From The Final Call Newspaper

Families question why two Black men died at the hands of police in Memphis, LA

By Charlene Muhammad, National Correspondent
- January 24, 2023

Screenshot of Keenan Anderson on ground as the Los Angeles Police try to handcuff him on Jan. 3. Photo: LAPD

Two Black men died after police traffic stops, prompting the firing and arrest of five Black officers and a federal civil rights investigation in Memphis, Tennessee, and a $50 million damages claim against the City of Los Angeles.

The painful start of this New Year for the family of Tyre Nichols, 29, began after Memphis police officers severely beat him following a traffic stop. Mr. Nichols, a father of a four-year-old son, suffered cardiac arrest according to his parents and died three days later in a hospital. He also had brain swelling and kidney failure, Rowvaughn and Rodney Wells, his mother and stepfather, told The Final Call during a phone interview with Kareem Ali, lead investigator for Ben Crump Law, which represents the family.

Tyre Nichols in the hospital after a Jan. 7 traffic stop by Memphis Police. There are conflicting reports on why he was stopped. Mr. Nichols died on Jan. 10. His family and friends are demanding answers. Photos Courtesy of Kareem Ali and Rowvaughn Wells

The family and attorneys held a press conference on Jan. 23, after viewing, in their words, a “disturbing, heinous, violent” video of the traffic stop, which happened on Jan. 7. According to Atty. Crump, the family has granted the Memphis Police Department one to two weeks to release all videotape footage to the public. It is unknown if the footage is from police body-worn cameras or dash cam, said attorneys.

On Jan. 21, in the conclusion of its administrative investigation, the Memphis Police Department fired Tadarrius Bean, Demetrius Haley, Emmitt Martin III, Desmond Mills, Jr. and Justin Smith, the police officers involved in Mr. Nichols’ death.

They “violated multiple department policies, including excessive use of force, duty to intervene, and duty to render aid,” announced the Memphis Police Department in a statement on Jan. 20.

Former officers Bean and Haley were hired in August 2020, Martin, III and Smith in March 2018, and Mills, Jr. in March 2017.

For Keenan Anderson, 31, tragedy struck when he flagged down a Los Angeles Police Department motorcycle officer for help after a traffic collision on Jan. 3. The father and teacher was shocked with a Taser stun gun six times during a struggle with LAPD officers in Venice and died at a hospital. He was visiting from Washington, D.C., according to his family, which includes his cousin Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“We’ve got to do something here to make it where they quit killing us. And that’s what Kareem and I, and our legal team continue to fight every day,” said Atty. Crump, to The Final Call. He is also representing Mr. Anderson’s family, along with Atty. Carl Douglas of Douglas Hicks Law in Los Angeles.

“We’ve obviously made some progress, but not enough to prevent the hashtags,” added Atty. Crump.

‘He loved to help people’

“I know everybody’s mother says they had a good son, their son is good, but my son, he actually was a good boy! My son, he liked to skateboard,” said Ms. Wells during the press conference.

In a previous phone interview, she told The Final Call that her son was a good, infectious child, a good soul, who touched a lot of people and would do anything for anyone.

Tyre Nichols died after an encounter with police officers in Memphis. Photo: Courtesy Kareem Ali and Rowvaughn Wells

He looked forward to her meals at lunchtime—that fateful day, she’d cooked sesame chicken. During the week, he took pictures of sunsets; on the weekends, cleaned his room and washed his clothes for the work days ahead. In between, he skated and photographed sunsets, she said, during the press conference.

“Does that sound like somebody that the police is trying to say did all these bad things? No,” she stated.

A crowd that included local organizations gathered at the Mt. Olive Cathedral CME church to get an update and ask questions on the case. In addition to Atty. Crump, Atty. Antonio Romanucci and representatives from the Tennessee chapter of the NAACP and the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope were present.

The officers stopped Mr. Nichols for allegedly driving under intoxication, stated family lawyers. Police claimed he was driving erratically.

“Nobody’s perfect, okay. Nobody! But he was damn near!” declared Ms. Wells, invoking rousing applause.

Mr. Nichols, the youngest of four siblings, got stuck in Memphis when the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic, said Ms. Wells. The family is from Sacramento, she told The Final Call.

“My son loved me to death … He had my name tattooed on his arm and that made me proud, because most kids don’t put their mom’s name, but he did,” she said, with a hint of laughter.

It is hard to fathom the whole, unreal ordeal, said Ms. Wells, rendered numb by her son’s death. She cried, “All I know is my son Tyre is not here with me anymore. He will never walk through that door again. He will never come in and say, ‘Hello, parents!”

All he was trying to do was get home and was two minutes from the house when police stopped him. “He was less than 80 yards away when they murdered him! Yes. I said murdered because when I walked into that hospital room, my son was already dead,” said Ms. Wells.

Rodney Wells, second from left, the stepfather of Tyre Nichols, with activist Kareem Ali, second from right, at a demonstration in front of the Lorraine Motel, where civil rights leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was shot.

Mr. Nichols worked with his father at FedEx for nine months and co-workers’ and the corporation’s show of support has been overwhelming, said Mr. Wells. “No mother, father, should have to witness what I saw today,” he stated.

“We have to fight for justice and I have to stay strong for my family … We can’t fold and be weak,” said Mr. Wells.

“It has to stop,” said Atty. Crump repeatedly, during the press conference. He said it is kind of surreal because looking at the video, one thinks that somebody is going to de-escalate the situation but it doesn’t happen.

Mr. Nichols, 6’3” and only 145 lbs., was defenseless the entire time in that video, said Atty Romanucci, co-counsel for the family.

“He was a human piñata for those police officers,” said Atty. Romanucci. Ms. Wells’ body jerked and turned and she wept loudly as she struggled to maintain composure during the press conference.

“It was an unadulterated, unabashed, non-stop beating of this young boy for three minutes,” said Atty. Romanucci. Not only was it violent, but it was savage he declared. But why, given the lack of proportionality required for those officers to use such force, he questioned. Somehow the officers anticipated the violence when they made the stop, because some of them are from the Memphis Police Department’s organized crime unit, according to Atty. Romanucci. Some were in unmarked cars, he said. “Why are they conducting traffic stops?” he added.

Pointing repeatedly to his Bible on the pulpit, he vowed: “We are here to say to you, so help me God, when is this going to stop?”

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and Police Chief Cerelyn “CJ” Davis said they “understand and agree that transparency around the events surrounding the death of Mr. Tyre Nichols is critically important, especially the release of the video footage.”

“We haven’t been told anything,” Mr. Wells said. “Except a lie,” added his soft-spoken but firm wife, prior to them seeing the video.

The parents of Tyre Nichols with Atty. Ben Crump and Atty. Antonio Romanucci at a Jan. 23 press conference at Mt. Olive Cathedral CME church in Memphis. Photo: Zakiyyah Muhammad

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is handling the investigation, and the United States Attorney’s Office, FBI and Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, have opened a civil rights investigation.

First, police banged on their door, and her husband answered, alleged Mrs. Wells: “They said, ‘Does a Tyree Nichols live here?’ We said yes! What’s going on? Then they started saying, ‘Well, is he on drugs? And does he do this,’ and I’m saying, what?!”

A police officer then said her son was being tended to by the paramedics, “because we had to Tase and pepper spray him,” further alleged Ms. Wells. “Tase and pepper spray him for what,” she asked, then continued, “They started saying he was being erratic and all this this type of stuff like he was on some type of drug or something. And my husband and I are looking at each other like, he’s not talking about the Tyre we know!”

“They lied to us saying that the only thing wrong was that he had been pepper sprayed and tasered, when all along, they were beating him to death. That was the lie,” Ms. Wells told The Final Call.

“We want these officers to be charged with murder one and nothing less than that. Until that happens, as they say, it’s no justice, no peace, that’s the way we feel,” Mr. Wells said.

“We say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ and we have to make sure that we mean that and that’s just not a word,” stated Mutthakkir Muhammad, Nation of Islam Student Minister of Mosque No. 55 in Memphis. He thanked Chief Davis for her transparency in the matter.

Student Min. Muhammad encouraged her to continue on the journey of being transparent, saying if these officers are wrong, then hold them accountable.

In addition to a protest outside a Memphis police station on Jan. 14, family, friends and supporters released balloons in honor of Mr. Nichols’ life. On Feb. 4, they also plan to hold a memorial and celebration of life service for Mr. Nichols in Sacramento, Calif., where the family lived, according to Mr. Ali.

Screenshot from body camera footage released on Jan. 3 shows Keenan Anderson with his hands up before taken down by the Los Angeles Police. Photo: LAPD

Tragedy in Los Angeles

In Los Angeles, civil rights attorney Carl Douglas protested the officer-involved death of Keenan Anderson during a news conference Jan. 20: “Say his name!” he called out. “Keenan Anderson!” the small delegation behind him replied with force. He proceeded to announce the same-day filing of a $50 million damages claim, which he said put the City of Los Angeles on notice that it intends to file a state-based civil rights lawsuit against it and each of the officers responsible for the young man’s death.

The city has 45 days to accept or reject that claim, and in his 42 years of litigating such cases, unfortunately, the city always rejects, he said.

Atty. Douglas was flanked by his partner, Atty. Jamon Hicks, Atty. Crump, and Mr. Anderson’s family, including his five-year-old son, Syncere and his mother, Gabrielle Hansell, Ms. Cullors and Dr. Melina Abdullah of Black Lives Matter-Los Angeles. Atty. Douglas vowed that their trial team will marshal the resources, and energy and fight for justice on behalf of Mr. Anderson’s young child.

“Having to hear Keenan cry out for help the way he did and to watch him be hurt by the very people who are supposed to protect him is something I will never get over,” said Ms. Hansell. “My son is going to see that one day, and I don’t know how I will answer any of his questions, now or in the future,” she said, reading a statement from her cellphone.

“All I do know is that we are here to get justice for Keenan and in the process, we hope to evoke change so that moving forward, my son doesn’t have to live his life in fear that one day, what happened to his dad may one day happen to him,” she added.

One of the goals for the mother and child present is to change the narrative, Atty. Douglas said.

He expressed that is regrettable that in 42 years of practicing in such kinds of cases, inevitably, initially, there is a whitewash effort to sully the name of the person that died. “I’m sick and tired of police officers, Chief Moore among them, that try to sully the name of the person that died, rather than focusing on the conduct of the people that killed him, so that is my response to any suggestion that anything in his system is responsible for his death,” argued Atty. Douglas.

Screenshot taken from body camera footage released by the Los Angeles Police Department of their encounter with Keenan Anderson on Jan. 3. Photo: LAPD

An LAPD spokesperson said in an email to The Final Call that Chief Michel Moore was unavailable for an interview at press time. Chief Moore has expressed concern over recent officer-involved deaths, including Mr. Anderson’s.

Mr. Anderson was unarmed, a college graduate, and a high school English teacher of Black and Brown youth, who miss their teacher now, Atty. Douglass stated. “Let there be no mistake: Keenan Anderson died because he was tased six times on the back of his heart!”

Attorney Douglas said further that they have hired an independent pathologist to determine exactly why he died. Results are expected in six weeks, he stated. “What you don’t understand or realize, because there was an edited version of the video, is that the first officer had seven minutes of conversation with a compliant Keenan Anderson,” who was in a position on the ground, Atty. Douglas told reporters. “Sir! Help me, sir,” the unarmed and compliant man repeatedly pled, continued Atty. Douglas.

Despite Mr. Anderson being compliant, and on the ground in a submissive position, the “hammer,”—three trained killers—explained Atty. Douglas referring to the LAPD officers, were unable to handcuff the unarmed man, without having to shock him with a Taser six separate times on the back side of his heart.

The cases of Mr. Nichols and Mr. Anderson have provoked anger and questions about the continued problem of Blacks disproportionately abused and dying while in police custody. The Final Call will continue to monitor and follow up on both of these stories.

—Zakiyyah Muhammad contributed to this report from Memphis

From The Final Call Newspaper

What Brings Rain, Hail, Snow & Earthquakes?

By Charlene Muhammad, National Correspondent
- January 10, 2023

The Judgment of Allah (God) manifesting through rain, hail, snow and earthquakes continued to surround America as the New Year began. Massive storms battered California and parts of the South and Gulf States were hit with tornadoes, as January 2023 began. On Jan. 9, President Joe Biden approved an emergency declaration for California and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from successive and severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides.

At Final Call presstime, heavy rain, high-elevation snow and strong winds were projected to continue to impact the western states through the second week of January and threats from flash flooding, mud and rock slides, heavy snowfall and damaging wind gusts were in the forecast, predicted the National Weather Service (NWS).

California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on Jan. 4 and mobilized the National Guard and State Operations Center to its highest level, ahead of the winter rainstorm. Tens of thousands lost power. One fatality included a two-year-old boy, in Sonoma County, when a tree fell on his home, according to news reports.

Associated Press reported the storm was expected to dump up to six inches of rain in parts of the San Francisco Bay area. San Francisco expected 24-29 miles per hour winds with gusts of up to 50 miles per hour and more than two to three inches of rain, said Mayor London Breed during a Jan. 3 press conference. But the city saw 5.5 inches of rain, which was one of the largest amounts in a 24-hour period the city had ever received, she stated. “In fact, it had not happened in San Francisco in this capacity since 1849,” said Mayor Breed.

Houses along the shores of Lake Erie, near Fort Erie, Ontario,, remain covered in ice Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2022, following a winter storm that swept through much of Ontario. (Nick Iwanyshyn/The Canadian Press via AP)

This weather event, which meteorologists called a “bomb cyclone,” is bringing havoc to California. The deluges have occurred as California has been enveloped by drought and faced fierce wildfires that have scarred the landscape, reported CNN. “Now, much of the state cannot bare to absorb more moisture without the possibility of even more flooding,” noted

The seaside village of Capitola in Santa Cruz County, about 60 miles south of San Francisco, suffered possibly the worst damage as waves that were forecast to top 25 feet crashed into homes and restaurants at the mouth of Soquel Creek and knocked out a section of its historic wooden pier, reported The Guardian.

Multi-day severe weather also occurred in early January in the U.S. spawning nearly three dozen tornado reports across several states in the South and Midwest and triggering widespread excessive rainfall, reported

A total of 43 tornado reports were tallied by the National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center Jan. 2-4 as severe storms caused destruction across a large swath of the country from Arkansas and Louisiana to South Carolina, the website reported. Thunderstorms also produced dozens of wind and hail reports across Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and far-northeastern Texas.

A woman, who choses to remain anonymous, fills bags of sand offered at South Lake Tahoe Fire Rescue in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2023. (Brontë Wittpenn/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

And more wintry conditions were forecast to hit across the eastern two-thirds of the country with colder air “setting the stage for a couple of rounds of snow for areas from the Ohio Valley to the mid-Atlantic, which could culminate in an extensive blast of snow for some areas,” by the second week of January AccuWeather meteorologists reported.

What is happening and why it is happening is found in scriptural texts and is also taught and prophesized by the Divine Servants of Allah (God).

“Allah says in the Holy Qur’an that He is the Master of the Day of Judgment. Why should there even be a judgment? When you get a judgment, it means a judge has rendered a decision,” stated the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in his June 9, 1996 Message, “The Divine Destruction of America: Can She Avert It?” What the Minister plainly stated then, is evident today.

Judgment (according to the dictionary) is the ability to judge; to make a decision or form an opinion objectively, authoritatively and wisely, especially in matters affecting action, good sense, discretion; misfortune regarded as afflicted by divine sentence is also a judgment; also the last judgment, the final trial of all mankind, both the living and the dead, at the end of the world, continued Minister Farrakhan during his message.

“When we’re talking about judgment, in this case we’re talking about God forming a decision that comes down against America and against this world. God has sent down His decision. His intention is the total destruction of America. The question is, is America good and by what standard? If America has exceeded the limits, then somebody has to make God’s decision known. Publish the decision. There is no appeal, but there is a way to get out from it. It’s very narrow, it’s very limited, but you can avoid it,” said Minister Farrakhan.

“The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said America is a preserved area. No foreign nation will destroy America lest they get the credit. God will do it Himself. He said America is number one on God’s list to be destroyed. He talked about the four beasts: America, England, Germany and Italy. These are four White nations that have acted with great wickedness against the darker people of the world. He says the more you fight against Elijah, the more God makes perfect through me. Elijah Muhammad said, we will make the truth so plain that a fool will find it hard to err,” added Minister Farrakhan, referencing his Teacher and Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam.

Nurse Katie Leonard, left, assists Scott Mathers, right, as they rescue Mathers’ mother, Patsy Costello, 88, after being trapped in her vehicle for over an hour on Astrid Drive in Pleasant Hill, Calif., on Saturday, Dec. 31, 2022. Costello drove her car on the flooded street thinking she could make it when it stalled in the two feet of water. After two hours the water had receded about a foot making it easier to rescue her. Police were called but stood by and watched after calling in a tow truck to help pull the car out of the water. Nurse Katie Leonard, of Pleasant Hill, lives down the block used her kayak to bring Costello hot tea, blankets, food and a phone to call a friend. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

As the bomb cyclone clears California, it will move into Utah, where NWS issued a winter storm watch for Utah’s southern mountains that took effect Jan. 5. The watch called for six to 12 inches in the southern mountains, indicated CNN.

It is very important to understand that the economy of California, in part, is very dependent on agriculture, explained Student Minister Dr. Abdul Haleem Muhammad, Southwest Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam, who is also an urban planner. Ranked by Bloomberg to overtake Germany as the world’s 4th largest economy, “The Golden State” is affected by several things, besides these weather events, he stated.

America has a broken immigration system and the inability to supply farm workers to plant and harvest crops, according to Student Min. Haleem Muhammad. This does not bode well, because it will lead to food shortages and price increases over the next few years, he told The Final Call.

“As it relates to the weather, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in ‘The Four Great Judgments of America,’ found in the ‘Fall of America,’ says to us that wind with rain can bring destruction to towns, cities, bring various germs, causing sickness to the people. It produces unclean water by the swelling of streams and destroying reservoirs of pure drinking water used for the health of the people. Rain is a destructive army within itself,” he added.

News of the year-end storm that swept across the southern United States, damaged water systems and broke pipes, he observed.

An empty vehicle is surrounded by floodwaters on a road in Oakland, Calif., Jan. 4. Another winter storm moved into California, walloping the northern part of the state with more rain and snow. Photo: AP Photo/Godofredo A. Vásquez

“The Deep South’s infrastructure is cracking under the bomb cyclone as burst pipes leak millions of gallons of water,” an AP headline noted in late December 2022. Jackson, Mississippi, and dozens of water systems either had boil water mandates in place over Christmas or warned of bigger catastrophes if leaks from broken pipes weren’t found or shut off, AP reported. Further, some residents in Shreveport, Louisiana, had no water on Dec. 27, and Selma, Alabama, declared a state of emergency.

“… due to the deep freeze, water pipes are bursting throughout the city causing a major loss of water to the point that if not stopped, there is a real possibility that we will run out of water,” announced Selma Mayor James Perkins Jr. on Dec. 25.

“This impact that the weather is having on America’s infrastructure is not climate change. This is the Divine Destruction of America that she cannot escape, if she does not repent,” Student Min. Haleem Muhammad stated plainly.

California, alone, has been struck with each of The Four Great Judgments described by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad over the last several weeks:

1. A 6.4 magnitude earthquake on Dec. 20, injuring 17 people and damaging roads, buildings, and knocking out power to thousands in Humboldt County, (far North Coast) California;

2. Hail pummeled Stockton as scattered thunderstorms moved across California’s Central Valley, Dec. 5;

3. More rain, wind and mountain snow the Weather Channel anticipated would impact the state Jan. 8-10, causing more flooding, debris flows, high winds, high surf and pile on feet of Sierra snow.

PG&E utilities workers clear a fallen tree which took down some power lines next to Bella Vista Elementary School in the Bella Vista neighborhood in Oakland, Calif., on Wednesday, January 4, 2023. (Salgu Wissmath/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

“California has one of the largest economies in the world, equal to some nations, and Allah’s hand is now touching the economy of America, as Moses prayed to Allah to affect the wealth of Pharaoh because the people that Moses and Aaron were to free, were so enamored with the riches of Pharaoh. So, this is all a part of a divine plan to free us so that we can become a nation of our own,” stated Student Min. Muhammad.

“Unfortunately, many of our people are not prepared for this, because they have not heeded the warning of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” he added.

Start now, urged Landra Muhammad, author of “Weathering the Storm: Disaster Preparedness—How To Survive The Fall Of America.” Many have and are focusing on the food aspect, she observed. For those not yet caught in a disaster, have some fresh, dehydrated, and freeze-dried foods for easy carrying, in addition to home-canned and store-canned food, recommended Ms. Muhammad. At this point, because people don’t know what’s going to happen next, or where they will be as it’s happening, and some people are having to escape with literally what they have on their backs, she told The Final Call.

“Think about it, if you have a backpack, you’re not running down the street or wherever it may be with a jar of canned beans. However, if you had even a small supply of dehydrated or freeze-dried beans, that’s so much lighter, and it would be easier to be mobile with it,” said Ms. Muhammad. Of course, those two items still require some form of water to rehydrate them, but it’s to balance out options, she added.

People may purchase five-gallon containers for water, as well as battery packs for some form of light in the event of inevitable power outages, she further recommended. Some rechargeable back-ups cost $20 or less, according to Ms. Muhammad. “The first thing that needs to take place is before you get stuck somewhere, you have to have some type of kit and supplies in your home, in your car, actually at work, and you have to be in tune with the possibility that something could happen at any given time,” she said.

“A lot of people online, they say The Minister said, ‘Watch the “Weather!” We’re almost beyond that point. You’d better start preparing for the weather because if you’re watching it, that means you’re potentially stuck in the middle of it,” cautioned Ms. Muhammad.

From The Final Call Newspaper

Fears that Black women are targeted are being dismissed and ignored

By Charlene Muhammad, National Correspondent
- January 3, 2023

Black women and girls are disappearing or coming up dead across the country. In some communities, Black people fear serial kidnappers or killers could be responsible but are their fears being rejected and dismissed?

“Tens of thousands of Black girls and women go missing every year. Last year, that figure was nearly 100,000. Yet their cases hardly ever grab national headlines,” NPR noted in a 2021 article. According to statistics provided by the National Crime Information Center, in 2020, 268,884 girls and women were reported missing in the United States, and a third of those reported missing were Black—far greater than their share of the overall female population. And while what has happened to these women and girls is unknown, activists argue that these cases still fail to get the kind of attention they deserve.

The Kansas City Police Department (KCPD) said missing Black women reports in the city were “completely unfounded.” That is until recently when a Black woman escaped after being kidnapped and tortured in a basement for over a month.

“We got three young ladies that are missing, ain’t nobody saying a word,” a visibly upset Bishop Tony Caldwell, of Eternal Life Church said on a Tik-Tok video. “What is the problem? Why can’t we get some cooperation? Where are our community leaders? Where’s our activists? Where’s our public officials? Where’s our police department? C’mon now!” he said.

The Kansas City Defender learned through Bishop Caldwell and other social media posts and direct messages, that Black women were reportedly going missing and/or being killed on Prospect Avenue. It is located in a predominantly Black area where resources have intentionally been diverted from Black people, said Ryan Sorrell, founder and executive director of the nonprofit, unapologetically Black, digital news organization.

A multi-county investigation began on Friday, October 14, 2022, when a 22-year-old Black woman escaped bondage after being kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and held captive in the basement of an Excelsior Springs, Missouri, man’s home.

That man is Timothy Haslett Jr., a 39-year-old White supremacist, arrested by police in October. He has been charged with first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, second-degree assault and is being held on a $500,000 bond. Excelsior Springs is a part of the Kansas City metropolitan area.

According to the Clay County Prosecutor Probable Cause Statement, the victim identified by the alias “T.J.” alleged that “Timothy had kept her in a small room in the basement that he had built. He kept her restrained in handcuffs on her wrists and ankles.”

Bishop Tony Caldwell, Eternal Life Church Photo: Youtube

In addition, he “whipped her while she was restrained … there were injuries on her back that were consistent with this description.” Court documents further say, “she was able to get free when he left to take his child to school.”

According to the Excelsior Citizen, a local Kansas City, Missouri news outlet, Ciara Tharp lives near Mr. Haslett and was at home with her grandmother when “T.J.” banged on the door after she escaped. The two let her in and Ms. Tharp’s grandmother helped care for the woman until authorities arrived.

“She made the comment about her [two] friends. That they didn’t make it and that he had killed them,” Ms. Tharp said. “I’m really hoping that they find evidence about her friends. If anything, she can have closure about her friends. I just hope they can find everything they need to,” said Ms. Tharp, reported the Excelsior Citizen.

The official court documents also read: “Upon the [police] officer’s arrival at the residence, they found T.J. She was wearing latex lingerie and had a metal collar around her neck with a padlock, and duct tape around her neck. T.J. advised that a man by the name of Timothy picked her up on Prospect in Kansas City at the beginning of September 2022.”

He brought her to his home, locked her in the basement and repeatedly whipped and raped her, she said.

According to news reports Ms. Tharp’s grandmother brought “T.J.” into her still-darkened living room. When Lt. Ryan Dowdy of the Excelsior Springs Police arrived on the scene and knelt down beside the woman, he saw that she was still shaking with terror, convinced her captor would hunt her down and kill her, the Washington Post reported.

The original call was that she had a rope around her neck, stated Lt. Ryan Dowdy, according to FOX 4/WDAF-TV. “She made mention of other victims but there’s no signs of them at this time that we have found. So, while we work at this scene and process through all of this, we are also trying to corroborate some of her story and make sure that if there is other victims that we try and reach out to them or their family,” said Lt. Dowdy.

In the case of “T.J.”, she escaped, but for the thousands of missing Black women and girls, their nightmares continue. There are activists in other cities that have raised concerns that there could be serial killers or abductors targeting Black females. But often these concerns and alarms are dismissed as “conspiracy theories” or “paranoia,” by media outlets and law enforcement.

Carla Coffee Wright is an activist and founder of the Missing Persons Task Force Headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri. The organization canvases communities for missing people, organizes searches and collaborates with the few other missing person organizations that exist.

“When Black people are missing, or Black people period, in Missouri they want to say, ‘Oh. They ran away,’ and everybody’s not running away,” she told The Final Call.

There should have been an “all peoples,” not just all police bulletin when “T.J.” went missing, she said.

“T.J.” was discovered around 8 a.m. on Friday, October 7, when reports of a woman banging on doors and crying for help reportedly reached the police.

“We could have 300 to 400 people come to the funeral, boo-hoo, crying ‘Oh. I wish they didn’t die,’ but my question is, to our own people, where were you when we needed you to get out and start looking in vacant houses, in the woods, or in the suburbs, in this case, for that matter?” argued Ms. Wright.

For many, this case sparked memories of a serial killer who terrorized the same area in Kansas City in 2004. A Black man named Terry Blair was convicted of strangling to death seven women in various stretches in and around Prospect Avenue. Mr. Blair was later sentenced to life in prison for the murders of six of these Black women, although authorities believe there were more victims.

“That’s why Black people were so concerned because this had happened before and they didn’t listen to us then,” said Mr. Sorrell. “That’s a testament to the type of anti-Blackness that is prevalent in our police department, which is also under investigation for racism and discrimination,” said Mr. Sorrell. The Kansas City Defender has been working collaboratively with The Excelsior Citizen on this story.

Mr. Sorrell told The Final Call the police refused to update their statement. Not only did the police issue a press release to all White news outlets and radio stations, dismissing the reports, but The Kansas City Defender was attacked, without police reaching out to the publication to investigate, alleged Mr. Sorrell.

“Everybody across the entire city now is saying that we, our news outlet, are basically liars, we are spreading clickbait and false information and that we are a non-credible news source,” stated Mr. Sorrell.

This went on for two or three weeks and no local news outlets reached out to the Kansas City Defender either, he added.

“They just took the police department’s word at face value and parroted what the police department said, and used that to bash us, to try to discredit us, and attack us. Ultimately, more importantly, then, trying to discredit our news outlet was the actual silencing of the concerns our community was raising about the Black women in our city,” Mr. Sorrell told The Final Call in a phone interview.

According to the Excelsior Citizen, a spokesman for the Kansas City Police Department, Jacob Becchina, said in an email that at the time Bishop Tony Caldwell began to raise questions, the agency did not have any official reports of Black women missing from Prospect Avenue, nor did they have any cases of murdered women, as the bishop had claimed.

A 67-year-old woman had been shot to death within that time frame, Mr. Becchina said, but she was believed to be a victim caught in a crossfire.

The Final Call contacted the Kansas City Police Department but received no response by presstime.

The overall story, how the White press took the police at their word, that it was completely unfounded without investigating is what they do, said Justice Gatson, executive director of Reale Justice Network. She was interviewed with Mr. Sorrell on a recent broadcast of Democracy Now! “I would say journalistic integrity is lacking and has been,” she stated. “But our community is ignored. Oftentimes, we’re not listened to,” she added.

Unfortunately, that’s across the country, argued Nana Gyamfi, executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), to The Final Call. BAJI is the largest Black-led social justice organization representing the nearly 10 million Black immigrants, refugees, and families living in the U.S. Atty. Gyamfi is also a member of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, founded by Margaret Prescod, host of the nationally syndicated “Sojourner Truth” talk show on Pacifica Radio.

“Thinking back to how she and other sisters right here in L.A. were talking about how Black women, Black girls were disappearing, we know that there were stories upon stories of finding Black women behind schools, in dumpsters in alleys, in gas station parking lots, and yet, there was no response. There was no effort,” said Atty. Gyamfi.

When Ms. Prescod and others would raise the fact in the community that “this feels like serial killing,” they were dismissed as foolish, said Atty. Gyamfi.

According to Atty. Gyamfi, now, 20-30 years later, it was revealed that there were five to seven active serial killers in the 40 square-mile radius of South-Central, Los Angeles, at one time. But it was just their imagination, people were told. But the problem continues to happen across the country, over and over again, she argued.

“When I saw the story, I was not surprised,” she said, referring to “T.J.” in Kansas City. “But still it’s devastating because you think about all of those lives lost. You think of people tortured and all the pain and violence that people have had to go through, and you think of how many of our people are still going through that, simply because a decision has been made that Black women’s lives do not count,” Atty. Gyamfi stated.

In fact, that was the slogan for the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, she added.

After three grueling months, a seven-woman five-man jury found Lonnie Franklin, Jr. guilty of killing 10 young, Black women and girls over a 22-year period in 2016.

Mr. Franklin, dubbed the “Grim Sleeper” for the serial murders that occurred between August 1985 and January 2007, disposed of their partially clothed or naked bodies like trash in alleys and dumpsters around South Los Angeles, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

The jury deliberated just one and a half days before convicting the 63-year-old former sanitation worker on all 10 counts of first-degree murder with the special circumstance of multiple murders.

“Way before ‘Black Lives Matter’ it was ‘Black Women’s Lives Count.’ And that was true then. It is true now, and we, as a community, are going to have to do the work of pushing, pressing folk, and doing whatever we need to do to keep ourselves safe,” said Atty. Gyamfi.

From The Final Call Newspaper

Weather ‘nightmare’ pummels America as winter storm engulfs the country

By Charlene Muhammad, National Correspondent
- December 27, 2022

The natural strength of God’s power over nature is manifesting more and more as the Four Great Judgments of rain, hail, snow and earthquakes sweep across America from coast to coast. Millions of people are still dealing with the aftermath of the latest weather event that has hit the U.S. Frigid temperatures gripped America in a winter storm and bomb cyclone that at presstime left more than 1.5 million people without power, caused thousands of flight cancellations, and caused flooding across the country during the week of December 22-25, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).

“The scope of the storm has been nearly unprecedented, stretching from the Great Lakes near Canada to the Rio Grande along the border with Mexico. About 60 percent of the U.S. population faced some sort of winter weather advisory or warning, and temperatures plummeted drastically below normal from east of the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, the National Weather Service said,” reported

At least 25 people died in Erie County, New York, as a result of the massive winter storm county officials said Dec. 26, bringing the nationwide death toll to 47, reported CNN. Heavy snow, strong winds, and dangerous wind chills slammed various parts of the country.

“The updated number of deaths in Erie County, which includes the city of Buffalo, comes as parts of western New York remain buried by up to 43 inches of snow, leaving vehicles stuck and power out for thousands over the Christmas holiday, just one month after the region was slammed with a historic snowstorm,” noted

Vehicles sit along U.S. 131 north by 84th Street on Friday, Dec. 23, 2022 in Byron Center, Mich. A blizzard warning is in effect for Kent County and the surrounding region. Winter weather is blanketing the U.S. as a massive storm sent temperatures crashing and created whiteout conditions. (Neil Blake/The Grand Rapids Press via AP)

“This is such a serious time for us as Believers, but it is a serious time for every human being that walks upon the earth that belongs to Allah (God),” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, when he opened the Islamic Month of Ramadan on the Ramadan Prayer Line, via telephone on April 2.

“Allah is warning us and telling us that we must do that which is necessary to cast off the burden of sin. Our iniquitous behavior all over the Earth has caused the anger of God but also we are living in the time of the ending of a world of wickedness. This is the time of the Judgment of God. This is the time that the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has pointed out to us as the Days of Allah,” added Minister Farrakhan, referencing his Teacher and Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam.

Forecasters said bone-chilling air behind the storm system would cause temperatures to plummet rapidly, by 40 to 50 degrees in some places, according to an online Yahoo Newsreport. published an article titled, “Storm turns ‘wickedly bad’: 47,000 without power in Buffalo Niagara; winds as high as 79 mph.”

“Because of greed and ignoring that self-interest as the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan points out, in his monumental book, ‘Torchlight for America,’ leadership has ignored the infrastructure and ignored the Divine warnings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, in terms of the Four Judgments of America, therefore, the infrastructure is not prepared for the natural calamities that are taking place. Unfortunately, nor are the people,” stated Student Minister Dr. Haleem Muhammad, Southwest Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam who is also an urban planner.

Winter storm over the U.S. Dec. 22. Photo: MGN Online

“The people cry about death and destruction playing havoc over America, but they never cry about the evil that they are committing, which is the cause of this destruction coming into her borders bringing floods, rain, ice, hail and earthquakes daily and nightly somewhere on the surface of the land of America,” wrote the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his critically important book, “The Fall of America.”

The arctic blast gelled diesel fuel and stalled semi-trucks on Colorado highways, according toKDVR (FOX 31).At the Travel Center off Interstate 70 in Wheat Ridge, the lot filled up quickly on Dec. 22. Across the state, others ran into a slew of problems. The Colorado Department of Transportation said multiple trucks couldn’t make it up the hill to the Eisenhower Tunnel, forcing them to shut down the interstate on that morning. In Cheyenne and Kiowa counties, Colorado State Patrol said multiple trucks broke down because of diesel gelling, continued KDVR.

Days before the unprecedented, deadly storm struck the country, earthquakes shook California.

Seventeen people were injured in Humboldt County, Calif., when a powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck Dec. 20, also damaging roads and buildings and knocking out power and water to thousands of people, authorities said, according to CNN. At least two people died after the earthquake hit at 2:34 a.m. in Northern California’s Eureka area, continued CNN.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan have repeatedly warned that God’s Judgment has entered America for her historical and ongoing wickedness against the Darker people of the planet. God will use the forces of nature to humble America, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught.

“The four (4) Great Judgments that Allah (God) promises to destroy America with are now coming upon her … hail, snow, drought, earthquake. Allah (God) has reserved His treasures of snow and ice to be used against the wicked country America in the day of battle and war. These are some of Allah’s (God’s) weapons, the storms that we see going on,” he warned in “The Fall of America.”

“This is a horrible situation,” Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz,” said during a news conference. The storm generated comparisons to Buffalo’s famous blizzard of 1977. During the Dec. 26 news conference, Mr. Poloncarz said the current storm’s “ferocity … was worse than the blizzard of ’77,” CNN reported. And in a news conference the day before, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul called the current storm the “most devastating storm in Buffalo’s long storied history,” the network noted.

Homeless shelters were overflowing on Dec. 22 amid one of the most treacherous holiday travel seasons the U.S. has seen in decades, with temperatures plummeting 50 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas.

Associated Press reported that frigid air was moving through the central United States to the East, with windchill advisories affecting about 135 million people over the coming days, weather service meteorologist Ashton Robinson Cook said shortly before the U.S. Christmas weekend. Places like Des Moines, Iowa, will feel minus 37 degrees, making it possible to suffer frostbite in less than five minutes.

In South Dakota, five died in recent storms, including a blizzard in late December stated Robert Oliver, Rosebud Sioux Tribe emergency manager, AP continued. Tribal authorities have been working to clear roads to deliver propane and firewood to homes but face a relentless wind that has created drifts over 10 feet in some places, he said.

In Texas, temperatures were expected to quickly plummet on Dec. 22, but state leaders promised there wouldn’t be a repeat of the February 2021 storm that overwhelmed the state’s power grid and was blamed for hundreds of deaths, according to AP.

“Lawmakers passed a $1.7 trillion budget recently with earmarks for pet projects, and of course, funding for the government agencies. But if one will look at the United States budget, you will notice according to the budget where America’s priorities lie, because there is a great increase in the military budget, but not as much an increase in domestic spending, on non-military spending,” stated Student Minister Haleem Muhammad. Whether it’s infrastructure, education, health or other priorities, the military gets the bulk of America’s spending, he elaborated.

The cold weather extended to El Paso, Texas, and across the border into Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, where migrants have been camping outside or filling shelters as they await a decision on whether the U.S. will lift restrictions that have prevented many from seeking asylum, indicated AP.

In Austin, Texas, Christina Muhammad, coordinator for the 10,000 Fearless First Responders, and her team are working with warm weather shelters to assist residents who may be homeless. “If you think about it, right now, you are considered a homeless person, because your home has failed. (Meaning) you may not have that much gas, so now, you are a homeless person outdoors,” explained Ms. Muhammad.

“Your next thing is to know where these warm weather centers are, and these warm weather centers are just temporary, to get people off the street, get you into some warm weather until everything subsides.”

For those who need help, she recommended people locate such centers—many of which are located near downtown areas—via radio. Ms. Muhammad also recommended getting candles and other safe heat sources to stay warm, layer with as many blankets and clothing as possible, and using gas stoves to heat up water, if one is in their home.

Even without water, there are ways to stay warm, she added. “If you’re in a home right now, and you don’t have power, and it’s freezing outside, you get into one room,” said Ms. Muhammad. “If you can’t go anywhere, body heat is super important! Allah (God) has a way of bringing our families together,” she added.

Elsewhere in the U.S., authorities worried about the potential for power failures and warned people to take precautions to protect older and homeless people and livestock, and, if possible, to postpone travel. Some utilities were urging customers to turn down their thermostats to conserve energy, APcontinued.

Further, according to AP: Michigan State Police prepared to deploy additional troopers to help motorists. And along a toll road on Interstate 90 in northern Indiana, crews were braced to clear as much as a foot of snow as meteorologists warned of blizzard conditions there starting the evening of Dec. 23. And Denver, also no stranger to winter storms, was the coldest it has been in 32 years on Dec. 23, when the temperature dropped to minus 24 degrees in the morning at the airport.

The Weather Channel—which has named winter storms for the past 11 years—named the current weather phenomenon, “Elliott,” which according to various sources, is a gender-neutral name of Hebrew origin meaning “the Lord is my God,” and is originally a biblical name derived from “Elijah.”

Can America “flip the deadly switch,” to reverse her current course of destruction?

It could, given the examples of the Prophet Jonah and the leadership of Nineveh, taking off their royal robes and putting on sackcloth and laying in the ashes for repentance, thereby sparing Nineveh’s destruction, explained Student Minister Haleem Muhammad. But the question is also asked, could Babylon have been saved? he stated.

“And the answer is yes. It could have been. But unfortunately, its leadership will not heed the Divine warnings coming to it. So, therefore, Babylon lies as the example of what will happen when one defies and ignores Divine warnings,” he said.

(Final Call Staff contributed to this report.)

From The Final Call Newspaper

Jesus Crushes the Head of Satan The Hope of the First Gospel Is the Real Reason for the Season

By Demetric Muhammad, Guest Columnist
- December 20, 2022

Ricardo Barrett, of Washington, accepts a turkey from church volunteer Rita James, left, during an annual Thanksgiving food giveaway at The Redeemed Christian Church of God New Wine Assembly, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Washington. "Prices went up and a lot of jobs were lost this year," says Barrett, "times are hard." (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

“I do believe that if my poor, blind, deaf and dumb people could be taught the true knowledge of the true history of Jesus, they would awaken at once.”

—The Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad July 7, 1957 (Pittsburgh Courier)

The First Gospel

According to Biblical history, the origin of the concept of Messiah and Christ, is found very early within the Bible’s Old Testament verses. It is in the book of Genesis, the 3rd chapter and 15th verse that we read the beginning of the Messianic Hope and Expectation:

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers;

“He will crush your head, while you strike at his heel.”—Genesis 3:15

This verse is known among scholars as the “proto-Evangelium” or the First Gospel.

According to Walter Kaiser Jr., author of “The Messiah in the Old Testament”:

“Genesis 3:15 has commonly been called the proto-Evangelium (the ‘first gospel’) because it was the original proclamation of the promise of God’s plan for the whole world … it gave our first parents a glimpse … of the person and mission of the one who was going to be the central figure in the unfolding drama of the redemption of the world. The ‘seed/offspring’ mentioned in this verse became the root from which the tree of the OT promise of a Messiah grew.”

I find this fascinating! Think of the popular marketing campaign that has been used by American and European enslavers and colonizers throughout history, who painted Jesus to Black, aboriginal and indigenous peoples around the world. They presented him to us a part of what Dr. Benjamin E. Mays described as the Negro’s “compensatory view of God.”

America and Europe were conquering our land and resources and to compensate for losing the heaven on earth we once owned, they indoctrinated us with belief and hope of a heaven in the sky, where the suffering Jesus would be waiting for us.

Jesus was given to Black people in the image of a “suffering servant”; a savior who “saves through suffering.” So, for such a long time we have been looking at the Messiah as being lowly, meek and mild.” My teacher, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, has exclaimed, we were given “a watered-down milquetoast Jesus.”

More Than A Suffering Servant

Yet this First Gospel, the scholars acknowledge, creates a hope of a Messiah who “saves the people through crushing the head of the serpent.” The Messianic hope and expectation are of a man whom Allah (God) births from the womb of a woman, who is from a people who have suffered under the deception of the serpent. The serpent here is a symbolic reference to Satan. The Holy Qur’an similarly refers to Satan (shaitan) as a “slinking devil.”

Author Jared M. August, in his insightful exegetical work entitled, “The Messianic Hope of Genesis: The Protoevangelium and Patriarchal Promises,” states:

“In light of the promise given in 3:15, they are left with the hope of a coming ‘seed’ who will defeat the serpent and the serpent’s ‘seed’ (that is, the serpent’s followers, ultimately including the serpent’s influence in the world). Since, the serpent may be identified as the evil one, the promise of future victory over the serpent implies the defeat (or elimination) of the serpent’s negative influence from the world. In other words, this victory includes the future destruction of evil.”

It is this kind of information that helps me understand better why the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad stated:

“I do believe that if my poor, blind, deaf and dumb people could be taught the true knowledge of the true history of Jesus, they would awaken at once.”

The whole world has been deceived over the true identity and purpose of Jesus, the Messiah (Christ). But no community has been more deceived than the Black people of America.

America: Headquarters of the World Serpent

The purpose of Jesus as the Messiah and Christ is to “crush the head of the Serpent.” This is the real reason for the “season” where there is a celebration for the birth of Jesus. Unfortunately, Christmas has become a commercialized celebration that promotes the conspicuous consumption of material things. It has become a pagan holiday that, while being associated with Jesus, is at the same time far removed from who Jesus was and is and what his purpose is.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad identified the rulers of America as fulfilling the scripture’s symbolic description of “that serpent of old called the Devil and Satan, who deceiveth the whole world” (Revelation 12:9). A now epic and powerful political cartoon by Eugene Majied was commissioned by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad to graphically depict America as the location where the headquarters of the world serpent exists.

Within the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, we have learned that the Biblical descriptions of Jesus the Messiah and Christ are largely indicative of a man whose work was not achieved 2,022 years ago. He states:

“Nearly 75 percent is referring to a future Jesus, coming at the end of the White races’ time. …” September 21, 1957 (Pittsburgh Courier)

To bear witness to what the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote, we cite the work of the legendary group of scholars known as the Jesus Seminar, who authored the book “The 5 Gospels: What Did Jesus Really Say?” When they concluded the exhaustive study of the New Testament, it was written in the Los Angeles Times that:

“The provocative Jesus Seminar on Sunday concluded six years of voting on what the Jesus of history most likely said, ruling out about 80 percent of words attributed to him in the Gospels … .”

This exclusion of 80 percent of words and actions attributed to Jesus in the New Testament by the scholars of the Jesus Seminar is close to the 75 percent of the scriptures that the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad said referred to a “future Jesus” who is present now to produce the resurrection of the “mentally dead Negroes” in America.

Nation of Islam Does Work of The Messiah

During the 1960s the infamous J. Edgar Hoover of the FBI discussed the prevention of a Black Messiah from emerging to unify the Black community. Hoover stated as one of his primary goals the following:

“Prevent the rise of a ‘messiah’ who could unify and electrify the militant Black Nationalist movement.”

Hoover’s use of a religious term like the word “Messiah” in his confidential law enforcement memos reflects his overall attitude towards the Black community within America, and I believe it indicates that he understood that the oppression suffered by Black people would soon produce a Messianic liberator. What Hoover stated is a witness bearer to when the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote:

“The white man of America is well informed through his scientists and scholars, who are paid just for studying the problems of prophecy and especially the future destruction of America which he knows is fast coming. … His greatest mental burden and physical strain at the present time is how to prevent the spread of Islam among his ‘X’ servitude slaves in these last days.”

—Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad,

“Doom of America,” the Los Angeles Herald-Dispatch

The work of Jesus the Messiah and Christ began with the coming of Master W. Fard Muhammad and continues in the work of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and today the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. This work under the name Jesus is symbolically presented within the Biblical text as having been done by one singular man.

The modern history of Black people in America proves it is a work conducted by three men, who are of one accord; one mind; one purpose. The Messianic work of Master W. Fard Muhammad, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Min. Louis Farrakhan resembles what Allah (God) included within the Holy Qur’an wherein we read the following:

“And set out to them a parable of the people of the town, when apostles came to it. When We sent to them two, they rejected them both; then We strengthened (them) with a third, so they said: Surely we are sent to you. They said: You are only mortals like ourselves, nor has the Beneficent revealed anything—you only lie. They said: Our Lord knows that we are surely sent to you.”—Holy Qur’an 36:13-16

The most controversial aspect of the overall work of these three men has been and continues to be just as it was described in the “proto-Evangelion” or First Gospel; “to crush the head of the serpent.”

Evidence that the Nation of Islam has been crushing the head of Satan can be observed in the transformative work among the Black community throughout our 92-year existence in America. Writer James Baldwin famously observed in his book, “The Fire Next Time”:

“Elijah Muhammad has been able to do what generations of welfare workers and committees and resolutions and reports and housing projects and playgrounds have failed to do: to heal and redeem drunkards and junkies, to convert people who have come out of prison and to keep them out, to make men chaste and women virtuous, and to invest both the male and the female with a pride and a serenity that hang about them like an unfailing light.”

Professor Michael Eric Dyson notes in the book, “The Farrakhan Factor: African-American Writers on Leadership, Nationhood and Minister Louis Farrakhan”:

“The Nation’s singular focus on helping Black men get their lives together is driven by its ideology of resistance to White supremacy. The Nation has worked diligently to make proud men out of Black prisoners, those in jail or those whose self-image is distorted because they are captives to a worship of the White world.

Long before the decline of Black male life became widely apparent; and long before Black males were vilified and glamorized by both the cultural right and the left, the Nation of Islam preached its own brand of salvation for Black males. And from the very beginning, the core of the Nation’s message has not changed. NOI followers believe that Black men can be saved only by being restored as loving leaders in Black families where they receive and return adoration and respect.”

This transformative work that the Nation of Islam has done among Black people has crushed the satanic idea of “White supremacy and Black inferiority” from the minds of those who have been influenced by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. For it is these poisonous concepts that Satan, the World Serpent, has used to rule the world. The idea of White supremacy and Black inferiority are deeply embedded in all of this society’s institutions.

And it is our transformative work that has attracted to the Nation of Islam, the most vehement opposition from Jewish leaders and from the U.S. Government.

When you see vehement opposition to the message of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, you should know that it is because he threatens the continued existence of the World Serpent/Satan. And just as the Pharisees and Sadducees and the Scribes hated Jesus within the Bible’s New Testament, in the modern era Minister Farrakhan is just as hated and opposed by the 12 major Jewish leaders of America.

He is not hated because of any sin or wickedness. The Minister is hated because he, through his powerful ministry, is both producing the awakening of the masses of the people and revealing the “man of sin”/Satan. And just as a tree cannot survive once its roots are exposed to the light of the sun, “the world serpent”/ Satan/ “the man of sin” cannot survive once the light of truth is used to reveal his identity and his works to the masses of the people whom he has deceived.

Brother Demetric Muhammad is a Memphis-based author and student minister in the Nation of Islam and member of the Nation of Islam Research Group. Follow him on Twitter @BrotherDemetric. Read more at

From The Final Call Newspaper

Up With Jesus, Down With Santa 2022

By Anisah Muhammad, Contributing Writer
- December 13, 2022

‘This (lack of Black businesses) is why we see a huge issue in our community with poverty, with crime, because although we are making strides towards, we still aren’t all the way there with having the majority of our businesses being owned by us. So when that happens, businesses that aren’t owned by us, they hire outside. And they also don’t put back into the community. ’

–Cassiopeia Uhuru

“Up with Jesus, Down with Santa.” That was the clarion call issued seven years ago by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, during his 2015 “Justice Or Else” national tour and gathering on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. He called on Black and poor people to boycott Christmas and holiday spending, to support Black-owned businesses and to put Jesus at the forefront of their lives.

A recent episode of Elevated Places on Blog Talk Radio, a show founded by Student Minister Dr. Ava Muhammad, brought to the forefront the ongoing movement of economic withdrawal, buying Black and building the Black community. Many on the call reflected on the life and legacy of Dr. Ava Muhammad, the Nation of Islam’s spokesperson who passed earlier this year.

“I cannot help but to reflect on our great sister, Sister Dr. Ava Muhammad, who led the charge on matters like this, matters pertaining to separation, matters pertaining to us building and pooling our resources for independence,” said guest host, researcher and student minister Ilia Rashad Muhammad from Memphis, Tennessee.

The show’s guests, attorney Abdul Arif Muhammad, Student General Counsel for the Nation of Islam, and Asika Muhammad, a banking professional from Memphis, tackled topics such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words on redistributing the pain, the origin of Christmas and the history of Christmas and holiday spending boycotts in the Black community.

“As the merchants are marketing and getting ready to get their pockets fat and take from our community, we want to have the right mindset going into this holiday season, and we don’t want Santa or Satan to be able to benefit from us,” Student Minister Ilia Rashad Muhammad said, reiterating the meaning of “Up With Jesus, Down with Santa.”

“Rather, we want to be able to benefit from the nickels and dimes and dollars and from the talents and resources and skills that we already have in our community,” he added.

Atty. Arif Muhammad and Brother Asika Muhammad referenced a Final Call article by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan titled, “Why We are Calling You to Boycott Christmas.” In the article, Minister Farrakhan described the boycott of Christmas as “an old idea relevant to our present-day demands for justice.”

A young brother shows pride in giving back to the community. Photos: Melanie Brown

In his message, the Minister referenced words from Dr. King’s final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop,” delivered April 3, 1968, in Memphis.

“God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned,” Dr. King said. “Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you,” he added.

“We’re going to do that until the Black life, the cause of justice, is honored and respected,” Minister Farrakhan added.

According to a Nov. 3 press release by the National Retail Federation, 2022 holiday spending is expected to increase six to eight percent over 2021, to between $942.6 billion and $960.4 billion. Last year’s holiday sales grew 13.5 percent over 2020 and totaled $889.3 billion. Adjusting for high inflation rates, other forecasters say holiday sales this year are slightly in the negative.

A report by Adobe Analytics says consumers spent $9.12 billion on Black Friday and $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday. On average, individuals spend between $800 to $1,000 during the holidays, additional reports say.

Cassiopeia Uhuru (right), co-owner and CEO of The Black Mall, with a supporter. 
Photo: Final Call archives

“Now $1,000 to someone making $70,000 a year doesn’t seem like a lot, but $1,000 to someone making $12,000 a year, that’s a whole lot,” Brother Asika Muhammad said on the Dec. 1 episode of Elevated Places.

Atty. Arif Muhammad defined “economic withdrawal” as “instead of going to his (the White man’s) cleaners, open your own. Instead of going to his supermarket, open your own.”

“I heard the Minister say one time, everything that you want comes from the earth. You have the same ability and right to go get it from the earth. But if you keep spending your resources with him, then you continue to uphold him, while the God Himself is lashing him. He wants us to withdraw,” he continued.

The Black Economic Council of Massachusetts has an ongoing campaign titled “25 Days of Black-Owned Shopping.” The organization has been highlighting one Black business a day on its social media platforms. Others promoted Black people buying Black on Black Friday.

In partnership with Google, rapper Ludacris released a song, featuring Flo Milli, on Nov. 17 titled, “Buying All Black,” in a campaign known as “#BlackOwnedFriday.” Lyrics included “when I’m shopping man, I’m buying all Black” and “go and buy some land before you go and cop that four door.” The music video featured multiple Black businesses and business owners based in Atlanta and encouraged listeners to “choose to buy Black on Black-owned every day.”

Cassiopeia Uhuru, co-founder and CEO of, a digital marketing solution, directory and marketplace for Black businesses, based out of Chicago, is doing an ongoing holiday pop-up until February. She partnered with the Greater Chatham Initiative, an organization helping to revitalize several neighborhoods on Chicago’s South Side, and the BopBiz Center. The pop-up gives Black vendors the opportunity to have their products in a storefront.

A shopper examines clothing on the rack. Photo:

“The storefront that we’re in that’s doing the pop-up is helping to get the community re-engaged with shopping in their own neighborhood and having nice places to shop in their own neighborhoods where it can feel welcoming and inviting,” Ms. Uhuru said to The Final Call. “And that it’s not just featuring liquor and corner store items. They’re getting nice, beautiful jewelry and clothes and gifts, items that you would love giving to your family or friends.”

For her, buying Black is a 365-day lifestyle. She hopes that the holiday season ignites that lifestyle in others.

“We’re giving them a nice taste of what it looks like to recycle your Black dollars during a time when people do most of their shopping, but we hope that they create relationships with these brands,” she said. “A lot of these brands have things that you just need throughout the seasons, throughout the years. There are skincare brands. There are clothing brands. There are jewelry brands. Things that you purchase, household necessities. There are brands that sell your deodorants and toothpaste and toilet paper, things you have to buy on a weekly or monthly basis.”

A report by Adobe Analytics says consumers spent $9.12 billion on Black Friday and $11.3 billion on Cyber Monday. On average, individuals spend between $800 to $1,000 during the holidays, additional reports say. Photo:

She explained that the way to keep the Black dollar in the Black community is to establish an economic engine: a community filled with sustainable businesses owned by the residents of that community that hires from within the community.

“This is why we see a huge issue in our community with poverty, with crime, because although we are making strides towards, we still aren’t all the way there with having the majority of our businesses being owned by us,” Ms. Uhuru said. “So when that happens, businesses that aren’t owned by us, they hire outside. And they also don’t put back into the community. They don’t have a vested interest. They only have an interest in taking money out,” she continued.

“When things are taken from you, you become poorer. And when we have more poverty, then you automatically have more crime because people still have an instinct to survive,” Ms. Uhuru pointed out.

“If I can’t afford to get the things that I need, I’m going to take the things that I need. So it’s very important for a community to be strong, for the money to stay within it, to recycle inside that community, and that’s how you build it up.”

As far as some of the White corporations with their history of racism, the entrepreneur said, her focus is not on those corporations anymore. “It’s just on us,” she said. “The more we develop us, we don’t have to worry about what other people are doing.”

Callers on the Elevated Places episode stated that Black people need to get back into collaborative farming and business.

“Business—you have to satisfy the needs of the people, food, clothing, and shelter. And the only way you can get food, clothing and shelter is to go through the land. So that’s why agriculture and the development and control of resources are so important,” said Dr. Ridgely Abdul Mu’min Muhammad, manager of the Nation of Islam’s Muhammad Farms in Georgia. He noted how the economic boycott gives young people a way out without fighting with their blood.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan said in his boycott Christmas article: “Stand up, Black People! Stand up, Brown People! Stand up, Indigenous People! Keep your money, and let’s show the world our unity—and watch them bow.”