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Episodes

× 1: Setting the Scene - Portland OR 2: The Murder of Mulugeta Seraw 3: Building Community Defense 4: The Minneapolis Baldies and Anti Racist Action 5: They Thought We Were Everywhere: the Portland ARA 6: House Defense 7: A Research Capacity: The Work of the CHD 8: SHARPer Times 9: The Story of Jon Bair 10: Less Booted, More Suited 11: Nothing is Final Bonus Episodes

Bonus Episode One Transcript

Bonus Episode - The Minneapolis Baldies and Anti Racist Action Part Two


CELINA

We talk a lot about Anti Racist Action throughout It Did Happen Here and in episode 4 we talked about the Minneapolis Baldies, the skinhead crew responsible for bringing ARA to the collective consciousness of early 90s anti-racist activism in the U.S. punk scene. We had to leave a lot of good conversations on the cutting room floor and in this bonus episode, we invite you to a deeper conversation of the minds that came out of Minneapolis and Chicago–who they were then, the choices they made, and where they are now.

MIC

In this episode you will hear from Malachi, aka Mickey as well as Marty, both black skinheads from Skinheads of Chicago, or SHOC. SHOC was a multiracial skinhead anti-racist crew that was close to the Minneapolis Baldies. The Baldies founded Anti-Racist Action and SHOC were crucial early allies in battles against nazi boneheads in the midwest, and the friendships between SHOC and the Baldies were like family.

CELINA

We’ll also hear from Lorraine, Mic's old friend from the Baldies, who describes what it was like to be a teenage girl and anti-racist skinhead in a scene that focused on and glorified young men.

MIC

We’ll talk to Gator, who along with me was one of the founders of both the Baldies and ARA. We also hear from Mobonix, aka Mo, another Baldie and Black Skinhead, who is still one of my best friends. You’ll hear some stories and thoughts from me from conversations and interviews that were also in episode four.. You’re gonna hear us talk about people of color, specifically Black, brown and indigenous people who were involved in the movement that was anti-racist but that was predominantly white.

CELINA

The contradictions that non-white members of this movement faced were deep and were also a microcosm of larger issues that play out in the identity struggles and battles for self-determination and political orientation in this racist society. I’m Celina Flores,

MIC

And I’m Mic Crenshaw. We are your hosts for this bonus episode of It Did Happen Here: The Minneapolis Baldies and Anti-Racist Action, Part two.

MALACHI

When I was a shorty, I was the choir director of the church that I was in. And they used to always say, "he gon' be a preacher, he gon' be a preacher." "Touched," they used to call it, touched.

MIC

You got the touch?

MALACHI

Touched by, or ordained, if you will. You were touched. Course, that never happened, but I think ultimately, the concept was, you're a person who will create; you're a person who will lead, you're a person who will do something, you know, in the world.

MIC

This is Malachi, AKA Mickey. Mickey was a Black skinhead, a member of SHOC, skinheads of Chicago.

MALACHI

And so, when I was in the skinhead movement, I'm quiet at first, right? I can watch, I can observe. I like to observe, I don't like to just jump in. But eventually it became, "what are we gonna do?" Jabari, we used to work together at a bookstore called Rizzoli in Watertower, down on Michigan Avenue.

MIC

Jabari was a former member of SHOC and a Black skinhead from Chicago.

MALACHI

He helped me get the job there. I was in school at Columbia College. And we would be back there reading, bro. And sparring and conversing and we started talking about what we gonna do. So that's when ARA came up, that's when Syndicate came up. Really, what kind of jumped it off bro, was one night we got into a fight with the Bomber Boys. Chris, white guy, and he used to rock a swastika and Dwayne used to stick up for him, "oh, he cool," whatever, whatever.

MIC

Bomber Boys were an early skinhead crew from Chicago that was dominant before the days of SHOC. The Bomber Boys had Black members like Dwayne, but were not anti-racist. Some of their members were white power.

MALACHI

Like, "no, you're not cool." He got in my face. Older than me, and he was one of the toughest skins in Chicago.

MIC

Right.

MALACHI

And we got into it, man, and it was a all out brawl. And I whooped his ass in front of everybody. And after that, we were like, "this shit is over. We takin' over the scene. Y'all done."

LORRAINE

It was really after he ran away, so to speak, to uptown, that's 11th...

CELINA

This is Lorraine talking about how she got involved with the Baldies

LORRAINE

I was bouncing around for a couple years, in and out of the Bridge.

MIC

Wow, yeah, the homeless, was it like a homeless or runaway youth service program?

LORRAINE

It was a youth, yeah. And then trying to behave, I got out of junior high. It was really after junior high, before ninth grade. Going to school with some of the faces I had seen uptown.

MIC

[inaudible] Mills, Jay Nevilles, Maggie Malloy, myself, I think Pat, was Patrick there?

LORRAINE

Patrick was still there.

MIC

At what point did you decide, "I'm going to be a skinhead?"

LORRAINE

When I shaved my head it was really more about being accepted by this group, I wanted acceptance and to be part of something.

MIC

OK, yeah.

LORRAINE

But what definitely helped was this guy that I liked...

MIC

And who was Spencer?

LORRAINE

Yeah. At the time, he was like, "let's do that." I'm like, "ok, yeah!" But I didn't like that it was this like, relationship connotation, like I was doing it was this boyfriend. And that bugs me in hindsight.

MIC

The skinhead culture is male dominated, everything centered around the tough guy.

LORRAINE

Right.

MIC

With the big ego. And so then, the skinhead girl, is seen more as a counterpart to the guy, as opposed to an independent, autonomous person.

LORRAINE

Right. So it was kind of a combination for me. But also, I'd seen, I'd also just met Becky Louis. I'm like, "Becky shaved her head." But I'd been hanging around a little bit before cutting my hair. But then it's like, I wanted to be more down and be part of the group. I wanted to prove my own toughness.

MIC

How long after you got involved with the Baldies was there violence?

LORRAINE

It was fast and furious for me, how I remember. I think I shaved my head in like ninth grade, and then, like, once I did cut my hair and then, not like you can not be seen by the racist crews or whatever.

MIC

You know, we get asked a lot, those of us who are veterans of this movement, what people who want to be active today and who can be active should take from us in terms of organizing or methods or strategies, or tactics, and um, I have to be really honest and clear about the fact that I think what made us strong during my time when I was the most active and engaged, is that we were friends and we loved each other, and we approached the struggle and the activity from that basis.

MIC

You're about to hear from Gator, AKA Jason, another founding member of the Minneapolis Baldies, who you've heard talk before.

JASON

I think, with the Baldies, it was just, "man, we have nothing to lose." It just took off. It was like a natural progression of kids being kids and us trying to figure out what we were as people anyway.

MIC

To me, the best part about it: when you take away the overt political ideologies and the violence, it was really about friendship. When I founded the Baldies, that was the first time I really felt at home. Nobody was telling me I wasn't Black enough. Or nobody was telling me I was too Black. We all had that unconditional respect for each other.

JASON

All the best group of friends that I've ever had throughout my whole life have always been a mix of everybody. Black kids, white kids, native, Asian, all kicking it together. It's always different if it's like all Black kids, all white kids, all native, it's a different kind of vibe.

LORRAINE

Do you remember driving Stacey, you, me, and Stacey in the car one day? I'm like, "where you going, Mic?" "I think I'll throw a brick through Paul Hollis's window," and I was like, "well, why?"

MIC

Paul Hollis was a klan member and a leader of the White Knights, a neo-nazi skinhead crew in Minneapolis.

LORRAINE

And you're like, "well, why not?" "YEAH! WHY NOT?!" So like, pretty much after that I kind of had this attitude like, "well, yeah, why not?" And then someone was tal-- we were talking about educate first and then ass kick second? So then I remember trying to do that after that summer and trying to talk to those guys and I was into direct action. After an ARA meeting, in the library, someone's house had got firebombed through the window, someone's parents. I think it was Brandon Sanford's house. The hearsay was the girl that gave the list away was a blonde punk girl named Linda. And this is the hard part, for me, I haven't even been able to talk about this, but I kicked her ass out in the parking lot and that was the first time I had ever hurt someone like that. I blacked out, though, while I was doing that.

MIC

And I vaguely remember...

LORRAINE

And you told me to..you said, "that is enough, Lorraine!" That haunted me ever since. I felt so bad the next day 'cause I'm like, "oh, my God," for one, that was hearsay, and there I am acting stupid, and blacking out, like, basically ever rage moment in my life came out on that poor girl.

MIC

You mentioned drinking heavy, was drinking heavy a reflection of dealing with the trauma of the violence and..

LORRAINE

No, that was my relief from my own personal life, and then it ended up being part of our thing we'd do together. Like, me and my girlfriends are doing, 'cause I know most of the kids didn't drink like that.

MIC

When the crew first started, it was mostly straight edge.

LORRAINE

No one, yeah, exactly! Me, I started drinking and then, Becky and [inaudible] and we started drinking, like drinking after school and stuff.

MIC

Yeah.

LORRAINE

...which, a lot, was my idea. But, no, with Linda, I don't know if I need go on Oprah and apologize to Linda. I'm like, "I don't know if I'm gonna get killed." [Inaudible] Forman was like, "Linda joined the Army and she's gonna kill your ass." And then I would be scared, I'd be like, "shit! I'm gonna get killed by Linda!"

MALACHI

It became national when we connected with y'all. The cats up in Milwaukee and people in Portland, 'Frisco, and we started travelling and then speaking in front audiences.

CELINA

This is Malachi again

MALACHI

And then it became a matter of me reconnecting because, you gotta understand there was a point where, there was a question mark about diversity for me. My parents were Panthers, they were..and then my dad, that's when he became a nationalist. Out of the Panther movement, which was Proletariat and considered diverse to the extent that they were working with the Weathermen and whomever else, but my dad eventually became a nationalist, and so, it was all about pan-Africanism and pure Black nationalism. And so, he and I were at odds about my white girlfriend at the time, my white friends at the time, but I saw unity in the diversity. However, once I started reading Garvey, and started reading Malcolm, and started reading other things, I then found myself moving in the nationalist direction as well. But, during my time as a skinhead, it was just pure love for my brothers. But I began to see some things that I didn't like in the white skinheads, who were anti-racist. They were not rejecting their white privilege. And I saw that through examples of us being arrested. Marty used to get arrested every weekend, bro. They would never take none of the white kids. And of course eventually, that shit started clicking for me, and I was like, "what's going on?" And then I wou--me and Sonny, we all got arrested all the time! Yeah, Adam, Will, Quinn.

MIC

Just for being in the [inaudible]

MALACHI

Just for being there.

MIC

Will, Quinn, Sonny, and Adam were all Black skinheads in Chicago.

MALACHI

Those things started to stand out to me and I wasn't remiss to that. And the white kids didn't understand it. And so eventually that was what made me move away from the skinhead movement. And I was just like, "man, this ain't right." And so, with the music, with PE and X Clan and some other, BDP, it just started to speak to me differently. You know I had to take my leave from that and I grew dreads and started understanding that [inaudible] moving in a different direction.

MIC

Here I talk about a fight I got in, that was part of many turning points for me

MIC

A lot of us were out on the streets and, you know, we used to be together in groups, usually on the weekend, Friday or Saturday night, we were out looking for a party. We got word that there was a party in a hotel downtown. It became clear when we got to the party that it was mostly Black people from North and South Minneapolis neighborhoods that were culturally not mixed. They were the Black people that hung around Black people. We didn't belong there because we were a mixed crew and there was a bunch of white kids with us and we were punk rock. And so, at that point, I had a very tense reckoning about my own internal identity struggle where I wanted to connect with my people, but being committed to the hardcore punk scene was alienating me from my people. That was an uncomfortable thing for me to have to face. At the same time we got to the party, people started making fun of my crew because of the way we dressed. We were wearing combat boots, Doc Martin's, and skinny jeans, and flight jackets and we did not fit in, and everyone at the party was looking at us like, clowning us, making fun of us verbally and a couple people started, like, trying to pick fights with people in the crew, some of the white guys. And this is a position I've been in numerous times, where white kids in my crew were being targeted by people of color who were like, making fun of them, or whatever, thinking that they were weak. And so I would stand up and defend them and then, all the sudden, be faced with this conflict like, "what the fuck and I doing? I'm defending them against my own people? What does that say about me?" And so, it was in one of those moments that I chose to defend the honor of my crew. A lot of the white people in the crew got on a bus and left and myself, David Jeffries, and Chasu Lo--Chasu was Hmong--David and I are Black, we stayed behind while they all left. And I stood up to one of the brothers, one of the other Black people who were at the party, who was making fun of the white boys in my crew. Not only did I stand up to him, I forced him to get off of the bus that he had got on to leave the situation and come fight me one on one. And we fought one on one, for about twenty minutes, until the police came and broke it up. And on that walk home, I really had to look deep inside of myself and ask myself, what was I fighting for? What was I fighting for? That was a very hard night for me. Something shifted in me that night that was, was always there inside of me as far as struggles around identity that I faced as part of my life, but it became clear that my survival was separate from the survival of the crew. It's one thing to fight against violent racists, but I can't, I can't fight against my people. In a white supremacist society, I cannot be physically fighting with my people unless I'm forced to do so. That fight brought to the surface all these unanswered questions that I was struggling to answer about who I was, who I needed to be, and what my priorities should be.

LORRAINE

I remember fighting the White Knights, and I'm like, "wow, that was a big deal." And it still is. Like, it bugs me that that shit is still going on. That's kind of how in Uptown at the time when there was swastikas being spray painted [inaudible], "fuck this! We gotta kick their ass and get 'em outta here!"

MIC

What allowed you to move on?

LORRAINE

Probably, well, I really scared myself beating that girl up, but when it seemed to get just crazy, I remember we were at a party that someone named Rob--my friend, Robert from the art academy's house. But it was...

MIC

I heard about the MCAT fight, but I wasn't there...

LORRAINE

Yeah, they broke out like everything in his house and then, like, my uncle had a kegger and everyone ended up fighting my uncle and his friends and I was like, "fuck!" Pretty much after that and I was really trying to get to, "who is Lorraine?" And then I had started hanging out tight with Leon, and I'm like, "well, Leon's studying dance, well, what was I studying before all this madness?" I was studying theater, so then I started to, I think, 15, grow my hair back. So it was a really short jaunt as far as being on their boots and braces, like, bald headed.

MIC

Thirty years later, we're all grappling with the differences between what we faced in the Regan era, and what we're looking at right now. Those of us who were involved on a personal level and an individual level, we've all grown older. Those of us who didn't commit suicide or get killed, or, you know, succumb to some disease, those of us who are still around who are healthy and relatively active, we have more to lose. And the willingness to go out into the street and engage and even actively hunt down violent racists is something that is different when you're middle aged. There's also the, the [inaudible] reality that the state has escalated the way that it criminalizes and persecutes and convicts people for political organizing and political violence. We've seen historically that the state has not only protected white supremacists, but it seems as if they allow white supremacists to operate under these bullshit Constitutional protections of freedom of speech. Knowing that they're going to provoke and incite violence and then they use that opportunity to then go after the anti-fascists and the anti-racists and criminalize them for responding the the white supremacist threat. We know that there's a lot more at stake in the way that the state responds to our activity, especially if it's gonna have person to person violence or organized violence. Third, there's the surveillance aspect. There are fucking cameras everywhere. People aren't always aware of the fact that what they do is being recorded by cameras that might not even intentionally be trained on the activity, but just because security and paranoia and the prevalence of the technology that's affordable to business owners and whatever, there's cameras everywhere. And then lastly the device culture that we live in, in which, everybody's got a telephone and everybody's recording shit. If they see something interesting, if they see violence, they wanna take out their telephone and record it. All these things come into play when we think about what's at stake when you decide that you have to take a stand and confront somebody. The consequences of that have to actually be part of our consciousness and have to be part of our organizing strategy when we're trying to figure out how to engage these people. So, to summarize it, back in the day, you find out where they were, and you go fuck 'em up. Now, there's a lot more to it. And I think a lot of these rallies and these demonstrations, we've been taking loses. Getting stabbed, and there's a couple of these fascist fuckers that have been going around, beating people on camera. They get canonized as heroes in the media and they're allowed to walk around freely and do this where I know if I was on camera kicking someone's ass, in three different cities [laughs], I'd be gone for, like, twenty-five years. It's an interesting time and these guys have really been the racists, the right wing, the religious right, the Proud Boys, all the different toxic conservative elements, have all been emboldened by the atmosphere created by this administration.

MIC

Here I am talking to Mobonix, a Black skinhead and a Baldie:

MIC

You put me up on game when we were kids. We were getting recruited into the Communist Labor Party. We were going to a lot of meetings. We were the only two that were really committed to some of these study groups and, and things that was really attractive to me because it was like a higher level of organization. And to this day, some of the political consciousness that that helped me develop has been central to the analysis that's helped me to have a sharper understanding. But at the same time, there were contradictions that you put me up on, you were like, "Mic, man we were going to all these meetings with all these old revolutionaries, but have you noticed that they all own houses? They all have..." [laughter]

MOBONIX

No doubt, no doubt! You know I peeped game on that one quick. [Inaudible] "you're driving a Benzes and shit, though." Yeah, this is different. Doing good works, though, and a lot of thinking. But the shit that was happening, I can't say that overall, did that make a bigger impact than just putting a couple knuckles down, though?

MIC

Right!

MOBONIX

You know? What made the bigger impact? Running them outta town? Or is it being like, "well, we know you guys are here, but if we just figure it out and then we get a little bit equity and pay, you know, little bit equity and ownership or maybe the SBA get a little bit loans here...the bank gave one Black guy a loan. So, you see, the bank's not all bad." I was talking to my brother last week in Minneapolis and he was talking about the neo-nazis and the Klan or whatever you wanna call 'em, the Boogaloos or whoever the fuck they are. You know, they're pulling up at night, if you're Black out there kind of by yourself [inaudible] two groups, they'll just open fire on you to the point where, even 'til last night the brothers that have their concealed carry permits out patrolling the neighborhood to make sure that elements can't circulate and do that no more.

MIC

Wow.

MOBONIX

There'll be a couple groups of brothers in a couple different cars, circling on the northside [inaudible] on Broadway, that area, [inaudible], you all the little, you know, the areas on the northside. It was white dudes in pickup trucks who take the plates off, and they'll just open up on anybody Black walking, walking around. Like, to the point where women and children are afraid to go out the, out of the house.

MIC

That's really fucked up because I think a lot of us have felt like those guys are cowards in the sense that they wanna go and catch you slippin' over in their areas, like what happened with Ahmaud Arbery.

MOBONIX

Right.

MIC

They're not really bringing it to our area because they'll get handled. That's been the narrative.

MOBONIX

Back in the day, man, they were always just cowards. They didn't always just take a ass whoopin', you know. They were sort of the first ones who would pull out a gun or something. They were the first ones who had, like the crossbows and some shit that would kill you. They were the ones that introduced that, shooting our windows and shooting at people and shit like that.

MIC

Real talk.

MOBONIX

And it wasn't us doing that, we didn't have no fucking guns! You know what I mean? [laughs] I don't think none of us got, yeah, we didn't use guns. That was even what we was, we weren't even on that.

MIC

Here I talk about the messy, dysfunctional, and self-destructive strains of the radical left whilst acknowledging the need to be self-critical and embrace accountability:

MIC

[Inaudible] of Occupy started to see this thing happen that I also saw in the 80s, where the radical left was more eager to call each other out [inaudible] than to produce any type of meaningful base of activity for the working class to seek liberation and their communities. You know, it, there became this kind of insular infighting culture that I didn't wanna have anything to do with specifically because in a lot of those spaces, I was one of the only people of color. I was one of the only Black people. And I'd be like, "I'll be Goddamned if I'm gonna spend my time around a bunch of fucking white people who wanna tear each other up." I got more important shit to do! So, I stopped fucking with that scene for those reasons and I see that, that same thing happening now and you, you've heard all the cliches and adages of "with friends like that, you don't need enemies." It's like we do the work of the state for the state by tearing each other up and rendering ourselves ineffective and what I'm looking at right now is, how do I organize, how do I take the, the skills that I've developed from years of organizing in left circles, in left movements, how do I take those to the broader working class communities that I'm actually from? What do I have to contribute to my Black community, my working class Black folks, my poor striving and struggling, my [inaudible] Black Proletariat, my cats that are, in their own ways, already organized coming from gang culture. I really need to be part of building movement from that base. These racist attacks from all these different elements on the right are actually servicing to pull some of us out of the woodwork that have been comfortable doing our own thing in our own way for a while and bring us together and create this sense of unity around these questions, like, how do we not only defend our communities, how do we protect ourselves, and how do we let it be known that that shit is not gonna fly over here? If you come over here with that shit, you're not gonna fucking leave in one piece. How do we protect ourselves in an environment where we're, we're already hyper-criminalized as Black folks in relation to the prison industrial complex. There are so many divisive means and ways that are ingrained in the system to get us off the street, out of our communities, and incarcerated or in the fucking grave. From police violence where one of us gets killed every twenty-eight hours, to this fucking mandatory minimum sentencing where you got young people being sentenced as adults and going to jail for five to ten years for life sentences, for something that really could be a teachable opportunity in the sense of like, restorative justice. There's a lot of complexity that we all have to be looking at. It's a pivotal moment.

MIC

This is me and Mobonix again:

MOBINIX

One of the things I always struggled with when I was a kid, some of my Black elders would be like, "you know, you can have white friends, but one day, they're gonna be white on you." And I would be like, "don't say that! That's mean!" [laughter] "That's mean, don't say that shit!" [laughter] But then as you get older into adulthood, you start to understand the fantasy that we were living doesn't really sustain in the reality we're living, you know?

MIC

Exactly.

MOBONIX

Out of all the people that I know, I have yet to know a white kid that gets shot down the back running from the police. And, unfortunately, we've known countless, you know, either one degree of separation or no degree of separation result in death or, or anything less than that, even. You know, more often, more often so, it's just brutality.

MIC

Real talk. It's a trip reflecting on George Floyd. You know, that's your old neighborhood. And remember the streets, watching the tape and remembering, you know, just knowing how the air feels in May in Minneapolis.

MOBONIX

It's an energy from all that time and the winter and shit, it makes me so proud because that's like the natural progression after the years of the struggle that we laid down the foundation for. So maybe the best thing's not to burn down your local grocery store, but at the same time it's like, did they get the fucking point afterward, though.

MIC Right. [inaudible] and I been talking a lot lately about people trying to say, "well, it was either these alt-right dudes or the undercover police as far as some of the looting and the vandalism and the arson and stuff. I think it's important to hold space for the Black and brown and native youth. They were out there setting it off. Not just, making it about what some white people were being opportunistic about. And like, "nah, we have that rage. Don't forget it's coming from the fact that y'all were killing us."

MOBONIX

Right. MIC

Here's Lorraine again. Lorraine is a member of the Minneapolis Baldies who lives in Seattle, currently:

LORRAINE

As far as ARA being part of that creation, I distinctly remember us being in the Walker library. Do you remember? [Inaudible] in this big circle and we're thinking of names and thinking of things. Personally, I've tried to live ARA like, through different mediums. Like, instead of me telling going out and addressing groups, or strangers, or people or checking people, really using it in my daily interactions with humans. But in different formats in like, 2004 I got actually saved and baptized in Walker Chapel First AME Church. In all my studies, and I studied other stuff actually, after leaving Minneapolis. I studied stuff in South Dakota and different cultures and religions and the one common message I found in all my studies, and I'm not a degree holder, I didn't finish much college, but you know, it's that, the only thing that can change this hatred is love. That was a hard lesson for me to learn because I've also learned there's a time and place for everything. If I were confronted, let's say, in a similar situation with White Knights or nazis, I'm pretty sure, it would have to get violent, probably, but everything I've studied so far. And by my experience, too, is that you get a lot more change through loving someone's shit. Personally, I haven't had to love a nazi out of [inaudible] racist, so I don't know how it works to that degree. I have a lot more hope for our kids if we can raise them better. I like to say, change, cashed in my I for an M. Instead of oi, it's OM. For me, [laughs], seriously. But, I have a temper and I get mad and I do sometimes, I think people still need their ass kicked. I don't think that's gonna solve it.

MIC

Were were born for this moment, so like, let's be present and work with what we have. You don't know these other motherfuckers, they're fucking cavemen. [laughs] Like, all the shit they say about us to justify the dehumanization that leads to the extermination of people, which is like, what their whole project about, that's actually the mirror they're holding up to themselves, you know?

JASON

What I notice more than anything is the middle class white kids are finally waking up and understanding what white privilege actually means. You say it up and down and they don't get it, but now they're actually seeing it first hand with Trump.

MIC

This is Jay again, AKA Gator:

JASON

I mean the stuff with antifa I think is really interesting where they're like, "ARA was the first antifa," and I was like, "well, there's been a lot of people fighting racism and fascism for a long time, even before us." We, I mean, we knew back then, it's the only way you can deal with these clowns, man. Or they'll just try to get over on you.

MIC

The things that it takes to create community defense should be ongoing processes anyway. And it's only through committing to long-term work, that we start to get used to what we're up to and it's not such a shock anymore. And I think it's, it's then when our imaginations can visualize, "ok, well what other, what other ways can we apply the relationships and the skills that we're not even considering right now because we're just always responding to something?" I don't have the answers, but what I do know is that the answers are going to come from me working with people. The clarity that I'm getting is that when I'm in rooms with people who are all thinking critically. And I love being part of that work. Because it's bigger than me as a individual and I feel that there's a truth and an authenticity to the clarity that's coming out of those moments that's not really available when I'm just thinking about me. People are developing clarity together that wouldn't be available if we weren't going through this.

MOBONIX

The best thing you can do is increase community. The ways you can increase community is through ownership, and that's owning your community. Owning your stake of the rock. Everyone takes care of those people, you know who's in that circle, you know what you're protecting, you know what you're fighting for. I typically say ownership. I think, I bring it back to the most basic element, ownership connotates owning yourself, owning your thoughts, owning your actions. And being right and knowing, knowing the difference. That might be a little bit more esoteric than what most people wanna hear because it's not something they can do today. It's something you have to practice over time and be disciplined about. What life is showing me is that those are the only things that really matter at the end of the day. Each person has to take ownership and has to be willing to plant this flag, and stand for that flag.

CELINA

That was Mobonix, and here’s Marty:

MARTY

I just go back to the core principles of ARA education and direct action. And in the large sense, a lot of us as Americans, Black and white, we all need political education. [inaudible] still stuck in the opulence of the 80s, in this Cosby era's mentality of prosperity and projecting ourselves into some middle class lifestyle that basically ain't based on reality, how we really living out here. So, I think it just goes back to education. A lot of us need political education. Who are you? Who are your ancestors? What did they contribute the the building of this country. I'm not looking at Africa. I'm not looking back to the motherland in terms of redress and reparations, that sort of thing. I'm looking to this country. The shit that my ancestors built. And to defend my sense of ownership here, we helped build the first world, first world economy, and we need to be compensated with that. It goes back to education, solid political foundation, intellectual framework where you can articulate yourself and who you are and the role your ancestors laid in building this bitch, right? And also, direct action. I don't think nazis and fascists and right-wingers need to be coddled, debated with, reasoned with. When you get to that point, I think individuals like that only respond to violence. I don't think that they have the right to speak. Giving them the right to speak, basically denies you the right to exist.

MIC

Again, here’s Malachi:

MALACHI

At the end of the day I mean, I want everyone to have what they need in order to enjoy their life on this planet, brah. Period. Nobody should infringe on anybody else's right to life. If you're doing that, you need to stop, or get the fuck out the way.

MIC

And again, when the bullies like in the room, fucking up all the kids, at some point, the people in the room have to check the bully. Period. Because the bully, if unchecked, the bully isn't gonna stop themselves.

MALACHI

Agreed.

MIC

That's the scary part because you're like, you know that they have the self-destructive tendency to be like, "well, I'm in charge, so I'm taking everybody with me," and that's what the arms race and all that, that's not a solution.

MALACHI

Correct.

MIC

When we were effective at what we were doing in the 80s, it's 'cause we were, we were kids, man. And we were friends first. And so we spent most of the hours of the day together. We went everywhere together, we hung out together, we loved each other, man, and so, that was the energy that we brought to the struggle. In this society that we live in, it's based on, you know, the commodification of human labor and splitting everybody into units in the nuclear family and all that kinda shit. You know, once people grow up and they get a career and they get money, they move on. And their self interests about their little bubble becomes a priority in a way that actually doesn't build community. And so figuring out ways to do that is crucial and this thing about the older activists, we actually have a responsibility right now to come out of our bubbles and come into activity with some of these younger people that are newer. Because all we've got is each other.

ERIN YANKE

Thanks for listening to this bonus episode of It Did Happen Here. There are show notes with links, transcripts, and other relevant content at our website: ItDidHappenHerePodcast.com. You can also listen to the podcast on the KBOO website, on Spotify, and Apple podcasts. In this episode, interviews were by Anna Stitt, Sole, and Mic Crenshaw, and your hosts were Celina Flores and Mic Crenshaw. This podcast is produced by Celina, Mic, and me, Erin Yanke. Music in this episode is by Anitek and Neighborhood Cults, made available by the Free Music Archive. Thanks to the bands for the music, thanks to the participants for sharing their stories and experiences, and thanks to the Marla Davis Fund, KBOO Community Radio, and to the rest of our production team: Icky A, Julie Perini, and Moe Bowstern, and thank you for listening.