Friday, August 03, 2007


I know you thought about it too. When you saw that BREAKING NEWS sign in big bold red letter on CNN, and that image of that bridge, you can't tell me you weren't thinking; "oh oh the terrorist have struck." If you were, you weren't alone. I know I was, only to find out that the real terrorist was some incompetent engineer from back in the day.

So this is what our lives have come to. At least for some of us. Unfortunately, many of us live with terrorist every day. Terrorist that shoot up our neighborhoods indiscriminately. Terrorist that sell drugs to our children. Terrorist that would just as soon kidnap our child, or firebomb our home if they thought we were reporting their crimes to the authorities. Those terrorist.

CNN, ABC, FOX, and all the other news outlets could be running BREAKING NEWS banners every f*****g day about the shit that goes on in the hood. But don't take my word for it, just google crime in any major city in America, you will see.

A friend of mine from law school represents a funeral home in Baton Rouge Louisiana. This week he was here for a Black Morticians Convention with his client. ( I can't make this shit up, yes there is a black morticians convention, and yes they were meeting in "Killadelphia". How appropriate was that shit?) So I am chilling with a group of these cats over drinks, and I am hearing war stories you wouldn't believe. (This was my week for funeral homes, I better check up on my will). From the guy who buried Coretta Scott King, to the guy whose daddy used to run moonshine out of his hearse when his county was dry. One dude (I think he was from Detroit) was averaging six funerals a week for over three months, and another guy was telling us about the drug dealer in L.A. who insisted on a low rider (complete with hydraulics) for his casket. But to a man, (and I think one woman) they all agreed that the killings were out of control. That the victims and the mourners were getting younger and younger, and that, as a race, we were going to self destruct any f*****g day now.

So this war on terror that the Bushites keep scaring us with needs to be refocused. When we are spending billions and billions of dollars to make Iraqis safe and rebuild their country, and ignoring our own people and the infrastructure in ours; there is something fundamentally wrong. This shit has got to change, or the terrorism is going to spread, and I am sure we will see the BREAKING NEWS banners then now won't we. " Suburban mom shot to death in cross fire while visiting the Liberty Bell." Yep, I bet that would get some attention.

We all saw the images of the poor people in the heartland. To lose a bridge in the middle of rush hour was tragic, no doubt. And I feel for them because of what has transpired. But the tragic shit that goes on in cities like Philly is day to day, and it's like the drip drip of a Chinese water torture. But no one is really looking at it, and no one really cares. Because it's not a bridge in the middle of the heartland it's not their America, so no war on the terrorist terrorizing those people needs to be declared.

Sad isn't it? Unless of course you are a funeral home director.


Unknown said...

Field ... you are on target again. Excellent post!

peace, Villager

Anonymous said...

Hey Field, what's the deal with the assassination of Chauncey Bailey out in Oakland?

Lone gunman, one bullet, it seems very suspicious. Does anyone know more about this? It seems he was killed for his editorial positions, but the police are being tight-lipped.

They always kill the intellectuals first.


The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Field, you know something else?

I worked in the Civil Rights division of the U. S. Department of Transportation for three years. The feds give money to the states for road maintenance, upkeep and building roads and bridges. Civil Rights came in, in terms of where contractors of color got a share of the money to do the construction and so forth. Since the white guys were determined to cut out minority and women owned businesses from getting the money, and Clinton's man at Transportation, a brotha by the name of Rodney Slater, just kept giving up the money without allowing for oversight, auditing and discrimination of funding.

That bridge collapse could happen anywhere in the USA where there is a bridge, because, once again, the Federal Government hands out money to the states without oversight and the money is not being spent for what it is earmarked for.

Tragedies happen because those in charge shortchange the masses. If you remember the earthquake out in Oakland in 1989, that double decker freeway collapsed because the state of California lined their pockets with all that Federal payola and didn't do squat about reinforcing the freeway structure to withstand an earthquake (they were recommended it be done back in 1971 and the report was ignored).

Some tragedies like this one could have been prevented if the oversight is done properly.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

And I know Chauncey Bailey. There's some crap stirring up and the powers that be didn't like it - getting too close...

Foofa said...

People forget that there are plenty of black people killing black people in the heartland too. I grew up in Minneapolis. There were shootings on the playground in 8th grade. I was mugged at knife-point walking home from school. when i was in about 9th grade or so we had the highest per capita murder rate in the country. However, people took note and it has gotten better. Something that needs to happen in the rest of the country.

I agree with most of what you are saying but when people think of "the heartland" they think it's full of "their America" don't forget "our America" exists there too.

field negro said...

Thanks villager for your nice words. christian prog. and Jimbo,we need more on that story from Oaktown. I saw it too, and I was wondering what this brother could have written that would cause someone to kill him.

I think I will google some of his earlier writings.

Woozie said...

Did you know that as of this moment, CNN has been covering the bridge collapse for 41 hours straight. Forty one hours! How often can you repeat the same information? If they're not careful they're gonna hit the 9/11 watermark.

Francis Holland said...

For those (like me) who didn't know Chauncey Bailey, here's a link to a good CBS News video about his assassination.

Here's another link to CBS news video coverage.

Speaking of the constant killings in Kiladelphia and elsewhere, gun ownership would not be protected in the US Constitution unless their was some conceivable legitimate and constructive use of guns, right?

So, instead of killing one another, Blacks need to discover the legitimate and constructive and Constitutionally protected uses for guns that were foreseen in the US Constitution, like self-defense.

cnulan said...

When we are spending billions and billions of dollars to make Iraqis safe and rebuild their country, and ignoring our own people and the infrastructure in ours; there is something fundamentally wrong.

Can't fix the infrastructure if yuz doesn't has any oil..., which begs a whole host of interesting ethical and practical kwestins.

Anonymous said...

I hate to keep switching the subject... the bridge collapse was definitely a tragedy and definitely there is some criminal liability somewhere (hey FN, you're a lawyer... maybe criminal negligence rising to the degree of murder 2nd degree?)... but this Chauncey Bailey hit is really, really messed up.

Thanks Francis Holland for the CBS video... they made a good point in there; "this is the kind of thing that happens in other countries."

When journalists are murdered on American streets in broad daylight simply because they pursued the truth, the consequences for democracy are devastating, and it leads to the chilling of free speech for all of us.

This was a hit, they need to find the gunman AND the guy who HIRED him.


X. Dell said...

Christian Progressive Liberal brings up an important point: the redirection of public works monies for private gain, at the expense of structural integrity.

I was reading in the local paper today about the number of bridge collapses there have been recently. This has happened quite a few times before, and most likely will again. One has to wonder why this one made headlines, and the others didn't. One has to wonder when it will happen again.

New Jersey's main paper, The Star Ledger also had a story about that state's bridge's--most of which had some structural weaknesses, and a lot of them (40%, if memory serves) that had serious structural weaknesses.

I'm with Jimbo in that Bailey's murder merits further monitoring.

Brian said...


I could not have stated it any better. These thoughts have been bunched up in my head for the past few days now...but I have been unable to put them into words. (sometimes my brain gets overloaded with all the nonsense going on). Shit... I need 3 brains to keep up with all of this lunacy.... Spending a half trillion to blow up and then rebuild some other ---------- country, while our own infrastructure is falling apart? I mentioned this a few weeks ago after the steam pipe explosion in New York.

Anonymous said...

The north side of Minneapolis is still seeing lots of murders. Nothing compared to Killadelphia but lots of young black kids getting shot. Between the killings and the forclosures the area is in a state of near-collapse.

That bridge that collapsed is in the heart of Minneapolis and connects the east and west sides. Lots of money has just been dumped about 5 miles south of the collapse to unweave 35w and The Crostown expressway. It's a pain-in-the ass stretch of highway but not unsafe (as far as we know). Lots of suburban folk pushing for that highway construction for years.

Nick Stump said...

Great post today. Good stuff all around.

Blinders Off said...

Your viewpoint on this tragedy is on point. I truly enjoy reading your blog.

Like I said before your viewpoints are always good to read on the blogs.

It is a sad day in America when a black journalist is executed in broad daylight. Mainstream media is not taking what happened to Chauncey Bailey to the extreme like they did/do many unnecessary stories on the three blond bimbos Paris, Nicole, and Lindsey. I will be looking forward to the bloggers posting on the who, why, and what happened to order the execution of Chauncey Bailey.

The Christian Progressive Liberal said...

Hey, people, got an update on Chauncey Bailey, and who he might have pissed off to get himself assassinated.

Those of us on the West Coast - Chauncey did a series of articles which basically exposed a rising star in the Nation of Islam - brotha by the name of Yusef Bey. Bey actually ran for mayor of Oakland; allegedly did good work around Oakland, getting brothas off the streets, off drugs and re-birthing them as NOI members.

Think of what happened to Malcolm X when he went to Mecca and found out that Elijah Muhammad had been lying to him about what it meant to be a Muslim - not to mention fathering a ton of kids out of wedlock, taking get the picture.

Replace Yusef Bey with Elijah Muhammad and you have the same thing happening all over again...except Chauncey wasn't an NOI brotha. When Bey announced he was going to run for Mayor of Oakland back in 2002 or so, all of his secrets came spilling out, and Chauncey took the information and did a series of articles about Yusef Bey which basically turned him into Public Enemy #1 (no dis to Chuck D). Especially when it became known he fathered several kids out of wedlock with teenage girls (they were as young as 13 when he forced them to sex him up).

When they had those kids, they were also ex-communicated out of the NOI for having kids out of wedlock. Never mind that those babies father was the same guy fashioning himself as the successor to Elijah Muhammad (but Louis Farrakhan kinda messed that up).

If the NOI wasn't above assassinating one of their own (Malcolm), what do you think about them silencing a journalist who they thought had smeared them in the press? Not that Chauncey did that, but Chauncey was a Bob Maynard-Cronkite type of journalist and pulled no punches with his articles.

I talked to my tax guy out in Oakland the same day the news about Chauncey was posted, and he asked me what I thought about the whole thing.

I remembered Chauncey's series on Yusef Bey and the NOI. Those brothers were into graft and payola, too, and all got busted. Yusef was on his way to the big house when his prostrate got him. His sons took over running the Oakland chapter of the NOI, and would not be above suspicion in terms of avenging their father.

I mean, Chauncey did articles on Iran-Contra (and that shyt got another report, Gary Webb, from the San Jose Mercury News, killed and made to look like he ate his gun),Whitewater, and Bush's lies, and he didn't catch bullets until now.

It will be interesting to find out what he was working on at the time of his death. He already moved three or four times within Oakland because he was getting death threats because of his articles and press coverage, and Oakland's finest acted like they couldn't give him protection (cause he did a story on how the po-po were racking up overtime and weren't on duty).

That's the spec going on in Oakland...and it's interesting that Chauncey's death is referred to, even by the local media, as an "assassination".

field negro said...

Wow, thanks for the update christian prog...this blogging thing is better than CNN, and CBS combined.

Please keep us updated on what happens in Oaktown.

Thanks again!

Jolli said...


that was a lot to take in.

this is my first time reading your blog...and i thought that was amazing

then i get to the comment section...and pow!


it seems like you all are having the "aha!" moment over and over again. kinda like a woman that thinks her man is cheating...finds out her man is cheating...then just keeps on finding out her man cheats

i still to this day cannot understand why people take the news more seriously than they take a sitcom.

this government, like all governments, runs independantly from the people.

you really think its the people that influence the government???


so you think the presidents that got the boot did so because the people just wouldn't stand for corruption and greed and blah blah blah?

i don't mean to sound mean spirited but...

we already know the government is against the people. (duh)

and, no, shining a light on it doesn't bring anything to light that they haven't already planned on showing.

i believe one brother on here said taking up guns, in a productive manner, was a course of action we should take...

i agree

Constructive Feedback said...

So if I understand your logic correctly......

Killadelphia has out of control violence where Black on Black killings make up a sizable portion of this number.

The money that SHOULD be spent on addressing this problem (and the collapsing bridges - is being wasted in Iraq - $100 billion per year).

It is clear from the ads on the side of your web site that you are no fan of Bush or this war. But wait - Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love is 80% Democrat!!! Were were told at the end of the Civil Rights Movement that by getting Blacks elected as Democrats the benefits would stream into our community (see the words of Bayard Ruskin).

I noticed last summer that the fed up citizens of West Philly marched 117 miles outside of their own community to the state capital of Harrisburg in order to tell the legislature to do something as a means of keeping guns out of THEIR SON'S HANDS so they would stop KILLING EACH OTHER.

Field Negro - Let me ask you - if a people prioritizes their own self preservation YET they keep expecting a force external to their community to come in and patch over issues that the community has failed to address in the rearing of their sons - how likely is this external force to be successful?

What messages got lost in the rearing of these young Black men that now has them killing each other?

Why would a people who believes that the tax money that they send up to the national level is being misappropriated AT THE EXPENSE OF THE LIVES OF THEIR BLACK SON'S.....continue to support policies that has more of their economic product sent OUTSIDE OF THE BORDERS rather than remain within so they get to choose the priorities?

Is it possible that there is a net INFLOW of benefit that exceed the gross production in these communities and thus their options are limited?

But the key question Field Negro is - BEFORE THE WAR IN IRAQ - where was this money that was used to fix the bridges and fund programs that benefited YOUR PEOPLE?

field negro said...

"Were were told at the end of the Civil Rights Movement that by getting Blacks elected as Democrats the benefits would stream into our community (see the words of Bayard Ruskin)."

You are obviously approaching this subject from a political (in your case,rethuglican)perpective. You must be new to this blog, because you clearly have not read where I am as hard on dimocrats as I am the rethuglicans. I really could care less about what the fuck dimocrats do. So please save that speech for someone who cares about the politricks in this country.

I am the last person you need to be telling about doing for self; cause that is all that I am about.(Again, read the blog)It's so easy for people to throw out that tired old rhetoric about black folks pulling themselves up blah blah blah. That's easy. The hard part is to get out here and do the work that it takes to make black folks ralize that we are being hoodwinked by the frat boy apologist in America like you.

"But the key question Field Negro is - BEFORE THE WAR IN IRAQ - where was this money that was used to fix the bridges and fund programs that benefited YOUR PEOPLE?"

It weas being used to fund bullshit programs to benefit people who I am sure you suport. It was being used to give corporate welfare to big companies of which I am sure you support.It was being used to fund the military, NASA, programs to destabilize Third World countries who could never harm us... I could go on, but I don't have the time or the patients for your bullshit.

BTW, not only am I "no fan of Bush"; but I think he is a fucking liar and a war criminal, who stole a fucking election by suppressing my people's right to vote.

I hope I anwered your questions

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