Melina Abdullah – a professor at California State-LA who also leads the Los Angeles Chapter of Black Lives Matter – brought her three children to a recent Police Commission meeting to chastise LAPD during public comment.
“Lots of people have died because of you,” Abdullah’s 10-year-old daughter told LAPD Chief Charlie Beck. “I think it’s horrible that you don’t care what you have done, and killed so many young children.”
“I don’t know who to call anymore when I need help,” Abdullah’s 13-year-old daughter told the LAPD commissioners. “We see incident upon incident of people who call the police for help and end up being shot to death.”
“You’re supposed to protect and serve,” said Abdullah’s 7-year-old son. “It’s more like you’re protecting and serving yourselves.”
Dr. Abdullah wanted to teach her children about civic engagement while they were on spring break. However, their perception of law enforcement appears to have already been shaped by their mother, who advertises the Pan African Studies Department she heads as “the intellectual arm of the revolution.”
At a conference on intersectionality and diversity earlier this year, Abdullah called police “former slave catchers” and warned college students of the “target” on their back.
Such incendiary comments about police are not unusual from Dr. Abdullah – who repeated claims she’s made several times before about the origin of modern day law enforcement.
At an ACLU-sponsored forum on police reform last September, Abdullah told attendees:
We understand the history of policing, so as a Black Lives Matter organizer, we believe that anytime there’s a system that was intentionally constructed to keep people oppressed, to return enslaved people to their alleged owners, there is no reforming that system. We believe in the abolition of policing as we know it. We believe in, not reform, but transformation of the public safety system.
While her extreme ideas might seem shocking, perhaps Abdullah’s family history provides proper perspective into her long-term goals.
A third-generation radical organizer, Abdullah descends from a line of Marxists that can be traced back to the Communist Party of the German Reich.
When he died in 2005, an obituary explained, “Reimann’s understanding of capitalism derived from the position of desiring its overthrow.”
Long before Reimann advised governments, central banks, and CEOs from all over the globe, he was a 17-year-old rebel writing for Rosa Luxemburg’s Die Rote Fahne, which translates to The Red Banner. It was a communist newspaper described by the New York Times as “a party organ.”
As The Guardian reported at the time of Reimann’s death:
…he worked underground with German social democrats and communist resistance fighters, fully aware that this might prove a terminal decision. Indeed, by 1934 the Gestapo was closing in. Nazi Officials raided his house and arrested his student guest, Hu Lan-Xi, who would go on to become the Red Army’s first female general.
Reimann soon left Berlin and went into exile.
By 1938, he was living in New York City with political refugee status. Reimann’s new life in the United States was made possible by the American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) – an organization that has since received funding from George Soros’ Open Society Foundations.
People Magazine reported:
In 1975 the American Friends Service Committee, the activist arm of the Quakers, set up a Program on Government Surveillance and Citizen’s Rights. Using the Freedom of Information Act, it obtained some 13,000 pages of documents that revealed the FBI had been keeping extensive records on the AFSC for more than five decades.
Reimann acquired U.S. citizenship in 1944. Then, two years later his son, John, was born.
John Reimann would relocate to Oakland, California, during the turbulent 1960s, where Melina was born in 1972. At the time, armed Black Panthers “patrolled the pigs” to combat police brutality – creating the perfect environment to mold an upcoming Black Lives Matter revolutionary.
Abdullah’s mother is black, and her father, John Reimann, is now a white, retired union organizer who is still active in the Bay Area’s progressive scene.
“I was born in the 70s in East Oakland. All of our parents are Panthers, or Black Power organizers, or organizers,” Abdullah recalled. “We come out politicized.”
Long before the first Molotov cocktail was thrown, John Reimann was part of Occupy Oakland, which would go on to become one of the most violent branches of the Occupy movement.
As he wrote in “The Politics of Occupy Oakland – A Marxist Viewpoint:”
Occupy Oakland and the Occupy movement in general is the warning of a far wider movement yet to come. As with Occupy, that wider movement will ultimately rise or fall, it will live or die, based on bold, defiant action and clear ideas. First and foremost must be opposition to capitalism itself.
John Reimann, who contributes to a blog called “Oakland Socialist,” is also a self-proclaimed Trotskyist – a philosophy that advocates global socialism through continuing revolution.
Those same principles are now being promoted by his daughter, Melina Abdullah, preserving the family’s communist calling.
“The system of white supremacist, heteronormative, patriarchal capitalism is extremely fragile,” Abdullah tells her followers. “Their power is false and easily toppled.”
In addition to toppling capitalism, Abdullah seeks to replace police with community-based public safety teams. But you won’t find that in her Cal State L.A. bio – a school that made headlines last year after protesters tried to stop a speech from Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro. He went on to file a lawsuit against the school – and Abdullah – for violating his First Amendment rights.
Three months later at a campus “healing space,” Abdullah labeled Shapiro a “neo-Nazi” and “neo-KKK member.”
As Fox Business reported:
Sources familiar with the lawsuit say senior CSULA administrators purposefully failed to enforce university free speech policies in order to placate the protestors and stop Shapiro’s speech. Students who managed to attend Shapiro’s lecture were told by CSULA police officers not to leave the auditorium or their lives would be in danger.
CSULA President Covino, Professor Melina Abdullah and Professor Robert Weide are among the defendants named in the suit, according to sources familiar with the lawsuit.
As a tenured department head, Abdullah is free to recruit students as Black Lives Matter allies and take road trips half way across the country organizing the people to rise up – all in the name of Pan African Studies.
“Thankful to be part of a department that lives the revolution rather than just theorizing about it,” Abdullah posted on Facebook after a 2014 sojourn in Ferguson, Missouri, site of the ‘hands up-don’t shoot’ fallacy that led to full-blown riots.
Since then, Abdullah’s tactics have been persistent, creative and disruptive.
As the Los Angeles Times reported in October 2015, Melina Abdullah ambushed a church hosting a community meeting with Mayor Eric Garcetti, which was “quickly overtaken by about 50 protesters from organizations including the national activist group Black Lives Matter,” and:
As Garcetti spoke to a full house in the church’s cavernous sanctuary hall, the demonstrators stood and turned their backs to him.
Toward the end of the hour-long session Garcetti, ringed by police officers, struggled to reach his car as he was swarmed by a crowd of chanting activists — and once inside the vehicle, he was forced to wait amid blaring sirens until the crowd was dispersed by the LAPD.
“The mayor has neglected, disrespected and abused the black community for far too long,” Melina Abdullah, a professor of Pan African Studies at Cal State L.A. and organizer for Black Lives Matter, said at the meeting.
Then, two days before Christmas, Abdullah was arrested after shutting down the 405 Freeway – delaying holiday travelers trying to make flights at the nearby LAX airport.
As local public radio station KPCC reported at the time:
The activists, who were with the Black Lives Matter protest group, are accused of blocking the freeway’s lanes and painting slogans and the names of several victims of alleged police brutality on the pavement. The protest shut down the southbound lanes at about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday and lasted about 15 minutes.
It was one of several Black Lives Matter protests held in U.S. cities — including acts of civil disobedience in Chicago, Minneapolis and San Francisco — that took place this week. The group said it hopes the actions would draw attention to incidents they said show “a consistent reiteration of the devaluing of Black life by law enforcement and their supporters.”
After Abdullah was asked to leave a Police Commission meeting last year, she cursed at, then appeared to threaten, LAPD Commissioner Steve Soboroff (father of msNBC’s Jacob Soboroff), who had instructed an activist affiliated with Black Lives Matter to “shut up”:
“You shut the fuck up, Soboroff, you shut up,” Abdullah said while vacating the meeting. “We know where your ass lives too. And we’ve got cars.”
Abdullah’s 13-year-old daughter, Thandiwe, appears to be her protégé – now part of Melina Abdullah’s organizing efforts within the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).
When Black Lives Matter held its first event inside an LAUSD school last September, Thandiwe was on the student panel that led the discussion.
KCAL-9 Los Angeles reported:
“I feel like the school criminalizes me; I feel like the school criminalizes a lot of the people of color,” (Thandiwe Abdullah) added.
She, as well as many parents, says there are too many police officers on campuses, especially those with predominately black student populations.
Two years ago, the Los Angeles Times interviewed Thandiwe Abdullah at an encampment called “Occupy LAPD,” where her mother, Melina, was arrested. The Times reported:
One of the group’s youngest protesters, 11-year-old Thandiwe Abdullah of Los Angeles, said she feared for her own future given the recent police killings. “I have a target on my back everywhere I go to,” she said.
Professor Abdullah has invested years teaching her children, students, and anyone that identifies as “oppressed” to distrust law enforcement. She admits that her anti-police activism is part of a much larger strategy of advancing a communist revolt.
As USC Annenberg Media reported:
Having accumulated milestones here and there, Black Lives Matter is still a long way off from the grand vision. That involves a “massive reform of public safety,” said Abdullah. “We’re talking about police abolition. We’re talking about police disarmament.”
However, she asserts that police are only a tool in a “white supremacist patriarchal heteronormative capitalist society” that requires dismantling.
80 years after Günter Reimann immigrated to America, his anti-capitalist legacy lives on through his granddaughter, Melina Abdullah; the Black Lives Matter radical – leading “the intellectual arm of the revolution” from within the largest four-year university system in the United States.
Dr. Abdullah did not respond to requests to comment on this report.
Video of Abdullah at the ACLU-sponsored forum on police reform last September:
Video of Abdullah telling LAPD commissioner to STFU: