Ronald Owens

About Ronald Owens
Ronald Owens is a longtime Oakland resident who has lived in East Oakland’s Maxwell Park neighborhood for nine years.

To a Cop On a Chase, a Stolen Car May Be Worth More Than Your Life


By Ronald Owens What’s more valuable, your life or a stolen vehicle? To most people, that’s probably a no-brainer. Your life, of course. Let’s rephrase the question. What’s more valuable to a police officer chasing a suspected car thief – the stolen car, or your life? Judging from the frequency with which innocent bystanders are […]

White-On-White Crime Makes Lots of Noise, Even if You’ve Never Heard of It

Mass Murder   Ronald Owens

By Ron Owens Mass murders get some people all stirred up. TV news shows become obsessed and devote all their attention to the homicides and to peoples’ reactions to them. You go to work or to the supermarket and that’s all people are talking about. The President of the United States even breaks into national […]

A Tale of Four Fatalities in Two Days in One City

Illustration by Ronald Owens

By Ronald Owens Four young people who were still in their teens were gunned down in the streets of Oakland on a grim Thanksgiving Day weekend last year. Two of the victims were killed on a Saturday and the two others were shot dead on a Sunday. A 19-year-old young man and an 18-year-old young […]

Reactions: Cop-on-Black vs. Black-on-Black

Cop on Black, Black on Black    R. Owens

It seems that if you’re not killed by a cop, you’re a just a garden variety homicide victim. People don’t get too upset. You might get an impromptu curbside memorial. The local TV news might mention the killing in passing. And then, the victim of the day will be forgotten until the next man, woman, or child gets shot and killed. People seem to get up in arms only if a cop does the killing, à la Oscar Grant or Alan Blueford. If it’s black on black, it’s business as usual. But if it’s cop on black – oh, damn, it’s on!

VIDEO – An Oaktoberfest Poll: Obama’s Reelection Chances

VIDEO – An Oaktoberfest Poll: Obama’s Reelection Chances

President Obama believes in settling things over beer. So I went to one of Oakland’s biggest beer parties to settle a question that must be big on his mind right now: four more years, or one (term) and done? As the locally sourced, micro-brewed organic lager flowed at this year’s Oaktoberfest in Dimond, I polled a few revelers on Barack’s prospects for another go round in the Oval Office.

East Oakland’s Walmart Is a Great Place to Do Your Gun Research

Shorts holster (Concealed Carry)

By Ronald Owens On a recent visit to the Walmart store in the heart of East Oakland, I discovered that the world’s largest retailer carries tons of magazines about guns. Tactical arms. Shotguns. Concealed pistols. You name the type of gun, and East Oakland’s Walmart has a magazine that’s devoted to it. I wasn’t looking […]

Racially Profiling: The Blacks of East Oakland, Part 2

Janice Ward   (R. Owens)

“I’m an evangelist and a motivational speaker. I can read people. I could see that you were a guarded person when you asked if you could talk with me.” I couldn’t disagree with her. “You’re passive-aggressive. Writing down what people say. I used to be passive, too. I can show you how to use aggression. Give me three hours, I can have you rewired.” Just three hours? I asked Ward if she could give me a weave, and joked that I’d come in for one and she could straighten me out then. She laughed. “Give me three hours. I’m gonna call you! I’m serious!”

What if Bay Area Baseball Really Did “Turn Back the Clock”?

Baseball's color line

By Ronald Owens It’s a common marketing ploy among professional sports franchises to figuratively return their teams to a bygone era for a game, with an eye towards reaping enormous profits from the sale of “throwback” uniform jerseys and caps to fans. The Oakland Athletics, who play in East Oakland at the Coliseum, had their throwback event in a […]