Najee’s Notes: Political foes almost come to blows


August 20, 2015

All hell nearly broke loose Aug. 16, when former Compton Mayor Omar Bradley and political activist Basil Kimbrew nearly came to blows at the Southern California Ceasefire peace rally and water giveaway in Compton.

Bradley and Kimbrew have been political adversaries for years and there is definitely bad blood between them, but no one could have ever imagined that their feud would ever turn to violence, especially at an event calling for an end to black-on-black violence and to promote peace in the community.

I was actually at the event and arrived late. But according to eyewitnesses and my fellow activists, Bradley spotted and confronted Kimbrew in the parking lot of the Rite Aid drugstore on Rosecrans and Central avenues. Bradley then began to berate Kimbrew.

As things became more heated, Assemblyman Mike Gipson stepped between both men before blows could be thrown. Other activists joined in to ensure physical violence didn’t occur and Bradley eventually left.

I don’t know why or how their feud started, but I do know this.

Bradley was falsely accused and convicted of corruption and sentenced to three years in state prison. Bradley has to realize he’s been given a second chance.

His corruption conviction was overturned by an appeals court in August 2012. So now that his name and reputation have been restored he can’t go around engaging in physical conflict. He has to be smarter than that.

The police and District Attorney’s Office are just waiting for Bradley to do anything wrong so they can put him back in prison. As the former mayor of Compton Bradley near involvement in a street fight at a peace event is ridiculous. I hope Bradley and Kimbrew can work it out.

Speaking of Compton, “Straight Outta Compton” the newly released movie chronicling the rise to fame of the gangster rap group, N.W.A. and its members Eazy-E, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and DJ Yella, has become a box office smash with opening weekend numbers up over $60 million, making it the top movie in America.

I haven’t seen the movie and don’t plan on seeing it. I believe in justice and every person who believes in justice but supported this film knowing the facts about N.W.A. are hypocrites. N.W.A. gangster rap music promoted misogyny, gang violence, alcohol and drug use.

The irony of it all is that these N.W.A. rappers (and others like them) whined about getting their selves beat by cops while expecting public sympathy and support. But they had no problem encouraging black-on-black violence and promoting it.

If you support violence and abuse, don’t expect others to give a damn when you are a victim of it. This film is nothing but a revisionist history. I understand you can’t tell every one’s story but leaving out the beating and abuse of hip hop personality Dee Barnes by Dr. Dre is unfortunate.

I’ve heard how well the film was made but if I didn’t support N.W.A when they were making gangster rap music and building their careers off the degradation of black people, why would I support their movie?

The Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network civil rights organization held its Phoenix Awards dinner at the Biltmore Hotel last week. Honorees included former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Bishop Noel Jones, director John Singleton, and Brad Johnson, owner of Post & Beam.

The dinner was attended by a Who’s Who of Angelenos that included Maulana Karenga, founder of Kwanzaa; Nolan Rollins, president and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League; Pastor William Smart, CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Greg J. Huskisson, vice president of Wave Newspapers.

I had a chance to chat with former Mayor Villaraigosa, who indicated he needed my support for his next run for public office in 2018. More on that later.

The National Action Network L.A. Chapter, under the leadership of Rev K.W. Tulloss, and their its will be back on the streets of South L.A. with their “Occupy the Corners” campaign. This peace-keeping initiative is held in the hot spots of South L.A., where NAN members, clergy, activists and residents gather at night on the street corners calling for peace.

On Aug. 21, from 10 p.m. to midnight, these peacekeepers will be on the corner of Western and Vernon avenues. On Aug. 22, from 10 p.m. to midnight, they’ll be on the corner of Slauson and Western avenues. Thank you to NAN and its allies for putting your lives on the line with your late-night activism. That’s what true leadership is: service and sacrifice.

For news tips, email tonajeali@aol.com or twitter Najee Ali.

 

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