacant, overwhelmingly lethargic scene it’s no coincidence.  “Others” monitor these Justice Coalition’s social media sites—& here they are!

All sped off single file in the opposite direction, passing an arriving police SUV that slowly cruised past us—toward where we headed—then vanished.  We weren’t engaged & the air remained peaceful, calm—again, strangely “receiving.”  We took it as that “glow’s” steeling affirmation, then carried on.


Dawn Noelle Smith Beutler up front with the red sign called for universal prayer.  photo by Adilifu Fundi.

At last week’s vigil in deeper conversation with organizer Father Richard he’d learned of my artistry facilitation & I agreed to share.  Some readers know of & have sampled a taste of my historic interactive workshops—utilizing call-&-response, a cappella song, dance & poetry in the African tradition.

I led us in chant, a caravan piercing suburbia’s desert half a block up to Gascón’s house…“No Justice, No Peace!” paving our steps…”Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round!” as a melodic beacon lighting our resolve.  Then a natural circle unfolded in fireside fashion on the sidewalk.


The “speak out” charges the circle at DA Gascon’s home.  photo by Adilifu Fundi.

Candles lit & signs perched everyone contributed to the hour-long moment in their own way; some silently reflecting & others speaking out.  Dawn Noelle Smith Beutler evoked the spirit of universal prayer—this excursion’s heart—calling to combine whatever internal manner of “force” that might be contributed.  Mark Scandrette was Amilcar’s neighbor & heard the six shots—as did others here.

Victim Alex Nieto’s relations & other coalitions sent their support.  Nieto’s sister spoke saying this was actually her first attended “street vigil”—or rally—previously only testifying in legal settings.  I peppered these greetings with chants where we could call victim’s individual names—declaring we’d tenaciously “bring them justice!”


Father Richard at right addresses the Vigil at the DA’s home.  photo by Adilifu Fundi.

Some spoke candidly of civic brutality targeting Black & Brown people; others revealed this was their own first attended street protest ever.  And a treat: Frisco 5 activist & rapper artist Equipto gave us fiery perceptive input—then graced us with a poem.

Riding the idea that fresh ways-&-means must constantly be infused in our unified tactics, focus concentrated on this: our divine spirituality motivating “evolutionary magnificence” to blaze within DA Gascón—compelling him to file murder charges against cops Tiffe, Riboli & all others who’ve murdered unarmed citizens.

And we would be back!


Frisco 5 activist & Bay Area rapper Equipto shared fiery inspiration.  photo by Adilifu Fundi.

As I lead our caravan back to the intersection…”We shall not be moved!”…we discovered a distant onlooker being prominently silent.  Across the street sat that SUV cop cruiser, dark—but definitely occupied.  And sure enough as we reached the corner the moped brigade magically reappeared—resetting formation where parked originally.

We slowly dispersed—a moonlit affirmation “glow” hanging on our brow.

Yes indeed!  Gascón we certainly would be back!


For info on Amilcar’s Vigil Group & how to help support his struggling family in Mexico click here.

Baron Davis & SF King Day address next 4 chilling years—but Ex NBA Warrior’s star misses room’s “huge elephant!”

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Trouble in Black Paradise arouses massive uncertainty in a sadly revisited American era.


I went to San Francisco’s 2017 Dr. King Day celebration riding the same wave I knew stirred through every other participant.  And a suspicion of mine absolutely hit the mark.  Crowd levels significantly swelled compared to a year ago, given the freshness of last November’s Tragedy Tuesday election.

I’d say at least 3 times that of 2016’s attendees walked in this year’s march.


SF Dr. King Day marchers head up 3rd street toward Yerba Buena Center.  photo by Fundi.

It helped that crystal clear skies set us in a warm niche, finagled between agitations in the Pacific incessantly lining up major storms.  Still-in-all one dark, unshakable “gargantuan cloud” loomed: the transfer of federal powers—which finally did arrive a mere 4 days later—had crept oh so dreadfully near.

On King Day high anxiety had gathered—like a thorough connector buzzing—the charge itself was emotion needlessly spoken.  It’s the same force linking a worldwide female statement, the post inaugural follow-up drawing massive crowds on the 21st—“visibility” loudly affirming our ties.

And thankfully local bonds Kicked-off our own fortifying for the next 4 years, due to Dr. King Day’s substantial “visibility” turnout—a validation calming such dreary tones: every age, ethnic range & standard religious branch brightened this annual road—stepping forth as Bay Area envoys for humanity’s stratum.

Clearly another bit of climate control operates here: San Francisco’s Interfaith Council strives to unify broad cultural, civic & religious sectors—they sponsor the annual event.


Deacon G.L. Hodge (facing the crowd) is the March focus leader.  photo by Fundi.

The full day’s theme was Justice in the Beloved Community.  Quite appropriate, especially given the high profile murders of unarmed citizens by local cops that cause constant fiery protests here—still failing to bring anything near the result of justice.

The concept itself is obviously prime national focus.  Justice has eternally eluded all America’s beleaguered underdogs, Blacks catching it the worse—the Black gay spectrum baring the heaviest brunt of all.  But what appears to draw blanks for civic officials—their interminably unsolvable conundrum—frontline activists see no mystery in an absolutely clear legacy:

Religiously “radicalized monsters” founded & set the governing “practices” (protocol) of the United States—its iron fisted grip pounding racial & class privilege, tied to administrative corruption, ruthlessly into the 21st century.

So what is spotlighted in this King Day arena under that “gargantuan cloud,” regarding SF’s & the nation’s ongoing monumental travesties of justice—on so many “solution” targeted levels—will be interesting indeed!

And there are many items to indulge: a Health & Wellness Festival; a Black Comix Arts Expo; film screenings & stage performances.

Then there’s the meat of the matter:

Discussion panels (on social issues, incidents, conditions, set-backs & progress—all related to “injustices”).  There’s showcasing the means to “personal” success seen thru individual’s projects, invested social groups & workplace institutions.  Here, fireside tradition gears for intimate dialogue interaction—opportunity crafted for the average citizen—mining the people most impacted to get “our” frontline solutions.



A crowd at least 3 times larger than last year’s floods toward Yerba Buena Center.  photo by Fundi.

But the kick-off march from SF’s Cal Train station to Yerba Buena Center, where the main stage immediately hosts the official Interfaith Council Commemoration, sets the entire tone—they are the day’s “ceremonial centerpiece”—gathering all then launching folks off to those hands-on forums.

The Council’s theme at this year’s service was Today’s Youth…Tomorrow’s Leaders.  Speakers would alternate between new generation (millennial) reps & their elder “links.”  It’s obviously a critical variable to raising the next wave of activists—rare but much needed movers-&-shakers who’d join those of us currently on multiple fronts—fighting for justice, equality & higher quality (in Dr. King’s spirit, “humane systemic change”).

Sadly the annual Freedom Train that leaves San Jose to hook-up with SF marchers almost ended last year.  Our route (actually chosen by Coretta Scott-King) marks the historic 1965 March from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, approximately the same 54 mile distance between our 2 cities.  Marchers pause at Lefty O’Doul Bridge by SF Giant’s AT&T Park, honoring the bloody incident at Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.


The March’s front flank leads the way.  photo by Fundi.

Ever dwindling ticket sales & sponsors were the culprit, said longtime organizer the King Association of Santa Clara Valley.  Ironically last year’s Train actually “sold out” because it was thought to be the last—a sad trend especially plaguing Black causes (discussed in a venue here that I’ll address later).

PG&E substantially stepped in to save it—being the last ceremonial Train of its kind in the U.S.—& thus made it the now “Celebration Train” that’s also now absolutely free of charge.  Needless to say this year’s Train was packed!

A surprise awaited me at the front of the march:

SF Mayor Ed Lee strolled clear as the day (flanked by a couple of “suits”) just behind Deacon G.L. Hodge (Interfaith Council Chair) who carried a “Make Love Known” sign—Hodge was the march’s focus lead & is MC on the Council Stage.  At Lee’s left (not seen below) was Mattie Scott, founder of San Francisco’s Healing 4 Our Families & Our Nation.  A few ranks behind Lee were a modest cluster of uniformed cops, “imaged” as if inadvertently marching—but a sight not fooling the well informed.


SF Mayor Ed Lee at right strolls at the front of the march.  photo by Fundi.

Bay Area locals know the deal:

Last year Lee was hounded out of every MLK Day activity leading up to Yerba Buena activities—by angry activists for the Mario Woods Coalition.  Woods had been literally assassinated by a squad of cops, captured on a highly damning video (yet one of many here downplayed by national media).

Lee got severe heat to fire then Chief Greg Suhr who justified the killing, then was castigated himself for backing the bogus report; activists demanded he also step down, thus Lee had come nowhere near the march—subsequently getting harassed off 2016’s Interfaith Stage itself, by relentless Woods reps.

Continued pressure soon got Suhr fired: a new “outsider” African-American chief, former LAPD deputy chief William Scott (a 27-year veteran) has been sworn in & a little cooling time has slipped past the last year (into the new).

Thus we see Lee now parading front & center—he soon spoke uninterrupted on 2017’s Council platform—his opening words “I am you, you are me”—drawing applause.


SF Mayor Ed Lee speaks on the Interfaith Council Stage with Assemblymember David Chiu pictured at left.  photo by Fundi.

Immediate questions rocked in my head:

Have so many forgotten that there is still so much nasty, horrendous, unfinished legal business here regarding unarmed citizens murdered by cops?  Forgotten the judicial stalling, official cover-ups, falsifying reports & withholding case related evidence?  Forgotten victim’s loved ones still left in the lurch seeking “justice?”  Forgotten that DA George Gascón has not charged a single cop?

Mattie Scott is one of 3 well deserved Council honorees on that stage.

I first covered Mattie’s work with George Jurand in 2010, as they’d cofounded the Healing Circle for the Soul Support Group.  The pioneer group established a critically needed “space” where shocked & traumatized survivors of the victims taken by violence, could themselves get communal support & legal assistance.

Outreach was made to newly disoriented folks (suddenly thrown into these families’ same dreaded “boat”).  In addition to healing forums the group staged rallies, lobbied City Hall, helped raise funeral funds, held press conferences, educated folks regarding legal matters—literally embracing those left behind to put their own shattered lives back together, while transforming them into informed warriors—new advocates now seeking justice for themselves & others.


Mattie Scott (at left) is presented an award by Rita R. Semel (the Council’s past chair) as  current chair Deacon G.L. Hodge looks on.  photo by Fundi.

And these survivors had folks murdered by both cops & “criminalized peers” in their own plagued hoods.  Scott receiving her award described the young man who killed her son, “as previously having eaten & socialized right under my own roof”—all the more heartbreaking.

The Interfaith kick-off stage continued its soul stirring lineup, punctuated by Rev. Amos Brown’s recap of his own legendary involvement (in 1962 being 1 of 8 students in Dr. King’s only taught class, at Atlanta’s Morehouse College).  But I sensed a change of “tone” from last year’s event.

The change would stand out in an after venue I attended titled: Grade A Social Justice.

NBA star & ex Warriors player Baron Davis was featured here; the most well known of 5 other more seasoned panelists—with a young “radio personality” moderator.  Grade A signifies their career titles: artist, academician, author, activist, & administrator…Davis


July 5th, 2010: Then SF Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi addresses a Healing Circle Support Group City Hall Press Conference, with then Supervisor Bevan Dufty at left, co founder George Jurand at rear, left & co founder Mattie Scott at far right.  photo by Fundi.

being the “athlete.”  He’s been quite socially involved post NBA, launching projects & the like, but his novice perspective (more locked in classic “white liberal” mode) would soon stand out—& be addressed.

Signs of the shifted “tone” leaped instantly with the moderator’s 1st question.  He asked, “Is justice still relevant today?”  I cringed.

Of course panelists politely gave their generically expected responses, but this was more like a 19th century white abolitionist discussion convincing a doubtful audience that something still needed to be done.  Eventually obvious building block solutions got touched upon: education, skills training, etc…

And some “class” issues related to internal conflicts especially sabotaging Black progress were listed: particularly Blacks wasting “trillions” of annual dollars on frivolousness—not investing in or “trusting” one another; & making a glamorized “celebrity aristocracy” our new “leaders” (most being conflicted, co-opted, detached & basically “sold out” to a white upper class—or glamorized street “thug” interests); mainstream media thus carefully choosing them (thugs included) as our spokespersons—similar to handpicked “status-quo” voices on TV’s The View.


The Grade A Social Justice Panel in the Yerba Buena Theater with the moderator at far left & Baron Davis at far right.  photo by Fundi.

But Davis lit up the final moments deeply criticizing Black Lives Matter.  Davis feels it’s taking the movement in the wrong direction; that protest marches are obsolete; that sitting to discuss at “the table” would be more effective; that Blacks becoming cops is the end all solution to police brutality in our “hoods.”

Most disturbing: Davis feels protestors blocking streets & freeways achieve nothing except alienating the public; that higher-ups (media, legislators, a white ruling class, etc…) will dismiss us, not inviting us to “the table”—due to their feeling insult.

Several co panelists bristled & the moderator leaped into fierce (but super contained) rebuttal mode—maybe not wanting to hurt Davis’ “feelings” here—but the elder academician said it best: Black youth out there reviving this “movement”—having to take extreme drastic action—shows how deeply “we failed them” by their having to begin where we ourselves “failed to advance.”

It flew right over Davis’ head & brings me to my original point: the “tone” has changed here.


Baron Davis expresses his dismay with Black Lives Matter to co members of the Grade A Justice Panel.  photo by Fundi.

The panel discussion I attended last year was with Elaine Brown, co founder of the Black Panther Party & Professor Melvin Newton of Oakland’s Merritt College (older brother of the late co founder Huey P. Newton).  It smoked right out of the gate!

They straightforwardly clarified the systemic source of our struggle—“white power protocol”; they acknowledged young leadership lives cut down & brave elders of the time (adding the critical work of predecessors) who risked—giving it all; itemized was the “system’s” endless variations of successful resistance to Human Rights progress—they offered the best approach to successfully thwart that “monstrous force” (which includes linking every “effective method” under the sun) by “any means necessary!”

At this year’s panel instead of stagnated liberal format (their academician’s ironic “note”) the young moderator himself should have blasted out with forward gusto!  For starters he could have noted that quite viable social blueprints already exist—crafted by King, Malcolm X & the like—then laid out unquestionable facts:


At right: Elaine Brown (Black Panther Party co founder) & Professor Melvin Newton (brother of the late Huey P. Newton) offer a no-holds-barred discussion at the 2016 Panel.  photo by Fundi.

Address the unadulterated “racial ceiling”; the issues of class; cultural self-sabotage; machismo sexist subordination of female leadership (a “glass ceiling” in the movement itself); the challenge of “enlightening” brainwashed masses (internal & outsiders); plus more.  Thus panelists have tangible substance to bite (bolstered by King’s & Malcolm’s much neglected blueprints) addressing historical insight & practical solutions—tasks the audience can immediately grab onto.

The elephant in the room screamed: absolutely being America’s Teflon tough “racial ceiling” & thorough “white protocol” systemic control.  And its heart wrenching wail still remained obscured.

Does Davis not know that every major U.S. city’s police departments have Black Officer’s Associations in them for a reason?  Davis must not have heard of retired LAPD Sergeant Cheryl Dorsey’s book: The Creation of a Manifesto, Black & Blue, or heard her numerous TV comments blistering entrenched national departmental racism—and severe retaliation against good cops who blow the whistle.  He must not know that just this month a decade’s long, multimillion dollar racial discrimination suit was settled against the CIA.

The young moderator never mentioned a true bombshell: that corrupted & fuzzy leadership—“radicalized” Christian religious & civic—is the primary derailing factor; or that U.S. Blacks have been absolutely “physically broken & religiously restructured” to support our corrupt system—well beyond slavery—more comfortable sabotaging ourselves.


One marcher’s largely expressed “sentiment” shows the same wave everyone rode at this event.  photo by Fundi.

The word “self-hatred” never blatantly crystallized.  And the concept of crafting a long overdue National Black Agenda (& overall Human Rights Agenda)—knowing the drive must be national—never hit mental airwaves.

Thankfully on national media platforms comedian/actor D.L. Hughley & rapper T.I. are artist standouts—excoriating Black celebs not only for indulging the “newly elect” (on his narrow, self-serving terms—“not theirs”) but for their monumental sell-out mentalities.  Check out Michael Eric Dyson’s fierce interview on New York’s The Breakfast Club slamming it right here!

This in screaming contrast to retired NBA celeb Charles Barkley (a chronic, guilt wracked “Afro apologist” appeasing chronic white guilt): in an NBA program that day he boasted proposing a strange notion & I quote, “Dr. King never talked about Black rights, he never singled anybody out, he talked about Human Rights & Civil Rights…”—this is Barkley’s boldface lie & fabricated mistruth!  It’s a sneaky way of trying to credit King (who soon rightfully & strategically included the broader Human Rights spectrum, dangerously addressing “foreign policy” & eventually the Viet Nam war) while still discrediting Black plight with a “backdoor” slap in the face!

For starters Barkley must not know that in the 1955-56 Montgomery Bus Boycott “Negroes” launched King to the forefront; he fought to end discrimination specifically targeting Blacks.  “Negroes” were relegated to sit in the back—while suffering untold other murderous injustices—not some generically targeted populace Blacks just happened to peek out of.



A picture of “regal tradition” this attendee listens intently during the Interfaith Service.  photo by Fundi.

Barkley’s “sell-out” styled comments wouldn’t be worth mentioning, were he not the white sports media elite’s poster boy for Black narratives—his voice propped to receive a broad platform.  In him is exemplified the most stunning & insidious example of Black “self-hatred.”

Davis (who appears deluded by co “athlete” Barkley’s over exposure) could use a good huddle with Hughley’s crew who’d tweak is “consciousness.”  Calling Black Lives Matter’s Civil Disobedience Acts negative & obsolete he must have missed the Interfaith Ceremony.  There, Patrick Dilworth (on behalf of Christian faith tradition) quoted from King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” (worth quoting in full here).  King says:

“I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate.  I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is…the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension…who constantly says: ‘I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action’; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a ‘more convenient season.’  Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.  Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.”  (All italics are mine).

Barkley, I do believe I read the word “Negro” (synonymous back then with Black, or Afro-American) “twice” in the excerpt quoted above.


Christine Pelosi, daughter of Nancy Pelosi (Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives) addresses the crowd.  photo by Fundi.

White supremacist legislators & civic leaders paid no attention as Jim Crow & brutal lynching crashed well into the 20th century—they didn’t have to.  Only when the comfortable system was brazenly disrupted (a complicit public “inconvenienced”) did they look—being “forced” to.  Governors were then “forced” to have us at the “table”—otherwise the invite would never have come.

Unfortunately, no audience participation at this year’s forum (the “fireside” kind of fizzling in these changing “tones”) but had there been, as a seasoned Elder I would have told Davis this:

We are not looking for “permission, acceptance, or invite!”  We’re not here to help heartless privilege “feel good.”  Equal opportunity & fair (humane) treatment under the law is our right!  And like the praised “American ideal” we do pull up our bootstraps demanding that rightfully claimed place at “the table,” against all odds—not begging & undaunted in the fight for justice!

Davis, before rushing off in a celebrity bubble (shaped by athletic machismo in his anxiousness to “lead”) needs to himself learn to humbly “follow”—trusting his elders & the actual voice of Dr. King—instead of conflicted, white liberal athlete mentality.

Yes, a tone has changed:


Marchers enter Yerba Buena Center for the Arts ready for a charge of spirit!  photo by Fundi.

Last year Mario Woods’ murder by cops (just the month before) had his coalition advocates firing up Dr. King day!  This year I saw no sign of them—or any of the other linked coalitions:

Justice 4 Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Alex Nieto, Idriss Stelley, Oscar Grant, Kenneth Harding, Jr., Derrick Gains, James “Nate” Greer, O’Shaine Evans, Jessica Nelson Williams…& so many more.

Last year was also the 50th anniversary of the Black Panther Party’s founding in Oakland.  The significance of progressive, radical “action”—seeking justice while aggressively initiating resourceful community “self-help”—permeated the air!

Maybe the same pesky “trend” that threatened the Freedom Train (pumped-up attendance only when thought to go extinct) & which greatly swelled this year’s attendance (terror from last November’s Election Tuesday) caused forgetfulness around our Blue Ribbon Panel’s horror—thus it upstaged unarmed citizens continuously being murdered by cops.  Chief Suhr fired & new chief Scott hired—hence Mayor Lee now marches & then speaks—undisturbed.


At last year’s 2016 Dr. King event members of the Justice 4 Mario Woods Coalition are right over my shoulder, harassing Mayor Lee off the Interfaith Service Stage before he can speak 2 sentences.  photo by Fundi.

I did not see new Chief William Scott in attendance here & there is still a movement to “recall” Lee.

I also did not see citizen advocacy group San Franciscan’s for Police Accountability.

But while covering Woods’ coalitions’ progress (& the rest) I’d often wondered if they had ever connected with Mattie Scott’s vital effort.  Both are key elements doing powerful work on the same healing & justice seeking chain.

Progress realized at this year’s (& every year’s) King Event would have organizers do this: canvass these ever growing coalition segments—that through their individual work enlighten the public—to set prominently on view as “soldiers in action for justice.”

I don’t know if the King Day leadership actually solicits groups, simply recycles them, or waits for new groups to come forth themselves.  Aaron Grizzell, Executive Director of the Northern California Dr. King Community Foundation did mention that he & producers brainstorm ideas for each event.

By right (& invaluable “practicality”) coalition’s like Justice 4 Jessica Nelson Williams & Mattie Scott’s should all be facilitating their own individual workshops here, centered around their cause—& not overlapping, or simultaneous—but in sequence; thus attendees could get detailed glimpses of victim’s personal lives, their deadly incidents, their family’s stories, who the culprits are & where the legal process now stands.

Coalitions could give clear, direct means of action for public participation in countless areas needed (scores of resource folks build & operate there—just waiting for new input); many volunteers now shouldering the weight risk becoming overwhelmed—physical & emotional burnout causing huge setbacks—as is to be expected.


Rev. Amos Brown speaks. Two gay politicos grace the stage: new SF Supervisor Jeff Sheehy (far left) & newly elect Senator Scott Wiener (unseen behind Brown).  No person addressed the crowd as “openly gay” & none of these politicians spoke.  photo by Fundi.

Speaking of fuzzy leadership:

As usual LGBTQ politicos were introduced on the Interfaith Stage: new Senator Scott Wiener & new Supervisor Jeff Sheehy (an AIDS activist & the 1st HIV-positive Board Member, replacing Wiener)—both drew applause.  But like previous years absolutely none spoke—& none were introduced as “openly gay.”

One Grade A panelist did mention LGBTQ folks in the overall Civil Rights stratum—another addressed a major issue: Black Lives Matter in the U.S. South showing extremist level homophobia—colonial religious machismo flaring its ugly head (an entire forum topic unto itself).

But no workshops on Black gays at the forefront of advancing the movement—like the incomparable Bayard Rustin, Lorraine Hansberry, Barbara Jordan, James Baldwin, et al.

No workshops either on Black Lives Damaged by our “radicalized” Black Church’s virulent homophobic history—or on rampant racism riddling the white gay mainstream (its segment being “economically & visibly” dominant)—or on Black gays being marginalized everywhere (viciously trapped in-between).


I’m soaking it all in at right, during the Interfaith Service on the Yerba Buena Esplanade.  photo by Fundi.

I, as an openly gay Black man at the forefront of groundbreaking leadership does know a thing: the fact that no Black gay groups were on hand—pushing for inclusion of our voice’s “presence”—means Bay Area Black gay organizing itself is “token” & in shambles!

In San Francisco it’s nonexistent.

Doubtlessly since gay “technical” presence here is based on white political standards these “leaders” accept just getting their “own props”—white liberal-like!  Settling comfortably into gay tokenism seems their “end game”—not rocking the boat (by sharing their own personal contributions towards overall liberation).  True inclusion would see them laying out what they expect here—on behalf of liberating (& involving) their constituents—the heart of which being absolutely gay!

I couldn’t imagine the late S.F. Supervisor Harvey Milk sitting on that stage ignoring the opportunity to address this crowd—proudly including SF’s impact on gay movements everywhere & solidifying LGBTQ Civil Rights position with colorful flair!

And at least I’ve not forgotten:

While still an SF Supervisor Scott Wiener vehemently backed the ruthless Police Officer’s Association (POA) Union every dastardly step of the way.  This powerful, big moneyed lobbying force came under fierce Blue Ribbon Panel fire & still derails their suggested dept. “reforms”—in the face of damning evidence (where murderous cops have falsified reports).  Wiener remains their boy.

San Francisco then rewarded Wiener—sending him off to represent us in the Senate.

The fact that SF’s enormous Inaugural Night City Hall Protest Rally had people marching 5,000 strong to hit the Mission—but  1st up to the Castro for a spontaneous rally (at


Inauguration Night 2017 when Protesters march 5,000 strong into The Castro District & rally at the Hibernia Beach Rainbow Intersection.  photo by Fundi.

Hibernia Beach’s infamous 18th street intersection)—shows the Gay Mecca is considered a significant “force” to include—and reckon with!

But added irony sees nuance in reverse: a predominantly white Gay Men’s Chorus does perform at this major Black based event—but no LGBTQ rep “addresses” it.

And an Interfaith Council promoting a spiritual base to root out injustice, but not addressing the white power system’s major tool—“radicalized” Christianity—relegates the Day to a “tea-&-crumpets” affair.  No one wants to address the Black Church’s disgraceful neglect nationally in our communities—& its pervasive calamitous effect—due to wholeheartedly embracing the master’s “radicalized” Christian brand.  It’s the reason Black Preachers are scarce to be found in Black Lives Matter marches.

The very same condition & its disconnect “effect” dogged Dr. King—as the thick of the


The view of Yerba Buena Gardens & Esplanade Stage (center, left)  from the Metreon, as the King Day event winds down.  photo by Fundi.

Black religious iceberg snubbed his brave Civil Rights organizing.  King lamented about it in speeches.

Black folk preferring “radicalized” Christian tenets over say, a Universalist Unitarian brand—where hospitality & Civil Rights advocacy shapes the forefront of their “creed”—shows glamour, rationalized hostility towards the downtrodden & a “saving me” mentality rules—not spiritual love for the oppressed “we.”

Hence the old abolitionist’s diamond saying: “You cannot dismantle the master’s house with the master’s tools.”

Tons of unfinished business—eternally polluting a unified drive—adds heavy drag that King Day producers shouldn’t overlook: unless it wishes to remain a mere “ritual.”

And given that infamous “trend” I raised earlier, known to plague (& shorten) the “shelf life” of Black causes, the event’s future could be as tenuous as a new Celebration Train’s.  Long-term survival here requires a constant infusion of new ideas, while building upon the foundation that’s been gathered—success cannot happen without “across the board” acceptance in “unity.”

Interestingly—though gripped by 2017 fear & uncertainty—much of the “unfinished business” has nothing to do with threats from you know who:

This ultimate businessman as incoming “elect” exploits disunity & exclusion—he didn’t “invent” it.

Rally pushing DA to charge “killer cops” slams San Francisco’s New Year with a call for justice!

Greetings charged-up readers!9781481707282_COVER_FQA.indd

Trouble in Black Paradise sees the call for justice rumbling right into 2017.


A rally on January 5th highlighted the murder of Amilcar Perez-Lopez, a young Mayan immigrant from Guatemala cut down with 6 bullets to the back by SF plainclothes officers.  The effort was tailored by a broad coalition—representatives of other citizens who expand a dreaded list of extremely damning, high profile killings by local cops.

Arriving at San Francisco’s Bryant St. Hall of Justice to a growing crowd some familiar faces quickly stood out—people I’d met all along the beat covering these conferences, protests & related legal battles.


SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi Kicks-off & hosts the rally. photo by Fundi.

It moves the heart expanding my familiarity with such beautiful folks under such tragic & sad circumstances.  Finding personal connection with people who are so invested in celebrating humanity’s treasure—who’d spring forth challenging systemic horror even to get justice for total strangers—plucks an obvious jewel out of utter madness.

Like me many are independent journalists, documentarians & just plain average citizens, contributing ourselves by giving these critical developments a voice to reach others—vital links to our own varied & personal audiences.

Today’s era of social struggle is so clearly seen pulsating right here (where so much of the country’s major civic achievements & “testing points” found footing); we’re active local movers-&-shakers—legendary as well as the suddenly galvanized common person—all lending interactively; something to both shape & receive resource access—calling anyone interested in actually making life-to-life connection with the we who are “involved.”


Benjamin Bac Sierra flanked by Elvira & Refugio Nieto (parents of slain Alex Nieto). photo by Fundi.

Karen Fleshman of San Franciscans for Police Accountability (SFPA) greeted me delightfully, as did Benjamin Bac Sierra with Elvira & Refugio Nieto—the parents of slain citizen Alex Nieto.  Father Richard Leslie Smith offered a warm embrace (I often join the 6-7pm Amilcar vigil he leads every Wed. at the Mission Dist. Police Station on 17th & Valencia St.).

Other relatives & advocates of those on that growing list welcomed me, including all who would soon address the gatherers.

Those coalition speakers were: Benjamin Bac Sierra (Alex Nieto); Luis Poot (Luis Gongora Pat); Phelicia Jones (Mario Woods); Denise Gasteulun (lawyer for Amilcar’s family); Father Richard Leslie Smith (Amilcar advocate & general organizer); Carlos Gutierrez (community activist) & the poet Ray (performance artist/activist).


Phelicia Jones of the Mario Woods Coalition says there are at least 18 open cases of police shootings dating back to 2013. photo by Fundi.

Shout-outs went to the families of these victims killed by local police: Idriss Stelley, Oscar Grant, Kenneth Harding, Jr., Derrick Gains, James “Nate” Greer, O’Shaine Evans, Jessica Nelson Williams…& others.

Clear blue winter skies rained warm sunshine to pierce the chill at high noon, slipping an obvious break for this rally in between wet, rigorous storms.  But for the victim’s families fighting to get legal justice for their murdered loved-ones—which includes access to “basic evidence” in these matters—the storm of legal resistance & denial never breaks.

It’s why we all were here.

SF District Attorney George Gascón claims he is finally close to deciding whether the cops who gunned down Amilcar will be charged.  Protester’s signs remind all that it had been 679 days since he was killed February, 26, 2015, hence the relentless demand that these cops & those who’ve taken other citizen’s lives “under extremely suspicious & disturbing circumstances” finally be indicted.

Whether found guilty or not at least having their day in court would be a basic victory for families & SF citizens—given California’s legal obstacles set in place that absolutely shield all cops, no matter how egregious or dastardly their behavior.

See a broader list of state legalities designed to shield abusive cops I’ve detailed in earlier blogs here.  But these are just some of the key gains mandatory legal procedure would set loose if there’s an actual indictment, which would inadvertently usurp that blockade:


Lawyer Denise Gasteulun with Luis Poot (cousin of slain Luis Gongora Pat) who also spoke. photo by Fundi.

In court evidence would have to be slipped out of that confinement & presented to the light of day for all to see.

Specific cops would have their accusations & history of attacks on innocent citizens made accessible on record.  It’s a vital tool to track patterns of abuse which will help in future cases brought against the same abusive cops.

Evidence shows that previously abusive cops are willingly hired by SFPD & are already abusing citizens here:

On June, 5th, 2012, Officer Joshua Cabillo (of separate jurisdiction South San Francisco) brutally detained then shot to death 15-year-old Derrick Gains there.  Now hired by SFPD a vicious Cabillo (with 2 other cops) severely beat & arrested 23-year-old Travis Hall South of Market St. on April, 10th, 2015—charges were immediately dropped.  Then on January, 30th, 2016, Cabillo aggressively attacked Deja Caldwell (severely traumatizing her) who had the audacity to be vocal about police brutality while protesting with dignity in the Mario Woods Coalition’s “peaceful” march on SF’s temporary Super Bowl City.

Cabillo remains on active duty on SF streets.


Father Richard Leslie Smith speaks of Amilcar’s family in Guatemala, whom the young man had worked hard to support from San Francisco. photo by Fundi.

Transparency will eliminate the opaque wall those cops use to hide their thuggish, murderous behavior: it could act as a stronger back-up deterrent if a cop’s need to be accountable is made prominent—laid bare for all to monitor & see.

SF Public Defender Jeff Adachi, hosting & leading the charge at this rally, wore a “Justice for Amilcar Perez-Lopez” T-shirt.  Adachi painted an appalling picture of DA Gascón’s gross double standards:

“Whenever a police officer is the alleged victim, the DA goes ballistic & charges every charge in the world with often little evidence.  But when it is a police officer who harms or kills someone, the DA charges the victim with the crime.”

“There has never, to my knowledge, ever been a case where a San Francisco police officer has been charged with a crime for shooting an unarmed civilian.”

“This is a situation which we cannot afford to forget, because that’s what they’re hoping is that this is gonna be forgotten about.”


Activist Carlos Gutierrez shares harrowing tales of being abrasively harassed & embarrassed by police, simply by just standing with friends on their own property. photo by Fundi.

Adachi noted a thing: police data shows 15 investigations into police-involved shootings are still open & cannot be closed until a decision regarding charges is made.  Three cases date back to 2014.  He also said we are getting no accountability from the DA, the Police Commission, the Office of Citizen’s Complaints (OCC), or any other civic agency.

And this key reminder: SF Penal Code 246.3 (Negligent Discharge of Firearms) allows for at least a minimum charge of “negligence”—if not murder—for officers Eric Riboli & Craig Tiffe (Amilcar’s killers who also still remain on duty, operating right out of Mission Dist. Station); added any other cops who with negligence “took the life of another human being.”

Adachi says, “Make no mistake. Murder charges, assault charges, firearm charges like that are filed against ordinary citizens each & every day!”


The activist/artist Ray (or Rey) gives a stirring performance. photo by Fundi.

We citizens want to know why with such flagrant evidence (also of exposed cop lies & cover-ups) no charges have been made.  DA Gascón why the double standard?  What’s the delay?

Citizens demand charges be brought against all murderous officers now!

We say DA Gascón do your job!


Broad press coverage of the rally. photo by Fundi.

Tweet yours or a version of the following to SF’s DA and include @GeorgeGascon and #AmilcarPerezLopez:


The @SFPD killed #AmilcarPerezLopez w/ 6 shots to the back. DA @GeorgeGascon charge them w/ murder! #GasconDoUrJob


@SFDAOffice @GeorgeGascon: Indict @SFPD Officers Eric Reboli & Craig Tiffe for murdering #AmilcarPerezLopez #6Shots2TheBack #GasconDoUrJob

Activist Richard Lusimbo fighting Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” visits SF—Sues white evangelical Scott Lively in U.S.

“…Christian-Europeans…had their eyes on the African prize…shortly therein…Islamic…9781481707282_COVER_FQA.inddSemite Arabs began their mass descent…enthralled as well…they whittled away at …African’s …traditional …values—co opting shortsighted, weak kings…”

“…Afro-American religious…just as disconnected from (and indifferent to) continued colonial pillaging of Africa—duplicating the stance held toward a U.S. Civil Rights involvement—should be lost on no one.”

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 2: A View From The Cradle Of Civilization, page 39; & Chapter 20: A Field Of Freshly Fueled Awakening Warriors, page 446.


Greetings heart filled readers!

Trouble in Black Paradise sees gays in Uganda under attack—& fighting for their lives.


Richard Lusimbo is fighting for his life & the lives of Uganda’s gay spectrum as their Civil Rights are under deadly fire.  An Anti-Homosexuality Act titled “Kill The Gays” was initiated in 2009, unleashing a murderous witch hunt.  The activist is on tour telling his story.

The event touchingly titled “From Uganda With Love” took place at San Francisco’s GLBT History Museum last Nov. 16th in the Castro.  Jeff Cotter’s Rainbow World Fund (Cotter addresses the event below) the National Center for Lesbian Rights & the History Museum were cosponsors.  A full crowd seen below awaited an update on Uganda’s disturbing situation.



I first covered this development in 2010 when Ugandan Bishop Christopher Senyonjo came to SF raising awareness & rallying support, sponsored by Integrity USA on a worldwide tour.  In appearances at two SF venues Bishop Senyonjo painted a horrendous picture of unfolding madness, where terrorizing harassment reminiscent of Blacks brutalized in the Jim Crow South was shattering LGBTQ lives.

Senyonjo (bottom right with me at SF’s African American Art & Culture Complex) was 78, retired & in Washington D.C. when Uganda’s proposed “Kill The Gays” bill exploded on the 2009 scene, but ended retirement & rushed home with his wife to join the battle.  Awaiting the Bishop the Episcopal Church revoked his pension for this decision & forbid him to preach in the Mother Sanctuary—leaving his situation tenuous & vulnerable.

We learned then that Caucasian right-winged evangelical preachers from the U.S.—led byimg_3345 Scott Lively—had set it all in motion.  For Lively the U.S. is now far too soft on persecuting gays, where he says Africa is perfectly ripe.  And many of them now spread this hate campaign to other African countries; atrocities already erupting elsewhere—white ministers heavily cashing-in.

Senyonjo is aligned with gay liberation group Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG).  SMUG leads a coalition of LGBTQ organizations offering social sanctuary, medical & legal assistance to victims of the witch hunt.

Lusimbo, 29, is SMUG’s research & documentations officer.  He’s also a chief witness in SMUG v. Lively.  Cleverly its legal team discovered a U.S. constitutional clause: the Alien Tort Statute allows foreigners to sue U.S. citizens for crimes against humanity committed on foreign soil.

See specifics about Lusimbo’s background & violent assaults on gays whom SMUG rallies support for right here (& the end of this blog article will have Senyonjo’s entire 2010 SF event republished from my then post, giving readers more thorough—& woefully disgusting—insight on these white missionary’s heinous tactics).

Coverage by U.S. corporate media of Uganda’s gay rights battleground is neglectful at best, so progress reports come far & in-between.  Peter Teague would interview Lusimbo (the more recent warrior in this vanguard) & I was anxious to get his fresh-eye view from Africa’s frontlines—a view that promised to be hard knocks personal.


Teague jumped right in evoking modern “gay circle” tradition—where one making a vital presentation to the community first shares their own “coming out” story.  Lusimbo’s response cut right to the shocking chase: “I never got to have a coming out story!” he was literally thrown into the fray in 2013 quite unexpectedly—a total novice at investigating his own homosexual conundrum.

“Coming out” in the somewhat ideal sense (such an awkward term here) was usurped: it’s where a person—after finally coming to grips with their own “gayness”—then faces the world’s response to their brave self-revelation, but at their own pace.  The “crushing-blow” styled public attack (known so well in America as being “outed”) is what set Lusimbo’s fate in motion.

Red Pepper, a sensational national magazine splashed his face on their front cover after he had cautiously attended his very first gay support meeting.

Such flurrying tumult set the grounds on which a then 26-year-old man had to simultaneously do the unthinkable:


Suddenly “own” his essential homosexuality (in the heat of suffocating revilement); figure out its “mystery” (or, legitimate relationship to human legacy); discover how likeminded folk “lived” (if they gathered, survived & flourished at home & in the greater world); then defiantly “protect” his own self-interest (joining others, dismissing anti gay friends & family while rejecting a dangerous government’s demands).

In 3 short years leading up to now Lusimbo did all that, plus became a major multifaceted organizer; he’s fled the country twice due to death threats & has bravely returned home to resume the resistance call.

Asked about the impact of being ostracized & how people under attack are fairing the answers were familiar.

Half of Lusimbo’s family & friends outright rejected him (childhood friends being most painful) but gaining so many more supportive kindred so unexpectedly has been astounding!  And to now be so absolutely “out,” not having to hide or pretend in such an adverse, unsure climate, is a liberation “gift” we in that room knew well—it’s indescribable!

But another Uganda citizen here with Lusimbo shared a striking contrast—not allowing obscurity on grim reality.  The young man’s major family & support loss rocked him deeply.  Fear remained highly palpable as he almost desperately asked to not be visually published—pleading repeatedly to remain anonymous (while still a warrior behind the scenes).

And something additional had a piercing presence here:


It’s always extraordinary to witness the depth of poise, dignity, humility, calm & sense of hospitality threading the demeanor of traditionalist Africans—even in the face of calamity.  Given the tenseness from such chilling subject matter Lusimbo’s disposition captured just that—tinged even, with a slight stately air.

It brought home the event’s title, “From Uganda With Love,” & most noticeably when this envoy was asked if LGBTQ citizen’s hopes remained high.  The answer even offered a bit of “reverse consolation” for our souls—the rawness of our wounds & assaulted feelings still fresh & laid so bare, pungent emotions searing psyches throughout the room.

Local activist Cleve Jones had spoken earlier describing the tone of today’s gay U.S. circles, his own shock & dismay vivid, unshakable, reeling from the previous week’s presidential election.  It caused Jones (seen below) to question his chosen political tactic—so effective in pioneer organizing days, wondering if the same would work today—being so unsure about exactly what could.


“Please know that the world has closely watched this event & feels just as wounded by the outcome as you do,” Lusimbo said.  “We are with you & know that this threatens us all!”  The soothing effect was immediate, his keen following of our events & knowledge of U.S. political players obvious—stroking me & the room; such irony when most here undoubtedly wouldn’t even know the words Yoweri Museveni—the president of Uganda’s name.

And about Africa’s battle & hope:

Lusimbo said, “If you in the U.S. have come this far only 47 years after the Stonewall riots, we are confident we can do the same.”  Signs in his country give gay citizens & advocates there encouragement: the “hate bill’s” death penalty was reduced to life in prison by the time Museveni signed it in 2014; plus the bill was soon struck down by the Constitutional Court of Uganda on a procedural matter.


And, SMUG has won the first legal round in the U.S. case of SMUG v. Lively.

I was glad to hear that Bishop Senyonjo is doing well & still in the fight, being about 85 now & a critical senior resource.  But in the brief, busy Q & A period no chance to know if progress means he’s recovered his stripped pension & Church status.

I did get to mention a critical piece in this equation, Senyonjo had clearly verified in 2010:

“Traditionalist” Ugandans (in the field) affirm that a clan’s or kingdom’s central spiritual leader was known as a “Two Spirit”—a homosexual priest—being profoundly revered shamans; the glue binding social survival & advancement “integrity” (launched out of humanity’s dawn).  Like elsewhere on earth sex & its stratum wasn’t an “issue” (shamed & under attack) until British, or European rule.

Lusimbo verified he knew this & that the more Westernized towns had lost the “ancient view.”  He told the story of when the shift happened, about the late 1800’s when Protestant, Catholic & Islamic treasure seekers viciously battled to wrest control of the country—winning over African leaders & citizens in religious “conversion therapy” campaigns.

Long story short Uganda’s King Kabaka Mwanga II (seen below) executed 23 Anglican & 22 Catholic converts (Afro leaders & citizens) having assassinated Anglican Bishop James Hannington (sent from England to shore up its “conversions”).  Christian powers had blatantly sowed internal descent (for an easy take-over).  They also disrupted homosexual traditions—ones the king had enjoyed.  Mwanga hoped to thwart both threats.


The result: religious outsider’s 3-way attack eventually conquered Uganda, leaving British Protestants on top, Swahili Islamists on the bottom & indigenous African religion all but eliminated.  Those executed converts were made Afro Christian martyrs—homosexuality demonized in the process—with African minds (& wealth) rerouted to support filling Europe’s coffers.

This same historical outcome all over the Motherland is what keeps her ripe for emotional & material plundering by Western interests (especially the U.S.) to this day.

One thing I didn’t get to bring up though, is our own post Stonewall challenges (& footholds we now evidently take for granted)—gays here (echoing Euro invaded Uganda & slowly advancing Afro-America) now seem to be stalling & stagnating—internally.

America’s gay people of color spectrum is still marginalized in the white gay mainstream; we still deal with cold stoic indifference & racist acts there (micro levels & blatant assaults racing right along); & U.S. gays lose the allegiance to homosexual “plight,” blindly mesmerized by straight movie entertainment & anti gay “pop culture.”

This room’s seats were full (as seen below) but in this spacey Castro facility there was tons of room where an anxious, concerned crowd should have overflowed!


A thing though is not lost on Uganda’s gay activists.  They are warriors!   Africa’s LGBTQ folks are in an all out “war” with the enemy: against white U.S. evangelicals; the government; society blindly joining the witch hunt; & families that would readily sacrifice gay lives for colonial European religious principles.

And these enemies blare brazen horns: Uganda’s legislators & white U.S. evangelicals vow to revive that bill & get it passed—fully enforced & more!

Again it’s a startling contrast to the tone now so pervasive in our country.  And here, I’ll make more tangible what Jones merely touched on above:

Although the same cadre of U.S. enemies trumpets their eternal war on America’s homosexuals innumerable white gays after our election totally fumble on the warrior front.  Convoluted social privilege has complacent whites crippled by the thought they are at “war.”

Absolutely stunned that blatant “racist,” anti gay friends & family so easily threw them under the political bus (people they “broke bread” with regardless) hardcore reality barges in.  Their so-called loved ones rocked them, fiercely choosing a disgraceful, distasteful President elect over them.  Then those hateful loved ones posture & cry foul themselves, still expecting a “proper” tea & crumpets approval of their in-your-face family bigotry—which these rejected gays (who had until then turned a blind eye) did teach them to morally “expect.”


For us veterans our being outright rejected by loved ones, when there was no progress cushion for our “openness,” confirmed we had to cut all pretense with them—painful as it was we couldn’t stomach that tasteless charade in our face; we wouldn’t be set-up for obvious future catastrophic let-downs—we forced folks to actually “walk-the-walk.”

For gay novices it’s a hard lesson that’s hopefully not too late to learn.

Importantly for gay Ugandans they now have key foothold items bolstering hope for long & short term progress—the kind that can’t easily be shaken off:

They’re getting a clearer knowledge of homosexuality & its special place in pre colonial human history; what it means (or looks like) to have viable gay community building in a now colonially ruled world; & most important: they are now connected to a global LGBTQ network (not isolated) that now “sees,” monitors & connects with them.

Because many African countries are now under the same profiteering religious attack SMUG’s legal groundwork could set a powerful precedent: white anti gay preachers hoping to exploit & cash in on vulnerable societies elsewhere, could be sued for their crimes against humanity.

I’ll have to wait for future connections (maybe Facebook) to follow-up with Lusimbo & co. (notably about avoiding America’s pitfalls).  And yet another hat he wears is documentarian.  A new film “And Still We Rise” is one I must see.  Not yet released the production highlights gay Uganda’s resilience, an effort I’d love to discuss with him—and review.

Lusimbo excitedly accepted my book Trouble In Black Paradise:


It’s my own LGBTQ based chronicle for posterity of history’s extraordinary, mostly unsung social revolution heroes & their remarkably common “blueprint”—threading an incredible cluster of events down from the dawn of human time.  The same “blueprint” motif shaped my consciousness in the fiery 1960’s & 70’s, demanding honesty about my own multiple conundrums; it launched me into pioneer work, joining others creating communities for numerous endangered underdog groups I shared—the cutting edge segment overlapping all my “camps” being the Black lesbian & gay spectrum.

My book’s central push absolutely discredits Black U.S. preacher’s Biblical justification to pummel homosexuals—in a rollicking historical ride—using the “blueprint’s” scholarly power.  For Ugandans & other country’s fledgling gay system builders—at obvious war with colonialism’s deadly “radicalized” Christians—accessing this “torch” of universal dsc00031Elders is essential.

Our explosively homophobic Black preachers say nothing about missionaries raining disaster all over Africa (let alone injustices at home) or our government’s material driven crimes against humanity there.  Being so clutched arm-in-arm with white imperialist, racist evangelicals crystallizes a thing: Black U.S. preachers make strange bedfellows reinforcing white power fanatics who wreak havoc at home—and pillage Afro ancestral lands abroad.

With such an international cloud ringing alarms over our heads, how marvelous to leave that event gaining unexpected hope…

“From Uganda With Love.”


Learn more about Rainbow World Fund here:

Make Uganda “gay support” donations thru RWF here:

All photos (at locales in both series) are by Fundi.

See Bishop Senyonjo’s 2010 San Francisco visit below.




Uganda Bishop Christopher Senyonjo’s May, 2010 San Francisco visit.

“…it would behoove Black Christians…to follow Dr. King’s and Bishop Senyonjo’s brave9781481707282_COVER_FQA.indd progressive example…truer benevolence attacked the practice of wasting and throwing away precious leadership…found within…Black lesbians and gays…”

Trouble In Black Paradise Chapter 20: A Field Of Freshly Fueled Awakening Warriors, page 446.


Author’s note: Starting in 2010 in my blog titled San Francisco Religion & Society I wrote about local stories & events over a 2 year period.  I covered Ugandan Bishop Senyonjo’s visit here in May of 2010 where he addressed audiences at the African American Art and Culture Complex & the Charles M. Holmes Campus of The Center (the LGBTQ Center) over 2 nights.  That entire series is reposted below, giving a far more detailed account of how Uganda’s Kill The Gays Act was initiated, the deplorable tactics used by white U.S. evangelicals to push it & the African legislators who back it.  Readers also get a glimpse of Uganda’s founding indigenous populaces, its foreign takeover by unscrupulous Christian & Islamic forces (constantly embroiled in bloody battles for absolute control) and a totally conquered Africa’s ruinous 20th century aftermath.

Parts 1-5 summarize intimate round table talks at the Culture Complex.  Parts 6-10 cover The Center’s event.



Undaunted bishop bravely opposing Uganda’s deadly anti gay bill visits San Francisco


Episcopal Bishop Christopher Senyonjo who openly defies life threatening persecution—undauntedly supporting Uganda’s LGBT citizens—is in San Francisco.  Last night a group gathered at the African American Art and Culture Complex in the historic Western Addition for an intimate communal welcoming reception.  Bishop Senyonjo (above center) is on a world-wind U.S. tour to bring much greater attention to the cause and raise critical pro-gay funds for Integrity USA.

Cosponsoring Senyonjo’s S.F. visit are the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition, the S.F. LGBT Community Center, Equality California and last night’s hosts.  Moderating tonight’s public forum (at the LGBT Center from 6:30-8:00 pm) is the Rev. Roland Stringfellow of the Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations.

Andrea Shorter (above at left) introduced Senyonjo to a more than enthusiastic Culture Complex gathering.  Small in stature but brimming with gargantuan life the 78 year old grandfather (trained in “humanist” marriage counseling) has been married for 30 years and had retired in 1998 after 24 years of Episcopal service. The bishop wasted no time in plunging into the matter.


Apparently Senyonjo had been in Washington DC six months when discovering Uganda’s proposed “Anti Homosexuality Bill 2009” and was instantly compelled to return home.  The bill calls for gays to be imprisoned for life with mandatory HIV testing attached—those declared “positive” would be put to death.  Senyonjo’s wife, fearful of his “gay inclusive” ministry, was initially against his stand; soon though, his compassionate plea won her courageous support.

Uganda’s Episcopal forces instantly attacked: the bishop lost his pension and was forbidden to preach in the main church.  It would not sway his momentum.  Senyonjo (img_3344below with Dr. Kenneth Monteiro) has received “emotional” support in the responding global outcry: although autonomous Uganda presides under Britain’s parliament—which condemns the bill; President Obama and Secretary Clinton also join worldwide condemnation.  Certain “outside sources” though, actually spawned this draconian law.

In 2009 US ministers representing The Family, an extreme “right winged” religious group consisting of congressmen, corporate leaders, etc…, converged upon a Ugandan conference and set their diabolical campaign into motion (Current TV’s Vanguard exposes this in its season opener “Missionaries Of Hate”  on May 26th at 8:00pm Pacific time).  Already historically pillaged and spiritually raped by Colonial Christian ideology (and still reeling in a corrupt dictatorship’s aftermath) Uganda was ripe for the “experiment.”

City congregants (being more deeply groomed by colonial forces than rural) instantly ran with the extreme holier-than-thou gay “hate-bait”—frenzied Christian mobs screamed that homosexuality had no African “roots!”

Senyonjo’s rural village interviews though, revealed the total opposite.

To be continued…


Pt. 2: Foreign culprits



An intimate group enthusiastically awaited Bishop Christopher Senyonjo’s communal styled reception in the Western Addition.  The African American Art and Culture Complex provided a colorful ethnic setting for this ambassador’s critical “mission”—representing an African Motherland ruthlessly targeted by ambitious white U.S. evangelicals.  Individuals could now make personal exchanges, receiving priceless one-on-one dialogue opportunities.  All got busy in a round table discussion.

Given the specifics of Uganda’s proposed “kill the gays” bill (laid out earlier) we learned that the country’s previous climate showed a far less urgency for LGBT citizens & advocates.  Senyonjo’s crucial point hit home immediately: extremist “right winged” U.S. evangelicals spearheaded this campaign and totally support consequences for “assumed” homosexuality—“life in prison and death.”

Led by religious provocateur Scott Lively two others had rushed to a March 2009 Kampala workshop to create a furor over what they called the “gay agenda”: Caleb Lee Brundidge (a professed “reformed” homosexual) and Exodus International’s Don Schmierer.  Their guise was keeping “cohesion” within the African family (after these white missionaries had gained the populace’s trust, ironically assisting communities devastated by AIDS).  Controversial pastor Rick Warren is another who has influentially “shaped policies” not only in Uganda, but Nigeria, Rwanda and Kenya as well—apparently though, he renounced Uganda’s “bill”img_3349 calling it “un-Christian.”

Ugandan Parliament member David Bahati ran with the “gay agenda” hate bait spewed in Kampala’s workshop, then went further: he submitted a private member’s bill actually toughening repercussions for gay support.  Local pastor Martin Ssempa (a former affiliate of Warren’s) scooped-up verbatim the outrageous fabrication of “gay dangers” (child recruitment, molestation, bestiality) then did the unspeakable.  In a fanatical act to inflame crowds Seempa actually played extremist, hardcore underground “gay porn” in his packed Sunday church service—women & children witnessing as well.

U.S. evangelicals admit that they are especially targeting Africa (and other Third World communities) because they are “losing ground” in the war against gays at home.   Africa is declared ripe for their “experiment.”  Militant Christian forerunners had definitely expected their European heirs to recognize Africa’s ripeness (following their centuries-old plundering of hearts, minds & riches).  And the impact transcending borders is immediate: an alleged “gay couple” was recently sentenced to 14 years hard labor in Malawi.

Africa is the seat of a revived U.S. McCarthyism: enraged mobs spill into the streets spewing condemnation; a spying climate intensifies as people merely accused of harboring—or being gay—suffer the same deadly risks; and panic causes vast refugee numbers to swell.

Critics also say this: the result of people being forced underground (where heterosexual HIV infections overwhelmingly dominate) will escalate monumental catastrophe.

Many Culture Complex attendees totally relate to how colonial devastation could make Africans so ripe for intellectual exploitation—like Afro-Americans the Motherland’s populace was broken and made totally “susceptible” because of losing their true history.

To be continued…


Pt. 3: “Unsung” historical truths


Rising Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa inflamed his agitated congregation with murderous sentiment towards its homosexual citizenry—he and his Anglican swayed masses accepted U.S. evangelical lies lock, stock and barrel.  Spearheaded by Scott Lively (and The Family USA) Puritan religious condemnation is sewn throughout continental Africa—it’s sprouted as Uganda’s deadly 2009 “Kill The Gays” bill.

Such is the message of Bishop Christopher Senyonjo while in San Francisco at the Culture Complex above, as an envoy of Integrity USA.  Senyonjo daringly defies the Anglican establishment’s stance; his counseling persists with giving LGBT clients a life saving, “God qualifying,” spiritual backing for their sexual nature—paying a heavy price as swift Church retribution take a huge toll.

Ssempa floods Kampala streets with blindly enraged mobs, screaming the message that Africa has no cultural history of providing a legitimate place for gays.  Senyonjo at SF’s African American Art and Culture Complex indicated antagonists may fabricate this theory in “the cities,” but conversations with the more independent tribal communities reveal a striking contrast.

Research strongly backs the answers Seyonjo (below with members of the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition) received from Uganda’s “traditional” img_3351outposts—being far less Anglican influenced.  Homosexuality historically did exist, was well known and definitely not persecuted—or made shameful.  Sex itself was not taboo & homosexuality was on par in the spectrum.  So, unlike in the West there was no distinction—or separation word—called “gay.”  Private is another relative word here, which also applies to many interpersonal aspects; and this aside from choosing selective “intimates” to share personal things.

Something key though also stands out here: “world evidence” shows that before Judeo Christians had thoroughly run over humanity, replacing indigenous edicts with perverse Puritan ideals, a tribal spiritual leader commonly had same sex partners themselves—people the French called a Berdache.

Traditionalists say it makes total sense that a “spiritual leader”—so representative of humanity’s tie with the profound (and severe) environment in which we live—would reflect a “duo gender” reality.  Shamans are a conduit for the “spirit world” with all the spectral possibilities therein.

Elder “spiritual trainers” watched for special signs that hint of a child’s inherent mission as a future healer: the child’s animated affinity for “cross dressing,” or preference for overall cross gender connection tops the list.  Spiritual graduates were powerful new mentors, with formidable abilities that often bested top warriors—as this specialized guide helped navigate intricate & complicated life.

And for some a shocker: “same sex” couples could be married, contradicting falsified “fundamentalist propaganda” about history.

Seyonjo agrees modern Uganda had long been ruthlessly made ripe.  Here, a glimpse of “colonial infiltration” in African antiquity does prove quite revealing.

To be continued…


Author’s note: Parts 4 & 5 give the reader an expanded view of Uganda’s ancient indigenous settlers, leading up to the arrival of Islamic & Christian forces.  We reach the mid 19th century setting where Buganda King Kabaka Mwanga II executed Anglican & Catholic African converts—who were eventually made Saints—illustrating what was also told to us recently by Richard Lusimbo.


Pt. 4: Ancient “Bantu” splendor


Anglican Ugandans angrily claim that homosexuality found no social reality within theirs, or any African nation’s history.  But Bishop Christopher Senyonjo at SF’s Culture Complex had a striking rebuff: interviews at more traditional—less Westernized outposts—blatantly contradict that asserted propaganda.

Round table attendees discussed Africa’s huge loss of historical knowledge along the ruthless colonial way—a common result afflicting Europe’s “conquered” prey (Black America sees the same massive loss).  Curiosity about Uganda’s early religious takeover stirred in the room.  A brief glimpse into her past before colonial arrival is revealing:

Uganda is situated in East Africa’s Great Lakes, or “Interlacustrine Region,” an area glakeshemmed in by natural land barriers which made it one of the last to receive European contact.  Entrance is easier through the south.  Other modern states there are Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

Today’s dominant “Bantu speaking” group (over a hundred unrelated societies inhabit this region) slipped up from the south at about 500-600 AD and now preside over multiple ethnicities.  Others though, predated their arrival: ancestral Pygmies still dot the areas of Southern Uganda, Rwanda (which also is Watutsi country) and Eastern Zaire (to the west); Khoisan territory ran from South Africa up to Ethiopia’s highlands (at the east); and tall Cushites roamed Ethiopia’s Great Rift.

Between 1000-1300 AD Bantu “Chwezi” kings had established multiple kingdoms (as “new” Islamic Arabs had begun plaguing Ethiopia from 700-1600 AD) and two major, special01pxsplendid dynastic kingdoms emerged: 1. Buganda; and 2. dominant Bunyoro—the formidable empire capable of absorbing the tall non Bantu Nilotic “Bito clan” (who overran from the Central North).  A king of Bunyoro is seen seated center in the photo at right.  At 1600 feisty Buganda wrested its own independence and by 1800—galvanizing a greatly expanded territory—she finally ruled.

In 1800 Buganda for the first time “ever” allowed outside trade: the proficient Swahili merchants (long inundated by Islam) sat spread across Kenya’s and Tanzania’s coasts; now Uganda’s ivory, gold and “slaves” (human spoils from  internal wars) left the interior, exchanged for guns, weapons, tools and cloths—coming from Islamic “Arabia.”  By 1850 Swahili agents are allowed their first stations “inside” Uganda’s border—this will soon prove to be a huge mistake.

Europe’s first arrival in the 1860’s found Britain bringing Protestant missionaries; Catholic France was hot on her heels—both starved for converted “souls” and their riches.  These explorers were astounded by the sophisticated “traditional” African magnificence they’d behold.  Immediately though, European revulsion about a social/spiritual custom provided Anglican justification for a much sought, ruthless, united future take-over: non-shameful “homosexual practices” among natives.

To be continued…



Pt. 5: A tragic Colonial finale 


San Francisco glimpsed an inspiring evolution—that which set retired Bishop Christopher Senyonjo (in his Anglican apprentice years) miles apart from the rest: fascinated by diverse humanity he took progressive “sexuality” courses during sabbaticals.

“Humanist” based training had apparently triggered an epiphany.  Senyonjo divinely rejected dangerous convention to believe the opposite: human sexuality’s spectrum—being homosexually inclusive—is humanity’s “gift from God.”

African American Art and Culture Complex attendees were stricken by another revelation.  Senyonjo’s rural talks with “traditional” Ugandans (less co-opted by the West) were fascinating: Homosexuality had existed un-attacked and in a “non-shameful” way.  Here, further exploring Uganda’s settlement history and its final social outcome brings eye-opening tidbits—putting Senyonjo’s rural interviews in greater perspective:

By the 1850’s Buganda’s “Kabaka” (king) Mutessa I had also allowed the 1st Christian mwangas-pages-with-bishop-livinhac(Protestant and Catholic) missionaries in, who quickly set-up competitive camps against the Muslims.  Blinded African nobles altruistically led thousands of Africans into “Christian conversions,” conducted at right by a member of the White Fathers (to offset growing Islamic power)—her second major mistake.  Two violently adversarial “foreign religious parties” now dominate: the Protestant “Inglesa” and Catholic “Fransa”; a small Islamic (Swahili) group that 50 years earlier established foreign trade had now gotten bullied to the peripheral—but still nervously monitors.

Colonial Christians (gaining an upper hand) and shocked at what “they” called abomination—Africa’s spiritualized homosexual “relations”—religiously justified the “Interlacustrine’s” now predictable outcome: total conquering that leads to environmental plundering, European enslavement policies and repackaging minds for malicious “ideological” transformation.

16-year-old Kabaka Mwanga II (in the photo’s forefront below) succeeded his father in 1884, shocking foreign enterprise by being a staunch African “traditionalist”—hostile to outsider interests.  But by this time local and neighboring African nobility was now outright undemocratically Christian and the African elder’s democratic “checks and balances” council was disarmed—ruinous policy was being handily “steered” by European interests; Protestant and Catholic img_0552“parties” again temporarily set-aside murderous differences to insure the “Islamic” toehold remained impotent.

With “vision” (that eluded gullible neighboring Kings) Mwanga sought to thwart and dismantle foreign gains: he executed 45 Christians deemed as spies (Anglican and Catholic) after assassinating Bishop James Hannington (who Britain had sent to bolster its interests).  Shortly therein the 3 foreign competitors joined forces and successfully ousted Mwanga.  A subsequent Muslim coup then put Islam back on top.

Soon Germany (announcing bold claim on East Africa) audaciously hammers an 1890 accord dividing African territory with Britain: she receives Rwanda, Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and Burundi; Britain desires Kenya, Zanzibar and her ultimate “prize” Buganda—all of course without “indigenous” input.

Britain works feverously to bring Buganda under its (parliamentary) protectorate and in the 1890’s gets a dastardly chance.  Mwanga enlists British might to subordinate still powerful Bunyoro—a desperate last ditch attempt to restore his power (and salvage African rule).  Bunyoro is smashed (while Islam is again ousted) and Mwanga regains his “position.”  Powerful Britain actually rules though—renaming the acquired area “Uganda”: the Kabaka is now reduced to being just an autonomous constitutional “monarch”—two thirds of the country though, still rejected Bugandan authority.

Mwanga secretly plots galvanizing the country’s resistance groups—he gains temporarybuganda-mutesa%20ii victory—but Britain’s interests now hold the dominant forces and soon permanently topple him.  In 1899 he was exiled to the British Seychelles Islands and broken (baptized by Anglicans and renamed “Daniel”).  Mwanga died in 1903 at the ripe age of 35.

From 1900 up to the 1960’s (under one Kabaka “puppet” after another) natives slowly “saw thin light”—discontent with Britain escalated as subordinated factions had never ceased unrest (disgruntled and jealous of Buganda’s gained favoritism).

Uganda’s 1963 independence saw a technical shift back to a long awaited self-governing, but with mostly “unaltered dynamics:” a new Black president stripped and exiled Kabaka Mutesa II (seen at right)—all while vicious Protestant/Catholic wars remained intact.  A tragic finale shaped by the still domineering colonial era unleashed treacherous results—in 1971 the likes of notorious dictator Idi Amin could now leap into global daylight.

To be continued…




Pt. 6: Missionaries of hate


The Charles M. Holmes Campus of San Francisco’s LGBT Center (in photos above and below) hosted a second gathering for Uganda’s embattled Bishop Christopher Senyonjo.  After a brief stint at City Hall where Supervisors delivered a proclamation for his selfless humanitarian work (highlighting risky opposition to Uganda’s “Kill The Gays” bill) he arrived to the applause of a robust crowd seen above.

Timing for this event offered subtle irony.  A one hour documentary exposé about the bill (and the U.S. missionaries who sparked it) was primed for a May 26th national TV debut.  Mariana van Zeller of Current TV’s “Vanguard” took a crew into Uganda’s social/religious battleground for interviews—this is the same outlet cofounded by Al Gore which was spotlighted with the arrest of Laura Ling and Euna Lee by North Korean forces.

The disturbing result is a powerful piece titled, “Missionaries of Hate.”  Senyonjo is not in the feature, but his vibrant S.F. presence and insightful candor gives the television report a palpable dimensional texture.

“Long Johns” (a local guide) assists van Zeller with random public interviews and reactions are overwhelmingly similar: they say homosexuals should be violently murdered.  None though, sense this guide’s ultimate “discretion”—he is gay himself.


Privately he is jolted by the deadly climate; later, his own tales become revealing.

Reporter van Zeller attends and records the services of a major culprit behind this bill, Pastor Martin Ssempa.  With bloodthirsty zest Ssempa literally spearheads its passage, inspiring Parliament member David Bahati to author it.  Viewing Ssempa’s inflammatory anti gay tactics in church explains exactly why urban attendees adopt explosive “lynch mob” mentalities.

During services (women and children fully present) we see Ssempa actually flooding congregations with aired “hard core” subterranean homosexual porn, emphasizing “oral sexual” variations—which he (as if in a sexually self-gratifying trance) meticulously details with his own “self-scripted” narration.  Preached is the notion that “all” gay men and women uniformly indulge extremist sexual practices.  And he compounds this with another vile accusation: recruiting children to become personal gay sex slaves.

In this documentary we see a church’s response that is predictable: gags and guffaws ripple across the crowd.  Ssempa then punctuates his sermons with an idea that homosexuality has no African origin—“it is a construct of the West” he pontificates, blaming its modern presence on wealthy Swedish and American tourists—alleging that African children are targeted by them.

A beleaguered LGBT group says previous anti gay laws existed, but were far less vicious.  They say a totally different Western incursion set Uganda’s family destruction in motion—rigorous campaigns from wealthy U.S. anti gay “missionaries.”

To be continued…




Pt. 7: Religious mega profiteers


At the opening of “Missionaries of Hate” antagonistic pastor Martin Ssempa (literally the “face” of Uganda’s anti gay movement) rains virulent, anti homosexual propaganda down upon the masses.  A packed crowd reminiscent of many fundamentalist Black American congregations, hoops and wails their fervent support.  Uganda (as seen in Pt. 5 above) was made ripe for colonial Christian conquest and “mental” ravaging by insidious 19th century campaigns.

Immediately we see how devious modern U.S. evangelicals mine this set-up (they’ve inherited from ruthless white Christian forbearers) with astronomical financial reaping: Joel Olsteen and Joyce Meyers (the latter with practically nonstop television airing) have bestselling books; Rick Warren (Ssempa’s former “mentor”) is the most popular—his books are handed out in churches; and Californian Benny Hinn sells out stadiums at fifty dollars a pop—more than the average Ugandan’s monthly wage.

Many address a troubling trend here: foreign pillagers are mostly aggressive U.S. “right winged” Caucasians.  And of the three evangelicals attending the 2009 conference (along with a so-called therapeutically converted homosexual) one conveniently appears to beimg_3378 African-American.

At S.F.’s LGBT Center pro gay Bishop Senyonjo (offering sentiments in the top photo and interviewed by Rev. Roland Stringfellow above) perfectly echoed those of SMUG Sexual Minorities Uganda in the film: “Ugandans look up to powerful American personas…they are believed”; throngs in the African populace are seen parading U.S. apparel labeled with corporate, sports and metropolitan American symbols.  Constant harassment and vandalism has forced SMUG to frequently change locations—fearing for their lives they are constantly on the move.

Long Johns (reporter Mariana van Zeller’s guide) sees neighborhood pressures escalating and laments that for years he tearfully prayed for God to “shake that feeling.”  Eventually he finally accepted a painful “epiphany”: God’s blessing specifically made him “who he is”; condemnation comes from people pushing corrupted religious “ideology”—not God.  Still, informants got him arrested which cost hundreds of dollars for bail.

U.S. missionaries aren’t the only ones capitalizing on this campaign: Ssempa notably is Uganda’s “rising star” and has skyrocketed to celebrity status.

In light of the “Kill The Gays” bill most foreign evangelicals have somewhat distanced themselves; Ssempa’s own mentor Rick Warren was pushed to respond and finally renounced it—causing their rift. Angrily accusing the U.S. right wing of suddenly “caving in” to liberal pro gay pressures Ssempa now calls them “wimpy and flaky.”

Others though, defy the distancing stance: California’s Lou Engle (a major Prop. 8 advocate) starred at a recent Ugandan “pro bill” rally; and Scott Lively’s “extremist rationale” of course leads the charge.

To be continued…




Pt. 8: New despotic “stars”


Early history reveals that Uganda’s modern upheaval explodes in the wake of methodical Western encroachment.  19th century African royalty blindly trusted Europe’s colonial conquering machine.  The populace fell prey to ruthless Christian “conversion therapies,” then watched her nation collapse under a British protectorate—all while a conspiring West totally divvyed up African “bodies” and lands.

Still reeling from the chaos hurling out a line-up of socially ruinous despots (fashioning themselves upon imperialist thug role models) Uganda now seeks to impress: she presents a “makeover” image to the world—one of a nation bent on polishing up its brutal path with humanitarian reforms.  More “interests” being properly convinced has significantly puffed the economy—a full 3rd now comes from “foreign aid.”

Current President Yoweri Museveni’s platform—once associated with a new generation of African leaders—is credited with kick-starting a human rights reformist air, reviving the appeal to reengage from foreign backers of democracy.  But a nasty item now rearing its head (among many) causes those same interests to highly question Museveni’s portrayal as a reformist: his support for Uganda’s notorious “Kill The Gays” bill.img_3386

At S.F.’s LGBT Center Bishop Senyonjo at the mic in the photo above (next to Stringfellow) addressed direct inquiries about disturbing points made in the documentary “Missionaries of Hate”: U.S. evangelicals mine Uganda’s emotionally primed state to make more than a “financial killing.”  To do so these imported campaigners spawned a murderous bill bent on attacking homosexuals—now modern targets for a religious inquisition’s “conversion therapies.”

Foreign “zealots” aren’t the only ones capitalizing here: Anglican pastor Ssempa rallies maniacal anti gay fervor—literally skyrocketing himself to a lucrative celebrity status; and parliamentarian David Bahati who rushed to craft the bill (his very first) was a previously unknown “novice”—but is now a social/political “star.”  Both ironically echo a still frighteningly fresh tradition, threatening to unravel Uganda’s “sanitized” image—that of bloodthirsty despots.

Museveni has feigned distancing himself from the bill, undoubtedly to preserve “foreign aid,” but has said he believes Uganda’s homosexuality has “Western influence.”  Officials (who may be caving to pressure) could change the death penalty to “life in prison.”  Ssempa though, decrys any bill modifications; he blames U.S. billionaire George Soros and Swedish “tourist” money for gay recruitment.  Highly irate Sweden (also a massive Ugandan “economic” contributor) now threatens to pullout.

Not all U.S. evangelicals display distance: Scott Lively expectantly calls Ssempa a “good man.”  Lively gloats about Uganda being absolutely “ripe,” saying it’s now “more Christian than America.”  Asked by Marianna van Zeller if he supported the bill Lively paused, then stuttered: he’s against the death penalty—but called the bill a “lesser of two evils.”

To be continued…




Pt. 9: Peril waiting at home



Bishop Christopher Senyonjo’s whirlwind trip brought local human rights activism a shot of inspiration. Supportive attendees at S.F.’s LGBT Center found weary spirits brightened just a bit—the soaring demeanor of this one warrior defiantly holds his sacred ground—staring down the “Kill The Gays” bill.

What’s being rebuffed is a system that’s been historically ruthless and yet is now so willing (and with such ease) to slip back into grossly barbaric habits: carrying out brazen wide scale “genocidal” onslaughts.  This time though, blind rampaging fury is fed by the religious anti gay fanaticism of U.S. evangelicals—who happen to be predominantly white.

Rev. Roland Stringfellow (director of the Bay Area Coalition of Welcoming Congregations)img_3396 held an enlightening conversation seen above with Senyonjo at the Center’s event.  A sobering reality lit the room with Stringfellow’s dire concern: the bishop faces an uncertain future when returning to Uganda—imprisonment and “life threatening” circumstances loom with frightening possibility.

Uganda’s ominous social climate is driven by McCarthy-like operations: Red Pepper tabloid sadistically “outs” individuals (publishing their names, photos and resident addresses); and Parliament members seem to be jockeying to skyrocket their own individual status (maybe they can be that hate movement’s new bastion of morality enforcement).  Here, shameless legislators (with eyes on the “rock star” prize) give Holy Roller like testament to a shocker: if their own children “came out” gay they would personally flick the execution switch (or hand down prison life sentences) themselves.

A doggedly adversarial Ssempa keeps hate emotions raw, constantly featuring (on parade) a so-called female “victim”: in “Missionaries of Hate” he claims that at age 16 she was “snared” with Western based money and gifts by lesbian recruiters.  Pro gay institutions wryly say they would love to find these alleged “sponsors” (beleaguered gay centers are desperately in need of these imaginary “gifts”) as critical donations from anxious Western sources somehow continue to elude them.

Stringfellow kept his finger on what was on everyone’s mind: if Senyonjo was worried and still planning to literally go back, striding toward the prosecutorial demon’s mouth.  The 78-year-old retired Senyonjo, sitting back in a peaceful repose, gracefully smiled and simply said—“yes.”img_3343

The previous night during the Culture Complex roundtable activist Bill Doggett raised a curious situation.  Doggett noticed that only two S.F. venues had provided “stages” to promote Uganda’s critical plight; he noted that the Bay Area has a multitude of “human rights” oriented enclaves, “gay based” groups and especially Protestant African-American congregations.  Senyonjo was asked whether sponsorships by them would have been desirable.

Again, the bishop simply said “yes” with a humble smile.

To be continued…





Conclusion: Afro-American silence


The Bay Area is a reputed hotbed of cultural activism and human rights enclaves, launching the very events that tested the veracity of a national treasure called free speech.  Integrity U.S.A. launched Bishop Senyonjo on a whirlwind “global” trip—he bravely risks life (and livelihood) to sound the alarm about Uganda’s pending legislation.  Locally though, only two venues provided platforms to bring constituents “face to face” with looming African genocide.

Three groups sponsored the local forums: Equality California, the Bayard Rustin LGBT Coalition and S.F.’s LGBT Center.  Bill Doggett’s inquiry was confirmed: Senyonjo would love to have had a much broader pool of venues on his local itinerary.

The East Bay is especially rife with Afro-American religious bases and multicultural social clubs—both hetero and gay.  Whether Senyonjo’s limited engagements resulted from rejected solicitations or lack of awareness about potential hosts was not revealed.  At a glance one thing seems for certain: our national Black media outlet and Afro Christian institutional silence around white evangelical greed and terror crashing in on Uganda remains “deafening.”

Other American Christian groups have coalesced to sign a statement condemning the “Kill The Gays” bill, co organized by Faith in Public Life and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good.  Signers do include “social justice” ministers Jim Wallis (of Sojourners) and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez (of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference)—but no mention though, of a national Black Protestant coalition (or the heralded Bishop T.D. Jakes who has publicly derided gays) being on the list.


Critics say this is no surprise:

While disenfranchised Third World societies supposedly favor adopting America’s moral compass ideal—“democratic humanitarian action”—a seemingly sedate Black Church at home only wavers.  Here, soaring irony shows Afro-Americans sharing Uganda’s same end result: spirits and minds being utterly broken by white colonial religious forces—where Black allegiance to African legacy (at home and abroad) is shattered.

It’s why Black preachers fail to aggressively reproach the lineage of colonial Western transgressions—instead, their staunch allegiance is to barbarous, archaic, European social/religious dogma.  Hence Black Americans have also turned a blind eye to this string of tragic events: the Tutsi/Hutu genocide (also Uganda related); Arab induced massacres in Darfur; West African diamond mine “killing fields”; the absolutely lagging response to “Apartheid”; etc…

Few expect a concerted outcry from these same Blacks (who still languish silently while “religious zealots” assassinate President Obama’s character) regarding this added dastardly item: the lucrative “right wing” white evangelical industry (whose opportunists img_3374pillage souls all across the African Diaspora).

And some speculate a maniacal pastor Ssempa may revise his attack “direction” when he admits this: sheer numbers have innumerably more heterosexuals engaged in extremist underground sex practices and recorded in those “sexual videos” (he so publicly details) than gays—AIDS itself in Africa has stricken predominantly heterosexuals.

Many wonder if he’ll then murderously strong-arm the entire hetero populace with Anglican justification—unabashedly having followed (and revived) a familiar line:

“Stars” dazzled by the hunger for despotic insanity.

Shout-out to Baton Rouge! Killer cops “terrorize to paralyze”—but like SF can “galvanize.”

“My father hated Southern Baptist preachers…there was not one Baptist preacher known to him that he trusted…The situation troubled my dad monumentally because he was a deeply religious man.”

“The Biblical curse of Ham propelled and solidified the 17th Century foundation for white supremacist theology in the New World…A proficiently organized Atlantic slave trade rode valiantly atop this philosophical momentum all the way to the bank.”9781481707282_COVER_FQA.indd

“[David] Walker…to prepare himself for the monumental task of…attacking America’s extremist slavery…knew…it would be vital to understand…the…history of the world at large—he also knew…that ancient Egyptians were Black…”

“Negro preachers…show no interest in publicly discussing—or acknowledging—the… [Dead Sea] scrolls (let alone other important global findings.)”

Trouble In Black Paradise Introduction: page XV; Chapter 13: All Paths Lead To The Original “Eve,” page 267; Chapter 12: Impudent Moralizers, Ill-conceived Mavericks And Glorified “Legal Setbacks,” page 255; & Chapter 3: Unexplained Phenomenon And Milestone Discoveries In The Modern World, page 65.


Greetings heart filled readers!

Trouble in Black Paradise sees bitter struggle—where brutal “cop culture” terrorizes social change.


In San Francisco (& the Bay Area) names swelling the list of those murdered by police are:

Idriss Stelley, Oscar Grant, Kenneth Harding, Jr., Derrick Gains, James “Nate” Greer, O’Shaine Evans, Amilcar Perez-Lopez, Luis Gongora Pat, Alex Nieto, Mario Woods, Jessica 1108857666-civil-rights-investigation-underway-in-baton-rouge-laNelson Williams…

In Baton Rouge last July 5th 2 cops shook the nation murdering this man: Alton Sterling (at left).

Out here San Francisco’s Blue Ribbon Panel gave a damning recent report—offering 72 findings & 84 recommendations to reform our PD—then we got yet another.  The Oct. 12th Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) report followed suit: 94 findings & over 200 recommendations being made.

Both reports (the Panel’s forum seen at right on Sept. 24) determined the SF Police Officer’s Union vigorously blocks reform.100_2384a

But an odd thing gives me concern.  In Baton Rouge I believe far more scandals, brutality cases & murders by police stay locked under the radar.

The question is, why the huge blackout?

Baton Rouge is the base of my mother’s family line, so it rings home to me.  I’m the first California born (my parents met out here in So. Cal); our lineage had converged in the West from both Louisiana & Texas (& I’ve now lived in San Francisco for 25 years).

Relatives seeking big change & opportunity from Southern racial horror (angry about stagnant Black leadership) had plopped into a major tributary of America’s Great Black Migration.

So when Sterling’s murder on video hit airwaves, adding Baton Rouge to the growing list, it grabbed me.  My 40 years of fieldwork guaranteed this battle would be uphill—& on many tricky “fronts.” 11007417_g

I was certain of something else: a warrior there dear to my heart would launch into the thick of organizing things.  He’s my nephew, the Rev. Reginald Pitcher, Sr. (above).

True to form Rev. Pitcher did leap into the fray—organizing mode in tow.  He knew Baton Rouge’s shocked, horrified public would react “impulsively”—like every stricken city: folks angrily take to the streets; corner protests & marches erupt; spontaneous rallies vent outrage & frustration; civil disobedience blocks roads & public entrances (much done by uncoordinated, roving “bands”).

First response syndrome is particularly explosive—it rolls out a phenomenon.  I call it the delicate & volatile 1st major “front.”5ea34428-940c-492a-b693-f2e8269cc4b2

It is media that triggers the 2nd major “front”—simply in their converging “shark frenzy”:

Instant soapbox interviews push random speakers (in the “flurry”) to quickly state the case—many still shuddering in “ground zero’s” tragic shadow.  Media “frenzy” shuns sober appraisal & stalks raw emotion—hungering for protest “rage.”  But “Sharks” have no appetite for corroborating an obvious fact: that age-old civic racism makes Blacks disposable in murderous cop “culture.”

Then the 3rd major “front” hits—the most important & difficult of all.  Raw emotion explodes in people feeling unrepresented—their havoc looms with each new sunset.  Leaders get their mettle tested—where wild forces rip at one end & apathy bogs-down at the other.  Humanity rushes to do this:

Organize & orchestrate healthy, multi pronged “strategies”; mobilize coalition resources; educate & train “foot soldiers” (in consciousness campaigns); set “lead & assist” positions 44483291001_5030262165001_5030234897001-vsthat guide & synchronize action units; prepare for physical & emotional “burnout”; and more…

In essence an “operation central” HQ with multiple satellite stations is activated—fighting to harness fresh momentum while digging-in for the long haul—all in the slowly settling dust of terrifying reality.

Of course this is a sweet dream response to social horror.  It’s a tall order—even for a local San Francisco scene with its lively history of organizing “progressives”—let alone those not noted for putting “radical activism” on the map.

Rev. Pitcher & a show of leadership lined up at Sterling’s murder site in a Baton Rouge press conference, angrily outlining local miscarriages of justice—much of which I’d previously never heard (racist, sexist, homophobic cop emails may have surfaced there as well).  And when the 2 murdering cops as expected were declared justified Rev. Pitcher leaped into progressive mode.

As President of the local Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) he spearheaded a makeshift boycott—targeting businesses that support the bigoted & politically 361de69500000578-0-image-a-54_1468118074256influential Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce.  National media saw civic officials get the shock of their lives:

An entire mall was shut-down over a weekend—a powerfully successful boycott test.  Rev. Pitcher prepared to amp-it-up with a more extensive “buy only in our communities” self-help campaign.  It’s the kind of springboard momentum—to piggy-back on solid mobilizing effect—that organizers dream of—right?

A bizarre thing happened.

Charles Steele, Jr., president of SCLC’s national, threatened to censor Pitcher, demanding he squelch the boycott—& retract every media comment he made regarding Sterling’s murder.  True to our own family’s progressive tradition my nephew in local televised interviews held his ground.

Steele declaring he gave no “national” permission to boycott slammed a “morally correct” gavel!—Rev. Pitcher was summarily suspended.

52af5743-d9a4-4b52-be5f-21c0a12b60d9Since then little or no info comes out of Baton Rouge.  National media apparently finds no salacious incidents to grab their attention, so they’ve dropped local broadcast—as it does with every locale they pick-&-choose to cover (out here a national blackout of SF’s incidents & investigation results still holds fast).

Some advocates in Louisiana’s capital posted local TV reports thru social media, but that’s dried up as well.  I get hints that a classic organizing snag has hit, stalling & disrupting progress.

Bits of posted remarks imply a thing: old guard Baton Rouge leadership may be too comfortably entrenched in stagnant status-quo; “class” issues & vanity distraction—cloaked in conservative religious overtones—have folks digging-in heels.

I first got hints of trouble out there early on.

a74Rev. Al Sharpton was recorded addressing Sterling’s funeral & outright confronted some local clergy for bickering over the “spotlight”—apparently agitation stirred around his being an outsider speaker.  Sharpton wryly offered them an open-ended invite saying “come to New York!” (they’d coalesce in “its” battle) driving home the notion that national reinforcement is not a novelty—it’s crucial!

This is the standard anguish plaguing advocates in communities across the country—fighting to rally masses against bigotry & deadly civic corruption—but it seems especially worse for Blacks.

The silence now coming out of Baton Rouge, the way it also blankets other impact places, is disturbing.  It can’t be surprising though.

I write in my last blog on SF’s Blue Ribbon Panel forum about surviving families wanting to neuter the powerful Police Officer’s Union (POA)—it was soundly scoffed at by Panel officials.  Not because there was no available process—laws could be passed—but because POA is a well moneyed, well oiled lobbying machine.  It’s totally dedicated to preserving the power of thuggish “cop culture.”

Panel officials believe legislators are financially led by the nose & the public is too apathetic (or “sold out”) to civic corruption.

But openly gay white Senator Mark Leno—in the spirit of SF’s radical gay rebellion—361dc93b00000578-0-image-a-29_1468117727669rejected the “sell-out” mold, introducing a CA State bill (SB 1286) that would make cops more transparent—with evidence of misconduct (& murdered civilians) made more accessible in lawsuits.

Then, true to form SF’s openly gay white Supervisor Scott Wiener backed strict cop “privacy”—voting against it—eventually the State bill died.  Wiener (running against Jane Kim) seeks Leno’s State seat this November—backed heavily by none other than the POA.

“Selling-out” is a term that is buried in today’s discourse—dialogue that is of course controlled by major corporate media interests.  But I’m a longtime Black social repair advocate.  And my 42 years of Buddhist practice proves its spiritual insight has partnered social repair well, stressing that “realistic change is impossible without addressing hard 44483291001_5030278852001_5029593126001-vscore reality.”

I honestly & sadly concur with panel officials: Afro-Americans are far too sold-out to take the proper level of action—& on too many fronts.  A thing eats at the root of this tragedy: Afro-American “culture” itself renders Black people utterly & totally disposable.

Dentists know digging out “root rot” saves teeth—and patients (desiring “relief” in a thorough restoration of healthy structure) demand dentists “keep it real”—so here, I’m “keeping it real!”

Cops are willing to murder unarmed folks & I’m willing to disturb misguided “comfort zones”—exposing the ugly truth behind multi pronged root rot in this American matter.

Here, you already know what “discourse hijackers” avoid:

America is literally a 500 year social “pressure cooker”—the “test tube” nation in modern foundingfathershistory—managed & guarded by wealthy white U.S. governors.  General social diversity in “mini tubes” (including poor whites) packed the bottom—crunched under the weight of privilege at the top.

Enforcers (claiming “moral authority” from God) saturated the entire works with their main ingredient: “white supremacy.”

Governors molded monsters in that “cooker.”  They’d protect exclusive class & privilege—overseeing (or containing) outsider “tubes”—at all costs.  Millennia taught rulers that “perverse & corrupt ideology” holds the glue (to attack, stunt & abolish overall “humanity”).  The perfect religious vehicle waited—but not Islam.  Instead, it’s a barbaric offshoot from the doctrine of Rabbi Joshua (or, Christ to the Greeks):

The offshoot is Europe’s “radicalized” Christianity.

Blacks faired the worse in America’s “tube”; homosexuals crunched just under us (Black lesbians & gay’s worst of all).  In fact African-Americans are the most broken survivors in U.S. history. 100_2391a

White governors were no fools.  They knew African civilizations pulsed from time immemorial; a global scale foundation steeped in advanced spirituality & material ingenuity—with the 1st democratic civic operations.

Foreigners marveled at the immense depth of Black hospitality, fortitude—and treasures, knowing a thing: Africans were formidable warriors whom they could not take for granted.

Hence, barbarously bastardized (or, “radicalized”) Christianity was perfect to break & reorient U.S. African slaves—& American whites pushed Europe’s barbarity to heights unprecedented in history.

founding-fathers-04Governors needed specialist monsters to manage the Afro populace.  Utilizing history, where foreigners could only conquer Africans (if they used neighboring Blacks) white legislators created the perfect religious mental jailers: the Black preacher.

Panelist Ray Marshall (speaking above right at our Blue Ribbon Forum) said it best: absent, faltering & corrupted “leadership” is the number one socially derailing factor.

For at least 300 years (before Reconstruction era leaders above left) the preacher was the only “leadership position” allowed Blacks—& the highest paid position attainable by Black men (entering modern times).  Today churches exist on practically every corner.

Something glaring is this: noted Christian scholars constantly update canonical 1914401_140326071904_dead_001understanding & “interpretation” after every religious anthropological finding (the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Gnostic Nag Hammadi Texts of Upper Egypt, etc…).

Black Southern Baptist preachers guiding America’s largest sector of Black religious don’t even respond—showing absolutely no interest in adding their voice (or opinion) about enlightening Palestinian 1st century developments—regarding their own “doctrinal” base.

Unsurprisingly “white supremacist” Southern Baptist preachers show the same exact scholarly disinterest as Blacks—strange bedfellows here, guarding Europe’s “radicalized” barbaric ideology:

White Biblical rationale justifies Anglo’s religious “aggression” to be privileged—to “enslave” & murder outsiders—gaining wealth for civic benevolence; conversely Black Biblical rationale demands a “docile” Afro response to systemic racism (but on the other hand it ok’s “cosmetic” aggression to amass vain Black 9780060523787materialism & self-centered wealth—for the few).

Ironically both Black & white religious “zealots” use the same Bible to make different quotes—which back very different approaches to racism: Black benevolent docility vs. white Holy (manifest destiny) aggression.  This was sealed solidly after the Civil War:

White Southerners were handed back absolute power—to redefine & separate Southern empire boundaries.  “Radicalized” Christianity justified restoring brutal white hierarchy.  Thus, formally declaring that white racial brutality (& superior “morale”) had God’s approval, Southerners labeled their own empire “Holy”—set apart from all others by what they called a “Bible Belt.”

The world’s most extreme racist, conservative politic—wedded by “radicalized” religion—now exhorted powerful control of social policy in a virtual vacuum—half the size of the 100_0932U.S.  The “Bible Belt’s” own slow “cooker” had eternity to bully & bend Afro minds, breaking Black lives—& solidifying “radicalized” Afro-religious monsters: preachers stifling activist motivators at one end, with a depleted, terrified public selling-out at the other.

Fast-forward to the 1930’s.

Signs that humanity has a “pulse-bleep” in the “radicalized” storm shakes the “Bible Belt”—but it’s a white legislator (white supremacy’s ultimate nightmare).  It didn’t last long: Senator Huey P. Long was assassinated in Baton Rouge’s Louisiana State Building (in the exact hallway at left, behind where I stand during my 2013 visit)—for being “too inclusive.”

Fast-forward to the 1950’s.

An exhausted Black woman defies dangerous “Bible Belt” repression.  Sparking the nation’s very 1st bus boycott she stood up—while “sitting down”—but not in Montgomery, Alabama.  Baton Rouge was the location Martha White made history—two years earlier in 1953.bench_by_the_road_project__1953_baton_rouge_bus_boycott__2016-02-03_5c5197

Black Southern defiance erupted in Baton Rouge (at right) not seen by a white ruling class in generations.  The 1st major front hit, spilling folks into the streets—squaring-off with inevitable violent white backlash. Media rushed to the scene in the 2nd major front, to confront protesters—& trying to discredit protest justification.

p287645_b_h3_abWith mettle sorely tested the Rev. T. J. Jamison & Willis Reed hit the 3rd major front—embraced the will of fed-up citizens—and organized a boycott that stunned white governors.  It didn’t last long: authorities seeing major lost revenue played to docile “altruism”—offering negotiations.

Jamison (soon a cofounder of SCLC) compromised, ending the crippling boycott after only a week—infuriating many.  They gained only a few extra “Colored Only” seats (Blacks made up 80% of riders).  Ugly segregation raged on—totally unchanged.

It seems Jamison (at right with protesters) admitted his “career” with the prestigious National Baptist Convention jemison1(that did tragically snub the eventual Civil Rights Drive) trumped ending segregation—his father was its current president.  Many surviving Baton Rouge participants are outraged to this day.

Most U.S. Blacks come out of the Southern Baptist experience—one way or another.  Their selling-out in every level of achievement—instead of using gained “leverage” (resource) to further Black social advancement—has a profound connection.  Social climbers (having fallen thru racism’s cracks) prefer to huff behind “moral correctness” (& religious authority) when ignoring social progress for the rest.

Today the age-old Black “Cadillac syndrome” is alive & well—the notion that for Blacks 100_2324a“worshiping” cosmetics usurp reachable “social improvement” substance.

I saw it here in SF as the Mario Woods Coalition on Sept. 19th lobbied at SF City Hall—to get the Blue Ribbon Report added to Supervisor’s docket.  Reaching London Breed’s office (at left) she peeked through a cracked door not letting us in.  Breed (who did support the lobby request) was getting her hair done—at 2:00 in the afternoon while City Hall bustled.

You see it in the plethora of Black pundits, celebrity sports figures & entertainers—all having slipped thru racist cracks becoming the new “celebrity aristocracy.”  SF 49er Kaepernick’s anthem protest is revealing: some sit duplicating it; some vocally support (but say they wouldn’t follow suit); others openly balk at it & most do nothing. cq6l-34uiaaf0cr

None that I know (besides media sharks) have personally visited any victim’s families—or joined protests, marches & rallies (eliminating a powerful kindred connection statement).  It’s obvious: moderately successful celebs fear for their jobs—hostile corporate producers would clip their wings (& celebs expect the same treatment a fickle, sold-out public gave Paul Robeson—fans not supporting his concerts after the govt. black-balled him for leading Human Rights campaigns left Robeson financially ruined).

But what about the so-called now “financially independent” Black moguls—the Oprah’s, Jay-Z’s (producing the now mega millionaires Beyonce & Rhianna), warhorse James Earl Jones, Gangsta & Hip-Hop rappers—why don’t they publicly visit families & marches (like Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, 100_2500aJosephine Baker, Sidney Poitier & the like) or do more?

Rapper Lil’ Wayne on Night Line recently called Black Lives Matter “dumb shit,” bragging that he’s a “rich gang-banger.”

I don’t believe standard Black preachers will be spearheading this modern movement.  Evidence says they’re still too philosophically rigid—& brutally “exclusive”—preferring to solidly wall themselves, their congregations (& their “privileges”) in the mental Dark Ages.

Black social change requires powerfully diversified coalitions—interfaith being essential.  Black Muslims are prominent in the lineup with Rev. Pitcher—as they are out here in SF (with an insightfully vocal Christopher Muhammad); SF’s Archbishop Franzo King (upper left Oct. 7 at the DA’s office)  & Father Richard Leslie Smith (below, Sept. 13 at City Hall) are “step-up” leaders among others—progressive spiritual forces racing past immobile Baptist preachers, pushing diversity to combat civic terror.100_2287

And it cannot exclude the lesbian & gay spectrum.

I’ am an openly gay Black man of 37 years—having contributed hugely to mainstream Black community & general LGBTQ social repair—saving & rebuilding lives.  I’ am the living witness to anti gay viciousness raining from Afro pulpits, sectors & families—including my own; this brutal castigation destroyed & discarded countless Black gay souls.  I’m SF’s rare leadership voice holding a white gay community’s rampant “racism” (& cultural indifference) to accountability’s fire!

And my work certifies a fact: the abused (wounded & unresolved) in turn, will abuse their own.  Here’s a strange phenomenon: people finally easing discrimination against them, now “needing” to brutalize someone under them & for the same reason—to feel good in the name of God.

thnm39owuyThe Civil Rights Movement heading into the 60’s would collapse, were it not for Bayard Rustin—an openly Black gay pioneer (at left in Montgomery with King & Abernathy): he was top strategist & consultant for every major Civil Rights leader the 1st half of the 20th century (also co-founding SCLC).  Dr. King never wavered defending Rustin—rebuking “moralizing” attacks.

And how ironic that the late Coretta Scott-King vehemently supported “gay marriage,” but her daughter Rev. Bernice King gives “radicalized” opposition.  Rev. King campaigned in an anti gay march with the now disgraced Rev. Eddie Long (who’s “sex scandal” with underage boys had him “settling” big-time).

Dr. King led a cadre of Black Preachers (with a rainbow coalition) stepping out of the6 “radicalized” religious pack—directly embracing Rabbi Joshua’s higher, more humane spiritual ideal—absolute “hospitality” treasuring the “downtrodden & meek.”  King anguished about multitudes of preachers snubbing the “movement”—but you’ll have to fight to hear those speeches.

Evidence shows Rabbi Joshua backed swift response in calling-out the victims of “perverse & corrupt” ideology—who’ve become monsters themselves.  I follow suite with today’s examples:

Steele’s now “radicalized” SCLC (founded in light of Montgomery’s Bus Boycott)—but now suspending Rev. Pitcher; the prestigious National Black Convention “radicalized”—snubbing the Civil Rights Movement; Black entertainers “radicalized”—strictly dedicated to a white “celebrity aristocracy”; SF’s white gay Supervisor Scott Wiener “radicalized”—thwarting Leno’s cop transparency bill; Blacks groomed in Southern Protestant “tubes” being “radicalized”—sabotaging kindred in every social sector; sadly the list goes on…

100_0941The POA means serious business, totally dedicated to raising big money & legislative backing—to maintain racist power in “cop culture.”  Afro-American “culture” is not serious; having only superficial dedication to Black people—giving “lip service” to liberating the whole by any means necessary.

Supporters in distress ask me this: given the true level of “cop culture” brutality and public “sell out” can it realistically be turned around?

Swallowing past the lump in my throat I offer a reminder:

Three young Black women started modern Black Lives Matter—one of them Alicia Garza of Oakland, a proud lesbian (& reminder of Black LGBTQ leadership legacy).  It echoes the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) who bolstered Dr. King (& whose audacious tactics were supported by him)—“youth” rescuing the “movement” from faltering old guards.

And there’s fresh fire in Baton Rouge—in lieu of the Black Panther’s 50th Anniversary 100_0950(they’d also started in Oakland):

I see young people in a video declaring they are the new “Black Panther Chapter”—rallying on Baton Rouge Courthouse steps.  Backers confront the stagnant “Bible Belt”; exhort passers to join in, blister apathy, invoke Blacks to take back their “power” (then define what that power is)—& inventory the list of “radicalized” monsters running the local system.

Other institutions there dig-in as well: 2 Black history museums awaited my visit in 2013.  One of them, the Odell S. Williams “Now And Then” Museum of African-American History sits right at the State Capital & is listed on their map.  The founder & curator Sadie Roberts-Joseph is warm & well versed—pulling out all of the magical stops during my visit (below left with a historic “bus” & above, anointing me on my return to Baton Rouge after 40 years).

Consciousness has set a breach, breaking ground on Baton Rouge’s long scorched trail—Rev. Pitcher & co. instill mettle & grit beneath the surface—to bypass paralyzing fear & an old guard (who’d comfortably grind action to a halt).

100_0938Faltering local services might see Pitcher founding the National Alliance for Social Justice—acknowledging this might need to hit “international courts”—thus providing an Operation Central HQ primed for substance action!

Spiritual “evidence” is what rallies faith—more soldiers must step out of America’s monstrous pack (revoking corruption’s “pay-off”) to turn this legacy of horror around.

Hard core “reality” is clear: gaining good ground on real Human Rights achievement takes hitting the long road—& that trail leads “national.”

SF Blue-Ribbon Panel “Saturday Forum”: brutal cop culture rolls along—giving itself “impunity.”


Writing this San Francisco story for me is about “connect”: hoping our own city’s painful—& frustrating 9781481707282_COVER_FQA.inddlegal struggle—finds jolted readers, who also may be “preparing” out on the “broader landscape.”

Out there lays another “tool”—the building of national ties.

Hearts & minds that “synchronize” create “people power”: surpassing specific area isolation, civic politics & emotional “indifference”—thus, they will no longer be “boundaries.”


Greetings heart filled readers!

Trouble in Black Paradise finds a legacy of corrupt “cop culture” flushed into daylight.


The news was expected to be bad.

100_2379aSan Franciscans for Police Accountability (SFPA) a civilian watch group, held a public forum in the Koret Auditorium of San Francisco’s Public Library.  It was Saturday, Sept. 24th & featured D.A. George Gascón’s specially appointed Blue-Ribbon Panel on Accountability—the topic appropriately titled, “Making SFPD Accountable: A Community Conversation.”

And what a conversation this was!—one I could not miss!

Locals know Gascón was compelled in May, 2015 to appoint an outside selection of 3 retired Judges (who volunteered time) to study SFPD’s system “& culture”: partly in light of extremely racist, sexist & homophobic texts & emails sent between several cops.

They’d review almost 4,000 case arrest reports (filed by those “implicated” cops) to determine if100_2382a persistent “misconduct” charges—& the continued frequency of especially unarmed citizens being killed by local police—are connected.

Only 2 “texting” cops resigned of some 14 charged & implicated.  The rest found a legal snag: Chief Greg Suhr had let the statute of limitations run out; all 12 remaining kept their jobs—& anonymity.

Most national news outlets, especially CNN, choose to not cover San Francisco’s incidents—a major U.S. city’s similar killings by cops selectively “blacked out”; and a second round of texts did surface (from yet another case) but basically got ignored as well.

100_2389aFor those unfamiliar I explain Gascón’s assembling the Panel in an earlier blog—ironically the 1st repulsive cop “emails” had actually surfaced due to a then ongoing, totally separate Federal investigation: SF cop corruption was already on trial (stolen evidence, drug dealing, falsifying records, etc…) where several got convicted.

This had set the dastardly momentum crashing toward a need to finally call in “outside reviewers.”

Having released their “results” last July the Blue-Ribbon Panel’s 239 page report showed SFPD’s climate was not just bad, but absolutely horrendous—a damning exposé indeed!  72 finding & 84 recommendations were made (related to 8 critical “issue areas”).100_2384a

Arriving to the forum we greeted each other with heavy hearts for this 2 part event—which was only about to get heavier.

The 2nd half featured the “administrators” & their findings: Judge LaDoris Cordell (a Blue-Ribbon member), Anand Subramanian (it’s Executive Director), Ray Marshall (Blue-Ribbon culture lead), John Crew (Police Practices expert), Mawuli Tugbenyoh (Supervisor Malia Cohen’s rep.), Cristine Soto De Berry (D.A. George Gascón’s assistant) & Alex Salazar (ex LAPD Ramparts officer turned “whistle blower”—& now private investigator).

100_2371aBut the 1st half brought horrifying reality slamming into the room.  A panel of family & friends (at left & below) gripped us with the stories of these police victims: O’Shaine Evans, Luis Gongora Pat, James “Nate” Greer, Amilcar Perez-Lopez & Derrick Gaines.  Reps of victims Mario Woods, Alex Nieto & others (like Jessica Nelson) were audience members.

No dry eyes in this house survived such a gauntlet.  It packed painful substance on the raw bones administrators soon laid bare.

The gist of the official Panel report’s findings then emphasized this: SFPD’s arrests of people of 100_2373acolor dwarfs those of whites (contraband found on whites also dwarfs others); standard “stops” scream bias; cops have virtually no oversight; the dept. hardly collects or reviews cop “accountability” data; community trust in the ditch—& all this in America’s “least transparent” (& 2nd oldest) police department.

Especially condemned was the San Francisco Police Officer’s Association (POA): they’re likened to thugs who actually control the department—shielding brutal, entrenched “old boys” cop culture from reforms every step of the way.

POA thwarting the Blue-Ribbon investigation at every step no exception: judges had absolutely 100_2387no subpoena power; having to gain info through the same “civilian channels” gave a nasty wake-up call (exposing why impacted families get little or no info—or “results”).

And Mayor Ed Lee (our city’s 1st Asian head)—claiming he “backs” more transparency & is already implementing “reforms”—refused to fund the Panel; Subramanian, at right (2nd from right) had to solicit an outside agency.

SFPD’s promise that cops would cooperate with interviewers was broken.  All showed up with 100_1806lawyers instead, refusing to testify—except one: Officer Yulanda Williams.  President of Officers for Justice, a Black cop “support group” (I walked with them at left in this year’s “Dr. King Day” March) she reinforced Gascón’s own testimony that a strict “old boys” network rules; it totally contradicted ex PD Chief Suhr (the only other officer testifying) who said there was no “cop culture”—Suhr was eventually fired by Mayor Lee, dogged by months of angry public demand.

Officer Williams now faces cop retaliation (threats to not get “back-up” on calls are imminent).  By the way, Williams had also been targeted & demeaned in that 1st batch of cop texts.

Administrators say SF’s (& State laws) are totally & absolutely set-up to perfectly shield police from any retribution—period!  Other states though, do have far greater transparency & evidence access (readers out there should check the laws where you are).

Panelists revealed a stone cold “legal structure” is designed to push back, while crafted to 100_2386a“appear” as if it works on behalf of cop accountability for public good.  The California Police Officer’s Bill of Rights cements cops virtually being “untouchable,” as key evidence (related to civilian victims) fall not onto a “public record,” but into a cop’s “personal file”—itself made legally off-limits to the public.

It means that a precedent would have to be set.  Hence this added sobering fact: there has been not one cop convicted in a civilian shooting case in this city’s 267 year history.

Such was the chilling tone awaiting a question & answer period for audience members.  Family & citizen “demand” is the same as in other plagued cities: 1. All officers who’ve killed these civilians must be arrested & charged with murder.  2. An independent “pattern and practices” investigation of the SFPD must be by the U.S. Department of Justice and the State Attorney General.

Cops were charged & arrested in Tulsa, S. Carolina & Baltimore, but not one SF officer has been arrested.  Gascón still “waits” to charge any SF Cops—even in light of autopsy reports & videos 100_2335atotally contradicting officer’s department backed “versions.”

We now know why.

Given the current state of things audience members targeted 3 main areas: How can the people make the dept. more transparent & get the system to hand over more shielded case info?  Can we at least get apologies for victimized “families?”  And what can be done to defang the POA bully crew? (Which many say is not actually a union.)

The Blue-Ribbon Panel made a thing clear: their research & findings are but a “tool” (one of many) for public usage in a public driven “cause”; Panelists only investigate & present the “findings”—they have no other “action taking” authority—or power (hence their lack of subpoena ability).

The “public” must use the tools on its own behalf; the Panel’s knowledge in these matters (to be solicited) hugely bolsters this public tool).

It’s why the Justice 4 Mario Woods Coalition (Above & below at right, & left) lobbied City Hall 100_2334aSupervisors on Sept. 19th: demanding they pass a resolution to convene a separate hearing before the “full board,” specifically to review the Blue-Ribbon Panel’s full report.  Sups (i.e. “officials”) were being pushed to take action on the 72 findings & 84 recommendations.  Otherwise “the report” would just sit there on record, waiting for the discretion of “someone” (a self-motivated legislator???) to take action with it.

Sups did take up the “findings” in last Tuesday’s Oct. 4th Board Meeting.  There Judge Cordell gave a blistering 79 year review of jaw-dropping, vicious attacks & violations against multiple “segments & individuals”—cop disciplinary action being nil.

Much of those dept. driven attacks had crashed upon the gay community.  Given this—and SF’s history of proud “gay rebellion”—a thing is bizarre: mainstream gays remain detached from this investigation (& have attacked Black Lives Matter).  Aside from “individuals” like me no outward 100_2350acoalescing comes from notable groups—or celebrity LGBTQ fundraisers.  Maybe that explains this:

One of the cops implicated in the racist, sexist & homophobic emails was “openly gay” white male Michael Robison—a darling of the Castro.  He was 1 of the only 2 cops who resigned.

Back at Saturday’s forum Panelists say the City will not apologize to families (unless they promise not to sue) as they fear it’s an admission of guilt which makes them extremely liable.

Some SF cop “transparency” rules do exist, yet are being totally under implemented.  But here’s a shocker:

Last February “openly gay” white Senator Mark Leno introduced a Statewide bill (SB 1286) that 100_2390awould expand critical “public access” to info on cops.  “Openly gay” white SF Supervisor Scott Wiener staunchly voted against it—towing Sups Mark Farrell & Katy Tang along.

SB 1286 would have expanded dept. transparency: making civilian related evidence, “investigation results” (& cop records) accessible—just what SF families need (as well as assaulted gays).  But in May the bill was killed in appropriations—not getting a discussion, or a legislative (or public) vote.

Wiener’s Senate run against Jane Kim (for Leno’s “seat”) is rigorously backed by none other than who you’d expect—the “POA.”  Remember this in November!

So to weaken POA’s thug-like control civilians must use this same “tool”: legislation.  Laws could 100_2385be passed to make huge changes—but for obvious reasons Panelists scoffed at the probability.

POA is a well established, well oiled, big moneyed, fierce political “lobbying” force in this city.  So are other cop forces in the State—leading “lawmakers” by their noses.  In essence Panelists believe our general public is too apathetic, weak-willed & complicit (or “sold out”) to politically challenge them; they pooh-poohed our even trying (although anything that’s possible should at “least” be attempted—if not just to call attention).

Case & point: last December as Black Lives Matter protests flooded the Bay Area Supervisor John Avalos proposed a “toothless” resolution—coauthored by Black Sup Malia Cohen—merely backing protester’s “cause.”  A furious, ego wounded POA sent (particularly the Black Sups) thinly veiled “threats”—all reversed their support (backing a gutted version instead).

As for a new SF Police Chief “all” Panelists agreed: current Black acting Chief Toney Chaplin (a local) is not the one!

Chaplin (in Tuesday’s Bd. Meeting) demonstrated typical “blue code” protection—when 100_2358confronted about Blue-Ribbon findings.  Sup John Avalos (at left during Woods’ coalition lobbying) excoriated him!  The unaccountable Chief had steadily wobbled!  Many peppered Chaplin with questions about the false appearance of his employing Panel recommendations—especially Jane Kim & “openly gay” Latino David Campos (while “white gay” Wiener remained silent—remember this also in November).

And here, a sobering warning: not one U.S. city has achieved the level of deep dept. “reform” needed—without hiring a “total outsider”—no insider hired chief has ever done so.

Here’s a thought:

San Franciscans steadfastly use grassroots “tools”: rallies, press conferences, marches, 100_2533demonstrations, civil disobedience, lobbying pressure kept on officials, self-sacrifice (Frisco 5 hunger strikes) etc…It keeps a treacherous thing crystallized: the U.S. public absolutely is dealing with systemic “monsters.”

I’ve brazenly said this in blogs: America’s 500 year social pressure “cooker”—managed by legislative governors—has churned out “monsters” designed to menace; for some a jolting reality—but of course you already know!

It was clear as I stood last Friday, Oct. 7th, outside D.A. Gascón’s office during an angry rally. 100_2523 Mario Woods’ Coalition had absolutely irate families pleading (The mother of Oscar Grant, above right & Wood’s at left): don’t dare “wobble” on realizing the diabolical legacy of attack (& damage) tracking us!

U.S. Monsters are terrorists—“radicalized” by our perverse & corrupt dominant religion—which isn’t Islam.  Overseers unleashed from the “cooker” run every social, political & religious “power aspect” of America: the legislature, judiciary, corporations, goods & service businesses, media, schools—& churches.

Spirituality is specifically targeted for annihilation—so “radicalized” victims (with stunted, deformed & lost humanity) will corral themselves—pushing to “religiously” corral others reflecting100_2392a them.

We know our “agents of the court” (from its colonial inception) are the police: groomed to “contain” social progress—protecting a privileged club by threat of the sword—threats we all know are willingly & unhesitatingly carried out.

Homegrown “radicalized” blue code terrorists!  Ex LA cop Alex Salazar (above, 2nd from right) ripped apart “uncle toms” on forces (admitting what he once was) betraying their own “corralled” people.  Caring folks are crippled by fear—rendered 100_2391ainactive to the “cause.”

Here, Panelist Ray Marshall (2nd from right) says absent, faltering (& corrupted) “leadership” is the top socially derailing factor.  It explains why a ton of Black preachers (& their congregations) didn’t flood that room—only about 100 “frontline” attendees (in a 500 seat space).

It also tells why Scott Wiener would sit on Dr. King’s “Freedom Day” stage at Yerba Buena, 100_2372looking “officious,” but not address the crowd—or explain the notion of a white gay cop involved in racist, homophobic text scandals.  Remember!  Jane Kim in November!

And elite “leaders” (like this Blue-Ribbon “echelon”) fighting for us in judiciary ranks also must stay personally in touch—“grounded”—as they were sternly reminded by Frisco 5 striker Ilyich Sato; he stressed not seeing any Panel members visit the 5’s hunger strike battleground.

My vested trail moves me back to what I said at the start of this article: a “national” connection push must expand—cleverly & methodically.

100_2380aNational “pressure” moves mountains—but one local radar “bleep” gets lost in the fog.  It’s why national media (in its cosmetically thwarting ways) is so methodically selective.

We know that without constant “national” spotlight, highly rare cop arrests would not have been made in Baltimore, Tulsa, or S. Carolina.  SF groups steadily push for “local” unity, but a few starter actions can begin the thrust out—to reel in this “greater tool”:

Some national “reach-out” items are simple:

Writing campaigns link average folks, engage impacted individuals, locales, share resources (& honor “heroes”) personally.  Here, “monstrous” leaders—detached folks from all segments—can be stung by accountability; including a “nefarious” media (with its bevy of sell-out celebrities).

100_2375aFacebook “support group” pages obviously great tools here.

Conference calls between cities (during town hall meetings)—where communities actually bond by sharing stories & “strategies”—establish powerful connects.  Isolated folks could be assisted, whose so-called leaders are absent, conflicted (or wobble in “self-indulged” distraction)—new leaders there simultaneously (& naturally) being “raised.”

A basic “grassroots” campaign: no community left behind!

And because “monsters” already entrench the system, “allies” (on civic payroll) definitely are sabotaged by sharks running the bureaucracy.  Creating independent “public” services—not beheld to agencies—must be revisited (a visionary astuteness like that of the Black Panthers & Dr. King—both not waiting).

I believe it was Cadine Williams (sister of O’Shaine Evans) who afterwards said to me, “we must have broad self-determination services & operations to make this work!”  She is right! 100_2396

San Franciscans for Police Accountability: itself an excellent model.

Brave, compassionate, invested, frontline (multicultural advocates) hit the “forum” room that day.  True “leaders” (from all levels) who’ve stepped “out” from the larger business-as-usual pack, are these San Franciscans—squaring-off with “monstrous” legacy.

There’s a long way to go—& all know we can’t (& won’t) stop this going!