This Oakland News Now post is based on a Facebook entry by famed Oakland Hip-Hop Journalist Davey D. What follows is his text, then the embed of the multimedia content.
Davey D note on the featured photo:
The gentlemen in the front is from Brooklyn.. He says he grew up in the projects.. His kids go to Crocker.. The woman said shes half Samoan and thus we were inaccurate in seeing the crowd as lacking diversity. She lives in Berkeley her kids go to school in Berkeley..
So today around 12 noon I saw a group of about 200 people walking over to the Lake.. they stop at Astro park at the baseball diamond next to the kiddie park.. There were news trucks there and reporters..What was taking place was a Reopen our School Rallies.
This crowd of about 200 may have had 3 Black people.. Folks held signs that said ‘End Teacher Supremacy’, ‘We Believe in Science’, and ‘Freedom’.. There were also a bunch of anti-union signs..
What should be noted is that this crowd didn’t go a less than half a block down well within earshot snd eyeshot, where all the Black vendors where and hundreds of Black families…When this was pointed out folks got really defensive
At this 99% non-Black rally I saw Kev Choice (Click for part two to read Mr. Choice’s view of events.)
in a heated discussion with some clueless folks trying to explain to him why there were no Black folks at this rally and who exactly where they representing.. Kev pointed out it was upsetting to hold a rally and not have spoken to communities who were most impacted.. I overheard one gentleman tell Kev the reason why the schools are closed is because of the teachers union and that he reps the community… He also told Kev that rallied are usually put together by more affluent folks who want change…
I asked the guy where he was from and why they didn’t hold this rally or even engage the hundreds of Black folks who are over at the front of the Lake.. Dude told me he was from Brooklyn… His buddy interjected and told me he knows hard times and he knows about Black people bc he grew up in the projects in Flatbush.. He said his kids go to Crocker..
He then said all the Black folks should be standing with them demanding schools to reopen.. I asked him if he knew what Black families have been fighting for and if he had been at any of the school board meetings..and if he knew what was being discussed..
He told me he had not been to any school board meetings but he knows Black parents are fighting to keep schools closed… He said in New York all the schools are reopening and Oakland should be like New York..He didn’t know anything about the reparations debate at the school board
When Kev ran off the names of a bunch of schools in East Oakland and talked about the inequality in those schools our friend from Brooklyn said he never heard of those schools and went back to his refrain about being from the projects..it was suggested that he and the folks at this rally go talk to those Black families who were plainly visible and close by…
He wanted me to walk him over and introduce him to everyone. I reminded him since he was at this rally and proclaimed to be speaking tor Oakland parents that’s on him to do outreach, not me…
As we were going back and forth a woman who claimed to be half Samoan told me the rally was not all white because of her heritage.. I asked what schools her kids went to.. she says her kids go to school in Berkeley and she’s not from Oakland..in fact, most of the folks at the rally weren’t from Oakland..
Do it was a 99% non Black, non Oakland crowd that Mayor Libby Shaaf addressed. She basically blasted the teachers unions and said she wants schools reopen. .. She hen asked all the kids who want to go back to class to come stand front with her.. news reporters took pictures the crowd cheered, Kev yelled out it was wrong to use the kids as props.. There was not one black kid in the gathering of kids..
Libby told the kids they were our leaders and they were fighting for a good thing.. it was a bizarre and surreal experience… A couple of peopke thanked me and Alec for speaking out….
Here’s a Twitter tweet reporting that the event was staged by “OUSD Parents for Transparency & Safe Reopening”:
— OUSD Parents for Transparency & Safe Reopening (@OUSD_Parents) March 1, 2021
From their website, OUSD Parents for Transparency & Safe Reopening posts this explanation for their existence:
We are a group of OUSD parents deeply concerned about the impact of distance learning on our children and the lack of transparency & urgency in our district’s plan to reopen. As of February 26th, it has been 350 days since our children have been in a classroom. Even when Covid rates were lower in the fall, a lack of planning and political will kept kids out of the classroom.
Yikes! From the looks of it, Mayor Schaaf made a large political mistake. I’ll explain why, later (if you can’t guess).
So today around 12 noon I saw a group of about 200 people walking over to the Lake.. they stop at Astro park at the…
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