“Larry You Are My Brother” Facebook page
OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL | When times are tough, many say, the only people you can really count on is family. In embattled Oakland Councilman Larry Reid’s case, his propensity for calling everyone his brothers and sisters just may get him out of the jam laid out in a hard-nosed city audit last week.
There is no shortage of long-time Oaklanders and city contractors willing to go to bat for Reid, who has held the District 7 seat since 1997. After City Auditor Courtney Ruby’s scathing report fingering Reid and a member of his staff for allegedly breaking the law, those symbolic family members are stirring to save him once again.
A Facebook page supporting Reid, calling itself “Larry You Are My Brother” makes sly reference to Reid’s primary term of affection. However, as of Thursday afternoon, just five people have expressed support on the page and sales of the corresponding cap may not be doing brisk business. It’s also not clear whether the page is truly supportive of Reid or possibly a satire since the cover photo features a screwy-looking Reid along with a similarly shifty-eyed former Oakland Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente. But there is more than enough love to go around when it comes to Reid.
San Francisco Chronicle columnist Chip Johnson noted this week Reid’s professed love on video just recently of Ken Houston, another brother, it should be noted. Houston has ties to the Oakland Army Base deal referenced in Ruby’s report alleging another type of love given to his long-time cohort. But, the existence of footage showing Reid’s expressing the height of admiration is not unusual. Just two weeks ago during the Mar. 12 City Council meeting, Reid prefaced his comments to Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan by telling him he loves him.
The most interesting expression of support for Reid as he faces possibly censure by the council, along with Councilmember Desley Brooks, came from Oakland blogger Zennie Abraham. The uber SEO manipulator maliciously floated the dangerous meme of racism as the root of Ruby’s exhaustive investigation. In these types of situations, just raising the unjustified complaint is not meant to change opinions, but merely singing to the choir. Southern political consultants use the trick in reverse all the time to knock African American candidates by speaking in codes readily understood by rural white voters. The move is dastardly and divisive, but it may be a glimpse of what Reid and his supporters aim to employ in the next month or so.
Abraham, it should be noted, also raised the flag of racism two years ago in an attempt to aid former 18th Assembly District candidate Joel Young after he was accused by an ex-girlfriend of striking her in the head. In two videos, Abraham lauded Young, debunked the claims and wished him luck in an astonishingly transparent move to aid Young’s floundering campaign. With friends like that, who needs enemies?