MOVE Would Have Never Happened in a White Neighborhood

29 years later, justice for MOVE’s victims remains undone. Inside “Philly’s 9/11.”

Let The Fire Burn

A scene from Let The Fire Burn.

A version of this story originally ran in 2012.

On May 13, 1985 at 5:20 p.m., a blue and white Pennsylvania State Police helicopter took off from the command post’s flight pad at 63rd and Walnut, flew a few times over 6221 Osage Avenue, and then hovered 60 feet above the two-story house in the black, middle-class West Philadelphia neighborhood. Lt. Frank Powell, chief of Philadelphia’s bomb disposal unit, was holding a canvas bag containing a bomb consisting of two sticks of Tovex TR2 with C-4. After radioing firefighters on the ground and lighting the bomb’s 45-second fuse—and with the official approval of Mayor W. Wilson Goode and at the insistence of Police Commissioner Gregore Sambor—Powell tossed the bomb, at precisely 5:28 p.m., onto a bunker on the roof.

This was followed shortly thereafter by a loud explosion and then a large, bright orange ball of fire that reached 7,200 degrees Fahrenheit. That day, Powell, the Mayor, the Police Commissioner, Fire Commissioner William Richmond, City Managing Director Leo Brooks, and numerous police officers committed, in the words of Philadelphia Special Investigation Commission (better known as the MOVE Commission) member Charles Bowser, a “criminally evil” act that led to the death of 11 human beings, including five completely innocent and defenseless children, the destruction of 61 homes, and the incineration of thousands of family photos, high school and college sweetheart love letters, heirloom jewelry, inscribed Bibles and Korans, and many other totally irreplaceable mementos.

Mr. Bowser, my mentor and the author of the powerful tell-all expose entitled Let the Bunker Burn, told me that five of the city’s most influential black political leaders met at the Mayor’s home before dawn on May 13, 1985, in response to the Mayor’s invitation and warning that “I’m going to make a move on the MOVE house … (this) morning.” This was in connection to what Goode described as complaints by Osage Avenue neighbors and outstanding arrest warrants. By the way, it should be noted that those same neighbors attempted to stop the police department’s siege of their community as soon as they realized what was developing. In fact, as the five influential black leaders watched the television broadcast of the military-like assault unfolding with shots and tear gas, two of them repeatedly urged the Mayor to call it off. In particular, City Council President Joseph Coleman, sitting at the Mayor’s kitchen table, told him the 500-strong police action was “excessive” and State Senator Hardy Williams, standing near the kitchen entrance, said “Why don’t they just back up and relax? Nobody’s going anywhere.”

MOVE: An Assault That Never Would Have Happened in the Northeast

More than 500 cops fired more than 10,000 rounds of ammunition in less than 90 minutes—in a middle-class, black neighborhood. WTF? No, let me say it: What the Fuck?! This was blatantly outrageous brutal racism. It never would have happened in the Northeast or in South Philly, even if the Hell’s Angels had kidnapped then-President Ronald Reagan. And everybody knows it.

The cops would have simply sent in a hostage negotiator. And if that didn’t work, they would have cut off access to electricity, water and food, and then waited the criminals out. And if that didn’t work, they would have sent in a professionally trained SWAT unit to storm that specific house with surgical precision. Goddamnit, even Osama’s house and neighborhood in Abbottabad weren’t firebombed. The Mayor, Police Commissioner, Fire Commissioner, Managing Director, and the cops—and especially the public— would not have approved, allowed or tolerated the burning down of a white neighborhood and the destruction of 61 white homes.

And don’t tell me some shit about the incineration of Osage not being racist simply because the Mayor and the Managing Director were black. It’s the victims that make it racist! They were black. And they lived in a black neighborhood. Furthermore, Powell, the bomb-dropping cop, was white. Moreover, William Klein, the cop who made the bomb, was also white. As eloquently stated by Bowser, “Goode and Brooks did not shoot 10,000 bullets into that house. They did not put military explosives into the bomb. They did not decide to let the bunker burn. And they did not shoot at children trying to escape the fire. I know none of that would have happened in a white neighborhood and so do you.” That’s exactly why the MOVE Commission pointed out, in one of its final official comments, that none of this would have ever happened “had the MOVE house and its occupants been situated in a comparable white neighborhood.”

MOVE: The Making of the Bomb

Tovex TR2 was a commercial explosive invented in the 1960s as an option to dynamite, and its purpose was to dig trenches through rock in order to lay pipes. The “TR” is the abbreviation for trench, and the “2” refers to the second DuPont Company item in its trenching products. The company’s explosive products division was located a little more than a half hour from Philadelphia in Delaware. But not one fire or police department official ever cared enough to contact DuPont and ask what could happen if TR2 were used in a residential neighborhood. And that’s because they didn’t give a shit about black people. If they had asked, DuPont would have told them that it had been designed exclusively for, and had been used exclusively for, underground purposes. And the last time I checked, every black man, woman and child in the Osage community lived above-ground.

It gets worse. As horrifically explosive as TR2 was, Klein fired things up even more. Exercising his independent judgment, he decided that TR2 wouldn’t be strong enough to breach the bunker. So what did he do? He unilaterally placed a one-and-one-quarter-pound block of C-4 on top of the two sticks of Tovex—despite the fact that the U.S. Army in 1979 had ended distribution of C-4 to all local police departments throughout the country. But, as documented in an October 22, 1985 letter from a special agent who headed the FBI’s Philadelphia office, approximately 30 blocks of C-4 had been delivered to the city by an FBI agent without the city requesting it and as a proposed solution during discussions regarding an anticipated confrontation with MOVE. Wow! And the rest, as they say, is history—or better said, it’s Philly’s 9/11, but as our own city, state and federal governments’ inside job.

MOVE: The Scene of the Crime

If that’s worse, and it certainly is, here’s worst: The children, and some of the adults, were shot at or shot and killed by police as they were fleeing the flames and surrendering. Wow, again! The police covering the alley leading from the rear of the MOVE house had automatic weapons and shotguns. No one ever claimed that MOVE had automatic weapons or shotguns at the scene, and no automatic weapons or shotguns were found among the ashes. Police officer William Stewart, a 28-year veteran of the department and a firearms instructor at the academy, was asked by investigators, “Did you hear gunfire at this time,” meaning when people were fleeing the MOVE house from the alley in the rear. With his lawyer present, he responded “Oh yes, automatic fire.” And when asked about who was firing the weapons, he replied, “Police officers. All the stakeout officers were running into the alley. They all had Uzi machine guns.” Strangely, though, 16 days later, he told the MOVE Commission that he never heard any police gunfire in the alley.

Fire Department Lt. John Vaccarelli and fireman Joseph Murray, who were veterans of the Vietnam War and who were in the vicinity of that very same alley, said they did, in fact, hear automatic fire when the MOVE members were running away from the flames. In fact, Vaccarelli pointed out that he saw at least three MOVE members in the yard next to the alley. This was corroborated by police officer James D’Ulisse. So since these people were outside the property lines of the interior of the house itself, how is it that their bodies were later found inside those property lines among the charred rubble? Only the police (and no reporters or other civilians) had access to the sealed-off crime scene during and after the inferno. Hmmm …

And why does the official report of the city’s own medical examiner provide proof from the autopsies of six of the 11 dead—namely, seven-year-old Tomasa, nine-year-old Delicia, 10-year-old Phil, 11-year-old Netta, 13-year-old Tree, and 25-year-old Rhonda—that they did not die inside from flame-fire but died outside from gun-fire? If, as the police later testified under oath, these victims died from the flames that exceeded 2,000 hellish degrees inside the house, why were Tomasa’s long locks still long? Why was Phil’s body not burned? Why was Netta still wearing her white blouse with red trim? Why were Tree’s pubic hair and blue jeans still intact? And why did Delicia’s body and Rhonda’s body have in them metal fragments consistent with shotgun pellets as noted by an FBI ballistician? You think maybe they were fatally hit when they all were being shot at while trying to run from the flames and surrender?

Even MOVE Commission Chairman William Brown, stated, “I firmly believe that more people got out than Birdie and Ramona and that’s something that still nags at me. I believe that someone, someday will deliver a deathbed confession …” And the Commission itself noted in Finding Number 28 of its official report that “police gunfire in the rear alley prevented the escape from the fire of some occupants of the MOVE house.”

Also, consider this: Detective William Stevenson, who was assigned to take contemporaneous notes during the entire confrontation, wrote that Sgt. Donald Griffiths, a commander on the scene, “from stake-out is in the rear of Osage Avenue, 6221, and is pointing to an area that he states, ‘I dropped an adult male from the MOVE property who fired at me when the female and child escaped.’” And Battalion Chief John Skarbeck said he had overheard a police sergeant say, “something to the effect that ‘I got one back there’ or ‘I shot one back there.’” But Sgt. Griffiths testified that he had been misquoted, that what he really had said was people had “dropped out of sight” at that particular time and place. Yeah. He actually said that. With a straight face, too.

The overkill police presence, the military-style assault, the malicious bombing, the callous burning, and the evil shooting at fleeing victims were not just “grossly negligent” and “unconscionable” as the MOVE Commission properly and officially noted in Findings Number 15 and 18. They were also murderous. And justice demands the prosecution of each perpetrator because there’s no statute of limitations for murder. If it were your family, your neighborhood, your home, your property, and your memories — even if it weren’t — wouldn’t you agree?

Michael Coard’s radio show, “The Radio Courtroom,” airs at noon on Sundays and Wednesdays. It can be heard locally on WURD 900 AM and on the Internet

Follow @MichaelCoard on Twitter. 

Related: Birdie Africa, The Lost Boy

Related: Q&A with the director of the brilliant MOVE documentary Let the Fire Burn.

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  • matthew brandley

    They had been terrorising the neighborhood for years prior and they had had enough. The cops did what they had to do. Then a black contractor rips the city off who built the homes. lets talk about black trash here now shall we? Want to pull the race card?

    • Laurie Bertram Roberts

      Yeah don’t both to “pull the race card” by calling them “black trash”. WTG! Not like context isn’t essential about how racism has played out in the history and oppression of black people in Philly for decades but yes let’s focus on just that one part about the black people rather than the entire narrative.

  • Bill Stewart

    You besmirch the honor of a 32 year veteran of the phila police dept by calling him a liar. Another arm chair quarterback who drinks the kool aid . The move commission was a kangaroo court but since it’s was not your way it is the wrong way. Well I can speak of my father bill Stewart as a truthful man who lived his life as a Christian man who served his city and loved his family. I am retired sergeant William Stewart jr who followed the path of my dad because I believed in what he stood for and still do today

  • Karen Stewart

    This is the most racial motivated article I have ever read and you have the nerve to say this was racial motivated. Do you not know there were and still are many Africian American Police Officers on the Philadelphia Police Department. With writers like you racism will aleays be in the forefront.

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  • Aissia Richardson

    The memory of Americans is short. Waco, Ruby Ridge. It took these three tragedies to occur for law enforcement to paradigm shift from violent response to negotiation and diffusion when managing this type of stand off.

    • Jkyacht

      Hardly comparable to those incidents of federal overreach in Ruby Ridge and Waco. These were known criminals. convicted felons and drug dealers hold up and squatted in homes they didn’t own and terrorized local people for years.

      • Laurie Bertram Roberts

        Really it’s not all three cases include the government taking what can be considered minor legal cases (depending on your view) and turning them into a reason to send in a death squad.
        Whether you agree ideologically with either group I stand on the side of the civil rights and civil liberties or all three groups especially the rights of their children.
        To act as if race had nothing to do with how the MOVE tragedy played out is naive at best and racist at the worst.

        • jkjcks

          To impute racism as the motivation for how the attack on the MOVE bunker played out is naive at best and racist at the worst.

    • jkjcks

      Yeah, until the next time a duly appointed officer feels the need to silence the perps.

  • Sonny in Philly

    Rizzo’s enthusiasm that day to burn out an African American neighborhood will never be forgiven. That he had the nerve to run or mayor after that was an outrage. Fortunatley the voters of Philadelphia soundly rejected him. He should have gone to prison for ordering that bomb to be dropped.

    • Jkyacht

      You’re an idiot or a liar or both. Wilson Good was the (the first black) mayor of Philadelphia and Rizzo was LONG GONE! Where do morons like you come from?

      • Sonny in Philly

        Ok I didnt realize that, but Wilson Goode had nothing to do with the bomb. The bomb was dropped by a Rizzo influenced police department.

        • Steve

          Seriously, If Rizzo was mayor he’s responsible but Since Goode was the mayor or authorized the bombing Rizzo is still responsible. I bet you still blame all the countries woes on Bush??

        • Jkyacht

          Wilson Goode made the call. He was absolutely livid that these MOVE people were defying him. My unlce was a Philadelphia Police Inspector and a hostage negotiator and had Joan Africa in his car pleading for these terrorists to surrender and bring the kids out. What did they do? They shot 2 police officers. Wilson Goode ordered the bomb drop and no one else. You want to blame Rizzo but I can tell you Rizzo was not so stupid to drop a bomb on them. This reminds me of how everything 6 years later is Bush’s fault too!

          • Sonny in Philly

            My apologies, The replies are correct here. I was just out of high school when this happened and was probably just looking forward to a fun summer and not remembering the details. I wasn’t trying to be an idiot or a liar. I did look it up after reading your posts (I should have earlier). But honestly, my co-workers are adamant that Rizzo is responsible for so many racist things and that is where I was influenced. When I pointed out that Goode was the mayor and asked how was it possible that he was reelected after that they said that it was the police commisioner that dropped the bomb without Goode’s knowledge. In fact my coworkers got mad at me for pointing out that Goode was mayor. I guess it is best to stay out of political discussions. I guess this is how history can change over time. Again, my apologies.

          • Jkyacht

            Sonny, you’re a bigger person than I realized and I am also sorry for calling you an idiot. You have touched on something though that will benefit you from now on. You have, through you’re own seeking spirit uncovered several truths. There are a lot of people living in a world of lies. They feel rationalized and entitled to these falsehoods beause they have been indoctrinated into thinking they are victims. Victims of racism, oppression, violence etc… caused by “the white man”. In Reality they have become of their own volition racist, oppressive and violent. Violence is both physical and mental by the way. They are enveloping themselves in hatred. Wilson Goode was elected at a time when the racial make up of Philadelphia was a majority caucasian. ALL of my fathers family voted for Goode. I was not a resident of Philadelphia at the time. By the way, Rizzo was old school and he “rained” down his type of justice with violence on blacvk and white alike. It is a myth that he only targeted black people. His cops were hated by everyone. But that said, he was dealing with a major city that seemed to be always on the brink and could and did erupt into violence and mayhem. I would not have traded places with him. His job was not an easy one. It’s time to realize one thing. That the “racism” narrative is being used to divide a society that was already so uintegrated that we elected a mixed race president. My friend, it is time for you and many others to take you true place as Americans that do not see society in color, change your thinking and continue to seek the Light. We are all brothers and staying mindful of this ultimate truth is the path to righteousness for all of us.

          • PJ

            fyi rizzo was mayor during the first move confrontation in ’78, where these animals shot ofc ramp in the back of the head. maybe you’re confusing the two incidents

          • jkjcks

            You’ve just witnessed revisionist history in practice.

          • Suzanne

            My uncle was partners with one of the cops who died!! Why is no one else mentioning the police officers that were shot?

          • PJ

            liberals don’t care about dead cops, only dead criminals

        • PJ

          goode approved dropping the bomb

    • Stacy Metzger

      Wilson Goode was Mayor in 1985.

  • Jkyacht

    This article is such an incrediblly dishonest piece of propaganda (and something else) and the author is actually drawing attention to one consistent variable when he claims that “Move would have never happened in a white neighborhood.” That variable is the overwhelming social dysfunction and lawlessness in “Black” neighborhoods! A paramilitary terrorist group calling itself MOVE, set up a fortification in a residential neighborhood, robbed, sold drugs, used blatant thuggery and held an entire area hostage and now they are the victims? Indeed children and other innocents died including law enforcement officers in the line of duty because these felons held children and other innocents hostage and hid behind them. Like I said, the only thing this article has managed to do is clearly illustrate the lawlessness in black neighborhoods and remind us all of the mayhem and destruction wrought by the inhernt criminal element in those places that continues to this very day. It’s a shameful piece of leftist garbage.

  • Stacy Metzger

    The author needs a wake up call. Persuasive writing is supposed to be designed to persuade those with open minds that your points are valid. Yelling racism and cursing before presenting your points is a poor way of presenting evidence. More people may have agreed with you if you had presented your case in a more professional manner.

  • Ray Palmer

    29 years ago today Philadelphia became a war zone and my father was one of the brave men and women in uniform that stopped what could only be construed today as “terrorism” happening within a city neighborhood. All of them, my father, Mayor Goode, most certainly Officer Powell should be looked at as heroes today… THIS WAS NOT A RACIAL INCIDENT AS THIS SHORT-SIGHTED, RACE-BAITING AUTHOR IS TRYING TO CREATE. It was our men and women trying to stop an ANARCHIST sect with more firepower than FOUR Army Infantry Platoons building a fortified structure in the middle of a city neighborhood with a bunker on the roof and tunnels dug under all the neighboring homes underneath. If this was in your neighborhood, what would you want your police to do? My father told me the truth about what he saw that day and if you only knew you would be terrified at what they were planning!

    God bless all the men and women of the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments for entering into a war zone that morning to stop what today would be known as DOMESTIC TERRORISM!

    God bless all our men and women who protect us everyday across this great nation!

  • Valerie Moss

    I remember the Move incident well..It was on Mothers parents lived at 6211 Pine St..on the north side..that wasn’t affected by the c4 bomb. For year Move members held the block Hostage..the move bunker was fortified with metal..dead animal skins were hung in the driveway in the back of the home creating a horrible stench. Move child were often seen half naked and shoeless. They dined on dirty raw potatoes..while the adults feasted on fast food..their justification being..that the children were pure..and that their symtoms had already been tainted by fast food..Move members communicated through a bull horn 24/7..Someone offered them land in the country.. they refused it.. why?.. Because they couldn’t have anyone to harass. People in that neighborhood couldn’t even open their windows due to the Move agenda. Move blurted out obscenities.. and stated that they had guns..which they didn’t.. People were told to leave their homes and were told not to take anything.. as the would be returning shortly. The problem was not only that a bomb was dropped in a residential neighborhood..but that they allowed the fire to continue burning..Move members ran from the home and some were burned due to the fortification of their home..thereby making the home an oven..why did they not put the fire out???
    Here is when it became racist… The area looked like a war zone the next mother’s home was filled with soot..and smelled like fire..Yes Wilson Goode was mayor.. and he wasn’t there as he should have been..but it should have been the Fire Commissioner…who was there and and should have made the call to put out the fire…Mayor Frank Rizzo was involved in the first Move incident on Powelton Ave and he handled it like a champ..because HE was there..and no one was killed or injured..that house was demolished.. People can say what they want about Frank Rizzo..but he was a hands on Police Commissioner and mayor. I can tell this story because again Iwas there.

    • jkjcks

      Thank you for sharing your insight with those of us that weren’t there and therefore have trouble distinguishing between fact and fiction here.

  • the_g0nz

    Unintentionally, the headline is correct.

    “MOVE” would never have sprung up in a white neighborhood.

    • Yve Bean

      high five!

    • Laurie Bertram Roberts

      Yeah we all know there are no white para military groups in the nation stock piling weapons, acting hostile, threatening people- oh wait Cliven Bundy comes to mind should I go on

  • Oliver

    Only need one word to blow Coard’s racist conspiracy theory: WACO.
    No difference except they were a bunch of WHITE wackos living in the middle of nowhere who thought they didn’t have to live by societal rules. MOVE and David Koresh’s cult brought their own demise. Too bad they took so many others down with them, including their kids and neighbors.

    • PJ

      please don’t bring facts and logic into the discussion

    • jkjcks

      Are you really going to defend the authorities actions at Waco?

      • Oliver

        Yea, I am.
        Authorities tried to raid a compound allegedly harboring a stockpile of illegal weapons, abusing kids and corpses, practicing polygamy. Dividians killed four agents.
        Why would I not defend authorities taking further action? Should we ignore it, let them stay there stockpiling more illegal weapons, abusing more kids? How much hell would authorities take if they didn’t investigate alleged child abuse? They’re damned if they do, damned if they don’t.

        • jkjcks

          I am not suggesting that intervention by law enforcement shouldn’t have occured. I am suggesting that the form and execution of that intervening action was flawed.

          • Oliver

            No doubt. When people with guns and authority knock at your door, it’s best to open it. I don’t suggest things didn’t go awry, but if those at Waco had respected the authority society bestows on law enforcement, things might not have gone so wrong. Part of living in society is observing the authority society entrusts to law enforcement. MOVE also didn’t respect any authority and things went wrong. When a cop tells you to stop, it’s just common sense to stop so the situation doesn’t escalate. Sometimes cops are lawless, sometimes rights are violated and those incidents must be handled via the courts. But to simply decide you’re not going to listen to an authority figure with a gun is just stupid.

  • Whatever

    Well, it happened. It’s over. Hopefully, it won’t ever happen again to anyone. MOVE on and stop rehashing this crap. Slow news day?

  • Yve Bean

    Those MOVE people sound absolutely crazy. Why do you not assign any blame to them for what happened? They were, and are today dangerous, murderous people. Ask John Africa’s ex-wife what happened to her son’s father when he was granted shared custody by the court. They lived in filth, shunned medicine and education, and killed people who stood up to them. You never say in your article that you would’ve just loved to have them for neighbors. You know better.

    • PJ

      because liberals never hold criminals responsbile. it’s always the police’s fault

  • YogiBear

    There is no excuse for bombing a neighborhood and not one person can logically justify it, and if they try, they will come out sounding stupid. Now, with that being said, this WOULD NEVER happen in a white neighborhood. The reason is simple, white people aren’t mad at the government, at least not to the extent of blacks. White people get all the special treatment, with all their opportunities, all of the federal grants for free schooling, all of the money donated to the NAAWP, they basically just walk through life not trying to achieve anything, and they are spoon fed everything. Black people do NOT have the opportunity to get government grants for schooling, they don’t have a NAACP to help them advance, they…..shit.

    Listen it’s time for black people to stop playing the race card, because it’s a dead hand, and it needs to be folded. Asian-Americans have been persecuted in this country just as long as blacks, yet, they seem to make out pretty well for themselves. Why is that? Maybe it’s the family structure, with a mother and father that actually care for their child and not about “gettin dat’ money”.

    There is a reason my post has nothing really to do with the authors article, but then again, his article really doesn’t have anything to do with what happened on that terrible day. Nothing but a racist rant that will go overlooked, because it is a black man, hating on the white man (what else is new?).

    By the tone of my voice, you may have guessed I am a white man, and that is where you would be wrong, black, proud, educated, evolved. I made use of my opportunities, I was lucky enough to have a mother AND father that cared about my education. Maybe if more black families started becoming that, a FAMILY, there would be less of our brothers getting murdered in the streets for drug money, or new kicks, maybe we could stop blaming the white man for all of our problems, maybe, just maybe, if we started to get OUR OWN act together, people would take us all a little more serious.

  • Zombie mayhem

    They set off the bomb because of the African militia that moved in and how they were acting. They were terrorists. It had nothing to do with race. So calm down and go back to your black panther meeting.

  • Enuf already

    What a blatant racist, twisted, hate filled article filled with lies. Keep perpetuating the lies causing hate and division just to get a raise in readership. Shame! For shame. God doesn’t like ugly.

  • Enuf already

    Unfortunately for you people are smarter today and can do the research themselves to just see as pathetic and disgusting this article is.

  • Zombie mayhem

    They did what they did because of the African militia and what they had done to the area. It’s not a racist thing.

  • Logan Kev

    Why attack the messenger for shedding a spotlight on the events that lead to the deaths of black men, women, and FIVE children? I had to stop reading the comments of what MOVE members did to bring that bombing onto themselves. Where’s the regard as a society for the many families outside of members of MOVE that lost their homes due to an incompetent mayor, a corrupt police dept., and a city wide vendetta against a particular group? A racist article this is not but for those of you who wish to call it so should look into a mirror.

    • PJ

      after the savages in MOVE shot ofc ramp in the back of the head in ’78, you can bet your ass the cops would have a vendetta against MOVE. they sowed the wind, and repead the whirlwind

    • jkjcks

      Sorry Kev, you are off base.
      Much of this was tragic, racism wasn’t what caused it.

  • JJ

    Michael Coard, you my friend are an ignoramus!

  • PJ

    if an armed group in tacony, with a history of violence against the police, barricaded a home and started shooting at the cops, you can be damn well sure the cops would have shot back. the scumbags in move, who fed children raw meat and kept them naked, are responsbile for what happened, not law enforcement

  • Ziyad Murad

    This issue regarding Black exploitation is a familiar one . One day I saw a young female Black child approx 6 yrs. old that was the spitting image of a 60 yr old Italian construction worker Named Jimmy; who most Blacks in the neighborhood knew. I asked my mother about the resemblance of this Child to Jimmy. she said not only is Jimmy that Child’s father but he’s had about 15 young black woman who had bore him children as well.. “I call him Thomas Jefferson” she retorted. I didn’t know what to call him or how this slave genealogy had again reemerged in the 20th century right under our noses. That evening a bomb was dropped in our neighborhood by the Phila. Police Department, to exterminate a small group of Black Men, woman, and children who played their music to load. The pain of black exploitation has been Centuries of Human genocide. It takes more than a chain to make a slave; it takes generations of poverty, inhumanity, and inequality. You forget your own humanity; our Mayor was a Black Man; yet he did nothing. He was helpless to defend his own people, against tyranny and Hatred. “A Day that Will Go Down In Infamy” (Pearl Harbor has nothing on the City of Phila)#FDR

    • Ziyad Murad

      some of my friends asked me what is my point; since an Italian construction worker who surreptitiously had illegitimate children with our young Black daughters; has absolutely nothing to do with the Police Departments bombing of a black neighborhood. Or does it? A Black Mayor, an entire Black community who voted for him; our cities first Black Mayor. Was it his fault this happened? I tend to think outside of the box, I wish to examine the origin of Black Hatred by the Philadelphia Police. Were Blacks not courted and romanced by the White Political Democratic machine since Richardson Dilworth? And what about our Black Bourgeois neighbors who felt they were better because of their social standing, money and jobs. Did they expect the police to go stark raving mad with Hatred drop a canvas bag of c-4 and burn down the whole neighborhood; including there own residences? How about leaving over a thousand empty bullet castings? rationale; Citizenry refused to turn down their music. I say this act is beyond the pale. Was it Political motivation or racial? Are they one in the same? such a ghastly inhuman act would never occur by our Police in our white community. A Black man would never have to make such a decision and Black people are still wondering about the construction worker and all his black Babies he left behind….