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Posted on Aug 20, 2007

By James Harris

The statistics were not in Chauncey Bailey’s favor.  A recent Justice Department study revealed that one of every two people murdered in the U.S. each year is black, and that there is a 9-in-10 chance that the assailant is, like Bailey’s, black.  The stark reality of black-on-black crime has become all too familiar for Oakland and the rest of the nation.  But don’t drop Bailey’s murder in that bag.  The slaying that took place in broad daylight Aug. 2 was a well-planned assassination that carried none of the traits of the random street violence Oakland residents have grown used to.  This murder was an eerie illustration of desperate violence allegedly perpetrated by an established group that supposedly works to foster progress among blacks in Oakland. 

At 7 a.m., police say, Devaughndre Broussard murdered Bailey, the editor of the Oakland Post, to stop the publication of a story probing the shady financial practices of Your Black Muslim Bakery, a community bakery known throughout California for its delectable bean pies and politically charged history.  Broussard allegedly fired a shotgun round into Bailey’s back at close range and then another round into the back of his head as he lay on the sidewalk. 

The bakery, which for two months had been under police investigation for charges including kidnapping, robbery and torture, was raided the day after Bailey’s murder.  Police said they learned that Your Black Muslim Bakery, where Broussard was a member, was instrumental in the assassination and bakery leaders probably ordered the hit. 

Yusuf Bey founded Your Black Muslim Bakery in 1968.  “The bakery served as an example of upward economic mobility in an impoverished community, and its members tried to serve as a buffer against the rising drug trade.  The bakery has also long provided ex-convicts with one of the few places they could work after being released from prison,” Cal State East Bay professor Benjamin Bowser said in reflecting on the bakery’s 30-year history.  Bey, no stranger to scandal himself, died in 2003 before standing trial for the alleged rape of a 13-year-old girl 20 years earlier.  He left the bakery and affiliated businesses in the hands of his less-than-reliable “family,.” which included sons and spiritual sons.

After 2003, the founder’s successors made lots of news, but not the kind the elder Bey had hoped for.  In 2005, Yusuf Bey IV and a small gang allegedly trashed two liquor stores and warned the owners to stop selling alcohol in black neighborhoods.  In 2006, Bey IV was accused of running over a San Francisco bouncer with his car.  Bey IV and his cohorts have also come under investigation for an alleged link to two separate Oakland homicides, one of which was possibly an effort to rid the area of transients.

Although the elder Bey ran what some have called a “racist and reactionary organization,” it was under the twisted leadership of his heirs that the 19-year-old Broussard came to know the bakery.  At age 15, Broussard was a winner in a contest for young entrepreneurs at UC Berkeley and seemed to have a promising future, but he eventually dropped out of school.  After several run-ins with the law, and spending eight months in San Francisco County Jail for robbing a bus passenger, he began working at Your Black Muslim Bakery, where he told his probation officer, Will Robinson, that he’d found purpose.

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“He responded well to direction, as with any 18-to-25-year-old, but with him, particularly he accepted direction without resistance,” said Robinson.  “He came in one day and he disclosed to me that he was a Muslim and he had an opportunity there [at the bakery] with them,” he added.

Your Black Muslim Bakery has prospered for years using some of the principles of the unaffiliated Nation of Islam, which was founded in the 1930s. With Elijah Muhammad as its “divine leader,” the group promoted the idea of self-help in black communities torn by poverty and broken families.  The elder Bey discovered the Nation of Islam in 1964, and in 1971 he moved his bakery from Santa Barbara to Oakland and named it Your Black Muslim Bakery in response to the personal recommendation of Elijah Muhammad.  “Following the strict dietary laws of the Black Muslims, Bey gained a reputation for offering solid, healthy fare that was free of refined sugar, fats and preservatives,” says East Bay Express journalist Chris Thompson.

And for 30 years, it was the spirit of the Nation of Islam that the elder Bey claimed to instill in his bakeries, hair salons and other businesses around Oakland.  But it has now become strikingly clear that that spirit was marred by the worst kinds of scandal, and that Broussard was perhaps one of many young people who was encouraged to defend the bakery even if it meant killing.

With only limited access to his confessions, I imagine that at the core of Broussard’s rage against Bailey was his belief that the bakery was doing the right thing for the black community, that the bakery—despite all of its shadiness—was the answer to black turmoil in Oakland.

Teens like Broussard are violent because violence works.  It produces the results that they don’t get in school or at work.  Violence breeds fear.  And when you are poor, trapped and have nothing but street cred, fear is everything and the rest of the talk about going to school and working hard means absolutely nothing. 

So I am angry with Broussard for his alleged contribution to the more than 230 Oakland murders over the past two years.  But I am far angrier at the bakery.  For how could its leaders turn a positive organization into a ring of murderous criminals lusting not for empowerment but for money and glory?  Whereas they had a chance to reform Broussard and encourage him to be something better, they used him to further their position.  That is the worst kind of betrayal.


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By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, August 24, 2007 at 8:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Regardless of race, creed, or color - moralizing and guilt trips don’t work.  Put a real sign in the back windowof your car.  Try…“Racism makes Republicans rich” or “Racism is the easiest of cons.”

Moralism and moralizing are just a liberal excuse for doing nothing.

Report this

By 1drees, August 24, 2007 at 12:10 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

well, if you ask me if you enslave people for hundreds of years, DENY THEM THE HUMAN RIGHTS
THAT GOD HARDWIRED INTO THEIR BRAINS and abuse them thoroughly, chances are they will not forget that coz it effects their lives directly and grossly negatively, they might not complain to the oppressor rightaway for the risk of a lethal backlash ( as was the norm in USA since long) BUT CERTAINLY they will notice the grave injustices and maybe whenever they
get a chance they might go for “their pound of flesh”. NOW notice that american Blacks gained equality in the 1960s au contraire in most muslim countries, all colors were equal as soon as the British bloodsuckers left, be it 1945 or 1948. what you see here is a backlash from the AfricanAmericans for the abuse they been witnessing since a mighty long time and So in case anyone is intrested in solving the problem or atleast understanding it, what you would first need to do is to accept that these are people who are the descendents of people
who were highly abused and out of that abuse they changed their religion to one that was NEVER OFFICIALLY even introduced here (USA), YES ELIJAH MOHAMMED’s people do not at all interact with muslims from other parts of the world or have the exact same teachings. if you take the time to examine the issue closely its just that they were so sick of american
things that they wanted to have none of it, so they converted themselves to their kind of ISLAM, just out of ANGER & REBELLION. And the same ANGER STILL RUNS DEEP ( in fact Katrina kind of refreshed their commitments), if any of you actually had any intrest in doing anything positive you might have already studied them and found out loads of bitter truths
and maybe tried to address them.
And as this news bears a “muslim” label hence ministry of propaganda (lilmamzer <== paid spin doctor) puts his israeli spin on it, NICE GOING LIL. BOY, DOES THAT MAKE IT A HAPPY OCCASION FOR THE ZIONIST MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA TO SPLASH IT ALL OVER MUSLIMS. So instead of just blaming it blindly on the muslims once again and screaming to go for the nukes, it might help to see the problem as the whole that it actually is instead of selecting a small selective part that is convinient to mention and remember. its a social american problem due to grave injustices done to AfricanAmericans which they still do remember, as do the PALESTINIANS ( remember that lilmamzer).
You see the reason i and many many people never commit any crimes or injustices ever is coz i was taught “AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP” a concept that many simply ignore & forget, and i must add that this
is simply a NONZIONIST CONCEPT, the ZIONIST BELIEVE THAT “STEAL AND THEN TRY TO GET AWAY WITH IT”, doesnt matter how many HITLERs threw the scums out BUT THEY NEVER LEARN DO THEY.
BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ZIONIST & ISRAELI, for the sake of GLOBALPEACE & HUMANITY, STOP SUPPORTING THE WARMONGERING ZIONISTIC GENOCIDAL MANIACS LIKE BUSH (&  THE LIL HERE ) PREVENT FUTURE WARS BY BEING SMART AND DONT BELIEVE THE ZIONISTIC PROPAGANDA, YOU ALL KNOW
WHERE IT LEAD YOU IN 2003 ( ATTACK ON IRAQ FOR A BUNCH OF EVER CHANGING LIES) I HAVE LEARNT
THAT ALL YOU CAN GET FROM ZIONISTS IS “LIES, LIES, MORE LIES, BIGGER LIES AND THEN PATRIOTIC LIES.” personally i put all zionist on “ignore” a long time ago. COZ with the brainwash they got from their moms its simply impossible to do them any good by talking any sense to them.

good day everyone and i do wish you all a very happy awakenning. try and not mishandle the AfricanAmericans once again by ignoring major relevent facts such as the long lasting effects of enslavement and the value of personal freedoms to each individual HUMAN.

Report this

By 1drees, August 23, 2007 at 10:39 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

well, if you ask me if you enslave people for hundreds of years, DENY THEM THE HUMAN RIGHTS THAT GOD HARDWIRED INTO THEIR BRAINS and abuse them thoroughly, chances are they will not forget that coz it effects their lives directly and grossly negatively, they might not complain to the oppressor rightaway for the risk of a lethal backlash ( as was the norm in USA since long) BUT CERTAINLY they will notice the grave injustices and maybe whenever they get a chance they might go for “their pound of flesh” (just like shylock). NOW notice that american Blacks gained equality in the 1960s au contraire in most muslim countries, all colors were equal as soon as the British bloodsuckers left, be it 1945 or 1948. what you see here is a backlash from the AfricanAmericans for the abuse they been witnessing since a mighty long time and So in case anyone is intrested in solving the problem or atleast understanding it, what you would first need to do is to accept that these are people who are the descendents of people who were highly abused and out of that abuse they changed their religion to one that was NEVER OFFICIALLY even introduced here (USA), YES ELIJAH MOHAMMED’s people do not at all interact with muslims from other parts of the world or have the exact same teachings. if you take the time to examine the issue closely its just that they were so sick of american things that they wanted to have none of it, so they converted themselves to their kind of ISLAM, just out of ANGER & REBELLION. And the same ANGER STILL RUNS DEEP ( in fact Katrina kind of refreshed their commitments), if any of you actually had any intrest in doing anything positive you might have already studied them and found out loads of bitter truths and maybe tried to address them.
And as this news bears a “muslim” label hence ministry of propaganda (lilmamzer <== paid spin doctor) puts his israeli spin on it, NICE GOING LIL. BOY, DOES THAT MAKE IT A HAPPY OCCASION FOR THE ZIONIST MINISTRY OF PROPAGANDA TO SPLASH IT ALL OVER MUSLIMS. So instead of just blaming it blindly on the muslims once again and screaming to go for the nukes, it might help to see the problem as the whole that it actually is instead of selecting a small selective part that is convinient to mention and remember. its a social american problem due to grave injustices done to AfricanAmericans which they still do remember, as do the PALESTINIANS ( remember that lilmamzer).
You see the reason i never commit any crimes or injustices ever is coz i was taught “AS YOU SOW, SO SHALL YOU REAP” a concept that many simply ignore & forget, and i must add that this is simply a NONZIONIST CONCEPT, the ZIONIST BELIEVE THAT “STEAL AND THEN TRY TO GET AWAY WITH IT”, doesnt matter how many HITLERs threw the scums out BUT THEY NEVER LEARN DO THEY.
BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ZIONIST & ISRAELI, for the sake of GLOBALPEACE & HUMANITY, STOP SUPPORTING THE WARMONGERING ZIONISTIC GENOCIDAL MANIACS LIKE BUSH (&  THE LIL HERE ) PREVENT FUTURE WARS BY BEING SMART AND DONT BELIEVE THE ZIONISTIC PROPAGANDA, YOU ALL KNOW WHERE IT LEAD YOU IN 2003 ( ATTACK ON IRAQ FOR A BUNCH OF EVER CHANGING LIES) I HAVE LEARNT THAT ALL YOU CAN GET FROM ZIONISTS IS “LIES, LIES, MORE LIES, BIGGER LIES AND THEN PATRIOTIC LIES.” personally i put all zionist on “ignore” a long time ago. with the brainwash they carry its simply impossible to do them any good by talking any sense to them.

good day everyone and i do wish you all a very happy awakenning. try and not mishandle the AfricanAmericans once again by ignoring major relevent facts such as the long lasting effects of enslavement and the value of personal freedoms.

Report this

By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, August 23, 2007 at 9:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

To “Catoutofthebag”  Frankly, it is the failure of thoughtful people to put their life at risk that has been the complement for all the lies and bullying that we have had to put up with.  I come from a town with its share of Republicans, crooks, and Nazis, but I still stand up to them.  Why?  I am 61 years old, without an immediate family, and Bush has taught me the power of black hatred.

Report this

By catoutofthebag, August 23, 2007 at 12:34 am Link to this comment

I can’t help but wonder: Haven’t you put your own life at risk by writing this piece?

Report this

By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, August 22, 2007 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The human race is divided into crooks, suckers, and lazy cowards - willy nilly and very few exceptions.

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, August 22, 2007 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

Oh, don’t forget the Catholics. All those priests who take it upon themselves to mentor little boys. 

And what are our responsibilities as members of this great democracy?  How many of us reach out to others and offer help?  Try to intervene when something bad is going on?  Try to make a difference—ever? 

Or, perhaps we should just be satisfied that it’s not me, never could be me, and therefore I don’t want anything to do with it.

When I was in my early 20s, I was caring for my grandmother while her daughter, my aunt, was on vacation.  In the house next door, I kept hearing a child crying and her mother yelling at her.  My grandmother and I saw this child one day in the yard, crying and terribly bruised.  Her blonde hair was almost black it was so dirty.  My grandmother went on and on about how shamefully that child was treated.  I called social services and told them what I thought was happening to that little girl.  They asked to speak to my grandmother, too, so I told my grandmother to come to the phone, that a social worker wanted to speak to her about the child next door.  My grandmother refused!  That’s not my business, I’m not getting involved with that trash.

I was dissapointed in her, this church-going woman who always insisted that I attend church every week, read my bible, blah-blah.  Regardless, a social worker did come to the house and I didn’t hear the girl crying anymore.  It sometimes doesn’t take a lot to help someone, regardless what you think of them.

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Paolo's avatar

By Paolo, August 22, 2007 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

This terrible murder in Oakland has already been used by those who want to use the proverbial broad brush. That is, because we can find a single group of hoodlums who are allegedly “Muslim,” therefore ALL Muslims are prone to violence. All 1.6 billion of them.

If you can hold your nose long enough, you can see how these stories are used for blatantly racist propaganda at Debbie Schlussel’s website.

Using this “logic,” if I can find a murder case in which the perpetrator is Jewish, I can therefore declare that Jews are inherently vile, disgusting criminals. Julius Streicher (“der Stuermer”) used this technique all the time.

The same goes if I can find a Christian murderer. I shouldn’t have to look too far.

The Nation of Islam, which embraces racism and occult practices, is hardly representative of mainstream Islamic thought. But you can look for anti-Muslim racists to use this case to defame all Muslims.

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By dissenter, August 22, 2007 at 10:54 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

remember Jim Jones.  He started out with good intentions.comment 96017

what “good intentions” did Jim Jones have? i can’t imagine telling people tall tales about an imaginary being called “god”, has anything to do with good intentions.
and…remember the adage…“the road to hell is paved with good intentions”....

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By lilmamzer, August 22, 2007 at 7:45 am Link to this comment

#96174 by cyrena

The rest of society has to take a little responsibility for this.

You can take blame but not me or my kids or any of my law-abiding, ethical, and moral friends.

“Share-the-blame” nonsense is the root of spineless moral equivalence games. Lump yourself in if you must. Hopefully you will thin out the gene pool in the process.

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By lilmamzer, August 22, 2007 at 7:41 am Link to this comment

Police said they learned that Your Black Muslim Bakery, where Broussard was a member, was instrumental in the assassination and bakery leaders probably ordered the hit.

Shocked, I tell you.

Shocked.

ROPMA

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By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, August 21, 2007 at 12:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The beauty of having a bogus democracy is that you can blame society or the people for every fault.  Sorry.  I always look at the useless rich.  They are the puppet masters.

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By cyrena, August 21, 2007 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

Excellent piece. I still say it didn’t begin this way. It never does. And, it’s not just the organization that went bad on it’s own.

The rest of society has to take a little responsibility for this.

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mackTN's avatar

By mackTN, August 21, 2007 at 1:30 am Link to this comment

Betrayal, yes indeed.  Abandonment.  One of the saddest stories I’ve read in a long time.

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By vet240, August 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm Link to this comment

Obviously this bakery was used as a front to recruit ex-cons into the street trade of drug distribution and assinations.

Where does the “high ideals” come in.

It’s hard to believe in God under any name because so many of those who Say they are acting out of love for their god turn out to be thieves and/or killers. We’re not talking about just a few crooks, we’re talking about almost all of them!

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By John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming, August 20, 2007 at 12:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I remember Jim Jones.  He started out with good intentions.  Then, when things started going wrong, the process of denial and then criminality set in.  It is like a church that ends up spending its time on perpetuating itself.  Maybe developing an ideological business is not the way to go.  Business is always a racket.

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By Brian Adams, August 20, 2007 at 9:33 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Good Story it is sad how they killed that young man

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