Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Read this first:

" The following editorial appeared in Saturday’s Washington Post:

There was a time when many people in Oakland, Calif., admired Your Black Muslim Bakery, a neighborhood enterprise founded in 1968 by a charismatic African American known as Yusuf Bey. Community members, politicians and the local media hailed the bakery as an example of black self-help in an otherwise dispiriting environment of urban poverty.

For years, they tended to ignore or play down reports about the more violent side of Bey’s operation, or about such disturbing events as a political rally at which Bey remarked that Jews “are not worthy of being hated.”

Among the many who were a bit soft on the bakery was a reporter for the Oakland Tribune, Chauncey Bailey, who doubled as news director for a television channel that Bey paid to broadcast his sermons.

But in 2002, the East Bay Express, a local alternative newspaper that had praised the bakery, ran a penetrating series of articles on the activities of Bey’s minions, including the alleged torture of a Nigerian immigrant. That series earned reporter Chris Thompson threats from Bey’s group.

Bey’s arrest in 2003 on 27 counts of raping four girls further damaged both Bey’s image and that of his organization, though most of the charges were dropped and he died before his trial.

Bailey began to take a second journalistic look at Your Black Muslim Bakery. Having become editor of the Oakland Post, a small weekly newspaper focused on the African American community, Bailey probed the bakery’s murky finances — until the morning of Aug. 2, when a masked man approached and fired a shotgun at his head.

According to police, a 19-year-old employee of the bakery has confessed to the murder, saying he carried it out because of Bailey’s reporting. The suspect denies he confessed and claims he is innocent.

Job-related murders of journalists are extremely rare in the United States: The last one took place in 1993, and there have been only 13 since 1976 (including Bailey’s), according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Yet this murder is a reminder of the need for reporting by professional journalists, even in an era when amateur video of war zones can be had at the click of a mouse. Aggressive journalism is still a vital part of every community’s defenses against corruption and crime. It can save lives.

Chauncey Bailey died doing his duty as a reporter. That duty is not only indispensable in a democratic society; it’s also risky. Now that the police have raided the bakery, confiscating weapons and arresting six people in addition to Bailey’s alleged assassin, there is some hope for a safer Oakland. That would be the most fitting memorial for Chauncey Bailey."

Now-We live in a nation where we are blessed with freedom to say and write what we want. Not all nations have that privilege. In fact many nations subject those who dare to question authority, demonstrate a lack of religious conformity such as carrying a Bible, or refusing to bow to social limitations such a wearing a hajib or purdah to jail, to beatings, to whippings or worse. As a free nation, writers are able to express their opinions in what used to be news. But I question the wisdom of adhering to politically correct imagery on certain ethnic groups while overlooking more sinister and serious issues. In this case, the writer did a fluff piece on the main character showing his positive side. But when the same writer found out about major criminal activity associate with this same person, the writer was killed. That's not supposed to happen in the United States. But it does happen in many of the nations whose egregious behavior is being whitewashed by a media that seeks to control the vote through only the most politically correct presentation of groups that seek to do us harm. You can see it with certain radical elements within domestic Islamic beliefs, you can see it with the refusal to site the resident status of known offenders, you can see it in the way they show people involved in a crime based more upon their perceived minority or ethnic status rather than on the heinousness of the offense. This cannot stand. We can't allow people to corrupt us from within. Somewhere there must be judges and juries who are not blinded by the polling of an issue. I think the location of this event also is telling since that area of California is one of the most willing to accept people precisely because they oppose the concepts that make the United States what is it today. Please consider this issue and discuss it with your kids. They need to know what they are up against.

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