In 2005 self-appointed Bushrod neighborhood vigilante Patrick McCullough shot his neighbor, 14 year old high school student Melvin McHenry in the back as he was running away from McCullough.
McCullough was not charged or jailed for his crime. He was praised as a hero by police, city officials, the media and white people who are gentrifying the historically black Bushrod neighborhood.
Now McCullough is running for city council from North Oakland’s district one on a platform of law and order violence targeting the African community.
McCullough is a black man who acts as a convenient front for all those intent on dealing with Oakland’s deep social and economic problems with a military solution similar to Israel’s genocidal assault on the Palestinian people of Gaza.
Oakland just granted $7.7 million of tax payers’ money for more police and has launched an aggressive recruitment drive for the OPD with base salaries of over $87,000 a year and up to $244,000 with overtime.
Since this police budget was allocated in March already 2 people have been killed within a few days by the OPD. Casper Banjo, 71, a well-known and respected African artist was gunned down on March 14 by police. On Wednesday, March 19 Oakland police murdered a 15 year old Mexican youth. Both took place in East Oakland.
This is the murderous climate advocated by McCullough. In Oakland, according to the New York Times, one in every five families live on less than $15,000 and the poorest 20 percent live on $7,600 annually. Oakland is a city of deep disparities: crushing African poverty while the Bay Area has the highest rate of millionaires in the country.
California has the world’s sixth largest economy and the third largest prison population. The black population of California is 7 percent but 32 percent of the population of California’s prisons, a growth industry that pumps billions of dollars into the state’s economy.
In 1996 Gary Webb from the San Jose Mercury News exposed that the U.S. government was responsible for the massive influx of crack into Oakland. This came in the wake of COINTELPRO that destroyed the Black Power Movement of the 60s and assassinated L’il Bobby Hutton right here in Oakland.
Urban renewal and gentrification destroyed the economy of the African community where today it is estimated that half of young black people face unemployment. Sometimes just to put food on the table African people are forced into a government and corporate-controlled drug economy that studies show pay minimum wage for young street workers but make millions of dollars for banks and Wall Street.
In a city where white people are snapping up deals on houses and lofts at the expense of an impoverished African community the question is “who is the real criminal?”
The problem is poverty, oppression and public policies of police containment of the African community.
For peace and unity in Oakland we need genuine economic development to transform the conditions of the African and other impoverished communities. We need an end to police containment and violence against African and Mexican people. We need people like Patrick McCullough to pay a political price for their white-backed terror of the African community.
Defeat Patrick McCullough, District 1!
For more information call 510-625-1106.