Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 12, 2021

This is Alameda

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:02 am

Apparently around the time the Rec and Park Commission was undertaking the issue of the renaming of the park formerly known as Jackson, these flyers went up around said park.

Rasheed Shabazz is, of course, the person who began this renaming journey a few years ago and has been a reference source for the effort. When I first saw this photo a chill ran up my spine. The words “Memorial Park” paired with the name of a Black man who is still alive and kicking and definitely making good trouble out there was upsetting.

While there’s going to be someone out there — don’t let it be you and if it is your first thought you have some deep soul searching to do — who will say it’s meant to be a positive thing: it’s not. It’s meant to menacing and threatening to Rasheed Shabazz and a call to action for Alamedans out there who are worried that park names will be changed from the familiar names that honor the same familiar faces and names we’re used to.

When we look to what happened in Washington DC on Wednesday and wonder how this could happen, it starts at home. When incremental changes to reflect and acknowledge the the diversity of our community is met with hostile language, it starts at home.

“Don’t let THESE people take away everything!” is the response to renaming a park. A park named for a president without connection or ties to Alameda. A president with a distasteful history that doesn’t deserve honoring. That’s deemed as taking away “everything.”

“It’s in Alameda’s history, stop changing our history!” Whose history is never specified but we know who the gatekeepers of Alameda history have traditionally been.

These are comments from 2020, not 1920 and it starts at home. If any city is due a truth and reconciliation committee and process, it’s this one. Because we have an environment where someone thought it would be okay to put up not just one but a bunch of signs around a public park which references the death of a very much alive Black Alamedan.

11 Comments »

  1. Keep alive the possibility that someone who picks this week of all to complain about renaming Jackson Park (Donald Trump’s second favorite president) might not know what “memorial” means. Someone may have seen the words “memorial park” (just like “stolen election”) somewhere and, then, repeat, repeat.

    Rasheed Shabaz has never proposed naming anything after himself. This is obviously an effort to single him out, and in a particularly menacing way if the person was intentional about “memorial”.

    Singling people out, and heated rhetoric has become popular lately. It probably won’t fade quickly.

    Comment by MP — January 12, 2021 @ 7:16 am

    • You are incorrect about timeline. The flyers went up months ago and again in December. This is not a this week thing, though the comments Lauren is noticing are picking up in stridency at present because council is due to confirm the unanimous decision of the parks commission to rename the park to Chochenyo Park.

      I agree this stuff isn’t going away. It’s who we are.

      Comment by Gaylon — January 12, 2021 @ 7:27 am

      • Yes, I realize my timeline was off. Sign of the times, perhaps. Trump was saying “stolen election” even before the election, and before these flyers apparently went up.

        In some senses it is who we are. One of them is how people say over the top things, racist things, knowingly untrue things, or plain Qrazy things to stir people up, grab attention and to identify enemies among us – and how many people buy it or go along with it. Last week was another example of how far that can go. Our pamphleteer in this case appears not to have been successful swaying very many.

        Comment by MP — January 12, 2021 @ 9:01 am

  2. This is horrifying. And not surprising.

    Comment by Sleepy Moe — January 12, 2021 @ 7:38 am

  3. Do we know who put up the flyers? That would give I better context on who exactly the ‘us’ is in “Join Us!”

    I had to zoom in on the photo to read the flyer and do not assume ill intent to any of the wording. I agree with MP’s comment above that most people would include the word Memorial in a park named for a person – meaning that it was named so everyone knows (and remembers) why the person was significant enough to have something named for them.

    AND I’m also in complete agreement that our town/nation needs to find a way to address/redress the hate and hurt in our lives.

    Comment by DZ — January 12, 2021 @ 9:01 am

    • Mrs. Do asked you not to be that “someone.”

      Rasheed contacted the Alameda Police Department the first time this happened but received no response. Do you assume “good intent” with the creation and distribution of these posters?

      The flyers are also inaccurate. The City renamed Buena Vista Park to Elector Littlejohn Park in the 1990s.

      Comment by renamejackson — January 12, 2021 @ 9:10 am

    • Read MP’s comment again about what the word “memorial” means. Then stop and think about why you want to make excuses for someone who would use a term that is exclusively reserved to MEMORIALIZE a dead person.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 12, 2021 @ 9:20 am

    • You were warned not to be “that person,” and yet… Using “memorial” for a person who is very much alive is a very underhanded way to wish ill will on someone.

      Comment by DZ Nuts — January 12, 2021 @ 11:26 am

  4. Never ascribe to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity. Perhaps the poster just didn’t realize the implications of memorial and couldn’t think of the word commemorative.

    Comment by J Busby — January 12, 2021 @ 12:55 pm

    • Perhaps you missed the byline. “Alameda is in the process of changing the names of all its parks to honor black activists. This is the first.” That’s a pretty loud dog whistle, meant to stoke white fear that their neighborhoods are changing.

      The problem with platitudes using absolutes is they keep us from being vigilant against hate and we may not recognize racism unless they’re quite overt.

      Comment by Reality — January 12, 2021 @ 1:06 pm

  5. 1/12/2021

    “This impeachment is causing tremendous anger, and you’re doing it, and it’s really a terrible thing that they’re doing,” Trump said, apparently blaming reporters for his looming impeachment.

    “For [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and [Senate Democratic leader] Chuck Schumer to continue on this path, I think it’s causing tremendous danger to our country, and it’s causing tremendous anger,” he said.

    The president then added, “I want no violence.”

    “As far as this is concerned, we want no violence, we want absolutely no violence,” Trump said.

    Comment by MP — January 12, 2021 @ 1:58 pm


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