Not only was Melvin McHenry shot several times by Patrick McCullough, he was also slandered by the State and the white community.
OAKLAND — On Friday, February 18, 2005, 16-year-old Melvin McHenry was hanging out with some friends on the 500 block of 59th Street in his North Oakland neighborhood. The teenagers were just having a good time minding their own business.
All of a sudden, a 49-year-old Negro named Patrick McCullough jumped out of nowhere and started harassing the young brothers. He was accusing them of selling drugs and demanding they leave the block — a ridiculous demand, considering the fact that Melvin lives there.
McCullough’s words became more and more inflammatory, so Melvin responded calling McCullough a snitch among other things. McCullough, who had a history of attacking Africans with accusations of being drug dealers, didn’t like that.
He lunged out at Melvin and grabbed the 16-year-old to attack him. Melvin defended himself, broke free of McCullough’s hold and began walking away.
“All of a sudden, I heard gunshots,” Melvin says about the incident. He didn’t even know he had been shot in the arm and torso — much less why he was shot. But we know why. It was an attempt at his life made by an agent of the same U.S. government that has been killing Africans for 500 years.
This agent wasn’t an FBI agent or a CIA agent — at least not that we know of at this point. Patrick McCullough is, however, part of a force that the U.S. government has used time and time again against the African community.
Patrick McCullough is a petty bourgeois negro, a member of the black middle class which consistently sells out the interests of the African community for their own personal gain. They are white power in black face, and the U.S. government pulls them out and uses them to justify its attacks on the African community and, in cases like this, to carry out the attacks directly.
To the U.S. government, the white community and uncle toms like him, Patrick McCullough is a hero — a super Negro. However, to the African community, he is nothing but a menace.
Since the shooting, Melvin’s mother, Stacey Hegler, has had to file a restraining order against McCullough because she fears for the safety of her son and her family. She has also filed a $300,000 lawsuit against McCullough’s home insurance company.
The Uhuru Movement has been on the ground in North Oakland organizing the people to the correct stance and calling the question, “Whose side are you on —the people or the pigs?” In our view, if you are African and you shoot, stab or try to kill another African, then you are the police. Only the police or someone working for or with the police makes that type of assault on our community.
Meanwhile, the white community, the ruling class media and the City of Oakland have shown strong support for McCullough’s subservience to white power. He hasn’t even been charged with anything but using an unregistered firearm.
McCullough is an enemy of African people and agent of the U.S. government and OPD
Had McCullough been a white man, this case (at least in the minds of most Africans) would have been a clear case of white terrorism that has been imposed on Africans and the vast majority of the world’s peoples for 500 years. However, such an event could serve as a catalyst for an African rebellion.
The U.S. government, and all of white power has resorted to using white power in black (or brown) face to do their dirty work for them. McCullough was transplanted into the same North Oakland neighborhood that the McHenry family lives to serve as an agent to represent the anti-African interests of the U.S. government and the white community that wishes to settle the neighborhood like Jews in Palestine.
So instead of a white man yelling, “nigger, get out of here!” it’s a white man with black face yelling, “I’m going to kill you drug selling pieces of shit!”
In fact, that was a phrase used to describe Melvin in a voice message that was left on the Uhuru House phone by one of McCullough’s “supporters” after the Uhuru Movement posted a flyer in the neighborhood that called McCullough the African-killing snitch that he is.
There were other voice messages — some from Africans, many from white people. The white community even went so far as to throw a party to show their appreciation for McCullough.
But the most glaring show of white nationalist support for McCullough-the-snitch came from the Oakland Police Department who legalized his attack on the people. Never will you hear of someone shooting an unarmed person in the back and getting away with it unless it is the police shooting an African, the U.S. marines shooting an Iraqi, or Patrick McCullough shooting Melvin McHenry. Patrick McCullough’s attempt to kill Melvin placed him in objective unity with the genocidal U.S. government!
Criminalization of African community used to justify attacks on us
Since the February shooting, many white people and some Africans have begun to conjure up stories to justify what happened. Some say Melvin had a gun. Others say Melvin and his friends had been threatening him. Some say black youth are a menace. The Oakland Police Department joined the chorus, too.
What happened on February 18th and the events that followed are clear examples of the assault on African people’s democratic rights. Even if Melvin had a gun, even if Melvin and his friends were selling crack, that does not give McCullough the right to act as the judge, jury and executioner. But Melvin wasn’t doing any of those things.
It was McCullough who pulled an unregistered gun out and fired recklessly into a group of young Africans who were half his size and one-third his age.
To top it off, the Oakland Police Department (OPD) let McCullough go — without pressing charges. The police said “McCullough had acted in self-defense after seeing [Melvin] reach for a gun in another youth’s waistband.”
There weren’t even any police on the scene (unless you count McCullough), so how does the OPD even know what really happened? To them, it doesn’t matter what really happened, because the U.S. government will come up with a way to justify its own injustice, just as it justified slavery and made it legal for over 100 years.
Both the State and the general white population will always jump at every opportunity to let an African do their dirty work for them. They will welcome you with open arms if you attack the African community on their behalf. That’s why they held a dinner party for McCullough.
This attack on young Melvin McHenry was not the first time this African community had experienced attempts to destroy or remove it from this North Oakland neighborhood. On this very same block, a serious attempt to remove the entire African community was happening in 1994.
A white woman named Molly Wetzel led a nonprofit organization known as Safe Streets Now (SSN). Safe Streets Now was an organization aimed at removing African families from private housing under the guise of shutting down crack houses, much like the “One Strike” law does Africans in public housing with no need for any more basis than an accusation of having committed a crime.
SSN would receive funds from city council to help them attack Africans who were accused of selling drugs out of their home. But it turned out that it was Safe Streets Now itself that was running one of the biggest crack houses in the Bay Area.
Molly Wetzel and Safe Streets Now were forced to skip town when it was exposed that her organization’s chief of staff, Michael Simpson, was running a drug ring pushing kilos of cocaine into the African community in Oakland.
Now we see history repeating itself as Patrick McCullough too is being exposed as an enemy of the same African community he claims to care about.
Around the same time, Safe Streets Now was being exposed as a nest of criminal activity, McCullough and his wife Daphne first moved to the block of 59th and Shattuck in 1994 to pick up the torch of terror against the African community. It didn’t take long for them to establish a reputation as snitches and informants for the OPD.
The couple would call the police on Africans who were just standing on the block. They would take pictures of Africans socializing, claiming that they were selling drugs.
Their illusions of white power reached an all time worst when Patrick McCullough fired into a crowd of unarmed Africans because he claimed he saw Melvin reach into his friend’s pants waist. It’s kind of like how Amadou Diallo was holding up a .38 caliber wallet.
But the government knows exactly who McCullough is. That’s why they put him in the community. In a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, it was revealed that “the McCulloughs bought their home in 1994 under a first-time buyers program designed to provide stability in Oakland neighborhoods, under which they would lose half their equity if they left before 2014. The City Council is expected to consider emergency legislation later this month that would allow the McCulloughs to keep all their equity if they move elsewhere in the city.”
The house on 59th Street from which the vigilante sellout Patrick McCullough shot 16-year-old Melvin McHenry
In other words, the City of Oakland deploys snitches and informants into the African community for a tour of duty of 14 years to provide “stability” to its residents. If, for any reason, their cover is blown, they will be relocated to another African community where they can do the same thing.
While McCullough is being housed by the City of Oakland, Melvin and his family face the same threat of homelessness that several African families on the block before them have been pushed into. The fact is that the ruling class aims to turn North Oakland, and eventually the whole city, back into a white city — as the surrounding white areas of Emeryville, Berkeley and Oakland’s Rockridge District begin to spread into what once was a predominantly African North Oakland community.
Gentrification and police containment part of counterinsurgency
The city of Oakland is not unlike many major cities in the U.S. in that it is trying to eliminate its African population. Most homes in Oakland are currently owned by white people.
However, during the Black Power Revolution of the 1960’s, when the African community had control over many territories in the city, white folks started fleeing to the hills and the suburbs where the majority of them now live. Those same white people never stopped owning the property — they just stopped living in them.
The African population, the most consistently revolutionary population in the U.S., imposes a fundamental threat to the security of white power’s existence. White folks will never be able to enjoy our stolen resources in peace as long as there is an African population trying to organize to take those resources back.
At the same time, white folks certainly will not be comfortable with the idea of living in the same cities with the same Africans who just, one generation ago, were rebelling against the State.
White people will not move back into the cities unless the African community is first removed. They fear that inevitable uprising of the African masses when we will take back all that has been stolen from us.
This is why white people support the public policy of police containment. It’s because the police serve as bodyguards for the white community to protect them from such a rebellion.
More than that, police containment serves as a means of removing the African community completely. The imposition of the drug economy and the abrogation of our legal democratic rights has enabled the State to shut down public housing, turn our schools into prisons, and lock up an African population the size of a small country.
Defeat the Counterinsurgency! Build the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement!
It is evident that Patrick McCullough must be brought to justice. He must be thrown in jail before he moves to another African community and does the same thing or worse!
But the question is deeper than Patrick McCullough. It is even deeper than Africans being removed from our homes and communities. It is about the power that the U.S. government has over our lives.
When Melvin was shot, his mother turned to the same government that let McCullough go to punish him. But the City of Oakland and its police is incapable of serving justice to the African community. They are the cause of the problem.
Malcolm X said it best, “you don’t take your case to the criminal, you take your criminal to court!” It is true.
The African community must seize power so that we may bring the true criminal to justice. We must organize for power over our own black lives and our community. The same goes for every city in the U.S. and the world where African people live.
We can not rely on the same U.S. government that is beating us with one hand to punish itself with the other hand. Nor can we rely on Negroes like McCullough and his supporters who lend them a hand in beating us. We must defend our own interests.
Just as the U.S. government is rallying the support of the white community and the black middle class, so must we, the African workers, rally around the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement and the African People’s Socialist Party. And just as the white community and the Negroes rely on the strength of an organized U.S. government, so must the African community align itself with the Uhuru Movement.
Our only real defense is organization. All Power to the People! Black Power to the African Community!