The Baddest Black Newspaper in the Bay: THE BAYVIEW FACING SHUTDOWN

POOR correspondent - Posted on 18 June 2010

The San Franscisco BAYVIEW Newspaper faces shutdown!

Marlon Crump/PoorNewsNetwork
Thursday, August 21, 2008;

"Since the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper will now only be an online newspaper, one of the biggest concerns is that people who are incarcerated will no longer be heard."

I learned this recently from longtime re-porters, su-pporters, activists, community members, and voices of the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper.

Contrary to the legendary newspaper line often heard on television, this really "stopped the presses" for me!

The S.F. Bay View National Black Newspaper (which is based in the heart of San Francisco Bay View Hunter's Point) will no longer be able to print its weekly coverage of the detrimentally damaging issues that oppression-ally obliterates the voices of the community of Bay View Hunter's Point, the youth, the incarcerated, the poor, and the people in general locally and all around the least for now.

The funding for the paper to function fundamentally, has unfortunately reached a famine to only have the ability to feed people's mind globally, by means of daily online publications.

Without its weekly print, everyone who thirsts to be heard by the S.F. Bay View Paper to wage combat against evil forces with their very voices, will now be a drought in part.

Everyone, including all of us at POOR Magazine, agreed in unison(s) of the severe effects it will have on not just people who have no access to the internet, but people who are currently incarcerated, some whom from which are even columnists for the S.F Bay View National Black Newspaper, themselves!

"The older people that are used to reading the S.F. Bay View Paper come into the library for the paper", said Debra Franklin, librarian of the S.F Bay View Library's Anna E. Waden Branch. "Most of them don't even have computers to access the internet."

In a world where almost everyone wants to be seen or heard, people are thrilled to get a glimpse of themselves on T.V, or have a sentence from their mouths quoted in a newspaper article for all to see and hear.

Quiet as kept, corporate mainstream news and T.V media have always had a self-serving interest in controlling people's voices.

"The S.F. Bay View Paper was/is a vehicle, particularly for the black community and other marginalized communities that allow us to speak in our own interests," according to Minister of Information, J.R, a S.F. Bay View columnist and editor of Block Report Radio.

"Although paper is out of print, we will continue our mission of education to the masses of people about campaigning that affect their lives."

"The S.F. Bay View Paper means a lot to us over here in the Bay View District." stated Yolanda Miller, a longtime Bay View Hunter's Point resident. "They (corporate media) don't really print the things that's really going on."

This is especially true of the S.F. Bay View Paper's vital coverage of issues regarding people locally and globally, who are subjugated to the imperialistic attributions of racism, poverty, oppression, police brutality, child protection corruption, gentrification, global warming/injustice, incarceration abuse, immigration, and governmental terrorism. .

In early 2005 after my arrival from Cleveland, Ohio, and my relentless confrontations to the cold cruel challenges many poor people face here in San Francisco, CA, I briefly volunteered for the San Francisco Coalition on Homelessness, (A non-profit organization that advocates for the homeless.)

On May 2nd, 2005, at the "Forgotten People Rally." I delivered my "Care Not Cash/Trash" poem vigilantly attacking Mayor Gavin Newsom's controversial "Care Not Cash" policy, which in disguise of its namesake really injured S.F.' s homeless population.

Following the rally, I appeared on the front page of the S.F. Bay View Paper, a very short time later after a photograph was taken of me, by fellow S.F. Coalition on Homelessness volunteer, Chance Martin. I was so ecstatic because it was the first time I have ever been on the front page of ANY newspaper, let alone even being mentioned in it.

Unfortunately, like so many small businesses, non-profit organizations, and poor families globally that have to fight like pit-bulls to keep mere morsels on their dinner plates; the S.F. Bay View National Black Newspaper needed funding to feed the many that starve each day for knowledge and media education, like a car or plane that needs gas to get people to their destinations of travel.

In this case, the S.F. Bay View National Black Newspaper has been the Promised Land of "Voice to the Voiceless" in the true deliverance of people's voices............not just locally.

"It's $4500 a week just to print the paper and no salary for us." explained Willie Ratcliff, publisher of the S.F. Bay View during a recent meeting regarding its future. He began publishing the S.F. Bay View (now the Bay Area's largest Black newspaper) in 1992.

Mr. Ratcliff distributes 20,000 papers weekly on Wednesdays and can't keep up with the demand. Hits on the Bay View's website,, have exceeded 2 million a month.

Mesha Monge-Irizarry, director and founder of the Idriss Stelley Foundation (Now known as Idriss Stelley Action Resource Center) has been a longtime supporter of the S.F. BayView Paper, and has written many articles for the publication, primarily articles of law enforcement abuse.

"In July 2001, hardly a month after my only child Idriss Stelley was executed by SFPD at the Sony Metreon, I knocked on the Ratcliff's door on 3rd and Palou St. for the first time, to find out if they would be willing to cover a story on my son. Mary Ratcliff, in spite of dreadful deadlines to get her paper out, opened her arms, sat with me, fed me, and let me tell her at great length who Idriss really was."

"The San Francisco Bay View Paper is the baddest black newspaper in the West!" exclaimed POOR Magazine/POOR News Network co-founder "Tiny" Lisa Gray-Garcia in her book, Criminal of Poverty.

Willie Ratcliff was born 75 years ago into a little self-governing Black nation known as East Liberty in Deep East Texas, which was founded by his ancestors who had won their freedom and bought their land before the Civil War.

A licensed contractor since 1967, Ratcliff and his family construction firm built public works, industrial, commercial and residential projects.

Possessing an extensive resume that stretches from here to the nearest space station, Mr. Ratcliff broke down barriers, sometimes single-handedly, that locked his people out of the construction industry. He grew up knowing that Black people can form beloved communities, living in dignity, enjoying peace and even prosperity, determining their own destiny.

Mr. Ratcliff served seven years on the Alaska State Commission for Human Rights, chairing it during the pipeline construction years when it became an instrument for earthshaking change.

Mary Ratcliff, editor of the S.F. Bay View paper, and wife of Willie Ratcliff has an extensive resume (extensively equivalent to her husband's) surrounding numerous experiences of law, education, women, and civil rights, originating from her college education in 1955 to her current present position(s) of media justice to people locally and globally, today.

Willie and Mary Ratcliff gave birth to the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper on February 3rd, 1992.

Following the newspaper's birth, an estimated 697 issues have been produced into the minds of those who are eager to read what was happening socially, economically, and globally. The paper has had head-on-collisions with untold amounts of remote "voice controllers" who were (and still are) great peril to people's voices and their lives of how they saw fit.

It has produced a Moses-like equivalency of deliverance from media oppression, without even charging a single red cent for their own benefit, to feed the minds of many that wanted the truth to be fed to them.

It has provided media education, voices, advertisements, and visibility to members of the Bay View Hunter's Point Community, its youth, activists, community organizers, people in numerous countries, and even certain politicians in the belly of the beast.

"They've really made a difference by reporting things that mainstream media wouldn't report." said an employee of the 3rd St. Community Produce Store to me, as he was servicing a customer. (The store is right next to the S.F. Bay View Paper's very headquarters.)

Until the S.F. Bay View Paper's website was badly hacked most recently, it got 2 million hits a month, coming from every state and 170 foreign countries.

Despite these setbacks, however, the publication continued to valiantly achieve these goals with defiance to corporate media's elite structure aimed at controlling the poor, oppressed, and voiceless, by simply giving people universally the knowledge that they have right to only tell their OWN side of their OWN story..............without having their OWN lives and OWN voices taken out of context.

"You can't build little islands of socialism in a sea market of capitalism." Paul D'Amato, author of "The Meaning of Marxism."

You can support the San Francisco Bay View National Black Newspaper, either by placing an ad either online or in upcoming daily papers and by making a donation, which can be tax deductible.

You can also contact KPFA to encourage the regular broadcast of a program covering Black news the Bay View way so that people without internet access in hoods and prisons throughout Northern and Central California can contribute and listen to the Bay View on the air. Contact the Bay View at (415) 671-0789 or to: editor


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