Do The Knowledge
Dont Believe The Hype
I Am Not A Rapper
Introduction: So, as promised we have more new segments to come from I Am Not A Rapper and, unlike the still as yet untitled podcast, this one has a title: #TheNine: Words & Numbers Have Power. #TheNine is an interview series where we will ask 9 questions of whomever we are speaking with. Within those nine questions, you will be able to have a clear yet concise insight into the mind of the interviewed & possibly be left wanting more… in which case ( judging by your comments/emails) a part 2 will take place. Think of it as the transcribed version of the podcast. #TheNine has many meanings, each of which will be revealed little by little with every interview in the form of facts about the number 9. Enjoy!
Fact#1 – Nine (9) is the highest original number, all other numbers are composites (i.e. 10 = 1 & 0, 12 = 1 & 2, 11 = 1 & 1, etc.)
Special thanks go out to The Minister of Information JR for granting us this interview, shout out to POCC Block Report Radio & be sure to visit www.blockreportradio.com. Also CLICK THE PICTURE ABOVE TO PURCHASE A COPY OF J.R.’S BOOK “BLOCK REPORTIN“
9 Facts About JR:
1. J.R. Is the author of 2 Books
2. J.R. is the creator & founder of Block Report Radio
3. J.R. created the documentary “Operation Small Axe”
4. J.R. is from Oakland California
5. J.R. was arrested & falsely accused of Arson during Oakland riots
6. J.R. is the associate editor for San Francisco Bay View newspaper
7. POCC stands for Prisoners of Conscience Committee
8. J.R. dove into journalism at San Francisco State as an eleventh grader
9. J. R. conducted the now infamous “Yusuf Bey IV Interview”
1.Historically, stories pertaining to violent crimes involving white people get more attention than those pertaining to minorities (as was the case with Casey Anthony & Caylee), How do you feel about the role “new media” (twitter,YouTube,Facebook, Google,etc) plays in the way news is reported and how this can be swayed positively for minorities?
I think that “new media” represents more of a democracy in terms of people passing on what they think is interesting, instead of having corporate media cram the “story of the day” into their minds. The control of corporate media will be severely curtailed when we start creating, and distributing our own media more, instead of passing what they have created back and forth.
2. Since the brutal police beating of Askia Sabur in Philadelphia, police activity has been heightened in that area, how do you suggest residents combat this without also being beaten?
In my opinion, the community has to get pass being scared of “also being beaten”. The slave-masters were able to keep the enslaved in check through fear. We should be more scared of not living in a just society than being simply scared all of the time. Police terrorism will stop or at least be curtailed when we put the message out there that we will do anything to stop the police from beating and killing us. We have to use our imagination in coming up with new ways to expose and stop the police terrorism that is going down in our communities.
3. Tell me a little bit about your role in the organizing of a usually divided Oakland in support of the Grant family & in protest of what had taken place?
The first thing that people have to remember about Oakland, is that Oakland is the birthplace of the Black Panther Party, so there is a certain type of spirit that dwells in the residents of Oakland. My role was a liason between the hood and other members of the campaign against police terrorism, as well as a reporter who helped to articulate and spread the politics and sentiments of the people who were rebelling against the police occupation, of our communities. And I want to make the correction that we were NOT organizing in support of Oscar Grant‘s family, we were organizing in defense of the community that the Grants are a part of. When the struggle starts to just be about a family, then it is easy to kill once that family is paid off or dealt with in some other kind of way.
4. Can there ever really be justice for the Oscar Grant family? Is any monetary compensation really enough?
The truth is that no one can bring Oscar Grant and the countless other victims of police terrorism back. The money is definitely not enough. Oscar’s daughter needs her father. The money can not talk to her, the way her father would have been able to.
5. Why was the overseer (officer) who killed Oscar Grant released after only serving 11 months prison time?
I want to make the correction that Oscar was killed by more than one officer, its just one who pulled the trigger and was convicted for it, there is a difference. The others held him down, and made sure that his friends were handcuffed. If the shoe was on the other foot, everybody who was with Oscar on the platform, if he killed a cop, would have been prosecuted. Ultimately the short amount of time that Mehserle served just reflects the gang mentality of the police in the U.S.. They could kill with impunity on camera, and he only got 11 months because of the millions of dollars in property that was destroyed in the number of rebellions in Oakland, that came about as a result of this case.
6. What was Oakland like the day the verdict was given out?
Tense. We knew that Mehserle was not going to be giving life, but I still think that most of the community hoped that this time, if only this once, the Black community will feel some form of vindication. We have soon come to realize collectively that the police don’t prosecute the police. NFL star Mike Vick spent more time in jail for (allegedly) killing dogs than Mehserle did for killing a Black man on camera.
7. How do you feel about the sentiment that black people need a new “black leader”? (as if we can’t be self-governed)
We need to become the leaders we want to see. Whites don’t have a leader, so why do Black people need one? We have to feel empowered to take the steps necessary to change our community in a constructive manner, it is our responsibility. We’ve had a number of leaders in the past who have shown us the way.
8. Who/what is your target demographic for BlockReportRadio?
The target demographic of Block Report Radio, is Black and Brown young people from ghettos, barrios, reservations, quilombos, shanty towns, and favelas around the world. The Block Report is the voice of the disenfranchised teaching and talking to the disenfranchised. It is named Block Report Radio because we are taking up the responsibility to educate our own communities around issues that are important to us.
9. What caused you to create BlockReportRadio?
The fact that there wasn’t anybody on the radio in the Bay speaking for ghetto people’s from our perspective, cause me to create Block Report Radio. The Black people that were on the radio that I came into contact with were always the careerist type, who cared nothing for the community. They only seemed to care about trying to kiss the ass of the boss, so they could get a raise. In my opinion they are like circus monkeys who do tricks for snacks. The Black community needed something, and still needs more shows, who can raise the intellect in our community. We attempted to fill that void in 2003, with the creation of BlockReportRadio.com.