Tuesday, February 21, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

No Time For Fear!

By James G. Muhammad -Contributing Editor- | Last updated: Feb 21, 2017 - 12:01:20 PM

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A greater power is at work and is using President Trump to end America and White Supremacy warns Farrakhan


“Blessed is He Who sent down the Discrimination upon His servant that he might be a warner to the nations.” – Holy Qur’an 25:1

DETROIT—Donald J. Trump was elevated to the presidency by God’s permission to be used as a tool to dismantle the rule of White supremacy and to bring America and the western world to their knees, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan warned Feb. 19 in his keynote address wrapping up the Saviours’ Day 2017 weekend here.

Russia did not put Trump there, the outspoken minister said, addressing allegations of Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. He also warned the president that the decisions he makes regarding Blacks in America can hasten the destruction of the country.

“You are living in the breakup of America and the breakup of the White man’s world,” Min. Farrakhan, 83, said to the cheers of thousands in the Joe Louis Arena. “America will never be great again. The God of justice has come and America now must pay for what she has done.

“I’m here to announce today the end of this world and the beginning of a brand-new reality where all human beings will enjoy peace, justice and equality under the rule of Allah (God),” he said, speaking as a divine warner from God.
                    
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Saviours' Day gathering attracts diverse audience. Photos: Andrea Muhammad (Bottom) Young people in the audience listen closely to message. Photo: Hannibal Muhammad

With the theme “Have No Fear For the Future: The Future Is Ours,” Saviours’ Day 2017 marked the third of the last four years the Muslim organization has held its annual celebration in Detroit, the city where it was founded in 1930 by Master Fard Muhammad, teacher of Nation of Islam patriarch the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. Saviours’ Day has also been known as the “crowning event” of the February Black History Month.
Joined on stage by city officials, scholars and activists from across the country, Min. Farrakhan pointed to the confusion in the U.S. Congress and the bewilderment of world leaders as a sign that they are losing control. He further warned the unseen powers that control the seat of the presidency to be careful how they treat Mr. Trump, a man who has deviated from norms and traditions of past presidents.

Mr. Trump says he’s not listening to his intelligence agencies, Min. Farrakhan said. Deceitful intelligence given to past presidents has taken the country to war, he said, noting that former Secretary of State Colin Powell required the heads of the CIA and the FBI sit with him as he testified false information at the United Nations given to him by those agencies. That information was used to help bring America into war with Iraq, he noted.
“Trump is justified of being suspicious of intelligence,” he said. “The war machine always wants America on the war footing.”

The powers that control the presidency, or  “shadow government” as it is labeled, are measuring Mr. Trump because they can’t control him, the Minister said. If they can’t control someone they usually kill him and doing so would inflame White nationalists who back the president and engulf the country in civil unrest, he said.

“If anything happens to Mr. Trump these [White nationalists] are going to cut loose and who do you think they’re going to cut loose on?” the Minister asked.

Meanwhile, Mr. Trump is being serenaded by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and supporters of Israel. Following their advice would engulf America in war, the Minister said.
He challenged Jewish scholars to prove they are the chosen people of God who never received a divine warner as described in the scriptures. Jews and Arabs have had numerous prophets, but Blacks in America fit the prophetic description, he said.

The Minister laid the foundation for his three-hour message, advising the audience and the governments of the world that God is on the scene to pass judgement. He explained that the Hon. Elijah Muhammad gave him and his family alone the name Farrakhan but never told him the meaning of the name.

He (Elijah) told me he had many Alis’ and Sharrieffs’ but only one Farrakhan, the Minister said. Referencing the 25th chapter of the Holy Qur’an titled “Al Furqan” or “The Discrimination,” the Minister said the truths he speaks puts the listener in the valley of decision.

Referring to Malcolm X, Muhammad Ali and Imam Warith Deen Mohammad, the Minister said the students who left the Hon. Elijah Muhammad never attained the success they had with him. With Muhammad’s teachings, Min. Farrakhan said he has confounded scholars of the Muslim world. Becoming a follower of the Hon. Elijah Muhammad 62 years ago this month “was the best move of my life,” he said.

“When you become a follower of a man made by God, you come into a Master Class,” he said.

Frightened Black leadership
The Minister expressed disappointment at Black leaders who criticized him for not backing Hillary Clinton for president. He questioned how they thought they would get anything more from her than they have gotten from their decades of allegiance to the Democratic Party.

“I have been your faithful servant for 60 years or more but you will be angry with me because that White woman lost? I feel I have given you the best of my life. I have never wavered on our cause no matter how strong the opposition came,” he said.

With President Trump, many Black leaders are frightened they will no longer receive “the crumbs” that fall from their former slave masters’ table; and he has been used as a litmus test in order for Black leaders to gain favor with Whites, the Minister said.

Holding a book titled, “Understanding the Assault on the Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity,” by N.O.I. member Dr. Wesley Muhammad, Min. Farrakhan advised the president to read it before he sends the military into Black communities in Chicago to address the violence as he has planned.

The book documents how the CIA and FBI used chemical experimentation that targeted Black males and how that sinister effort has turned Black men, particularly through the prisons, into “super predators,” as they have been described by Mrs. Clinton.

“I’m sending this book to the White House. Before you come (to Chicago), read it,” the Minister advised the president. “You got to learn how White people, your people, destroyed Black youth in a chemical experiment.

“If you slaughter my little young brothers (gangs), watch what God will do for you and for the country you said you want to make great again,” he warned.

Min. Farrakhan described a plan to destabilize seven Muslim countries shown to retired general Wesley Clark 10 years before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Centers. Those attacks gave the government the American support it needed to attack Iraq and Afghanistan, he said.

The Muslim leader called off the names of the seven Islamic nations that are the targets of Mr. Trump’s controversial attempts to ban Muslims traveling to the United States.

“U.S. presidents created the conditions in the Middle East that led to the refugee problem in the Middle East. It didn’t start with some Arab terrorist. It started with White folks in the Pentagon,” the Minister said.

He warned Black America that God wants them to separate from Whites. That is the reason for the unusual weather and the heightening of White rage, he said.

Have you noticed how fast Whites will call you nigger? he asked.

“In this day and time God wants to manifest himself,” the Minister said. “God wants to separate you from them and give you a nation of your own, but you don’t want that.

“I warn Mr. Trump, this is not a forsaken people and the God we serve has promised us He would fight our battles,” he said.
Jesus saves
The program began with a welcome from Muhammad Mosque No. 1 Student Minister Troy Muhammad. He said he comes to the event with an increased understanding of what Saviours’ Day means.

Calling his mother to join him at the dais, Min. Troy Muhammad said this time last year his father passed. Min. Troy Muhammad told Min. Farrakhan he feared his mother, who has had drug abuse problems, would turn to drugs to ease her pain. The Minister told Bro. Troy to bring his mother to him.

Min. Troy Muhammad told the audience that after the meeting his mother said, “I felt like I met with Jesus.” I told her, “you did,” he said to loud applause.

“One year later I can say that my mom hasn’t picked up a drug since,” he said to a standing ovation.
A proclamation welcoming the Nation of Islam to the city was also read. Michigan state Senator Bert Johnson said God is looking for people who will speak truth to power. “After we receive instructions today, I pray that we do the work. No one is coming to save us but us,” he said.

Imam Ahmed Salih of the Imams Muslim Community Council described prior meetings with Min. Farrakhan as “mesmerizing and magical.” He called on society to be “Christ-like, savior-like”; we need a healing touch, he said.

“We have policy makers that are anti-Christ-like. War is a terrorism of the rich and powerful,” he said. “Today, Muslims, Hispanics, Native Americans … we can only be Christ-like if we touch the lives of others.”

Rev. Willie Wilson of the District of Columbia and a co-convener of the historic Million Man March said the day marked 40 years that he and Min. Farrakhan have walked together in the struggle for Black liberation.

“The question becomes how did a Muslim and Christian pastor stay and work together for 40 years?” he asked.  He answered saying they didn’t allow narrow differences to keep them apart. They stand for truth and righteousness among all God’s people. There is only one God, he said.

Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones welcomed the Muslims home, adding when the Nation of Islam comes home, crime goes down … consciousness becomes the order of the day.

She announced that she introduced and passed an ordinance to name a street Mother Tynnetta Muhammad Street, in honor of the late wife of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, that would be erected the following day.

Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad of Chicago introduced Min. Farrakhan saying America would receive much needed guidance in a time of great trouble.

The Minister “has been there for you when the enemy has spit you out,” he said to Black leaders. “How dare you speak an unkind word against a man who has laid down his life for you and me. Black people will never be liberated from our oppressed condition with scared to death leadership.
“[Farrakhan] is the last man standing,” he said.

Hip hop legend Doug. E Fresh listened intently to the message. “What I really got from the Minister more than anything, man, is that he’s really on top of this game to the fullest. He sees everything, he’s paying attention. The part about him wanting to continuously learn, his humility, I mean, they say he’s 83, but he moves like he’s 45 or something. I mean, you can still feel that young spirit in him. He’s a warner,” said the entertainer, who was proud that his father came to Saviours’ Day with him.

“Me and my father, we make it an annual trip to come see the Minister. My pops, he don’t really go see nobody, so it’s just one of those blessings where you know that he’s the man of God. You know that he’s here to deliver this message and you take heed to it. You take heed to the warning or suffer the consequences.”

Hammurabi Bey, the rapper’s father said, “I found that he was a man better than me. He is a better man than me. He’s done some things I have not done, I mean, I’m doing some things, but it’s not as big as what he’s done. We just need for everybody to push for that same avenue that he’s talking about. Every man and woman got to step up to change it.” He has been coming to Saviours’ Day for about 15 years. He teaches classes in Mt. Vernon, N.Y. on science and etymology.

Federica Bey, founder of the Newark-based organization, Women In Support Of The Million Man March, who introduced the Minister at the recent State of the Black World Conference, in Newark feels there isn’t anything else that the Minister needs to say.

She said his message concerning President Donald Trump really resonated. She said she was one of the ones that voted for Hillary Clinton. She said the Minister had warned that the choices were Satan and Lucifer. She said, President Obama “said we have a choice between chicken and fish and a lot of us were vegetarians.” She said, being under much pressure from family and friends, “I chose Satan.”
Detroit resident  Elaine Steele is co-founder, along with civil rights icon Rosa Parks, of the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development. Black folks must see President Donald Trump in the context of what his presidency means for “our people,” she said.

The Detroit educator added, what really resonated “is what [Min. Farrakhan] said about educating ourselves and understanding clearly what this new administration is about, and what it means for us, as a people. What it’s going to do for us and we better be clear, as to what path we’re following.”

For Terra Defoe, faith-based director for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan’s office, said they were on hand to welcome Saviours’ Day and to continue the relationship. Min. Farrakhan’s message about making sure people understand the history and their purpose and mission to move forward was key for her. His words also spoke to her personally, she said. “As a woman, making sure that we have men that treat us fairly as women, and that is the most important part for me,” said Ms. Defoe.

Like Rev. Wilson, Michael Roberts, Sr., chairman and CEO of Roberts Riverwalk Hotel, too has a great, long relationship with Min. Farrakhan and is good friends with the Nation of Islam. 

The St. Louis native and “serial entrepreneur,” said he bought a hotel (now the Roberts Riverwalk Hotel) in December of 2010 after Min. Farrakhan encouraged investment in Detroit.

“I was delighted that the Minister covered so many subjects.  He did cover the concept of financial independence, which is very important.  He broached the political environment that we’re in now, and ostensibly, he’s saying what we all know, and that is both parties, if they’re going to help us, then good luck. Otherwise, we need to help ourselves,” Mr. Roberts said.

Several first time Saviours’ Day attendees from Detroit, MaKenzie, Porsha, and Kendall, shared how Min. Farrakhan’s message touched them as young women.

“It was very powerful and moving. I’ve been discussing certain things with my mother as far as like worrying and fearing about what’s happening and what’s next,” said Mackenzie. “No fear. There’s no reason to have any fear because we have God leading us. That’s been my whole thing, and when I walked in and he said that! It just further validated what I thought anyway,” she told The Final Call.
(Final Call staff contributed to this report.)

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

Black America, The Ultimate Challenge And Our Future

By Starla Muhammad -Managing Editor- | Last updated: Feb 1, 2017 - 8:56:20 PM

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“We must stop relying upon the White man to care for us. We must become an independent people.”—the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Message to the Blackman
“That old slave mentality that keeps us at odds with one another and dependent on White people has to be broken.”— Minister Louis Farrakhan, A Torchlight for America
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Black America is in a prime position to chart its own destiny and path toward a better and brighter future, but it will take focus, working together and a commitment to implementing realistic and practical strategies to move forward. During the first few days in the new administration of U.S. President Donald J. Trump, anger, fear, dissatisfaction and uncertainty has gripped millions of people inside and outside America. But, in the midst of turmoil, chaos and confusion, can Blacks use this as an opportunity to begin building a bright future?


“Electoral politics are necessary but they are not sufficient for Black liberation,” said economist and author Dr. Julianne Malveaux. “By that I mean is, the Trump presidency is indeed disconcerting, puzzling and troubling. But even had Secretary Hillary Clinton won we still would not have immediately closed the gap. So we have to look in our communities at the things that we can do to close gaps,” said Dr. Malveaux, president emerita of Bennett College for Women and author of “Are We Better Off? Race, Obama and Public Policy.”

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First issue of the Final Call newspaper produced by The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in the basement of his home, in 1979.
One of Black America’s biggest challenges explained Dr. Malveaux is, “although we don’t have our fair share, we also are not doing the most we can with what we do have.”


“We’re not going to get a bigger slice of the pie under Trump but can we maximize our own resources internally so that we can have more? We’re not going to get it because Mr. Trump gives it or because Mr. Trump does anything in particular,” she added.

Analyzing the numbers
According to the U.S. Census Bureau the population of Blacks either alone or in combination with one or more races was 46. 3 million on July 1, 2015, an increase of 1.3 percent from the previous year. The Black population alone or in combination with one or more races is projected to jump to 74.5 million by 2060 which would make up 17.9 percent of the U.S. population. Blacks currently have $1.2 trillion in buying power, and there are 2.6 million Black-owned businesses in the U.S. All except for 109,137 or 4.2 percent, of Black or African American-owned firms were non-employers.

When it comes to education, 84.7 percent of the Black population 25 and older has a high school diploma, 20.2 percent of that same age group has a bachelor’s degree or higher and 2.8 million Blacks were enrolled in undergraduate college in 2015. Yet when it comes to unemployment rates and wages, Blacks still lag behind.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) Black-White wage gaps are larger today than they were in 1979. “Relative to the average hourly wages of White men with the same education, experience, metro status, and region of residence, Black men make 22.0 percent less, and Black women make 34.2 percent less,” notes the Washington, D.C.-based group. Among other statistics the institute noted is that the Black-White wealth gap is larger than the wage gap. Median White wealth is $134,000 or 12 times higher than median Black wealth at $11,000. Twentyseven percent of Black households have zero net worth compared to nine percent of White households.

Housing discrimination, housing segregation and environmental racism particularly in poor and minority communities is also connected to health, future economic well-being and crime rates, noted “Racial gaps in wages, wealth, and more: a quick recap” written by Elise Gould on epi.org.
In many of these areas, Blacks and Native Americans are disproportionately at the bottom.

“In other words, Black Americans face particular difficulties in trying to get ahead themselves or helping their children get ahead—in achieving the elusive American dream,” notes EPI. But all is not lost.
                    
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The ultimate challenge
There are things we can do to be more efficient with our resources internally, explained Dr. Malveaux. “That’s where we need to look now.” Focusing on politics from the perspective that there are going to be as many as 33 U.S. Senators up for re-elections in 2018, as well as focusing on state and local elections is one strategy, she continued. But economics is the key area where Blacks have tended to pay less attention than politics, Dr. Malveaux pointed out.

“We need to pay more attention to economics, especially in this time period.” Individually, Blacks must begin to pay attention to and manage their individual finances, she continued. Dr. Malveaux and other analysts and activists also point to the various #BuyBlack and #BankBlack initiatives as a critical measure for Blacks to begin taking control of their future.

Michael A. Grant is president of the National Bankers Association which was originally founded as a trade association for the country’s Black-owned banks and today advocates for Black and other minority-owned banks. The more Black banks are supported by the Black community, the more Black banks can give back to the community through business and home loans and other financial endeavors, he explained.

Mr. Grant told The Final Call that there is a consciousness rising not just among Blacks in America but throughout the Diaspora when it comes to supporting Black-owned banks through deposits and doing business. Black banks in Africa and the Caribbean have reached out to the National Bankers Association about future endeavors.

“This movement toward Black economic empowerment is not limited to the sovereign boundaries of the U.S., it’s literally a world-wide thing. Wherever Black people are all over the planet there seems to be this consciousness raising going on where people are beginning to understand that political power without economic power is no power at all because at the end of the day money drives everything,” said Mr. Grant.

Since July of last year, Mr. Grant said there has been a phenomenal outpouring of support for Black-owned banks in the U.S. and he thanked celebrities such as T. I., Killer Mike, Solange and others for standing up as advocates and encouraging others to open deposits. One bank has reported that since the #BankBlack movement started last summer it has had $30 million in new deposits and $120 million in lending.

“Those two are connected. The reason you want people to open deposits is liquidity and then if the bank has the responsibility to go out and raise capital it is the liquidity plus the capital that increases the bank’s capacity for lending. The more lending the bank can do, especially to our small businesses the more jobs and opportunities they can create in our communities,” said Mr. Grant. He as well as other heads of national Black organizations have received numerous invitations to present on Black economic empowerment and supporting Black-owned businesses.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan is directing Black America in particular to what his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, warned and that is that God will make Blacks separate, explained attorney and author Dr. Ava Muhammad during a recent broadcast of her blog talk radio show, Elevated Places.

“We’re witnessing and experiencing America disintegrate into her constituent parts, that is what’s literally occurring and for Saviours’ Day the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, his address is, ‘Have No Fear For The Future: The Future is Ours,’” said Dr. Ava Muhammad during the show’s Jan. 26 broadcast. Dr. Ava Muhammad is also a student minister in the Nation of Islam and student national spokesperson for Min. Farrakhan.
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Saviours’ Day is the Nation of Islam’s annual convention and will be held this year in Detroit the weekend of Feb. 17-19 and will consist of plenary sessions, interactive workshops centering on Nine Ministries (Education, Information, Health and Human Services, Defense, Justice, Arts and Culture, Science and Technology, Agriculture and Trade and Commerce) conceived by and developed by Min. Farrakhan as a catalyst for nation building in the Black community.


The theme for the weekend is taken from the very first published issue of The Final Call newspaper from May 1979 titled, “The Ultimate Challenge: The Survival of the Black Nation.”

The theme for Saviours’ Day 2017 is relevant, very appropriate and timely, especially in the areas of health, education and economics, said Student Minister Ishmael R. Muhammad, National Assistant to Min. Farrakhan.

“All of the current statistics tell us that if we don’t act and respond quickly to these indicators that as the Black male is becoming increasingly endangered, the next step for us is extinction if we do not act responsibly to these vital signs,” said Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad.

So the survival of the Black nation is important and the Black community is invited to participate this Saviours Day, he continued.

“This is not a Nation of Islam event. It is the crowning event of Black history month so we’re inviting educators and health professionals and those in the field of agriculture, science, technology to sit and to talk about the development of these ministries that the Minister put before us because our survival depends on us creating independent systems that are not dependent upon the White man’s system that has resulted in the death and destruction of the Black community.”

For more information on Saviours’ Day 2017, visit noi.org and see the ad on the back page.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

    Divided Democracy: The Volatile Trump Era Opens With Anger Alongside Insults And Division

    By Barrington M. Salmon -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Jan 24, 2017 - 6:58:23 PM

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    Demonstrators torch a car during the demonstration in downtown Washington, Jan. 20, during the inauguration of President Donald Trump. (R) Protesters stand on cars during a demonstration after the inauguration of President Donald Trump, Jan. 20, in Washington.

    WASHINGTON—It wasn’t hard to spot Trump supporters on the morning and afternoon of the presidential inauguration because of their headgear.


    Most were easily identifiable by their bright red baseball caps emblazoned with the mantra of the man who defied political convention to become the 45th president of the United States—“Make America Great Again.” Other supporters wore red coats and hats and still others cloaked themselves with large American flags, socks, eyeglasses, shorts, bandanas and other paraphernalia.
                        
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    President Donald J. Trump

    Under cloudy, grey and rainy skies, Trump supporters walked around with a certain cockiness and an air of elation. One of those people was Patricia Nana, a West Palm Beach, Fla., resident.

    “I was a supporter even before Donald Trump ran for office,” said Ms. Nana, a pharmacist who wore a navy blue woolen Trump snow cap. “I’m a first-generation immigrant, and he’s third-generation. He understands how to fix America. I’m in health care and drug use is out of control. We need law and order. He will put America on the right path. He wants people to have culture, make them work hard.”
    Ms. Nana, who hails from West Africa, didn’t see any contradiction with a Black woman supporting a man who insulted, demeaned and belittled Blacks, people of color, immigrants, women and others in a cynical and calculated plan to secure the White vote. She is also one of the few Blacks aligned with the new president.

    Mr. Trump tapped into the pain and anxiety of White Americans caused by economic dislocation, the hollowing out of the middle class and a rapidly changing workplace but he also exploited White racial resentment.

    He surprised and offended Americans when someone leaked a conversation between himself and former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush. He bragged about being able to grab women’s private parts and getting away with it because he’s a celebrity. Critics excoriated him and there was the thought that he could never win the presidential election but he defied political wisdom and won anyway. 

    Mr. Trump, a New York-based real estate business mogul, began an improbable campaign for the nation’s highest office more than 18 months ago. Along the way, he managed to alienate large swathes of Blacks, Muslims, Latinos, Millennials, Independents and others. He has faced a firestorm of criticism for his coarseness, his sexist behavior and rhetoric, his unwillingness to denounce the Neo-Nazis, Klan members and organizations who support him and his racial dog whistles.

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    A crowd gathers to protest and burn fl ags in Pioneer Courthouse Square following Donald Trump's presidential inauguration, Jan. 20, in Portland, Ore. Police in Portland used incendiary devices and tear gas to disperse a crowd of people protesting President Trump. Authorities said some people in the crowd—that at one point numbered in the thousands—threw rocks, bottles, fl ares and "unknown liquid" at offi cers. Photos: AP/Wide World photos
    Even as Trump supporters cheered his elevation to the presidency, a multitude of protestors staged vocal and animated protests against the new president and what they regard as his dangerous and divisive policies, his un-presidential behavior and the danger he poses to America and the world.

    Organizers of the protests said more than 45,000 people took part in the inauguration day demonstrations. Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators showed up the next day.

    Throughout inauguration day, an air of tension hung in the air, illustrating the friction and hostility that still exists between Trump opponents and those who support him. A number of people who voted for Trump expressed annoyance and frustration with the fact that Trump opponents won’t just accept that their guy won.

    Security was extremely tight as befitted the occasion, with a heavy presence from members of the District of Columbia’s 29 police agencies including the U.S. Secret Service, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Guard under high alert. Camouflaged Humvees, police cars and other law enforcement vehicles were stationed at strategic street corners and helicopters clattered noisily as they zoomed around overhead.

    Throngs of protestors stood on the sidewalk across from the National Archives on 7th and Pennsylvania Avenue chanting their disapproval of Mr. Trump, and by their body language and other methods illustrated their disapproval. The loud, raucous and robust outbursts mixed with sometimes sharp verbal exchanges between demonstrators who clashed with Trump supporters as each tossed invectives and sharp words at each other. These are signs of the partisan rancor that has gripped the country.

    Then there was the pepper-spray, the broken windows and the running battles between police and some black-clad demonstrators and some 200 arrests made. The protestors manned some checkpoints leading to the inauguration and vocally expressed their disdain for the incoming president. These run-ins were captured live by the media and beamed around the globe.
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    Demonstrators sit at the top of a limousine with the windows broken during the demonstration downtown Washington, Jan. 20, during the inauguration of President Donald Trump.
    Organizers of the main protest held court on a large stage where speakers disparaged Mr. Trump, decried his policies and promised to oppose him at every turn. Groups of protestors stood holding placards and posters, others sat on the ground, several dozen people sat on the base of the Gen. Winfield Scott Hancock statue and others walked around with posters. Among the statements: “Hate Never Made Anyone Great;” “Trump is Not My President;” “The American Dream is Something No Wall Can Contain”; “From Russia with Love”; “Set the Clock Back 300 Years” and “Trump is the Symptom, Capitalism is the Disease, Socialism is the Cure.” 

    “You know what inspires me? It’s seeing all of you out here,” said Nefer Freeman, a host on WPFW, 89.3 FM. “This rightwing, fascist-oriented person has mobilized us. People out here seem to be clear that Trump isn’t fundamentally the problem. The problem isn’t Trump or (Hillary) Clinton, it’s the system.”

    “Democrats are talking about a peaceful transition. What we have are two factions within the campaigns of our enemies who disagree with each other. We’ve got to be clear about who and what we face. We had austerity and increased surveillance under Obama. We have to mobilize and we must be organized. We have to build infrastructure as well as instruments of our survival and defense. When the people are under attack, we have to stand up and fight back. Some people thought slavery would never end, but it did. We must resist and fight and build and fight. Through collectives, we are creating the world we want to see.”

    Leslie Mittelberg and her daughter-in-law Nuvia Nevarez traveled cross-country from Oregon and Arizona respectively, to stand on the frontlines of protests against President Donald Trump. On a day usually filled with celebration, anticipation and hope for the future, the pair reflected the anxiety, frustration and angst of a segment of the American populace vehemently opposed to Mr. Trump.

    “I’m here representing the people who feel unsafe,” said Ms. Nevarez, a teacher, who works with undocumented immigrants in Arizona. “I’m concerned about the defunding of social programs and schools and the even bigger wage and income gap between rich and poor. I’m disappointed that Trump chose Betsy Devos. I see an increase in the attacks on public schools and a focus on school choice and vouchers.”

    Mrs. Devos is a Michigan billionaire whose children never attended public schools, who has no professional experience in public schools but is an avid advocate of the privatization of public schools and a vocal supporter of the school voucher system.  Critics say she was chosen by Trump because she’s a wealthy political donor. He says he chose her to be a “disruptor.”
    Ms. Mittelberg, who carried a poster that stated, “Not a Legitimate President,” shook her head and looked pained when asked if she’s surprised Mr. Trump won the White House.

    “I’m stunned that he got in. It wasn’t even on my radar,” said Ms. Mittelberg, who was in Washington to attend the Women’s March scheduled to take place on Jan. 21. “He’s a foul human being. I don’t think he’ll last four years. He’ll be impeached.”
                        
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    Tape closes off broken windows at businesses in Northwest Washington, Jan. 20, after a confrontation with protestors blocks from Donald Trump's inauguration. Photos: AP/Wide World photos

    “African countries are scared shitless. They will be a lot of global suffering,” she said.

    The rally and women’s march were organized to protest Mr. Trump, repudiate his policies and the direction he intends to take the country. The march proclaimed women’s rights and drew between 500,000 and 750,000 men, women and children to the Nation’s Capital. Millions more demonstrators gathered in 600 cities.
    Mr. Trump takes control of the White House at a time when politics have become increasingly polarized.

    But historians struggle to cite a precedent for a new president who is both beneficiary and target of such powerful and rising grassroots movements.

    “It’s hard for anyone to say when we’re at a pivotal point, but I think these may be seismic shifts,” Timothy Naftali, an historian at New York University and the founding director of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, said in an interview with USA Today. “We thought there was an era of new politics because of the role Trump played in the Republican Party, but the new politics may not just be of the right. We may be seeing a new politics in the center and the left.”

    Mr. Trump, the thrice married, serial philanderer and accused sexual predator, has promised and is in the midst of shaking up the political landscape. Although he is a few days into his tenure, a chorus of critics contend that the U.S. is on the wrong path.

    Trump loyalist Neil Arnott strenuously disagreed.

    “I’m a big-time Trump supporter. Although he isn’t really a conservative, I support his values,” said Mr. Arnott, a Vietnam vet who served 25 years in the US Air Force. “I believe in a hands-off government except for the military, the police or services to people such as fire services. As for Obamacare, we should privatize medicine and people can go to Canada if they need medications.”

    The Florida resident said he hopes Mr. Trump will secure America’s borders stop immigration from South America and block the entry of Syrians into the country.
    “It’s easy to bring back coal miners’ jobs and those in the Rust Belt,” he insisted. He anticipates that Mr. Trump will scuttle what he described as “excessive regulation” and free up businesses.

    There is one promise of deregulation that Mr. Arnott said worries him.
    “I remember the smog in Beijing and Los Angeles. That makes me a little conflicted about deregulating the EPA,” he said.

    Longtime activist Phil Wilayto, publisher of The Virginia Defender and a leader of the United National Antiwar Coalition, said, “We’re not afraid and we’re not intimidated. These protestors are strong, angry and they’re young. What’s missing is, ‘what’s our program?’ We need jobs or guaranteed incomes for all. Healthcare for all and free education. We must appeal to workers who feel left out. Like coal workers and those in the Rust Belt.”

    Mr. Wilayto said he strongly advocates no deportations of undocumented immigrants, reparations for Blacks, protection of women’s reproductive rights and transgender and others who are in the LBGTQ communities.

    In the Trump era, he said, those opposed to the new president need to build a strong united front, build coalitions, deepen ties of solidarity and do the hard work of bridging the chasms between class and race. 

    Queens, New York resident Katrina Garcia agreed.

    “We have to take matters into our own hands,” said Ms. Garcia, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and community organizer. “We can’t trust politicians. We have already learned the hard way. President Obama’s election was symbolic and he got a pass on issues of justice. He deported more undocumented immigrants than most recent presidents and came in with ‘si se puede.’ ”

    “We were not given real options. The Democratic Party doesn’t represent us. I’m not crying over Hillary Clinton. I’m not crying over Trump. We need economic, political and social rights. The majority of the people don’t support Trump. Millions of Americans are not able to vote and their rights—for felons and the undocumented—have been taken away. People thought we’d get real change but we’re dealing with the consequences of our political system and the betrayal of the Democratic Party.”