… BobLeeSAYS EXCLUSIVE! … I’M BACK! It takes more than 25 para-military black supremists and a Calypso Louie wannabee to stop BLee. How “big” was this publicity stunt ??? … there were TWO choppers “hovering”. The local CBS and ABC affiliates had staff on-the-ground and in-the-air. How close was I to Malik Zulu Shabazz? I coulda reached out and touched him but I’m pretty sure that woulda been frowned on by his Ray Lewis-type bodyguards.
The call came in at 8:30 AM Monday that Malik Zulu Shabazz and his New Black Panthers were planning to “visit Duke” at 10 AM. I grabbed a Cup o’ Joe in a travel mug and saddled up the F-150 BLMobile.
I must mention here that I was dressed in my “Floyd R. Turbo-American” summer uniform from the Jimmy Buffet Collection … Aloha shirt, Timberline ballcap and khakis. That fact comes into play later on.
I parked at the Wahington Duke Inn and walked thru The Gothic Rockpile to the main entrance having already spied the satellite up-link vans in that area.
Shabazz’ goons were gathered in a gravel lot across from the main entrance … off Duke property and about a quarter mile from The Duke Chapel. About 20-25 of’em dressed in black para-military fatiques complete w/ SWAT boots. I observed no “arms” other than the ones normally attached to a torso. There seemed to be some pecking order among the member of the outfit. A skinny little commando with dreadlocks had a wireless mic and moved among’em whispering orders. There were two female commandos one of whom looked like Rerun’s mamma. They had a flag … red, green and black stripes. One little guy who looked kinda like Urkel got to carry the flag.
If you wanted to jaywalk or double park in downtown Derm, this was your chance … there were Durham Police everywhere. Jack-booted motorcycle cops with their reflecto Raybans contrasted well with the SWAT-booted racist thugs.
Malik was gathered about 50’ back from the demarcation created by the line of SWAT-booted thugs. He was prepping a group of “community activists” on the script for the upcoming show. Other than the New Black Panthers and “community activists” there were maybe 50-75 media types and assorted thrill-seekers like myself. As noted above … TWO choppers hovered overhead. Lots of cell phone chatter from bored young lawyers types who snuck out of the office to be on-hand.
I gave CokeDaddy an update and established my uplink for what my assignment would be as this played out.
At 10:20 Malik moved over to the entrance to Duke, standing between the two stone columns at the entrance. At this point I was eye-to-eye and about 6’ from Malik hisownself. I mumbled in a stage whisper that he looked like Dwayne Wayne from “A Different World” w/ Jasmine Guy. That’s when I got on the radar of Malik’s SWAT-booted goons.
Malik warmed up the crowd with some syncronized chants … “What do we want?” … “Justice” … “When do we want it?” … “Now” … (Repeat four times) … end with … “BLACK POWER”. All the commandos and the community activists did that John Carlos upraised fist thingie from the Mexico City Olympics.
Malik then launched into his Calypso Louie Farankan soliloquey demanding the immediate conviction of the Duke lacrossers. He got off on some jag about “the black woman is the “Mother Of All Civilization” and noted some Egyptian queens. He condemned the “objectification” of black women as sex objects of lust but stopped short of mentioning Beyonce by name.
In a rant I believe was written by the Franklin Street Slander Society, he denounced Duke as a VERY evil place having been built on the backs of black slaves owned by Washington Duke. Later he would remind his audience that they are called “Devils” for a reason.
Then he read his Eight Demands which they had on several large posters. It was pretty much yadda yadda except #4 demanding that the Durham Mayor, Duke President and NC Central Chancellor stop meeting in secret.
Several “community activists” got to pontificate including local nitwit Jackie Wagstaff infamous as the raving lunatic on the Derm School Board. A NCCU student named Sasha spoke too.
Malik asked for questions all of which he answered with “I can neither confirm nor deny that.”
Then he announced he would lead his para-military goons onto the Duke campus and he turned to do so. He immediately bumped into two black Duke staffers who told him he and his para-military goons could NOT enter Duke because “our students are stressed out over exams and your presence will add undue stress to their lives.” I swear to Gawd that’s what he said. The two (coincidentally) black Duke officials were high level staffers in their campus security department. Neither President Dick nor any white Duke staffers were anywhere to be seen.
Malik then turned in a huff and began to lead the parade “to the rape house” on Buchanan Boulevard. I’m pretty sure he knew in advance he would be denied entry … the “lets march over to the rape house” was too coordinated to be spontaneous. Lots more chanting as the parade moved the 2+ miles to “the rape house”. They added “Shame On Duke” to the chant list.
Our merry band now numbered about 150, demographically about 25 white folks and the rest not.
Malik stopped near the Sarah Duke Gardens to catch his breath and pontificate again. At this point I was somehow inside the 6’ safety ring that the goons try to keep around Malik Zulu Shabazz. A Ray Lewis-type asked for “my credentials” and I handed him a SwaggerSays bizness card. Time froze as “Jimmy Buffet” Swagger and “Ray Lewis” Panther Thug stood 6″ apart staring into each others Reflectos … “Ray Lewis” blinked. A classic moment in gonzo journalism.
Here’s where it got fun … the phalanx of goons started moving again in a flying wedge with Malik in the center and a short little fat pit bull gal beside him carrying the Eight Demands poster. I’m walking backwards about 10’ ahead of the lead goon. It’s 12:15 now and 20,000,000 God-loving Americans across the fruited plain are waiting for my report.
Here I am … 6’4” 215 wearing my Jimmy Buffet outfit … walking backwards down the middle of Erwin Road in Durham reading the Malik Zulu Shabazz’s Eight Demands off the pit bull gal’s poster to the Southern Command Center of The Excellence In Broadcasting Radio Network. As I’m reading them, Maha Rushie is repeating them to a bated-breathed DittoHead Nation.
As I snap my cell shut, a fellow from the Duke Public Information Office asks “were you just talking to who I think you were talking to?” … “just an old friend who’s interested in current events.” … hehehehe!
At “the rape house” Malik repeated his inflammatory rhetoric from earlier and led his goons and “community activists” in the obligatory “hold hands” prayer ceremony. He did some of it in some African dialect that Jackie Wagstaff didn’t seem to understand.
As the party was wrapping up, I ran into my pal on the DPD. He noted that most of the “community activists” have lengthy rap sheets including one old dude who head-butted a cop recently.
I walked back to the main campus through the Sarah Duke Gardens, got in the SwaggerMobile and came home, stopping for a bottle of grape juice and some gas.
What did you do today …?