Multi Culture War?

I haven't been keeping up with San Francisco Bay area news as I should, but my attention was drawn to an interesting multicultural war story in Oakland, in which local Black Muslims vandalized a store owned by immigrants from the Mideast for selling alcohol to American blacks:

About a dozen men wearing dark suits and bow ties did tens of thousands of dollars' worth of damage to San Pablo Market and Liquor on San Pablo Avenue and New York Market on Market Street after demanding the stores stop selling liquor to African Americans. The stores are owned by people of Middle Eastern descent.

The violence was caught on videotape at the San Pablo Market, and investigators are using that tape in an attempt to identify suspects.

At this point, police suspect Muslims associated with Your Black Muslim Bakery were involved, although no arrests have been made.

In a telephone interview Friday with the Oakland Tribune, a man who identified himself as Yusef Bey IV, a bakery official, said the first time he learned about the incident was on television news and in the newspaper. "I was surprised to hear about what happened," he said. "I have no idea who could have done this because there are a whole lot of Muslims around here."

Bey said Your Black Muslim Bakery is conducting its own investigation into the matter.

That was a few days ago. Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam quickly disavowed the group, maintaining that they are not part of the Nation of Islam.
Minister Keith Muhammad, a mosque leader and representative of Farrakhan, released a statement Friday about Wednesday's violence.

He said that "after careful review of recent news footage of individuals involved in actions against liquor stores and merchants in the city of Oakland, we have concluded that these individuals are not, nor have they ever been, members of the Nation of Islam, under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan or any affiliated mosques or study groups."

Wow. Not one, but two investigations!

The grocers (apparently Yemenis) have vowed to defend themselves, and I don't blame them:

OAKLAND — The president of the Yemini American Grocery Association said Saturday that grocers have the right to defend themselves if their stores are invaded like two West Oakland markets were hit Wednesday night.

The association, which represents about 300 store owners in Oakland, Berkeley and Richmond, is not telling grocers to buy guns and shoot, said Mohamad Saleh Mohamad. "But if they have a permit for a gun, they can legally defend themselves."

"The storekeepers are very devastated," Mohamad said. "You would be too if 12 men came into your house or business ... did damage like they did."

"This was a criminal act. It had nothing to do with religion, In this country we have the right to do business. We are selling legal products. The whole community is angry," Mohamad said.

Sounds like these poor folks haven't managed to escape the Culture War they thought they'd left behind in the Mideast.

The latest news is that Bey -- leader of the "investigation" for the Black Muslim Bakery -- has himself been arrested as one of the perps!

OAKLAND — Yusef Bey IV, 19, the self-proclaimed heir to the Your Black Muslim Bakery franchise founded by his late father, Yusef Bey, surrendered to Oakland police Tuesday in connection with the vandalism of two West Oakland liquor stores a week ago.

Also arrested was Donald Eugene Cunningham, 73, a longtime associate of the elder Bey. Both were arrested on suspicion of vandalism, conspiracy, robbery and making terrorist threats. They were booked at the North County jail in Oakland, where they are being held in lieu of $200,000 bail.

The younger Bey is Yusef Bey's biological son. He refused to talk to investigators Tuesday. In an interview withthe Oakland Tribune, a sister paper to The Argus, on Friday, he said members of the bakery were not involved in the incidents.

An employee at the bakery Tuesday would not comment on the arrest.

Police are seeking at least four other men — believed to be affiliated with the Bey organization — who they suspect were involved in the vandalism at the two stores. The vandals were caught on a surveillance camera at the San Pablo Market and Liquors. Last Wednesday, about a dozen African-American men wearing suits, white shirts and bow ties entered San Pablo Market at 2363 San Pablo Ave. about 11:30 p.m. and smashed liquor bottles and refrigerator cases. They asked if the owners were Muslim and told them to stop selling alcohol to the black community. It is against Islamic law to drink alcohol.

The group left and went to New York Market at 2446 Market St., where, about 10 minutes later, they did the same thing. They also disarmed a shotgun from the clerk and took the weapon with them.

I don't know how or why this clerk allowed himself to be disarmed in this way, but it's shocking to see attempted enforcement of "Islamic Law" in the United States. The San Fransico Chronicle has more, including a report of arson at another store, and the abduction of the owner later found locked in a car trunk.
"This is crazy. This is America," Hernen [the store manager] said. "They got hate in their heart."

Yes, but will any brave prosecutor dare charge it as a "hate crime"?

I doubt it. That's because multicultural hatred is not hatred.


What's being left out of the media reports is that the founder of the Black Muslim Bakery (and father of the accused), the late Dr. Yusef Bey (no idea what the doctorate was awarded for) was a major powerbroker in Oakland for many years.

This summary of the life of Yusef Bey just drips with Multi Culti possibilities:

As we regain African consciousness, it is inevitable that our lifestyle is going to revert to traditional customs and values, that will of course be at variance with American social values. So what? Gays and lesbians are out of the closet, why should the Afrocentric lifestyle of men like Dr. Bey and the women and children who love him, remain in the closet?

In openly living his life, Dr. Bey went beyond the man he loved and honored, but who secretly lived a similar polygamous life, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Two of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad's sons by Tynetta Muhammad, attended the celebration of Dr. Bey. Indeed, Dr. Bey had given Tynetta and her children refuge when Wallace (Warith) Muhammad refused to recognize his siblings not from the womb of his mother, Clara Muhammad.

So in our natural trend to transcend America, as more and more African Americans adopt Islamic, Yoruba, Kemitic, and Ethiopian religion and mores, we must anticipate the revolutionary effect upon African American culture, especially Christian culture But Dr. Bey revealed that family organization is not a joke, a whim, a game children play, but a task of great responsibility, requiring discipline, intelligence, strength, and spirituality.

One of Dr. Bey's sons noted, "Our father made us soldiers, even our sisters are soldiers, and we are going to continue to soldier!" About ten of the sons performed a Fruit of Islam military drill for the audience to great applause.

A 2003 LA Times piece assessed Bey's life, noting that his empire began to unravel after charges of concubinage involving girls as young as 13:
Many of his supporters say the charges are nonsense, and others say it makes no difference even if they are true. “He was a born leader in the sense of an African chief or a Muslim caliph,” says 62-year-old supporter Maleek Al Maleek “What is prohibited here is not prohibited in East India, where there are child marriages. I can show you chiefs in Africa who have 30 wives . . . . The ways of the high priests are not shared by the commoner.”
Separate but not equal rules are needed, obviously.

UPDATE: In my haste to obtain biographical data on Yusef Bey, I linked to a site that I in no way endorse or agree with, which attributes that last quote to a piece by Lee Rommey called "Dignity, Diligence, Scandal, Los Angeles Times, Dec. 30, 2003." I have been unable to find the original anywhere, so I cannot vouch for the quote's accuracy. I well remember Yusef Bey, though, and the information in that piece appears to be true, and I think it probably did appear in the LA Times.

The problem is that the guy who runs the site appears to be an unreliable promoter of pseudoscientific racist nonsense, so I am not sure that I can rely on him even to quote the LA Times accurately.

(My intention, of course, was not to quote him; only the LA Times.)

posted by Eric on 11.30.05 at 07:03 AM


This is hard to believe. My dad owned a grocery store in East Oakland for 20 years. There were sawed off shotguns (legal but short) under every register, armed security guards were on duty, and every Thursday the store would close for a couple of hours and every employee would walk down the street to the nearby gun range, with all their weapons visible during the walk. These guys would have been massacred. This was in the mid-80's though.

Oakland must be getting soft,lol.

Harkonnendog   ·  November 30, 2005 4:46 PM

The spirit of the mid 80's was about the individual spirit of taking care of yourself and your own problems.

Now we live in the "government help me" society. So if people in Oakland are abandoning their self protection for government (police) protection, then that's just the result of 8 years of Clinton and 8 years of current President Bush.

Until another Ronald Reagan emerges...(sigh)

Jeff MacMillan   ·  November 30, 2005 8:54 PM

I rather enjoyed the 80s (I lived in Berkeley from 1972-2000), and I think there was a lot more self sufficiency in the Bay Area in those days. A certain languor and helpnessness has set in.

A dog like Coco would supplement the shotgun nicely too.

BTW, Coco was showing off just for you the other day, Theron.

Eric Scheie   ·  November 30, 2005 11:08 PM

Thanks, lol! I dig that dog. My poi dog- a miniature pit/bisengi/dachsund/ridgeback is the same age. :)

Harkonnendog   ·  December 1, 2005 3:36 PM

Poi dog? Isn't that for eating?

The Hawaiian Poi Dog was clumsy, but friendly and playful. They were said to be fat and lazy and rarely barked. They were fattened up to be eaten by the tribe in which they lived. Fed a paste made from ground, baked and fermented taro root, they were sluggish and were not very smart. Hawaiian Poi Dogs liked to play with the children, but were too slow to catch the fruits the children would playfully throw at them. Lots of times they ran with the hogs, which the tribes also ate, and acted more like hogs then dogs.

Eric Scheie   ·  December 1, 2005 3:45 PM

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