[Yusuf Bey: Founder of Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc.]
Last weekend’s New York Times contained a disturbing article and one that struck close to home. I used to live in Oakland, California, not far from the early headquarters of the Black Panther Party and very close to Your Black Muslim Bakery, Inc. The bakery is not directly affiliated with the Nation of Islam but is an offshoot of the Black Muslim organization. The bakery’s founder, Yusuf Bey, was charged in 2002 of raping young girls over a period of nearly 20 years. Numerous accusations of rape and incest–27 counts of rape involving four girls under the age of 14–were sustained by DNA evidence but Bey died in 2003 before the conclusion of his trial.
At his funeral, the Los Angeles Times reported his 43 children stood “against a backdrop of his fez-clad image, 16 sons in white suits and red bow ties performed a military-style drill in his honor [and] Nation of Islam ministers from Chicago and Florida paid their respects.”
After Bey’s death things went from bad to worse to deadly. In 2006, thugs affiliated with the bakery went on a rampage, smashing up liquor stores in West Oakland owned by Yemenite Muslims, claiming that the merchants were violating the will of Allah. The guilty parties only received probation. Then, at the end of the year, bakery employees engaged in an Oakland crime spree starting in December, riddling a car with bullets from multiple guns. May 19, 2007, two people were kidnapped, one of whom was robbed and tortured and in July, two people were killed in North Oakland.
Individuals involved in those events are the primary suspects in the recent murder of Oakland Post editor Chauncey Bailey. Mr. Bailey was murdered adjacent to the Alameda County Courthouse. Police subsequently “arrested seven men and seized several weapons that they suspected were used in his killing and those of two other men…He had been working on an article for the newspaper about possible links between the bakery and several killings in the area, said Walter Riley, a lawyer for the newspaper’s publisher, Paul Cobb. “
Black Voice News Online reports:
For over 20 years Bailey covered the African-American community for the Oakland Tribune. Prior to writing for the Tribune, he wrote for the Detroit News, UPI, and the Hartford Courant. After leaving the Tribune, he continued to distinguish himself as a reporter on issues of concern to all communities. He was a popular reporter for KDIA radio and Soul Beat TV, and wrote for various other publications, including the Sun Reporter and the Globe. Most recently he was one of the producers, co-founders and hosts for OUR-TV (Comcast Channel 78). In June, he was promoted to become the editor-in-chief of all of the Post Newspapers – Oakland, Berkeley Tri-City, Richmond, San Francisco and South County.
In addition to these legal troubles, the San Jose Mercury News notes that the Bakery is also facing financial woes:
A judge has ruled that Your Black Muslim Bakery will have to liquidate its assets to pay off debts, a move that might be the final blow for the troubled business linked to the recent shooting of a newspaper editor…U.S. bankruptcy Judge Edward Jellen said the bakery’s management problems are not improving and Chapter 7 liquidation is the best way for the business to repay the IRS, its mortgage company and other creditors.
My condolences to the Bailey family. May the killers receive quick and appropriate punishment.