Roland Sheppard’s Blog

Daily News Digest Archives

Published Books:

The View From The Painters Ladder


Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Untitled-2In the 1960s, Roland Sheppard regularly attended Malcolm X’s meetings in Harlem. He is one of the few remaining people who personally witnessed the assassination of Malcolm X in the Audubon Ballroom. Purchase the e-book


Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘Dream’ is not possible under the ‘Nightmare’ of capitalism. The system of capitalism is based on the exploitation of Labor, and racism is required to divide and weaken the working class. As Malcolm X said: “Racism is profitable. If it was not profitable, it would not exist.”

The previous Civil Rights Movement offers valuable lessons for today: if we don’t let them divide us; if we keep our politics independent of the Republican and Democratic Parties and the Government; if we rely only upon our own power in the streets, in the schools, and at work; if we take up the struggles of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many other heroes of the movement – we can win. — Roland Sheppard

If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation—want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. . . . Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. — Frederick Douglass

The press is so powerful in its image-making role, it can make a criminal look like he’s the victim and make the victim look like he’s the criminal. — Malcolm X

          Roland Sheppard Speaking Against Gentrification   San Francisco City Hall 4/26/06

My name is Roland Sheppard, I am a retired Business Representative of Painters Local #4 in San Francisco. I have been a life long social activist and socialist. Prior to my being elected as a union official in 1994, I worked for 31 years as a house painter. My web page stands for equality of all people, These essays are written from my ground floor view as a participant in the Antiwar movement, the Black Liberation Movement, the Women’s Movement and the struggle for workers democracy and freedom for all humanity. For Socialism!

These are my essays from my perch on the Painter’s Ladder. I was in the words of Robert Tressell, a Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, a phrase that Tressell used, in his book, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist, to explain the exploitation of workers, under capitalism, who willingly sell their labor and donate the surplus value, which their labor produces, to the boss. (Hear A Lecture About The Ragged Troussard Philanthropist)

I have led a unique life. I am one, of the few people remaining, who was at the Audubon Ballroom when Malcolm X was assassinated.

House painting was my vocation, but working for a better world has been my lifelong avocation. I became especially interested in the environment when I was diagnosed with cancer due to my work environment as a painter.

I learned how to write essays, when I first got a computer, in 1998.  Using the Internet and my word processor, I was able to put together all the medical legal arguments on my breakthrough workers’ compensation case in California, proving that my work environment, as a painter, had caused my cancer. During the course of the five-year struggle, I won a $300,000 settlement of my court case and, incidentally, I learned how to write.

In my retirement, I am writing about my life experiences as a socialist, as a participant in the Black Liberation Movement, the Union Movement, and almost all social movements. My, essays are based upon my involvement in the struggle for workers democracy and freedom for all humanity. It is my hope that these essays, which I regularly update, when I discover more facts, will help future generations of Freedom Fighters.

Yours for freedom,

Roland Sheppard

My Essays

Book Reviews:

Living Black History

Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks At  Cancer and the Environment

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace

The Media Monopoly

Workplace Roulette

Civil Rights Movement:

New Orleans After  Katrinia Essays: 

All They Will Call You Will Be ‘Refugees’

The Ethnic Cleansing of New Orleans 2008: A Requiem

An Open Letter To The San Francisco Board Of Supervisors: Re 50% Hiring Mandate

Crime and Punishment: ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ Targets Blacks and Poor

Diallo Verdict Gives Police a License for ‘Legal Lynchings’

Editorial: Black Community Control of the Police

John Lewis 1963 March on Washington Speech

Justice and Injustice in California: A comparison between rich and poor communities

MartinLuther King Jr. Speech: The Other America

Reparations and Capitalism

San Francisco: Explosion At Southeast Sewage Treatment Plant: City’s safety violations exposed

The Assassinations of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Day the Music Died: Malcolm X’s Assassination, Feb. 21, 1965

The First Impeachment Trial: Andrew Johnson in 1868 By Roland Sheppard

The Historic Role of Police Brutality in the Black Community and African American Oppression

The Lessons of the Montgomery Bus Boycott

The Other San Francisco: Institutionalized Racism

The Rise and Fall of the Civil Rights Movement

The Verdict for Officer Mesherle: Involuntary Manslaughter—There is no Justice in the United States!

Why the Government Assassinated Malcolm X And Martin Luther King Jr.

Book Review: ‘Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.’

Why the U.S. Government Assassinated Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Pamphlet (Text)


Big Oils ‘Killing Field’s’

Big Energy Frackers Keep on Fracking With Their Own Private Water Supplies During Drought

Earth Day Editorial: Survival of the Human Species is Now at Stake!

Environmental Racism: Chester Pa.

Genetic Engineering – Danger Along the Food Chain?

Ocean Pollution: “Oceans Without Fish”

Oil Workers Killed by Company Neglect

Seattle IMF Environmental Protest

The Burning of Southeast Asia

The Environment and Cuba— Organic Farming

The Fight to End Global Warming

The Myth of Kyoto

The Poisoning of Children and the Arrogance of Wealth

Visions of Sustainable America

Whither Humanity? The Environmental Crisis of Capitalism

Nuclear Power: What Have They Done to the Rain?

Trade Secrets” Cancer and the Environment  (What the Bill Moyers Program Trade Secrets” Revealed)


San Francisco Labor Council Says Yes to the Gentrification of Hunters Point

2010 Elections: The Default of The Trade Union Movement

Energy Crisis Or Capitalist Crisis?

Gentrification of Hunters Point

My Efforts to Prevent Painters’ Occupation Cancer

Peter Infante’s Cancer and Blue-Collar Workers: Who Cares?

PG&E Ripoff: Return of the Robber Barons

PG&E’s Christmas Rip Off Time To Nationalize Energy Corporations!

San Francisco: 1000 Nurses Rally For ‘Medicare for All

The Fall of the Trade Union Movement (2010 Update) Elections: The Default of The Trade Union Movement

The War at the Point of Production: The ‘Killing Fields’ of the United States

US Government Declares War on West Coast Dockworkers

Editorial: No indictment in Ferguson case — No Justice. The Ferguson Grand Jury Star Chamber and Jim Crow ‘Justice’

Editorial: Re: California Governor wants to pass a massive $3.6 billion tax plan on autos

Editorial: Seattle Election

Why I Do Not Celebrate Labor Day!

Why The Chicago Teachers Union Strike Was Won!

Wildcat Protest Against Employer-Union Partnership

Workers Memorial Day April 28, 2012


9-11 World Trade Center Dust Cloud: How Many Will Die

Big Oil Fracking California—Big Energy Corporations, Politicians, and Water Do Mix!: Thirsty Oil Companies Need More Water!

During Natural Disasters: Is ‘Looting’ a Crime? Is Survival a Crime? Who Are the Real Looters?

Editorial: British Elections — Corbyn Victory

Editorial: Humanity Cannot Survive Under Capitalism!

Editorial: The Big ‘Entitlements’ Swindle Workers Wages Are Not ‘Entitlements’ — We Earn Our Benefits!

Greece Essays:

Editorial: Syriza A Popular Front

The Greek Tragedy:  Demonstration of  the Current Death Agony of Capitalism

Editorial: Greece

Hiroshima and Nagasaki Never Again!

Human Society stands At The Crossroads: Either Socialism or the Destruction of Humanity

In Defense of Marxism: In Defense of the Fourth International!

Let Elian Return Home!

Let The People Vote on Healthcare!

Memorial Day

Movie Review: 911 Dust and Deceit at the WTC

My Prepared Speech at Nat Weinstein’s Memorial Meeting

My Forefathers and The 1%’s Forefathers

Lessor Evil Results For 2009

Time To Nationalize The Privately owned ‘Public’ Utilities!: Instead of Nationalizing Their Debts— Nationalize Their Assets!

Obama’s Coup D’état

Occupy Wall Street Demonstrates The Need To Build An Organization of All Anti-Capitalist Forces!

Party congress backs Gorbachev’s ‘reforms’

Pax Americana and The Failure of ‘Lesser Evilism’

A Ponzi Scheme—The Economy is Only A Paper Moon

PG&E Ripoff: Return of the Robber Barons

‘Robber Baron’ Energy Cartels Rip Off California

Sandra Steingrabber: How Fracking Impacts Public Health

The American ‘Left’ has become ‘Reformist’ — It No Longer Espouses or Stands For the Principle of Working Class Independence!

The Bernie Sanders Phenomenon

The Contradiction Between Black Agenda Report and the Green Party

The Current Crisis of Capitalism and the 2016 Elections: There is No Opposition to Capitalist Class Rule — More Austerity and Police Brutality is Guaranteed!

The Onging Saga Of The New Bay Bridge Eastern Span Or How Corpoate Greed, Corruption, and Corporate Government Deregulation Demonstrate The Decline Of The U.S. Empire

The United States ‘Principal of Preventive Strike’and The Establishment of Governmental Vigilante Justice’

The Degeneration of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP

Today’s Cuba (1992)

Why Oil Companies Want California’s Water

Three Poems:

Grieving for My Mother

Mill Valley Was Once a Pretty How Town

On the Beach and Free