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Gang Wars: The reaction

Baybe-Champ, local changemaker & Scraper Bike king

Baybe-Champ, local changemaker & Scraper Bike king

The recent PBS series "Gang Wars: Oakland" depicts the city as a hotbed for violence and "the unofficial crime capital of the state."  Baybe-Champ, known as the Scraper Bike King for his role in Oakland's Scraper Bike movement, shares some of his thoughts about the doc.

About Kwan Booth

Kwan Booth is the co founder and Sr. Community Manager for Oakland Local. A West Oakland resident, Booth is also a creative writer, media consultant and cultural curator. He was recently a recipient of the Society of Professional Journalist’s Sigma Delta Chi award for a series on air quality and health issues in West Oakland. He writes at

Gang Wars is a corporate media effort to further criminalize Black and Brown youth.

It was a sensationalized version of Oakland’s issues with drugs, violence and poverty. It oversimplified the cause of Oakland’s ills (gangs) and super-simplified the solution (Oakland police Gang Task Force).

While the horrors of homicide and drugs are all too real, Gang Wars’ sensationalized version only furthers the criminalization of Black and Latino men and Oakland.

I break it down further on the Reginald James Report: