Quanell X: Activist or agitator? You decide
04:29 PM CDT on Thursday, May 10, 2007
By Jeff McShan / 11 News
He’s often more controversial than the issues he passionately pursues.
His critics say it’s all about stirring things up.
And more often than not, that stirring goes on in front of a camera.
But like him or not, local activist Quanell X has a following.
In some inner city neighborhoods, he’s treated like a rock star.
In the last few years, he’s convinced more than 20 fugitives to turn themselves in – including cop-shooter Derrick Forney.
Most recently, he accompanied Timothy Shepherd, the boyfriend of slain coed Tynesha Stewart, to a dumpster where the young man said he had disposed of parts of the Texas A&M freshman’s body.
But despite all that, Quanell X has many critics who insist he creates a deeper divide between civilians and law enforcement – and between blacks and whites.
Quanell X was born in L.A., but grew up in Houston as Quanell Evans.
He was a self-admitted drug dealer.
But Quanell says his life changed after he saw Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan speak.
It changed again after his brother died during a drug deal.
“I was coming up the ranks in the Nation of Islam, and I remember I sat down with the Minister and I was angry and I wanted revenge. I remember this like yesterday … He said to me, ‘Brother, what do you want more, revenge or change?’” Quanell said.
He says he picked change.
But what kind of change?
When convicted murderer Gary Graham was executed, he said: “If blacks wanted to take out some of their frustrations, they should go over to River Oaks and beat up some rich white folks.”
That statement, along with intimidating methods like using guns, created an uncomfortable environment back then.
“Nobody broke the law. White folk carry guns in federal Civil War reenactments every year in Houston and Texas, but why did they get afraid when a group of well-disciplined and focused black men were coming down the streets with guns? Because that is their own internal guilty conscience eating at them,” Quanell X said.
Quanell X says his new agenda is simple: To take on black on black issues. He says blacks hurt more blacks than the KKK and skinheads combined.
“Look at the rappers. I love the rappers. They are my bothers, but that talent is from God. It pains me when I see rappers make a song: I’m in love with a stripper, and call black women hos and bees and use every derogatory mark they can find to define black women. They they’ll walk up on stage to accept their award and say ‘I want to give honor to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.’ That is crazy as hell to me,” he said.
Quanell X activist or agitator?
It’s important to point out that Quanell X is not only a friend to the rappers, but is bankrolled by many of them. He says the helps them settle complicated disputes and works as a paid consultant.
He also says he gets financial support from businessmen that want to remain anonymous … and Farrakhan.
Some in law enforcement say he’s also paid by Crime Stoppers.
When asked if he gets together with families and splits the money they get from Crime Stoppers, Quanell bristles.
“That is a flat out lie. I deny that.”
He says that rumor was started by police because they are jealous of his ability to do what they can’t.
And he says his critics will not push him away.
“God is not through with Quanell X,” he said.