Calling in a few folks. Due to recent and current
events, I'm gonna have
to bring this issue back up as "not resolved" and ask that it be put back
on the table and addressed before EOY.
Thank you kindly,
Scott R. Edmonds
On Fri, Jun 28, 2019 at 4:31 PM D. Scott Nanos <scott.nanos(a)gmail.com>
Greetings Sudo et al, I'm so sorry but I have
to bring to your attention
a recent, very unfortunate, inappropriate, and violent encounter a friend
of mine, Deon Saunders, had with a guy named "Rob", who I don't think I
know personally, although I'm sure he's well known around Omni in general.
I don't believe he's a sudo member specifically, but I believe this
incident sort of came into Sudo territory when Marc became involved; I also
really respect and love what Sudo room provides to the community, and I
know that Sudo is a powerful force within the Omni; as such, I'm writing to
you all now because I believe this issue definitely needs to be dealt with,
and not ignored or brushed aside.
Basically, Deon is friends with Phat Beets and Food First, and has been
frequenting the Omni in order to do work and access the community resources
that are available. To my understanding, he often works in the Sudo room
space. Although this should not need to be said, I can personally vouch for
Deon as an upstanding and generous member of the Oakland community.
Deon was having trouble accessing the space the other day and rung the
Omni doorbell several times, at which point guy named Rob opened the door
and started cursing at him and being very aggressive. After Deon was able
to enter Omni, Rob then started following him around and harassing him,
acting like a cop. Although this is egregious in and of itself, and a
terrible counter-representation of the Omni's values, this all came to a
head when Rob accused Deon of not being "an actual, normal, human being".
Whether or not this was intentional, it evoked longstanding racist
attitudes that black folks have been subjected to, suggesting that Deon was
less-than, or sub-human. Deon was so offended that he promptly left the
Omni and has not been back since.
Besides this very loaded and hateful comment, this general kind of
treatment and attitude, overall, is the EXACT opposite of the way black
folks should be treated when interfacing with the Omni. Rob's actions are
not okay, at all, and I strongly feel that a serious accountability process
should be implemented for this incident. This is not a small matter. I've
spoken with Deon, and he has agreed to participate.
I've also heard that this type of incident has happened before at the
Omni, specifically involving Rob. Correct me if I'm wrong, but apparently,
the attitude that was expressed to Deon was that Rob is one of the main
people that operates (i.e. helps to reproduce and sustain,) the Omni, and
as such, people basically go along with what he says and does. If this is
in fact the case, then an accountability process is even more imperative.
In no way should labor, and by proxy, "power" derived from labor, enable a
person to act with racism against members of the Oakland community. I think
it's in the best interest of the Omni to address this issue immediately,
for Deon, for the Omni, and for the Omni's relationship with the greater
community of Oakland.
I believe Marc was present for part of this incident as well, and
although I know, Marc is so busy doing vital work for Sudo and Omni, it
might behoove him to also participate in this process, as a witness.
I am writing this email not because I am trying to "cancel" or ruin
anyone, but because I care about Deon, The Omni, Sudo, and the Oakland
community at large. This issue seems indicative of larger problems, and if
addressed with love and respect and accountability, could seriously benefit
all parties listed above, and improve the Omni and it's relationship with
I'm not sure where to take it from here, as I am personally extremely
busy with other community-based activities in Oakland right now, but a
mediator/facilitator should be sought out, ideally a black person, but at
the very least, a non-black poc, and probably someone that isn't personally
involved in the day-to-day operations at Omni, sudo etc. If i am able, I
could possibly be this mediator, but I hope other options are sought out
first, because a.) I'm a non-black, mixed race poc, and b.) I have very
little capacity at the moment.
But please keep me in the loop regarding an accountability process for
Rob, and I'll do whatever I can to help move this along and reach a fair
and just conclusion.
Sorry to bring such difficult news to you all, but I could not stay
With love and Solidarity,
sudo-discuss mailing list