Image from sfgate.com
In what seems to be an era of fundamentalism run amok, we in Oakland now have our very own Taliban.
These wannabe moral dictators introduced themselves by ordering the proprietors of two liquor stores to stop selling alcohol to African Americans, and then they swept whole shelves of liquor bottles onto the floor. In what seems to be a connected case, a couple of days later the proprietor of one of the stores was stuffed into a car trunk and abandoned ten miles away, where he remained for about 12 hours, and his store was set afire.
Self-righteous men in spiffy suits with bow ties believe they have the right to ram their moral values down our throats, and are deliberately dressing in the style of Black Muslims, although at least one sect of Black Muslims disavows any knowledge of these men and their mission. “They questioned why a Muslim-owned store would sell alcoholic drinks when it is against the teachings of Islam,” according to one report.
It is rather stunning, and troubling, that a dozen men would embark on such a crusade, clearly believing in their own superior moral standards and their right to impose them on everyone in the community. What next? Will they take their metal rods to the backsides of streetwalkers? And then, will they beat schoolgirls whose heads are not “properly” covered?
These men are nothing more, or less, than Oakland Taliban, and they clearly intend to whip us all into shape. I dearly hope the arrests are swift, and the punishment severe, because a message needs to be sent loud and clear: we will not stand for your self-righteous thuggery. We don’t give a damn what your religion is - you still must obey the laws of the land. You do not rule us, and no, you do not even rule “your own” women. And, perhaps you should get your own house into order before loosing your demons onto the rest of us.
Follow-up (12/4/2005): Well it appears these self-appointed enforcers are already out beating the streetwalkers:
“Once, [Donna] Word recalled, she looked outside her beauty shop and saw a group of young black men in bow ties attacking a prostitute on San Pablo Avenue. ‘They hit her with this stick -- it was, like, 2 feet long -- and they yelled at her to get off San Pablo Avenue and never come back,’ Word said. ‘They were chasing her down the street.’”