Remembering the Symbionese Liberation Army

Patty “TANIA” Hearst in still shot of a video depicting her holding a semi automatic weapon in the course of a bank robbery in 1974.

I’m sixty four years old as I write this today, Saturday November 24, 2018. In 1974, the year that Patty Hearst was “kidnapped” I was twenty years old. Back then I was in the throes of my heroin addiction and was going in and out of jails. In fact, I had just come home after serving 23 months in the so-called Rockefeller program. I was in a prison in the city of Buffalo called Masten Park that was classified as one of the drug facilities of the so-called Rockefeller program. The only diffierence between Prison and the Rockefeller program is the jurisdiction of the agency superiving it. Prison’s and city jails are under the perview of the Department of Corrections. The so-called Rockefeller Program was under the perview of the Narcotics Addiction Control Commission.

In 1974 I remember the breaking news of Patricia Hearst, the granddaughter of one of America’s wealthest men, media magnet William Randolph Hearst, being kidnapped by a hereto unknown revolutionary group called the SLA, the Symbionese Liberation Army. One has to remember that the 1960’s and 1970’s were the years that America changed forever. That period is the era of social revolution. From the uptight crew cut boys and bobby socker girls, to the long haired men and outspoken women. It was the era in which John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King jr. were assasinated.

In the 1960’s the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. was the figure head of the Civil Rights Movement and their ideology of peaceful or non-violent resistence. In the 1970’s the climate was much more radical. Stokie Carmicheal, Huey P. Newton and Angela Davis formed the Black Panther Party and began taking a more aggressive stance when J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI began killing young black for organizing the community for self determination; Cesar Chavez following the non violent philosophy of King organized the farm workers, on the East Coast the Puerto Rican Young Lords Party were orgaininzing around health care and the deplorable housing Puerto Ricans were religated to, white College students were protesting the Viet Nam war; women were burning their bra’s and the police departments across the country were bashing in heads.

Patricia "Patty" Hearst Symbionese Liberation Army
Patty Hearst Member of the Symbionese Liberation Army

After Patty Hearst was a “kidnap” victim for about 73 days she broadcast to the world that she is not a kidnap victim but is in fact a voluntary members of the SLA, whose name is Tania. Shortly thereafter in a video taped bank robbery Patty “Tania” Hearst is seen carrying an automatic weapon during the robbery. She is seen looking at her watch as she keeps the time for the team robbing the bank.

Weeks later in a sporting goods store foiled shopping spree, Patty, who had been sitting in the car as the get away driver picked up her weapon and began shooting at the store clerks that had tried to detain William Harris as he excited the store.
It was almost two years later that the surviving members of the SLA were arrested. In the newsreels one can see Patty Hearst handcuffed and sitting in the back of the police car raise her arms in what is commonly known as the revolutionary salute. That is arms out stretched and her hand balled into a fist.

“Stockholm syndrome is a condition that causes hostages to develop a psychological alliance with their captors as a survival strategy during captivity”.</span.

I remember how I was upset because certain segments of the population and some of the media began floating the idea that Patty Hearst was a victim of “Stockholm Syndrom”. Why was I upset? Because it was her attorney who at the time was the most well known, successful criminal attorney in the United States F. Lee Bailey that was postulating it as a defense strategy. I knew, because history continues to prove it, that since she is white, female and rich she will get away with. I was upset, and as I write this get upset again, because I was suffering from a disease*, the disease of addiction and I stole to get money to buy drugs. I was a petty thief because I was hooked on drugs. I was in and out of jails and had just completed 23 months. I did not hold a weapon to anyone, I did not physically hurt anyone. I broke into a closed store and store. Yet I have a criminal record and served time.

Patty Hearst, a rich white girl, caught on video tape in a bank robbery, heard on tape admiting to being a voluntary participant in many of the crimes committed by the SLA, including one bank robbery in which one woman was shot dead. Turns on her “comrades” and accuses some of them of rape. Despite her lawyers getting several wins, namely seperating her from the murder charge, Patty gets sentenced to seven years. In 1976 me, a petty crook, drug addict gets sentenced to the same length of time.

But the story does not end here. In the end white priviladge and wealth do prevail. Petty Hearst’s conviction has been commuted. She had been out on bail during the appeals process so in essence out of all the time she was originally sentenced to she may have spent six months in jail. Then in the ultimate display of wealth, power, and white privilage her family manages to get her a full pardon. This means that she entire criminal record is totally wiped from her record. It is like it never happened. Whats this mean, well for one thing if she wanted to she could run for the United States Senate and or President of the United States. While me, I had dedicated my life to service, to making amends for all the things I did while I was using drugs. And while I have what is known as a Certificate of Relief From Disabilities, which restored most of my civil rights I am still considered a felon.

Bank robbery 1. Caught on video tape baring a semi automatic weapon and observed keeping time for the crew.
Mel’s sporting goods store shoot out, Patty Hearst is the only one shooting a semi automatic weapon.
Bank robbery 2. A woman is murdered, Patty Hearst was one of the archetects of this robbery and the get away driver.
Patty Hearst plants a bomb under a police car, fortunatly it did not go off.
Several more car bombs were planted, a few did go off luckiely no one was hurt.

So this Thanksgiving season, Patty Hearst you should be very thankful. Thankful that you are a white female born into massive wealth because you escaped prison for some very brutal and heinous crimes. While thousands of poor black and brown people serve long prison stretches for crime that do not come any where near as serious as those you participated in.


Disease: a disorder of structure or function in a human, animal, or plant, especially one that produces specific signs or symptoms or that affects a specific location and is not simply a direct result of physical injury.

Fake outrage by GOP spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany

Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.
GOP Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany
“comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting,”

Such obviously fake outrage by GOP Spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany regarding Representative Kamela”s comparison of ICE and the KKK. McEnany, charged Representative Kamela Harris [Dem. California] with “comparing ICE officers to the KKK, and it’s absolutely disgusting.” Where was that outrage when Donald Trump launched his presidential campaign by calling Mexicans drug dealers, murderers and rapist? I think it is she that is playing politics with jargon. In the same way that Trump used the caravan, or, as he referred to them, “invaders” to scare his idiotic base to the polls.

Trumps fake invaders are really assylum seekers

It’s ludicrous how white people get upset whenever a black or brown person makes analogies based on our frame of reference. Even well meaning white people, of which there are many, can not fathom what it is like to be a minority in the United States. We have to contend with being called invaders, drug dealers, murderers, rapist, or even terrorist- with nothing to base this on other than skin color or language. But if a member of our community uses the same type of language to describe acts by white people, acts based on fact, we get blasted.

But, let’s call a snowflake a snowflake.

Who was it that rode around on horseback wearing pillowcases over their face and lynching people?

Terrorists, so called white supremicists hide behind hoods as they ride into town on horseback.

Who was it that was gunning people down on the streets of Chicago?

Who was it that blew up the Federal building in Oaklahoma?

Who was it that walked into a crowded movie theater and began wontonly shooting?

Who is it that has been shooting up the schools, malls, nightclubs and houses of worship, the last few decades?

Who was it that mailed bombs to several Democratic leaders, journalist and media outlets two weeks before the 2018 midterm elections?

Who walked into and shot up a synoguge one week before the 2018 midterm elections?

Who is it that rampantly kills black and brown men (and sometimes even women) for being black, brown or speak a different language?

These are our reference points, don’t feign outrage when we refer to it. Do something to change the narrative

So, is ICE bring used to enforce the laws and are there any parallels with the Klu Klux Klan?” It could be a matter of perception.

Words Matter

As a kid in public school I was taught that “sticks and stones could break my bones but words could never harm me”.

What a load of crap. Do you realize how many kids were ruined because of that asinine concept? I mean yes it’s true that sticks and stone could break my bones but what is not true is that words could never harm me.

A broken bone hurts like hell but it could be mended and after time the pain is forgotten and you’ll probably get full, or at least partial, functionality of that limb again. The pain of a verbal assualt is with you forever. As time goes by it may dissapate and is forgotten. But unlike a broken limb, something can trigger that memory and the pain is real again. The funny thing is that the trigger can be anything, a song, a smell, a color, a person, a place or an image. Once that memory is triggered the pain is as real as when it first occured.

So many people seek counseling, and undergo years of thrapy due to the verbal abuse inflicted my a parent or guardian. Or because of the name calling they recieved from the school yard bully.

I myself remember the first time someone called me a spic and I learned what that word meant. Before being called a spic I was an innocent kid and saw the world though rose colors lenses. I did not know anything about race and ethnic pride. When I was called a spic my whole world view changed. I saw people for what they are. I saw that many of the white people in the world (well around me and on TV) did not like other people that were not white. I was beat up my the Italian and Irish boys whom would call me spic, chico or mira mira. I saw the news and how the blacks were not allowed to eat in certain restaurants and then I saw the police hose them down and have their dogs bite them as they marched proclaiming “we shall over come”.

Vile and dispicable words shouted at me cut through me and the pain was real. It’s so real that even today when I flash back to that period my stomach knots up and the pain resurfaces.

Trump's hateful rhetoric.
U.S. President Donald Trump answers questions about his responses to the violence, injuries and deaths at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville as he talks to the media in the lobby of Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York, U.S., August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

So when the 45th President of the United States, a man surrounded my white supremicist and other hate mongers calls Mexicans (I’m of Puerto Rican decent but he like many other white people think all hispanics are Mexican) drug dealers, rapist or murderers, or labels all Middle Easterners terrorist, or calls the news media fake news, and calls democrats – and a few he calls out by name – enemys or haters of America, those words hurt. But even more hurtful than that is the affect those words have on his followers. The crazy’s and white supremist that follow him and listen to his rhetoric and take his words to heart, the actions they take as a result are even more painful.

Two nights ago one of 45’s followers walked into a Synagogue and killed 11 people and wounded at least 6 others. This nut job was a follower of the precedent (misspelled on purpose) and posted his distorted views on social media sites.

Last week the nation was in a state of terror as high ranking democrats, certain news outlets, entertainers and other prominent figures started getting bombs mailed to them. When the FBI finally arrested this whacko his van was plastered with Trump and Mike Pence posters, hate spued sayings, as well as guns and boxes of ammo and other bomb making parphernalia.


Tonight the precedents press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders actually scolded the news media and blamed them for fomenting the hatered in this country. This lady has been lying to the public, on behalf of this precedent, ever since she was appointed to that post. This administration is utterly dispicable.

In less than two weeks the nation will be going to the voting booth to elect a new congress. I hope, no I pray, that sensible minded Americans go the polls and vote blue so that we can begin getting this country back on track.

Donald Trump is the most vile, dispicable and devisive president I have ever witnessed in my life. I am 64 years old and have expereinced some hateful presidents. Nixon, Reagan, George H. Bush, George W. Bush. As hatful as those prior presidents have been, none of them was as dispicable and devisive as Trump. As a candidate he declared his presidency by calling Mexicans crooks, rapist, drug dealers and murderers. As a candidate he was caught on tape telling Billy Bush of Access TV that he grabs women by their XXXX and can get away with it because he is famous.

This is the president that openly mocked a handicapped reporter, ranted against the parents of a fallen war hero because he happened to be Muslim.

This is the president that stood by Americas biggest enemy, Valdimir Putin, and sided with him against every single American, and allied, intelligence agency.

This is the president that has had over 11 of his top officials and cabinet members indicted within the first 18 months of his administration.

This is the president that goaded Hillary Clinton for using a personal email server while he continues to use his own, unsecured, personal cell phone. A cell phone that he was on several occasions left in his golf cart out in the open for anyone to grab.

This is the president that has been spuing his zenophobia for so long that racism has resurfaced in America with more violence against people of color since Jim Crow days.

This is the president that while the immigrant carvan rolling across Mexico is more than 1000 miles away hypes it up and has his minions calling them invaders. His words incite crazies and whacko’s to pick up guns and kill people different from themselves and to mail bombs to those he himself has labeled enemys.

This is the president that has his minutemen and his armed forces at the ready at the boarder for the anticipated influx of immigrants that may never happen. That carvan may stop at anytime before it gets to the American boarder, it could be a massive movement simply to call attention to their plight. Of it could actually be people seeking asylum. After all their is a lady that stands tall in New York harbor as a beacon of hope with an inscription that proclaims “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door”!

This is the president that teachers refuse to allow their students to listen to because of, wait for it, his WORDS!

Liitle girl with hands over her ears to avoid Trumps vile words

So while sticks and stones can break my bones they will eventually heal. His words will live on for perpetuity and will hurt the American people over and over again. It will take generations to repair the damage this guy has done. And, if the democrats are not successful in taking back at least one of the Houses we may wind up in the new Nazi Camp. Hail Trump!




It was 1969 that Sly and the Family Stone released the song, EVERYDAY PEOPLE, decrying the horrific state of race/class relations in the United States. I am 64 years old and can attest to the fact that race relations had at least become tolerable.

Unfortunately after 2016 hatred and zenophobia reared its head again.

Sly of Sly and the Family Stone
Sly of Sly and the Family Stone

Violence against non whites by white supremicist has risen. White cops killing black men, white women calling the police just because they see a black person in there neighborhood, the President saying that we need to: build a wall (to keep Latino’s out); ban muslims (those muslim nations that he has no business ties with); put armed guards in our places of worship, etc., etc.

He is my repharsing of that Sly Stone song for 2018.

Sometimes I’m right and I can be wrong
My own beliefs are in my song
The butcher, the banker, the drummer and then
Makes no difference what group I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There is a RED STATE that won’t accept the BLUE STATE
That won’t accept the DEMOCRATS that won’t accept REPUBLICANS
And different strokes for different folks

And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
I am no better and neither are you
We are the same whatever we do
You love me you hate me you know me and then
You can’t figure out the bag I’m in
I am everyday people, yeah yeah

There are the CHRISTIANS that do not like the JEWISH
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
Oh sha sha we got to live together
There is a white one that won’t accept the black one
That won’t accept the brown one that won’t accept the yellow one
And different strokes for different folks
And so on and so on and scooby dooby doo
I am everyday people

Songwriter for the original song: Sylvester Stewart
Everyday People (from Milk) (Re-Recorded / Remastered) lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC