IT’S THEIR DEMEANOR, STUPID, by Dr. Steven Nur Ahmed

ec sagging pants

I was born in Oakland, CA. Except for a year in Chicago, Illinois, and a year in Mississippi where I did not attend school, I went to schools in Oakland.
Like many baby boomers, sometimes I become nostalgic and I yearn to see old neighborhoods which remind me of early life experiences and childhood friends. So, one morning I decided to spent a morning driving around Oakland. My parents graduated from McClymonds High School in the 1940s, so I started there in West Oakland.

I drove through many of my old neighborhoods. I saw the places where my family had lived. I drove from 12th and Peralta in west Oakland; around down town, around Lake Merritt to Durant street in East Oakland and then into Sobrante Park below what was once called East 14th street but which is now called International Blvd. That area has long been referred to by many as the flats.

In so many ways Oakland is not the same city. But I understand that cities change. I understand that the character of a city is not itched in stone. I understand that cities are driven like individuals to adapt to new ways of doing things; of new ways of making a living which makes it able to get at the things it needs to thrive.

As I drove it was impossible for me not to compare and contrast the many aspects of old neighborhoods and the people who live in them now with those who lived in my youth.

Poor money circulation, like poor blood circulation in the body will cause body parts to rot and die, causes neighborhoods to rot and die. Gradually, my nostalgia gave way to a deep sadness. I saw that a once bustling industrial hub in West Oakland and running from Fruitvale Avenue to 105th avenue and some parts of Brookville Village through San Leandro Blvd. was gone. I reminisced on the many entry level industrial jobs which were available for me my relatives and friends when we graduated from high school and which gave to us employment without a degree and which trained us on the job.

I also noticed hundreds of empty dilapidated small business spaces along a once thriving international Blvd. extending through East Oakland past Havenscourt Blvd. to 105th avenue.

I realized that today those job opportunities no longer exist for thousands of Oakland citizens living along the old industrial hub of the city. I understand that those industries are never coming back. I understand that there is a different kind of poverty in Oakland now than what was there when I was a child. It is a kind of permanent material poverty for too large a percentage of the population. It is a kind of poverty without hope.

I can reflect back now and understand that the economic decline of Oakland began in the 1950s. That its decline was in part a racist reaction to the mass migration of African Americans into the city at about that time. Most African Americans lived in the auditorium projects which occupied the land upon which now sits Jack London Square and the immediately surrounding area west of the 880 freeway.

I learned that 100,000 Caucasians fled the city out of fear of African Americans within 10 years and that gradually, over the next 20 years, the large industries followed them. From West Oakland to Durant Street at the old General Motors plant in East Oakland, both of those groups took money with them causing the city tax revenue stream to evaporate.

Eventually by the mid 1990s, thousands of government jobs had been lost because the Army and Naval bases closed and so the two largest employers of women and African American women in particular were gone, too.

That meant even less revenue for the City of Oakland because besides the incomes lost by families, small businesses were unable to survive with such a massive loss of surplus cash flow in the city. I went to the East-Mont Mall on 73rd avenue and Bancroft.

I was at the mall when it opened in 1970. At that time it had upper scale small retailers and major retailers. But today it is like a marker showing how low the money tide has fallen. It is a dead mall. Like a pool with no water in it, the stains of higher water levels forever etched on its sides are symbols of better times in the past.

Oakland Unified Schools District and Oakland Parks and Recreation suffered economic setbacks, too. For as long as I attended schools OUSD and OPR worked in conjunction to provide after school and summer on campus recreational activities for children in the neighborhoods. That included summer camp. By the mid 70s the schools started to show signs of infrastructural decay and slowly Oakland could no longer afford to hire college students who served as the after school recreational directors. The losers were the children.

Though the economy was shrinking the populations was remaining constant. The demand for jobs and for opportunities was not shrinking with the industrial base of the city and the city tax revenue. People were operating on what Oakland was and not what it was becoming.

As I drove, my attention then changed to the demeanor of the people. A people’s demeanor is in many ways an expression of culture in the broadest sense of the word. I understand cultures change. They usually change in relation to religious novations and/or technological development. But neither of these aspects of culture had met those two conditions.

In Oakland, religious institutions are set within the same 3000 year old paradigms. African Americans are still trying to make themselves into Jews or some form of Roman Christian or going back to ancient Egypt or some other brand of Middle Eastern or Asian dogma. They do not have the foresight to see that they are running head long into profound and mind altering scientific discoveries as well as a new spiritual paradigm which have already started to change the general mindscape of humanity to newer and higher levels of consciousness. They are on the losing end of the stick and there is no way to help them out of their self imposed crypt.

Also, as I stated above, industries have left the city, so no industrial innovations have taken the place of the old ones. So, I mused: what has caused a change in the demeanor of the people?

I narrowed it down to several factors. I identified drugs, media, and state prison. I identified drugs because I remember Oakland before cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine use had been popularized. That was prior to 1966.
Slowly, I saw the use of those three drugs spread to youthful segments of the population which were not part of the criminal ‘fast life’, especially women. They were promoted as recreational drugs.

I noticed that the increase in the use of those drugs opened up a multimillion dollar pipeline flowing out of neighborhoods all over the city. Addiction to those drugs and the further economic impoverishment of families marked a significant change in the demeanor of the people. Generally, people started to look ragged and unclean in their personal appearance. Even more, they seemed not to care. Then I noticed a sharp increase in the incarceration rate and prison construction in California.

The war on drugs was rebooted under the Nixon administration in 1970. It was associated with the prison construction boom in California and the arrest and incarceration rates of large numbers of people in Oakland for mostly petty drug offences. The war on drugs also increased the number of people who chose careers in corrections as correctional officers as well as it resulting in a state private contract boom which awarded billions of state tax dollars to private corporations to build, maintain, and supply state prisons. Oakland’s minority populations were hit the hardest by the war on drugs. Their arrest and incarceration numbers increased year by year as the feedback loop between Oakland and the state prison system became stronger and stronger.

So I did find that industrial innovation was driving cultural change. But it wasn’t making the kind of useful products one normally thinks of; products which grow wealth in a community. It was the prison industry. It was making people into useless entities as it took them in for its raw material by the hundreds of thousands as though Oakland was a colonial plantation or as a parasitical leech sucks the blood out of a weakened helpless creature. Its effect would be and is a total change in the demeanor of the people reflecting prison life but now rooted in neighborhoods.

gay men at morehouse ec

This I noticed is most reflected in the young men. Their pants pulled down low under the buttocks; their unkempt appearance; their low education level; their imprecise speech patterns; and, their unemployment because of having a felony record or just simply not wanting to work at a low paying job is just the surface of a deeply rooted prison ethos that now plagues the city of Oakland. It is a moral disaster zone.

As I drove around with my window down I could hear music blasting from cars to my left and right. I reflected on two stations which from the 1940s up to the 1980s thrived in Oakland. KDIA and KSOL radio stations played to a base of African American listeners. Blues, jazz, and soul music was what I heard. On Sundays, I’d hear programs which aimed at enriching the listeners with news, philosophy, history, art, religion, and an opportunity to call in and express public opinion.

That has all changed now. Those stations are off the air. There are no African American radio stations, but there is a media which promotes a kind of music which does generate for it billions of dollars in profits each year although none of that money finds its way back into Oakland communities. Additionally, the music is generally negative for the sake of being negative. The lyrics include words such as nigger, bitch, etc. Children know the lyrics by memory. Parents play it in the home and sing along with their children. It is a comprehensive media brainwashing tactic which has brought about such a change in the psychological demeanor of the people that it is now impossible to reverse it.

The Hip-hop/Rap media growth is directly correlated with increase in cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine use, the rise of the prison industrial complex and their combined effect upon the psychological demeanor of the people. I finally thought, wow, yet another way to siphon money from poor people and to keep them physically weak and psychologically down at the same time. It is the physical control of the mind by drugs plus by sound plus by words plus by isolation plus by time.

In fact when I think about it it’s as though whole neighborhoods have been converted from rational people to a complex of instinctual impulses triggered on queue by all the stimuli set up around them; sound, sugar, salt, fat, denigrating words, self loathing styles, etc, like Ivan Pavlov’s famous dog experiment was able to trigger the dog’s brain to foam at the mouth by the sound of a bell.

I realized then that the most pressing issue in Oakland is no longer ‘civil rights’ it’s ‘clearing the mind’ because if you ‘clear the mind’ civil rights will follow.

I decided to stop my tour of Oakland. I had had enough. Honestly, it was making me sick. Maybe I’ll do another tour some other day when I’m feeling better and nostalgic again.


Book Cover Earthcolony

Chapter 10

A cosmological worldview governed by duality and proportionate justice is inevitably reflected in social relations between all governments and their citizens.  Since that theory of nature allows for no absolutes, i.e., truth.  It follows that lying is unavoidable, and thus necessary for the preservation of the State. In fact, it is the belief that the ‘lie’ in state-craft is absolute. Most of what the citizens know of the state is cosmetic or appearance or image; it is propaganda.  Plato emphasizes this again and again. The State operates on premises quite different than those which it promotes to the masses. In order for the plutocratic caste to accomplish the ends of government, Plato posits the importance of lying and secrecy which is a privilege solely possessed by their castes.[1]  One can never get to the truth in government because government is the lie that ‘government is necessary’. By deduction it follows that Plato’s reasoning leads to this conclusion.  Freedom is impossible in relation to government.  For freedom and government are mutually exclusive.  For that reason the State or Government is always idling on high anxiety; its enemies are everyone everywhere who impulsively struggle for wiggle room out of their bondage to the lie, to the State.

Again, and for our purposes, we trace his emphasis on the necessity for State duplicity to his basic theory of the division of existence into the three basic phases of 1) pure being, 2) becoming, and 3) non-being or nothing.  Now, corresponding to those three aspects of being is Plato’s epistemology, i.e., what is it that a citizen can know?  There are again three possibilities.  One can know the truth through pure being; one may have an opinion which is more or less truth mixed with more or less falsity through becoming and perishing; and, one can have an illusory kind of knowledge, i.e., one can be ignorant and thus know nothing.[2]

The kind of knowledge associated with each aspect of being follows necessarily as a result of his theory of degeneration from pure being.  The human form by virtue of its admixture with physicality or matter can only know some truth which is unavoidably mixed with untruth, i.e., opinion.[3]  So, for Plato the controlling principle of government must be deceit because it is the controlling principle of material being, i.e., the mixture of some truth and some falsity.  The premise is simple. Some truth and some falsity equal falsity. For him this rule of duplicity is manifest in the depths of human nature as a dialectical struggle between ego and instinct.  But that struggle is analogous to the point just made above and we are left here with this fact: some ego and some instinct equal instinct. Revolt of the masses therefore is inevitable. For the plutocrats, that means they must 1) repress, i.e., become increasingly totalitarian over the masses or 2) they must flee for their lives or 3) they must die.

We shall see in later chapters how the Platonic theory of deceit became an effective tool in the use of ‘treaties’ (lying) to set the stage for the alienation, suppression, and repression of Native Americans, the Hawaiian people, and finally the American people.












[1] Ibid, Book III, [382],[389] [414-416]

[2] Ibid, Book VII Allegory of the Cave [514-517], [532] also see Book VI, Plato uses an analogy: the good is to the soul what the sun is to the eye.[508][509] Lastly, for a full dialectical discussion see Book V {475-480]

[3] Ibid, Book VI, [508]: “…but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she [the soul] has opinion only, and goes blinking about, and is first of one opinion and then of another, and seems to have no intelligence?” [Italics mine]



Do we remember Marcus Garvey? He who at a time when lynching African Americans was the norm yet stood up and spoke out to gather his people together to empower them so that they might make themselves self-reliant and self-sufficient.  That they might reach up and take for themselves the fruit of liberty and freedom? And for his courage he was rewarded with humiliation, deportation, and poverty.

paul robeson

Do we remember Paul Robeson? An intellectual giant and social activist, he too stood up during a time of lynching. He, too, cried out to his people and all others who yearned to be free from racism and oppression.  With courage he spoke out against fear used by the powers of his day as a tool to sway people to war. For his courage he was called un-American. For his courage his passport was revoked and he was blacklisted, impoverished, ignored by his people, and died alone.


And then came the man Malcolm X. Do we remember him? Intellectually centered, passionate, articulate, and with courage he rallied his people to unity speaking truth to power.  He was laid waste in his youth, a martyr.


Have we forgotten what Dr. Martin Luther King said? That no person “…be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” And that on that premise he spoke truth to the powers of his day. That from his powerful mind he drew forth undefeatable logical arguments not just for integration into the consumer markets of America but also for equitable wages for African American workers, too, and spoke out against unjust war fueled by fear and corporate greed. His unfailing courage was rewarded by those powers of the day with death; he fell a martyr.

African Americans are at a Moral Crossroad

We should endeavor to remember those African American men by understanding the common pattern of their lives so that we can know the characteristics of true leadership as opposed to pretentious persons. That they all cared for life from conception to old age.  And that we should not support a person because of the color of their skin any more than we should wrongly discriminate against a person for that reason, even if that person is the President of the United States.



The mass of evidence is increasingly compelling informed Americans to conclude that President Barak Obama is but another presidential link in a long chain of Presidents who is under the absolute control of the military-industrial-complex pushing the United States into a state of fascism. This claim is not made lightly or as opinion. Incontrovertible facts support it.

First, President Obama campaigned in 2008 that the war in Iraq was illegal. He boasted that as a senator he did not vote to attack Iraq under the Bush administration because the claims made by Colin Powell in 2003 at the United Nations that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction were false and that the Bush administration knew it. He used that argument against Hillary Clinton who voted for the war.  But once President Obama became President he didn’t stop the war, he altered the nature of the war by using drones indiscriminately in Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen to kill suspected terrorists and all those Muslims in close proximity including children.  He ordered the use of drones by the CIA in those countries with full knowledge that he was violating their national sovereignty under international law.

Second, President Obama ordered the killing of U.S. citizens in Yemen one of whom was a 16 year old child who was having breakfast with other children.  He gave that order knowing that it violated the Federal Juvenile Act and the 5th amendment right of those U.S. citizens to their right to due process under law.  His press secretary said that the child should have picked a better father.  Obama rationalized his order to assassinate on the basis of speech which under the constitution is a protected right.  He is also setting up the African Command to commit the same kinds of war crimes while at the same time approving monetary aid to countries with child soldiers in Africa. Is this a set up to kill more children?

Thirdly, you ordered yet another violation of international law by using the North Atlantic Treaty Organization out of its jurisdiction and contrary to the United Nations into an unprovoked attack on Libya. You set the stage and furthered the murder of the national leader of Libya, Qaddafi, just as Eisenhower ordered a CIA hit on President Patrice Lumumba of the Congo in 1961 and Bush on Saddam Hussain. Since then Congo has been pillaged by multinational corporations for the mineral coltan and other minerals while its people remain dirt poor. Libya is now a ghetto nation like Iraq and Syria. President Obama knew better because the British did it to his father’s family in Kenya. They kept the Kenyans in a perpetual state of ghetto.  But ghetto doesn’t resonate with President Obama here or abroad.

Fourthly, he has not fought congress to reinstitute Glass-Steagall which your mentor William Jefferson Clinton helped repeal for his and your corporate bosses; he has instead catered wholly to corporate powers which donated heavily to both of his presidential campaigns. For example, he signed into law the Monsanto Protection Act (see section 735) which gives ‘Monsanto Corporation’ immunity from federal courts pending the review of any GM crop that is thought to be dangerous. Even more, in his 2013 state of the union he endorsed a free trade agreement with the European Union which would grant corporations the power to challenge many regulations both at home and abroad.  These facts are indisputable.

When President Obama took office in 2008, he appointed Larry Summers and Timothy Geithner both of whom were and are Wall Street agents and crime partners with the major banks which stole trillions of dollars from the American people and which caused the 2008 economic meltdown. President Obama knew that.  He was told to keep them.

Yet, President Obama has not addressed the fact that major banks such as JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo aid in the ghetto payday loans to exploit the poor with up to 500% interest rates on the internet. Its alright to leach on the poor; that’s the nature of his administration.

Instead, President Obama will meet in Lima, Peru to endorse the ‘Trans-Pacific-Partnership Treaty’ which will give corporations everywhere the right to have a trade tribunal hear claims brought against them; it would override U.S. Federal law.  It is an act against poor nations and poor people in those nations. President Obama knows that.  He condones it for his corporate masters.

Fifthly, President Obama attended a Bilderberg meeting in 2008 before he was elected. He has not revealed to his constituents why he attended and what the nature of his meeting with its members, who happen to be the most powerful men in the world, was.  However, we do know that Chris Hughes, Editor of the New Republic and co-founder of Face-Book attended a Bilderberg meeting in 2011. We also know that he was the ‘coordinator for online organizing’ for the Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign and donated millions of dollars to Obama’s 2012 presidential campaign. See: ‘The Kid who made Obama President…, Fast Company Magazine’. We also know that Chris Hughes is gay and made over 500 million dollars in 2012. That’s why you argued that the Supreme Court should strike down the ‘Defense of Marriage, Act’ 2-23-2013. No President Obama, gays did not put you in office; African Americans put you in office.  For them you have done nothing.  And don’t throw out to us the ‘Obama-Care’ bone because the insurance industry will profit from ‘Obama-Care.’ That’s not enough pay back for a 93% African American voter support.

Sixthly, President Obama dog’s the poor. He has not advocated for public education and so he silently supports the privatization of K-12 education.  But there’s more, in 2008 he promised that he’d never cut Social Security to the elderly but now he says that it is on the table as a possibility under a ‘chained CPI’ proposal.  Further, he has done nothing to address the crisis of prison incarceration in the United States and again by silence condones the privatization of the criminal justice system for profit.

NSA whisteblower

Seventh, President Obama is now engaged in a frontal attack on the rights of all American citizens.  He signed into law on 2012 the NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) which allows the government to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens with no right of habeas corpus (Section 1021).

Now a courageous American has stepped forward. Edward Snowden who is an ex- CIA agent has leaked a totally fascist plan by President Obama, et al. The Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act has been found to allow the FBI and National Security Agency secret ‘back door’ access which they have been using for over a year at a 300,000,000 intercepted calls per day clip of all phone calls, emails, pictures, and videos  through and by cooperation with INTERNET PROVIDERS such as Verizon, AT&T, Yahoo, Google, Microsoft-Skype, AOL, et al of all U.S. citizens with complete disregard for the 4th amendment prohibition against warrantless searches of persons, houses, papers, and effects without a warrant which if given would require an affidavit which particularly describes the person or things to be searched or seized based upon probable cause and signed by a judge .

The ‘New York Times’ has stated that President Obama has lost all credibility. Just weeks before this new revelation it had been found the Eric Holder who is the U.S. Attorney General had signed on a memorandum authorizing the FBI to spy on ‘Associated Press’ news reporter’s phone calls. And on top of that, the Internal Revenue Service is charged with having targeted persons because of their political association or those political parties which applied for tax exempt status.


The facts support the following conclusion. President Obama is a war criminal and a corporate puppet. His smile will not fool historians in the future nor will it fool intelligent people today. He has joined the ranks of J. Edgar Hoover the master mind of ‘co-intell-pro’, smut spying, and murder . We, U.S. citizens, are now living in a fascist state. There has been a corporate hostile takeover of our government. It is now a corporate and military-police power structured to exercise totalitarian rule over us. You may consume alcohol, smoke weed, listen to hip-hop; you may use drugs until your brain is mush, watch television until your eyes are red, but you may not think.  Welcome to the ‘Brave New World’ of America.

San Francisco Police Officer Arrested In Scuffle With Other San Francisco Officers – By Wayne Johnson, Attorney


Last Friday, an off-duty Black San Francisco Police officer was arrested in a scuffle with three White San Francisco officers. The Black officer who has 15 years on the force was charged with battery and resisting police.

We do not have an official account of the events.  Maybe the real facts will be revealed later this week.  All we know is a Department whistle blower contacted the NACCP and reported the arrest to the NAACP.   The Public Relations officer for the City of San Francisco issued the White officers’ side.

According to the City of San Francisco, the White officers pulled the Black officer over and the vehicle had tinted windows and no license plates.  They also allege the officer did not have his identification.  Those are not serious crimes.  In fact, the tinted windows and the missing plates are infractions.  That means the officer may only have been given a fine or a fix it ticket.  I am sure he told the White officers at some point that he was a police officer, but they may not have believed him.  At some point during the detention the police discovered the Black officer had a firearm in his possession.  That is legal for a police officer.  The firearm was not a factor in the arrest.

According to the NAACP, this is a clear case of racial profiling.  They claim the White officers did not know the Black officer and the first thing the White Officers asked the plain clothes Black officer was if he was on parole.

The Black police officer allegedly took offense and a scuffle broke out.   The three White officers claimed they received scrapes and they arrested the Black officer, who hired a prominent Black attorney.  Nobody explained why he did this.  It could have been to protect his job or to fight criminal charges.  Maybe he wanted to sue his fellow officers.

First, did the Black police officer have a right to refuse to answer the question?   That depends on the terms of his employment.  As a regular citizen, under the Constitution, he has a Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate himself.  However, parolees must respond to the question.  This law has recently changed a bit.  Nowadays, you cannot simply remain silent.  You have to tell the police you are exercising your Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself, or your silence may be taken as an admission of guilt.

Second, did the Black Police officer have to right to defend himself?  Well that depends on whether the White Officers employed excessive force.   In the back drop of that analysis we must determine whether the police had the authority to use any force.   If the person was not violating the law, then any force is unnecessary.  However, you are required to submit to an arrest even if you are innocent.  You can only defend yourself if excessive force is applied.  You do not have to submit to unnecessary injuries and you certainly do not have to surrender your life.

The bloggers all assume incorrectly that the police can just stop you and impose all sorts restrictions on the citizenry.   This is not Nazi Germany and the San Francisco police are not the Gestapo.   While it is dangerous to physically challenge the police, if the police take it too far and use too much force it can be something you feel obligated to do.

For all we know, the Black police officer could have had DMV sticker, and a driver’s license in his possession.  

Asking anyone regardless of race if he in on parole is highly offensive.  Asking a Black man if he is on parole is not just highly offensive, it is an example of racial prejudice.  It would be like asking women of a certain age if they ever worked as a prostitute or every gay appearing person when was the last time he visited a gay bathhouse. 

Assuming the practice is Constitutional, which it may not be, does not mean it is wise.  It is just lazy police work that came about as a result of the San Francisco police losing an appeal to a parolee for an unlawful search, and not discovering he was on parole until after they violated all of his rights.   They tried to justify the unlawful search after the fact.  They were unsuccessful in that case, so now they try to ask most people if they are on probation or parole when they make the initial stop.

We pay these police a lot of money to do investigative work, not to be lazy.  The police  should have asked the Black officer for his identification and ran a corpus check to see if the guy was on parole.  If he did not have his identification, maybe they could have tried to follow-up by calling the department.  In any event, they should have made the first question something other than “are you on parole?”  You do not have to be a jerk to do your job. 

Also, we act like institutionalized racism is dead.  It is not.  In New York where they use the infamous “stop and frisk,” a court ruled that in 90% of the cases that stop and frisk is used, the police were wrong in their hunch that criminal activity was afoot.  That says a  whole lot about police intuition.

Just because the police detain you does not mean you lose all of your Constitutional rights.  You still have a right to remain silent, to defend yourself when excessive force is used, and to exercise a host of other rights. 

Finally, just because you hire an attorney does not mean you are guilty or that you have something to hide.  Many people hire attorneys regardless of their guilt because they are not attorneys, and they don’t want to be railroaded.  Also, your words can be used as evidence against you in court to impeach you or incriminate you.  The words out of your attorney’s mouth cannot be used against you.  Always hire an attorney if you can obtain one.