Friday, August 3, 2007

Assassination of a journalist

My deepest sympathies are with the family of Chauncey Bailey, editor of the Oakland Post, who was shot and killed Thursday morning on a busy downtown street in Oakland.

Police today arrested seven men associated with Your Black Muslim Bakery, which was founded by the late Yusuf Bey, a black-nationalist activist.

According to the New York Times, officers seized the weapon they believe was used to murder Mr. Bailey.

Reportedly, the longtime local journalist was working on a story for the Post, a black-owned weekly, about a possible connection between Your Black Muslim Bakery and several previous murders. Oakland police had been investigating the group that runs the bakery since late last year, according to the Times.

One of the seven men arrested today is Yusuf Bey IV, one of the bakery founder’s many children.

The younger Bey had been arrested in 2005, charged with taking part in the ransacking of two liquor stores owned by Arab Muslims. Those attacks, caught on videotape, made national news.

Yusuf Bey IV spoke to Bay Area journalist J.R. Valrey in 2006 about the so-called “liquor-store movement.” (Valrey described Bey as an “honored guest.”) That 8-minute radio interview is online at the New America Media website. I’m also streaming it on my Vox audio stash; click here to hear it.

UPDATE (08/04/07): According to this morning’s Oakland Tribune:

“A 19-year-old handyman at Your Black Muslim Bakery admitted to police Friday night that he ambushed and killed Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey, investigators said.

“Police said Devaughndre Broussard told them he killed Bailey because he was angry over stories the journalist had written about the bakery, its employees and leaders in the past. Investigators said Broussard also was concerned about stories that he thought Bailey might be working on.”

Hat-tip to Richard Prince.


DeAngelo Starnes said...

That's fucked up. Another tragic episode in the Crisis.

SJ said...

I just read about this.

So I'm guessing these guys are part of the "Nation Of Islam" and not "regular" Islam?

Undercover Black Man said...

^ More complicated than that, SJ. Yusuf Bey's Muslims indeed follow the unorthodox teachings of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad... but they're not affiliated with Minister Louis Farrakhan's NOI.

There are a number of Black Muslim "splinter groups" or rival factions out there...

SJ said...

Well that was quick.

It's so sad though...he got angry over something, and ended up proving whatever Chauncey wrote. Very similar to all the protests by certain Muslims over the world when the Pope suggested that Mohammed was violent. "How dare you call us violent?? To disprove that, we'll turn violent!"

LeaNder said...

I read the speech of the pope carefully and repeatedly and I didn't like it. He is no fool, and yes the rhetorical devices he used allowed him to deny anything he said. While it was the basic line of thought. Christianity inherited reason from the Greeks, while muslims are non-rational and violent.

He hid behind a 14 (?) century quote, to get the message of the violent muslim over. Not a word about the Crusades. Not violent?

Besides THE Muslim were the most important forces behind the Renaissance, without them much of Greek science and philosophy wouldn't have survived.

SJ said...

leander, I didn't like it at all too (me having a Muslim background and all). The point is, the response from the violent protesters wasn't appropriate at all.

LeaNder said...

Sj, I can understand your position. The problem is that masses can be stirred easily; everywhere. Thus we should watch closely the mental, accademic arsonists.

As somebody brought up Catholic, another longer story, I am very, very hesitant about the tendency of the speech itself.

What was it's motivation? To make his central point, he relied on a 13 century book, a dialogue between a muslim and a church representative (if I remember well, "dialogue", a two directional road, at the sane time is a theme he seems to ignore; he simply instructs from his academic ivory tower; we never hear the answer of the muslim addressed. I hope I remember things correctly here.).

It was obviously a biased perspective. Now interestingly the end of the 13 century (the time of the text he cites) is the time when the influence of Greek thought - or more precisely Aristoteles vs Platon - gained momentum in Europe via the translations preserved and translated in the Arab world. Hard to imagine the Renaissance without the Arabs.

The whole story of the Church history is a bit more complicated, since the early church fathers were indeed influenced by Greek thought, but not by Aristoteles but by Platon. There is an impressive study by the Protestant scholar Anders Nygren, Eros and Agape, who traces the influence of Greek religious thought on the Christian tradition of love. Basically the eternal, immortal spark in the human soul has a Greek Platonic origin.

Science under the reign of the Church looked pretty different, as we all know. And the reception of Aristotele and dialectics thus arguing REASON, was very much suppressed by the church. And yes we have to thank the Arabs for guarding that tradition against the authoritarian impulses of the Roman Catholic Church.

If the Church now presents itself as having always been closely connected with Greek philosophy and reason, while the Muslims were only violent, then yes I think it is a falsification of history that at its core is political.

Benedict - Islam controversy

LeaNder said...

Another short note, SJ, and sorry for using 13 instead of 14 century above.

The most interesting scholar concerning the larger topic over here in Germany is Jan Assmann, a scholar of Egyptology.

In one of his lectures he once put it impressively simple. All monotheist religions have two basic concepts:

1) to fight against the "Other"
2) to care for poor

One he said can't be given up ever, the other has to be watched closely.

But if this is the case, and obviously it is, what motivates the pope to only find fault in Islam?

The Mosaic distinction

SJ said...

Hey David, it seems like people are getting upset over how little coverage the murder of this journalist is getting. What do you think? I think it says a lot about the country.

Undercover Black Man said...

^ Actually, Nancy Grace (of all people) was all over this story on her show Friday night, so I haven't noticed it being ignored.

But, yeah, a journalist being shotgunned to death in broad daylight in a big American city... Maybe it should be a bigger deal in the media.