Thursday, June 1, 2017

Transcending the left/right paradigm

Hal Lindsey, Born Again prophet

Eldridge Cleaver transcended the left/right paradigm. He experienced every ideology on the spectrum. Marvin X traveled with him.  It was an educational experience for Marvin X. See his book Beyond Religion, toward Spirituality and his memoir of Eldridge Cleaver My Friend the Devil. And most especially his drama One Day in the Life, including the scene of his last meeting with Huey P. Newton in a West Oakland Crack House.

 Debbie and Pat Boone
 Charles Colson said the prisons would produce Muslim terrorists. I wonder why? Amiri Baraka said, "In the end, the Negro will be the terrorist!"

 On the right, Rev. Robert Schuller at his Crystal Cathedral. Marvin X went there with Eldridge twice.

Jim and Tammy Baker. Eldridge gave his testimony twice at their PTL Club in Charlotte, North Carolin, accompanied by Marvin X. Marvin was shocked when a white chauffeur picked them up at the airport. He was shocked again when he saw the Christian women in long dresses and the men hugged him on both cheeks in Muslim style. 

 Marvin X says, you never know how people are until you live with them. I experienced the love between Eldridge and Kathleen from the beginning of their relationship, and later when we all lived together with their children in Atherton. Their children asked Eldridge, "If you a Christian, why you beat Mama?"

Eldridge and Marvin outside the house where Eldridge and Lil' Bobby Hutton had their shoot out with the Oakland Police. Bobby was murdered in cold blood.
photo Muhammad Kareem

Maestro Marvin X at Laney College Theatre (his former classroom, 1981), reading from his play One Day in the life, his scene of his last meeting with Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, in a West Oakland Crack House.

Life is not about the left and right on the political spectrum, life is about right and wrong, i.e., one can be right but wrong and left but wrong. Sun Ra said, "Marvin you so right, you wrong!" I will say, "You so left you wrong!" Supposedly, politics is about power to the people, yet we often become so dogmatic in our ideological leanings, we say to hell with people power, we must stand our ground in our strident political stance, even to the point of ignoring the suffering of our people.

Yes, there are North American Africans so loyal to the Democratic party that they will ignore our misery to maintain their membership in the Democratic party. I am horrified when I see our people living in tent cities throughout the Bay Area, especially here in Oakland, yet Democratic necros will do nothing to assuage their wretched condition, especially if relief must come from reaching out to the Republican administration to demand low-income housing funds.

We were recently invited to meet with Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Affairs, but the Democratic necros refused to even consider meeting with him to maintain their loyalty to their Democratic massas. The Christian necro ministers declined to seek low income housing funds from the Trump Administration even though gentrification is depleting their congregations.  As their members make their way to tent cities and migrate to central valley towns from Sacramento to Fresno and beyond, apparently the necro ministers sermonize that Jesus will find a way!

We have learned Wall Street investors now own 40% of single housing units in Oakland, another reason for Oakland's rapidly depleting available units, especially after the investors made mass purchases during the subprime loan scams that tricked North American Africans and many other Americans of their basic wealth.

We heard a lecture by Van Jones who bemoaned that Oakland used to be a majority Black city but has become the bedroom of Silicon Valley. He joked that Oakland should build a wall to keep Silicon Valley out!

In the midst of gentrification, the idea of a Black Arts Movement Business District is becoming a joke, not to mention a Black cultural district for deep East Oakland. Where are we going to be, in museums along the route, with guided tours of Where We Used to Be? And this is true for Berkeley and most certainly for San Francisco.

The Fillmore has been long gone and Hunters Point is on the way. Shall we mention our beloved Harlem with whites walking around like they own the place--alas, they do! Brooklyn is not escaping the ethnic cleansing of America's cities. Some necros are happy that gentrification is upgrading their neighborhoods from the wretchedness of rats, roaches, drugs and endless crime in the street. Of course they are not concerned about crime in the suites!

Where are those necro leaders, those sycophants of the Democratic party, many of whom were on the Redevelopment boards that began necro removal decades ago. At least former San Francisco Mayor Joe Alioto publically apologized for destroying the cultural and economic vitality of the Fillmore. We've heard no apology from the necro removal necros.

Of course nobody wants to hear Trump claim we are victims of the Democratic party. Supposedly, North American Africans should join the reactionary parade for his downfall and champion the second resurrection of the Clinton crime family, even though we think Trump won fair and square, after all, he appealed to the long suffering white nationalist sentiments in Euro-Americans. Being a black nationalist, I have no fear of white nationalists. I don't give a damn if they fly the Confederate flag, I want to see us fly the Red, Black and Green.

I must say I've had experience with the white left and right, especially after assisting my controversial friend Eldridge Cleaver when he returned from exile as a right winger because he told me the left wing sent an emissary to Paris with the message he was not wanted back in America because of the hell he caused in the left. He was told to learn French and of course Cleaver would have none of this, he wanted to come home by any means necessary. He concocted a fantastic story of seeing Jesus in the moon and sold it to the right wing Born Again Christians.

Traveling with him was a great learning experience for me, allowing me great insight of white, conservative Christian America. I can say with surety, I know the white Christian mentality. I know how they feel about Black Christian preachers and believers. If Black preachers didn't graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary or a reasonable facsimile, they were not respected. About they found Jesus one Tuesday night, didn't wash, at least not until at a white Born Again dinner after Cleaver gave his testimony, they turned to me with the question, "Marvin, when did you find the Lord?" Being an actor from the Black Arts Theatre, I quickly replied, "One Tuesday night!" The dinner guests were satisfied and turned to other matters.

As Cleaver's chief aide, my first assignment was to fire all the Jews controlling him, e.g., his booking agent, publicist, secretary, etc. Of course, in doing so I discovered the tight knit Jewish family from coast to coast. As soon as I fired a Jew in San Francisco, the news hit New York the next second.

More importantly, I learned the Christians blamed the Jews for killing Jesus but feigned deep love for Israel, yet they hated the Jews for getting their savior assassinated or crucified. They would give up their pseudo love for Israel in a heartbeat or let's say for a barrel of oil!

The word went out that the Black Muslims had taken over Cleaver's ministry although the white Christians were still in control. Traveling as Cleaver's secretary, driver, bodyguard, photographer and ultimately organizer of his ministry The Eldridge Cleaver Crusades, I did indeed hire Black Muslims to assist him since Christian Blacks were mortally afraid that white man was going to kill him for lying about seeing Jesus in the moon on his balcony one night in Southern France.

He fronted me and my Muslim recruits off as his heathen converts and this cooled out the Christians since they were bankrolling his ministry. I met or was in communication with all the Born Again superstars: Charles Colson of Watergate fame or infamy, Pat and Debbie Boone, Jim and Tammy Baker, Jerry Falwell, Hal Lindsey, Billy Graham, Rev. Robert Schuller at his Hour of Power, et al.

I wouldn't close my eyes praying with these devils! One reason Cleaver hired me was to stop the white Christians from robbing him. After giving his testimony on Jerry Falwell's Old Time Gospel Hour in Lynchburg, VA, they claimed $37,000.00 in donations were received but they wanted Cleaver to give them the power of attorney so they could cash the checks, thus depriving Cleaver of addresses so he could appeal to those who donated and thus begin to establish his own ministry which was his desire after he realized they had their agenda for him which was not his agenda. We had to send a man to Lynchburg to get the money.

Now the white Christians didn't know what to do with me. Although he was twice my size at the time, they wanted to know if I was his bodyguard. I claimed I was his assistant and photographer, which I was, although he pimped my brain on many matters. When he asked me to be his photographer, I told him I wanted the Rolls Royce of cameras, Leicaflex, and he immediately went to a camera shop and bought what I wanted. But when the white Christians saw me with the Leicaflex, they became so jealous and envious I put masking tape over the name!

Now I was his bodyguard too: he gave me a 45 automatic pistol I carried in my camera bag. The Christians didn't trust him, nor did he trust them. Leaving Canada, the USA authorities searched us, then again when we arrived at Seattle airport, and again when we arrived in San Francisco. Truth is that Cleaver probably had more guns as a Born Again Christian than when he was a Black Panther. The USA didn't  know if he was still a Communist and didn't want to take any chances. They usually had a white Christian accompany us as he toured the Born Again circuit. Cleaver began to be disillusioned when he saw they had more secret meetings than Communists, especially when he was the subject!

My assignment became to establish his independent ministry, which I began to do. I had long wanted him to give his testimony at Black churches but he refused. We worked seven days a week, sometimes never seeing Black people.

When he demanded I live with the family so we could communicate better, I moved with them to Atherton, a rich white suburb near Stanford University. His wife Kathleen said to me, "Marvin, the girls used to call for you, but they don't call anymore!" No woman wants a man working seven days a week. I didn't have time to cash my check or get my clothes out the cleaners. Cleaver was a hard working Virgo and I was a Gemini with moon in Virgo, plus the son of a workaholic mother who never took a vacation in her life, while raising nine children and two grandchildren by herself as a real estate broker and lay disciple of Mary Baker Eddy's Christian Science.

I pressed him to give his testimony at a Black church. Finally, after much persistence from Bishop  Ernestine Reems of Oakland, I got him to give his "moon shot" or "Golden Shower" at her church in East Oakland. When we arrived for a preview of her venue, she immediately showed us the ceiling with gunshots from the previous occupants, the Nation of Islam, who departed in disgust after failure to pay rent.

His sojourn in the Black churches were not a happy affair. There is simply no comparison of the Black and White Church. In 1976, the Black churches were

no match for the opulent White churches, like the Jim and Tammy Baker plantation in Charlotte, North Carolina, or Rev. Schuller's Crystal Cathedral. It was like going from the massa's house to the slave hut! In the hut, they worked Cleaver from can't see to can't see, then when I went to count the money with the preacher, it was funny money. The slave hut had no air conditioning. On one occasion in a gym in Chico, CA., Cleaver almost fainted because of the heat.

After seven months, I departed from Cleaver and his Christian ministry. Again, it was an educational experience no college or seminary could have taught me. And I knew well conservative Christian America's thinking. Their white supremacy mentality has made them sick and us as well, unless, of course, we understand Rev. Cone's narrative of the Cross and the Lynching Tree!

Firstly, we should have no fear of the White Christian, right wing nationalists. We should engage them for mutual benefit, as Van Jones said recently. We endured the Crack epidemic, now they need us to help them recover from their addiction to opiates, religion included. As Rev. Cone taught us, "They can never understand Christianity until they come to terms with the cross and the lynching tree!"

We can meet with them for mutual good. Neither political party, Democratic or Republican gives a damn about the National Agenda of North Americans, be sure about this and don't drink the Kool Aide of either party. No matter whose in power, stick to our agenda, our national aspirations, and don't be moved!

I appreciate Van Jones for his conversations with Newt Gingrich, a genius of the right. Either we talk with our enemies or we kill them or they kill us. Ralph Nader has a book on the need to transcend the left/right paradigm. I have not read it, but I get the gist!

The best thing I've heard President Trump say is to use common sense. Only thing, Dr. Julia Hare said, "Common sense is not too common these days!" At least Donald Trump is a businessman with whom we might be able to do business. Yes, let's make a deal! My Mother was a business woman. When a girlfriend came by my house on the way to high school and wanted to used my mother's phone, Mama asked her if it was a business call because Mom was a business woman and my girl couldn't use the phone if her call wasn't about business. In the spirit of my mother, if it ain't bout business, get off the goddamn phone talkin' bout where you at? It's not about are you left or right, rather, are you on the side of truth, righteousness, freedom, justice and equality!
--Marvin X

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