Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Saviours' Day 2015 Keynote address

Watch Part 2 LIVE on March 1st, 2015 at 10:00am CST


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From The Final Call Newspaper:
Universal corruption breeds universal dissatisfaction
BY BRIAN E. MUHAMMAD -CONTRIBUTING WRITER- | LAST UPDATED: FEB 10, 2015 - 8:50:01 AM

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Demonstrators march in New York, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All rally and march. In past weeks, grand juries decided not to indict officers in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The decisions unleashed demonstrations and questions about police conduct and whether local prosecutors are the best choice for investigating police.

Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of that which men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, so that they may return. Holy Qur’an 30:41

From East to West and North to South, injustice is everywhere and corruption is being called the underlying cause of violent extremism, terrorism, bloodshed, conflicts, and social upheaval.
Until the source of the problem is addressed and eradicated, there will be mayhem and war without end.

Transparency International, a monitoring group that rates corruption by countries, defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain that harms anyone who depends on the integrity of people in positions of authority.



A pro-Palestinian demonstrator throws a stone towards riot police, during a demonstration in Paris, July 19, 2014. Police had clashed with thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters who defied a ban in Paris on marching to protest the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Some of the protesters threw objects at riot police, who responded with rounds of tear gas. Photos: AP/Wide World photos


“The root of corruption is the way that capitalism moves,” said A. Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam. “What you have is organized greed from the top down while the masses of people still suffer.”

Much of the bedlam in the world’s hotspots is directly tied to corruption and the response by people adversely affected by injustice in various forms, said Sarah Chayes, author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security” and a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment.

Ms. Chayes’ research reveals a pattern: Where notoriously corrupt nations exist, there are also movements of religious extremists such as in Afghanistan, Yemen and Nigeria. The causes that drive rebel actions are “revolutions about corruption,” she said.

Prominent examples of extremism with religious overtones are groups like Al-Qaeda in the Middle East, the Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, the Lord’s Resistance Army—a Christian terror militia in East and Central Africa—and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Al-Qaeda began as a U.S.-backed entity fighting Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1970s and turned on its benefactor, blaming the West for facilitating corrupt governments.


A pro-Palestinian protester is arrested by riot police after clashes erupted during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, July 26, 2014. French police fired tear gas as clashes broke out at a banned pro-Gaza demonstration as thousands defied a ban on the protest. The interior minister had earlier called on organizers of the Paris demonstration to observe the ban imposed to halt potential anti-Semitic violence. Photo: AP/Wide World photos


“Boko Haram initially had the principle of kicking back against the corruption of the state,” observed Kemi Okenyodo, director of an organization that advocates for justice reform, in a Washington Post op-ed. Initially Boko Haram targeted Nigerian police forces—notorious for abuses—and government offices. Attacks on civilians are a more recent activity of the group.

Why does corruption open the door for religious extremist groups? “There is a human reflex that says when you’ve got really severe lapses in public integrity, the only way you can really hope to reform it is through very strict personal morality,” Ms. Chayes told The Final Call in a telephone interview.

Religion provides a framework and rationale for morality and right conduct. It can also be a powerful tool for identifying enemies and overthrowing rulers seen as wicked. Reformists see often religion as a counter force against deviation from the path of faith and right.

Ms. Chayes shared historic instances where acute public corruption was accompanied by the rise of militant extremism. There was the rise of “militant puritanical religion” during the 16th century Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther. The German theologian condemned the Catholic Church for corruption and his writings inspired splintering from the church—a protest movement. The rich could buy “indulgences” which meant their sins could be pardoned for a price, which Luther condemned. He argued Christian salvation was based on faith and grace, not simply deeds. His ideas spread. By January 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther. He still refused to change and was branded a heretic. By 1524 Luther’s arguments were used as reasons for the Peasants War, which he did not support. But his writings helped produce new branches of the Christian faith and dogma.


Protesters embrace outside the Ferguson Police Department, Jan. 19, in Ferguson, Mo. Protesters marched several miles to the police department from the site where Michael Brown was killed last summer.

Today’s events mirror the 16th century when elitists waxed rich on the backs of the poor and were targeted by the poor who yearned for freedom, justice and equality, Ms. Chayes said. Like today, resistance turned violent and deadly, she added. “They went after virtues and the manifestation of wealth,” Ms. Chaynes continued.

Similarly Al-Qaeda went after the World Trade Centers and Wall Street as the “manifestation of abusive accumulation of wealth in America and the Pentagon, which is the military force that defends that” abuse, said Ms. Chayes.

In “Thieves of the State,” Ms. Chayes wrote, “For decades ... extremism had been the only outlet for people to express their legitimate grievances. Autocratic governments liked it that way, because the extremist alternatives to their rule were frightening—to the United States and other international donors, but often to their own citizens as well.”

Ordinary people were often more afraid of the extremist groups than those who were already stealing. “We would prefer thieves to murderers,” an Algerian shopkeeper told Ms. Chayes when asked about corruption.

In a lecture titled “Unjust Judges Have Imbalanced the Society,” the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam explained what happens to people who are denied justice.
“Those who prey on people of color and disproportionately people of African descent, rarely are they punished,” the attorney said in a recent interview with The Final Call.

America’s perception of corruption has been narrowed to include only “quid pro quo bribery,” which is trading kickbacks with politicians for political influence and favors. It doesn’t only work like that. “Corruption is a way broader, way more insidious thing,” said Ms. Chayes. “It’s a danger for all of us.”

Corruption and abuse plague military contracting and the lucrative energy and health industries. Reuters has reported on major financial discrepancies at the Department of Defense. In 2012, the Pentagon reported a $9.22 billion difference between its numbers and numbers from the Treasury Dept., Reuters said. Billions unaccounted for by the Defense Dept. had increased from the previous year, said the news service. The Pentagon maintained the “discrepancies” were based on missing records and legitimate accounting differences.

Then there has been almost no accountability for a million people who lost homes in a housing crisis fueled by fraud and corruption. “The fact that nobody was prosecuted for 2008, for the financial meltdown, I just find that unacceptable that nobody was held personally accountable for what they did,” said Ms. Chayes.

Surveys conducted by Transparency International and recorded in their Global Corruption Barometer Index reveal high numbers of citizens are fed up with government corruption and greed. Political parties were seen as the most corrupt institution, followed by police forces.

As global resistance against injustice and corruption rages, Human Rights Watch warned, “Meeting security challenges demands not only containing certain dangerous individuals but also rebuilding a moral fabric that underpins the social and political order.”

But some governments have decided security threats take precedence over human rights, which are a luxury “for less trying times,” the group said. Subordination of human rights is not only wrong, but shortsighted and counterproductive, wrote Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth in an essay called “Tyranny’s False Comfort: Why Rights Aren’t Wrong in Tough Times.”

“Human rights violations played a major role in spawning or aggravating most of today’s crises. Protecting human rights and enabling people to have a say in how their governments address the crises will be key to their resolution. Particularly in periods of challenges and difficult choices, human rights are an essential compass for political action,” Mr. Roth.

Some see resistance as Divine Providence and the law of cause and effect—what goes around comes around and what one sows, so shall he reap.

Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad warned of the consequences of “universal corruption” and a solution in his vital book, “Message to the Black Man.”

“There is no doubt in anyone’s mind today that the condition of the nations is such that needs a ruler who is not involved in the present world of corruption to bring about peace and good will among the people of the earth,” wrote Elijah Muhammad.

Mr. Muhammad said peace cannot be attained until “peace breakers have been removed from authority and their activities of mischief making, causing bloodshed, grief, sorrow and trouble among peace-loving nations” has ceased.
“There is not a civilized government of people at this writing that is not in trouble and trying to find a solution to the cause. All the nations of the earth are so corrupt with other than good that they cannot come to any agreement on peace with each other, (and) then carry it into practice.”

He said corruption started in Europe and has engulfed nine-tenths of the world population, causing near 100 percent dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is so high it is bound to bring about universal war, since corruption is universal.

“The war is on, now, and the forces of evil are fighting a last-ditch battle to hold on to power. However, God is present now to remove not some of them, but all of them,” said Minister Farrakhan, echoing his teacher’s warning.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

SELMA and the real Dr. King

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Jan 13, 2015 - 6:17:36 PM

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Martin Luther King leads march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, March 1965.

WASHINGTON (FinalCall.com) - The movie Selma is, and will likely remain, one of the most talked about films of 2015.

It earned four Golden Globe nominations, for: Best Picture; Best Actor, David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Best Director, Ava DuVernay; and won Best Original Song, “Glory” by John Legend and Common. And it is certain to be a contender for multiple Academy Awards as well.
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Selma is an exceptionally well crafted depiction of the last successful campaign in the career of the most charismatic and possibly most misunderstood leader of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement. It takes its greatness from portraying the tension caused by blood in the streets of Alabama in the mid-1960s brought on by violent, White-racist, legal and extra-legal resistance to the legitimate demands for the right to vote by Blacks in the South, and from the political push and pull generated from the teeming grassroots represented by Dr. King, all the way to the desk of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

The movie tells the story of three months in Selma, Ala., in early 1965 when Dr. King was mobilizing for the fight for voting rights. The bloody, one-sided “beat-downs” of peaceful, unarmed, non-violent protestors by vicious police, some on horseback, some with dogs, with tear gas, with billy clubs and other weapons, provokes a painful reaction to the scenes of the injustice and reminds moviegoers of the public moral outrage in 1965 which became massive public support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act by Congress later that year.

And while a great deal of “artistic license” is taken with the presentation of, or the exclusion of important Black figures in the voting rights struggle—Fannie Lou Hamer, Stokely Carmichael, Ella Baker, Floyd McKissick, among others—it is President Johnson’s screen role in the infamous Selma marches which has garnered the loudest rebuke.
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This March 21, 1965 file photo shows civil rights marchers crossing the Alabama river on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. to the State Capitol of Montgomery. Photos: AP/Wide World photos
Historians and former Johnson administration officials have insisted that the film is flat-out wrong in the way Mr. Johnson is shown, as an opponent of the Selma voting rights marches, when in fact the march was his idea, his former aides insist.

In the film, one dramatic climax occurs when Dr. King scolds the reluctant and tough-talking president, about the immediate need for federal voting rights legislation, all the while with a portrait of George Washington looking on in the background.

“Mr. President, in the South, there have been thousands of racially motivated murders,” Dr. King says, imploring President Johnson to put his weight behind a voting rights law. “We need your help!” But the President replies: “Dr. King, this thing’s just going to have to wait.”

“In real life, that December 1964 meeting happened—but not that way, according to one who was there,” Richard Prince reports in his online column “Journal-Isms.”

“‘It was not very tense at all. We were very much welcomed by President Johnson,’ recalled former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, who attended the session as a young lieutenant to King. ‘He and Martin never had that kind of confrontation.’”

Others, including Clifford Alexander, a Black man and former deputy special counsel to the President, and later Secretary of the Army in the Jimmy Carter administration, as well as Joseph Califano, Mr. Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs from 1965-1969, and scholars at the Johnson Presidential Library cite transcripts and audio recordings in which Mr. Johnson appears to be the author of the idea of the Selma marches, encouraging them as a way to generate pressure on Congress to enact voting rights for disenfranchised Blacks.
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State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala., March 7, 1965.

While this film concentrates on early 1965 and Selma, one of the shocking early scenes shows the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church—less than three weeks after Dr. King’s triumphal March on Washington for Jobs and Justice—in which teenagers Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were blown to bits by a Ku Klux Klan bomb.

The film also shows Dr. King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, but it omits much about the Black community which was the backdrop for Dr. King’s success, and more importantly the bolder, more militant Martin Luther King Jr.—The Real King, so to speak—who emerged during the three years after the Selma victory.

“There is no movement without the Black church. There is no movement without historically Black institutions. Not just colleges, high schools,” Dr. Greg Carr, chair of the African American Studies Department, at Howard University told The Final Call. “(The Revs. James) Bevel and (Fred) Shuttlesworth came back from Birmingham and said, ‘I’ve been going to the high schools talking to these kids. They’re ready to move.’ That’s when the Children’s March emerged.” Organizers were meeting at 16th Street Baptist Church, he pointed out, which is “Why they bomb(ed) 16th Street…because it was an institution.”
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., right, pictured in his first meeting with Elijah Muhammad, left, head of the Nation of Islam Feb. 24, 1966, in Chicago, IL. Dr. King said Elijah Muhammad agreed a movement is needed against slum conditions.

Those details and others depicting important local leaders were conveniently scrubbed from the film. “The politics of the film, the intent of the politics of the film were clear in the erasure of Stokely Carmichael, total erasure. The diminished capacity that is the role of Diane Nash and other women, the anti-SNCC perspective was just so clear,” Dr. Jared Ball, Associate Professor of Communications at Morgan State University told The Final Call. “John Lewis is a hero (in the movie), not just because of what he did but because he walked away from SNCC.”

The film, very skillfully diminishes the role of young Black militants who increasingly began to influence Dr. King in and after the events at Selma, in favor of the need for the movement to capitalize on a sense of White conscience and guilt.

But the reality is that conditions on the ground were changing fast in 1965. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by LBJ in Washington—with Dr. King at his side—on Aug. 6, 1965. One week later, a continent away, the Watts Riot (rebellion) broke out on Aug. 13, protesting police murders and brutality toward Black people, like the 2014 demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y.

“That LBJ, is made to look almost heroic (in the movie) in juxtaposition to George Wallace, and could get—in the theater where I saw it—a round of applause, tells you where the film was asking us to go. The emphasis on the inter-racial aspect of the movement was a clear message of, ‘let’s walk away from Black collective national activity, let’s make a point about today,’” said Dr. Ball.
“If you look at the critique that is all over the place of Whites in these anti-Ferguson, anti-police brutality rallies, the critique is still there. ‘Why are you in these rallies White folks? And what is your intent in marching with us? And how is your presence becoming theater for you, as opposed to a movement for us?’

“All of those questions—like there is a response in Selma (the movie) to all of that—by saying ‘They’re (Whites are) supposed to be here. There’s a benefit to their inclusion,’ and all of the arguments or debates against that have to be diminished, ridiculed, omitted entirely.’”
“The problem is, that I did like it,” Dr. Ball said. “I was moved by some of it. I did think it was well made, and some of the acting performances are good, which makes, the negatives have much more of an impact. That’s the problem that we deal with. If it was all whack, it would be easy to critique and dismiss.”
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In this Jan. 18, 1964 fi le photo, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, right, talks with civil rights leaders in his White House offi ce in Washington, D.C. The Black leaders, from left, are, Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); James Farmer, national director of the Committee on Racial Equality; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Whitney Young, executive director of the Urban League. Photos: AP/Wide World photos

The “real” Dr. King emerges

In the months after the Voting Rights Act, Dr. King underwent a radical transformation. The influence of the Nation of Islam was clear. “At one time the Whites in the United States called him a racialist, an extremist, and a Communist,” Nation of Islam National Spokesman Minister Malcolm X said of the mainstream Civil Rights leaders he nicknamed “The Big Six.” “Then the Black Muslims came along and the Whites thanked the Lord for Martin Luther King.”
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Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

The strategy, of which Dr. King and the Civil Rights leadership was so proud, had produced a “victory with no victory,” Minister Malcolm X declared of the successful tactic which produced no tangible results. In the film “Selma,” Dr. King even laments in a jailhouse scene that he may have been fighting to integrate lunch counters at which most Blacks could not even afford to eat.

The Whites, Minister Malcolm X continued, did not integrate the Civil Rights Movement, they infiltrated it.
On Feb. 23, 1966 Dr. King visited the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, at his home in Chicago, and may have been further radicalized, but he quickly explained to his anxious White benefactors and to the public, that he was not forging an “alliance” with the Nation of Islam. In 1966 Dr. King’s Chicago organizing campaign was violently rebuffed by racist, White citizen attacks. He left Chicago, unable to claim a victory.

April 4, 1967 the day when Dr. King explained why he was opposed to the war in Vietnam arrived. “He comes out in this speech and he calls America, his country, ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.’ That’s a strong indictment. The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” radio and television interviewer Tavis Smiley told Pacifica Radio’s Mitch Jesserich in an interview before the release of Selma.
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Police attack marchers as they crossed Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday”. Photos: MGN Online

“He goes on in that speech to talk about what he calls the ‘Triple threat of racism, poverty, and militarism. Racism, poverty, and militarism.’ If you think you know Dr. King and you don’t know of the story of the darkest and most difficult part of his journey—which for him just happened to be the last year, April 4, ‘67 to April 4, ‘68—if you don’t know that story, then you don’t know Dr. King yet.”

Mr. Smiley is the author, along with David Ritz, of “Death of a King: the Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year”. During that troubled time, up until his assassination, Dr. King had become so unpopular that another author, Clayborne Carson said many of the people who went to his funeral, would not have been seen with him on the day before he died.

“Clayborne Carson is absolutely right,” Mr. Smiley said. “In the last year of his life, everybody and everything turned against Dr. King.

“After he gives his speech, the media turns against him. What The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time magazine had to say about him, you would be embarrassed. So the media turns on him. Then the White House turns on him.” While President Johnson and Dr. King worked together for the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act—perhaps the two most seminal pieces of legislation passed in the entire 20th Century—now King is opposed to LBJ on this war in Vietnam, according to Mr. Smiley.

“The NAACP and Roy Wilkins turns on Dr. King. Whitney Young and the Urban League publicly turn on Dr. King. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., powerful Congressman, turns on Dr. King, publicly. Ralph Bunche, the only other Black Nobel Peace Prize winner, turns on Dr. King publicly. I can’t even say on the radio—it’s in the text—but I can’t even quote what Thurgood Marshall—The Thurgood Marshall—had to say about Dr. King. It was vicious and ugly.
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Still from the movie “Selma”.

“And then the Black Press got in on it. It wasn’t just the mainstream, liberal, White press, the Black press started to turn on Dr. King. It’s a story most of us don’t know because we’d rather freeze-frame King at the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington.

“That dream that he talked about in ’63, by the time he gets to ’67, where this book picks up, the last year of his life, he is saying publicly that that dream has become a nightmare. He says to Harry Belafonte and a few others at a gathering one night, ‘…that for all that we have done for integration, I fear that we have integrated into a burning house.’ These are Martin’s words.

“The one that shocks most people: Martin was murdered on a Thursday night in Memphis. If he had made it back to Atlanta that Sunday to Ebenezer, his church where he was preaching every Sunday, his sermon would have been a shock,” continued Mr. Smiley.

On April 4, 1968, one year after his anti-Vietnam War speech, “One of the last calls he made from the Lorraine Motel was back to his church, to his secretary, to his father, to let them know what he was going to preach on Sunday. Had he made it back to Atlanta, his Sunday morning sermon was going to be entitled: ‘Why America May Go to Hell.’

“He didn’t say we were going to hell, but why America may go to hell. Now you tell folks that the ‘I Have A Dream’ man was going to preach a sermon called ‘Why America May Go To Hell,’ they don’t get that. King was always a believer that America could be greater. That’s what his life’s work was all about. But by the time he gets to ’67, ’68, he’s questioning whether or not America really has the will to address these issues that are really just threatening to the lives of too many fellow citizens,” said Mr. Smiley.

Ironically, the sentiment about the Vietnam War which earned Dr. King such unforgiving scorn is not unlike a prediction nearly 200 years earlier by Thomas Jefferson, one of this country’s Founding Fathers. “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever,” Mr. Jefferson said.

In order to get an idea of whom “The Real” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is Dr. Ball has a recommended reading list after having seen Selma. He recommends that people study the history recounted in the film, read Dr. King’s last book “Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos Or Community”, read James Forman’s book “The Making of Black Revolutionaries,” and read everything by or about Kwame Ture/Stokely Carmichael.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Promises, Commissions and a Black America at the Crossroads

By William P. Muhammad

“It is time now to turn with all the purpose at our command to the major unfinished business of this nation. It is time to adopt strategies for action that will produce quick and visible progress. It is time to make good the promises of American democracy to all citizens-urban and rural, white and black, Spanish-surname, American Indian, and every minority group…”
(Excerpt from the Report of the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders – 1968).

               We’ve all heard and seen this song and dance before. The unwarranted abuse and killing of unarmed Black people at the hands of local authorities, the time worn narrative of “justifiable homicide,” and of course, the usual posturing of so-called Black religious leaders, rewarded with recognition in exchange for their quieting of the dissatisfied masses, have together revealed a disturbing trend regarding the current disposition of Blacks in the United States. 
Within a progressively diverse society, and through the context of an increasingly globalized market economy, Black American youth are unhappy with the obsolete ideas and faint-hearted agendas advocated by yet another generation of timid Black leaders and organizations compromised by grants and philanthropic contributions. Ironically having hundreds of billions of dollars at their disposal, but failing to apply the unity necessary to exploit those dollars, go-along-to-get-along leaders, particularly of the religious ilk, employ too much compromise and too little principle regarding the social, political, and economic development of Black America. 
In Ferguson, Mo., after more than 70 days of civil unrest stemming from the August, 9 2014 gunning down of unarmed Black teenager, Michael Brown, and the heavy-handed militarized response against protestors, the fa├žade of American civility has been removed as paramilitary police forces deployed tear gas, heavy weapons, and armored vehicles to reestablish and impose an unjust order upon a Black people who have clearly had enough. In response, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon’s recently announced plan to institute a study, to address community fear, anger, and mistrust, in the name of his so-called Ferguson Commission, appears to follow on the state level what Illinois Governor Otto Kerner presided over on the national level 46 years ago.

The Kerner Commission, 1968

 Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the causes of the urban rebellions in major U.S. cities between 1965 and 1967, The National Commission on Civil Disorders, also called the Kerner Commission, reported that Black frustration emanated from a lack of economic opportunity, housing disparities, and a mainstream media oriented solely to the views of the white world. Warning that America was “moving toward two societies, one black, one white – separate and unequal,” it is clear, in 2014, that neither the report, nor its recommendations were truly designed to respect or empower Black America as an equal.  
In addition to the study’s findings, the commission predicted that if nothing were done to disperse Black population centers, and to reduce Black fertility rates, cities would become majority Black entities surrounded by White suburbs by 1985. It also suggested that police departments should “develop a means to obtain adequate intelligence for planning purposes;” that “an intelligence unit staffed with full-time personnel should be established to gather, evaluate, analyze, and disseminate information on potential as well as civil disorders,” (and) that “it should use undercover police personnel and informants.”
While Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., initially praised the Kerner report for some of its pronouncements, did he recognize the potential for abuse that such a study could actually engender?           
Today, it is clear there has been an active plan to disperse Black populations in most urban centers, throughout the United States, and to reduce or eliminate local Black political bases. It is also a fact that Black fertility rates have declined from an increasing trend through the 1980s, toward a flatter trend today, where Black America’s numbers have dropped below the Latino population. With these facts being true, along with the rise of mass incarceration, in an increasingly privatized prison industry, what was the actual motive and intention behind the Kerner Commission in 1968, and was is the true motive and intention behind the so-called Ferguson Commission in 2014?


Photo: stlamerican.com

According to Europe’s France24 television, and an internationally televised discussion centering on the future of Black America, they referenced an October article in the U.S. news magazine, The Atlantic, regarding a piece titled: “What If Black America Were a Country?” After thoughtful examination of why European viewers would harbor such an interest in this subject, along with the facts and statistics cited throughout the piece, an astute reader should deduce that the U.S. government and European capitals both view the existence of a conscious, enlightened and empowered Black America as a threat to their long-term mutual interests.

Photo: theurbanpolitico.com

Following this logic, it also should be obvious that any moral appeal for Black economic empowerment; an end to government monitoring, surveillance and counter-intelligence activities; and the abolishing of the prison-industrial-complex, will fall upon deaf ears. With no incentive for the white elite to countenance a socially, politically, and economically strong Black community, buying off weak and malleable Black leadership, and discouraging the concept of collective wealth and infrastructure creation, appears to serve a policy and agenda of white supremacy on a global level.   
Don’t underestimate your significance on the world stage
According The Atlantic article, a 2005 RAND Corporation study used a CIA assessment based on the University of Denver’s International Futures model to measure national power. Accordingly, “the main metrics of world power used in the…assessment are gross domestic product (GDP), population, defense spending, and a less precise factor that includes innovation in technology…Black America cannot be scored on all these factors, but key indicators are examined here to approximate its standing,” the article said.
Consider the following data discussed and outlined in the piece:
·         Blacks are the only racial group overrepresented in the U.S. military. Blacks make up 12.6 percent of the U.S. population, but over 17 percent of military service members.
·         For GDP per capita, Black Americans (as an independent country) would rank 46th in the world, below Saudi Arabia, Italy and the United Arab Emirates, but above Russia, Mexico and Brazil.
·         As a population, Black America ranks 31st in the world, just below Mexico, the UK and Italy, but above Canada, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
·         According to the Fund for Peace’s Fragile States Index, Black America (as an independent country) would resemble a fragile state listed among one of the world’s worst 30 nations.
·         Black America’s poverty rate of 27.4 percent is currently higher than that in war torn Iraq.
·         Black America’s median wealth per adult is $4,955, just below Mexico, China and Brazil, but above India and Russia. Black American household wealth is just above the median wealth of Palestinian adults.
·         Black American men have higher incarceration rates than the total numbers confined in the countries of Cuba, Russia, Brazil, Mexico, and India.
·         The United States ranks 5th in the Human Development Index, but if Black America were a country, it would rank 30th, between Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
The previously stated facts reveal that Black America is indeed at a crossroads, and while there is clearly a plan from the highest levels of society and government, to manage and control the destiny of Black America, there is also a plan to lift it from the level it currently occupies. While many rightfully argue that a white supremacist system created the condition in which Black America now finds itself, it is also true that the wherewithal to correct it is undoubtedly found in Black excellence, uncompromisable Black leadership, and above all, the love of self and kind.
Today, the most significant obstacle to local and national progress is not necessarily racism and white supremacy alone; but it is without doubt fear and ignorance of that dying ideology that neutralizes Black leadership’s effectiveness, particularly if they fail to muster the courage to overcome that fear and ignorance. 
Black America, and its leadership class, have a choice to make and time is fast running out. We can either continue down the current road, believing that going-along-to-get-along politics will save us and preserve our future; or regardless of religion, creed, or class, in the Black community, we can contribute to our own social, political and economic salvation by uniting our human capital as well as our nickels, dimes and dollars. Backing strong Black leaders and doing for self, as outlined by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is a start, and studying their social, spiritual, and economic programs without envy, jealousy or bias is a must. Visit www.economicblueprint.org and see what has been done, will be done and can be done with just the contribution of your nickels, dimes, and dollars. Following right guidance may very well save our lives in a time of crisis.