Monday, November 28, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper

Forward Ever, Backward Never, The Life, Legacy And Value Of Paul Robeson

By Richard B. Muhammad - Editor | Last updated: Nov 23, 2016 - 4:49:54 PM

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NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—The effort to bring Louis Farrakhan to Rutgers University was met with severe opposition: Lies were told about the Nation of Islam minister, false charges were lodged against him and the event organizers, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s chapter on campus, were charged thousands of dollars to try to have the outspoken and beloved leader speak at the university for free.
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Min. Farrakhan spoke Nov. 19 to students at Rutgers University. Photos: Andrea Muhammad


“I don’t charge college students because the greatest gifts of all are you,” said the 83-year-old leader, who has been teaching for some 60 years. Min. Farrakhan called young people “the love of my life” and said he treasured every opportunity to impart knowledge to make their life struggle a little less difficult and to have youth avoid past mistakes made in the battle for Black liberation.

It isn’t that Farrakhan is violent, but true revolution comes through knowledge and which is like bringing light to Black people, he said. It’s also like cockroaches who run when the lights are turned on in an apartment, he said. The audience laughed and applauded.

He denied false charges he was a misogynist. “I’m anti-sup-posed to be everything, but anti-woman? My mother is the greatest woman in my life and I would not be who I am without her. I am married to my wife for 63 years and she really is the wind beneath my wings,” he said. We teach honor, love and respect in particular for Black women but for all women, without you we don’t exist, there is not future for any nation without the honor, elevation and protection of the female, he added.

And, the Minister added, hopefully the professors who have had to so much to say about me are here.
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At left, Abdul Rahim Mahmoud, vice president of the Delta Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, and chapter President Nana Kweku Annoh.
He thanked those who decided his subject would be Paul Robeson, the great Black champion for justice who graduated from Rutgers and was an accomplished scholar, athlete, actor and singer. Mr. Robeson was taught about the value of convictions and standing on what you believe by his father, said Min. Farrakhan.


He spoke of a kinship with Mr. Robeson, calling him a hero.

“You are college students and should never be afraid to hear ideas coming from someone else,” he said. “You are intelligent. … When a college is afraid to have a man like me come on campus and spread all kinds of rumors that make you fear me and want to stone me,” he said. But that same thing was done to Paul Robeson, Prophet Muhammad, Jesus and all wise people who bring light that brings people out of darkness and ends their misuse as tools and slaves of the enemy. Mr. Robeson didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he didn’t use drugs, he pursued excellence, said Min. Farrakhan.

If you are afraid of White people and refuse to stand for truth, you don’t know Mr. Robeson, he said. In the late 1930s and 1940s, he challenged White mistreatment of Blacks and traveled outside of America to Russia and Africa, said the Minister. Mr. Robeson studied scientific socialism but was branded a Communist, persecuted and had his passport taken, he explained.

White theatre owners denied Mr. Robeson the ability to make a living at home and then the U.S. government deprived him of the right to make a living abroad, he said. Mr. Robeson earned a law degree but was unable to use it and was an incredible singer and performer, said Min. Farrakhan.
Mr. Robeson had integrity, which isn’t taught in college, he said. Mr. Robeson developed into a man of high character and the basis of good character is honesty, said Min. Farrakhan.

If you are a college professor you should not be afraid to deal with truth to protect your job, he said.
Growing up Mr. Robeson learned how to appease and not threaten Whites but he was hated by some of them and envied for his gifts and intellect, said Min. Farrakhan.

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“Now that Mr. Trump is in office I think you can feel that something is going down now,” he said. Latinos, Blacks and young Whites who want a different path feel the chilling change and racial animosity in the air, he said.

The current animosity is rooted in a system of White supremacy and domination over Blacks who are the original people of the planet, which was proven by historian Ivan Van Sertima, another Rutgers graduate and scholar. They don’t teach you about Mr. Van Sertima because his research will destroy the lies of western education, the Minister said.

“They don’t want you to know the real truth of who you are,” said Min. Farrakhan. “Right now you are struggling to find yourself so you are everything. Nobody should use any tool to make you into themselves.” But, he said, your natural religion is Islam and Whites made you Christians and did not find it incompatible for Blacks to be Christians and slaves, he said.

The myth of Black inferiority and the lie that Blacks did not have high civilization is part and parcel of higher education and what is taught at Rutgers, he said. Blacks were denied the right to read for 300 years and the libraries of the native peoples in South America were destroyed by Whites, he said.

In addition to a corrupted education rooted in White supremacy, the focus on education is to make money, the Minister said. But Mr. Robeson’s father taught him integrity is more important than amassing wealth, he said.

At the height of his career, earning $100,000 a year, Mr. Robeson decided to speak out against the hurt and pain of Black people, said the Minister. He suffered and his income dropped to just $6,000 a year, he added.

Mr. Robeson was as big as Michael Jackson and was an artist rooted in the culture of his people, early on he only sang songs written by Blacks, Min. Farrakhan said. People think that when you are greatly gifted you will not sacrifice those gifts for something bigger than yourself, he added. But Mr. Robeson didn’t care just as NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn’t care and speaks to the hurt of Black people, he said.

“What price are you willing to pay for the liberation we seek? It’s not going to come easy,” he told the students.

“I am not anti-White, but I am antilies, anti-injustice and anti-those things that make a human being less than what that human being potentially can achieve,” said Min. Farrakhan.

“(Mr. Robeson) was hated because of his love for you. Why are you hated Farrakhan? Because of my love for you. Paul was willing to die to see Black people in a better place, he didn’t learn that at Rutgers,” said the Minister.

Mr. Robeson was called before the House Un-American Affairs Committee, and he confronted them, continued Min. Farrakhan. Asked why didn’t he stay in Russia or Africa, Mr. Robeson responded that America is where he lived, had a right to live, and called the congressmen fascists, he said.
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The men of the Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The Black fraternity organized the Minister’s recent visit and lecture to students on campus. Photo: Andrea Muhammad

So the American government was his enemy yesterday and remains the enemy of the Black community today, warned Min. Farrakhan. They fear the growing Black population, just as it is written of pharaoh in the bible feared the growth of the birth of the children of Israel, he said.


The U.S. government targeted Marcus Garvey, Dr. Martin Luther King, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Black organizations, fearing the rise of a Black messiah who wanted an independent nation for Blacks, he said. They want Farrakhan, the Minister added.

“When he parlayed his cultural genius into a spokesperson for our hurt, they did everything they could to destroy him. Brothers and sister you have a chance to make your life a meaningful life. … Paul Robeson found his purpose in life and he built his life from principles that never die,” the Minister told the students.

Storm Ervin, a graduate student, was impressed by the Minister’s lecture. “It was how he was able to break down White supremacy on college campuses that you’re not going to learn in school. It was fascinating to hear. Because every time I hear about Farrakhan I hear about his relations to the Nation of Islam and the movement at large but for him to make it specific to college campuses and I’m a college activist. So that was really intriguing to me,” she said.

She wore a Black sweatshirt that read “The Liberation Of All African People.” A graduate of the University of Missouri, she was at the school as racial problems erupted on campus last year. Blacks at Mizzo and southern rural schools face blatant White supremacy and see disparity in hiring, she said. “Black students again being called a nigger is common, it’s not uncommon from White students. It’s pretty upsetting. There was a Black student at Mizzo last week who had a gun pulled out on him by a Trump supporter,” she said.

Ms. Irvin was hearing the Minister for the first time. His words about the choices students face were real to her. “About two days ago I had this fight, ‘ok are you going to speak your truth and be real or are you going to play safe—play the respectable Negro in the situation?’ I chose not to. And the reason I chose not to is because it’s a disservice to your people to use your education, which is a privilege in America, to not speak the truth or to not make freedom a real thing for your people. It’s a disservice. Because you are here on the backs of Black slaves, our Black ancestors. So you have to it’s your duty,” said the St. Louis native.

“I can’t say on how he used to be but I do think today he addressed the issue of being misogynistic or women hating and he defended that and said he wasn’t. But I appreciate that, I appreciate him bringing up, ‘well this is how I’m not.’ I think that shows real leadership.… Because sometimes you can be critiqued and say ‘whatever’ and that’s not what he tried to do,” she said.

“Some of the main points that I feel Brother Farrakhan was able to make in his public speech was the call for unity. I think that’s the biggest issue that’s kind of seen today on the campuses and in the community and kind of every aspect. I feel like that’s the main point that we need to make is the call for unity especially being a member of a fraternity,” said Ivan Thompson, a senior from Cumberland, N.J., majoring in human resources and labor studies. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He will be graduating in December.

“We see that there’s so much emphasis on differences between fraternities that at the end of the day we forget that we’re also here for the same cause and from the same population. We’re here to unite the Black population with everybody as a whole in general. And I feel like we’re not actually taking the steps that we need to take in order to empower the community and uplift like we need to be doing.”

Abdul Rahim Mahmoud, a Rutgers student and vice-president of the Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, worked with others since last year to bring the Minister to the school. It was initially estimated $10,000 would be required for security costs for a room limited to 500 people. The final cost may be $5,000. The pressure was so heavy that even the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on campus reportedly gave a $700 donation but didn’t have its name on the event flier. The Minister chided the center, saying Mr. Robeson was no coward and a center that carries his name should reflect his strength.

The Minister spoke as Rutgers celebrated its 250th anniversary and a report detailed the school’s connection to slavery from its earliest days. There had also been anti- Trump protests by students.
A very deceptive structure uses people after they are dead and that was not going to be allowed to happen with Paul Robeson who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha at Rutgers, said Brother Mahmoud. There have been racial issues on campus since the Trump election and it is often difficult for Black students to graduate, added Brother Mahmoud, who is also a member of Mosque No. 25.

Black students are disrespected, he said. “I would want the Black student body and the Rutgers student body as a whole to actually revolutionary think and revolutionize their train of thought. And actually question and evaluate, if you just take something because a professor said it, that doesn’t make it valid. But actually investigate and get to know a man or woman before they judge that person’s character,” he said. When they lied on the Minister, it was war, said Brother Mahmoud.
For more information or to assist the Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity contact deltaiota1906@ gmail.com.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper

    One Unchangeable Position: Making America White Again

    By Final Call News | Last updated: Nov 15, 2016 - 11:06:40 AM

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    After a stunning and historic political upset, President-elect Donald Trump is moving forward to lead the nation. With his first televised interview and some subdued communication with President Barack Obama, the new chairman of America, Inc. is sounding a little different from the bombastic man who thrashed his way to the White House.

    The Trump victory, earned by winning 290 electoral votes while losing the popular vote, has seen the president-elect and some surrogates pulling back from some signature campaign themes and promises. Among the pullbacks or detours are eviscerating Obamacare—the war cry of the GOP and Mr. Trump. Such language has been replaced by talk of fixes à la Hillary Clinton as opposed to destroying it. Second, building that wall on the border with Mexico and having Mexico pay for it. Not so fast, the president-elect told 60 Minutes, agreeing the wall could be a fence in some places. The first priority would be securing the borders, then looking at building the wall itself, said the president-elect. Newt Gingrich, a GOP Trump backer, said, “He’ll spend a lot of time controlling the border. He may not spend very much time trying to get Mexico to pay for it, but it was a great campaign device.”

    Trump backer Rudy Giuliani told the media the wall will be built because Mr. Trump promised but other things, like tax reform and jobs creation, would take priority in the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

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    What about that special prosecutor to examine possible misdeeds by Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton? Mr. Trump told 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl, in his first TV interview, that he didn’t want to hurt the Clintons. And, he said, there were bigger fish to fry—notably the economy, simplifying taxes, immigration, health care and overall making America great again. He did promise to deport two million to three million undocumented immigrants who were criminals.

    Mr. Trump paid more respect to Mr. Obama, whose U.S. citizenship he challenged as leader of the birther movement, following a White House visit than some supporters may have expected.

    He vowed to phase out the use of lobbyists, when asked about lobbyists on his transition team, which was a little different from his signature “drain the swamp” refrain—a promise to get money and influence peddling out of U.S. politics.

    Some argued mainstream media had taken Mr. Trump literally while his followers were more pragmatic and believed he would deliver on his promises to make change—even if it didn’t start right away. Others argued the Trump moves were a natural part of going from campaigning to actually governing, which could take a little more nuance, patience and negotiation.

    There may be some truth to all of the analysis, but there is one plank in the Trump platform and campaign playbook that cannot be denied or softened: The embrace of Whiteness and the fears and concerns of disaffected Whites.

    Mr. Trump looked into a 60 Minutes camera and called for an end to any racial assault and hatred coming out of the divisive campaign. But what he didn’t do was admit the deep fear that exists and how divided the country is across racial and other lines. In the 60 Minutes interview he denied hearing much about the anti-Trump protests, post-election violence and racist acts targeting non-Whites across the country. He again placed part of the blame for demonstrations on professional protestors paid to make him look bad.

    Trump surrogates echoed that same script. They were unwilling to acknowledge how Mr. Trump’s rhetoric against immigrants, against Mexicans, against Muslims, promises to pay legal expenses for anyone knocking out a protestor at one rally, misogynistic comments and charges of sexual assaults had helped push the country to the edge.

    But such rhetoric freed the Whites who gave him victories, by small margins in the battleground states, and ushered him into the White House.

    His biggest nod to White victimology and White suffering was the appointment of Steve Bannon, who served as an important campaign aide and anti-GOP establishment voice, as his chief strategist. Mr. Bannon’s appointment was announced alongside the naming of his new chief of staff, former Republican National Committee Chair Reince Preibus.

    The Washington Post reported “Bannon and Breitbart were credited with honing Trump’s message against globalism, and unleashing his say-anything approach to talking about terror and immigrant crime.”

    The New York Times noted “a chorus of critics took to Twitter to lament what they said was a frightening normalization of the fringe views that Mr. Bannon promoted as the chairman of Breitbart News. The site has for years given voice to anti-Semitic, racist and white nationalist ideology.

    “The Council on American-Islamic Relations said Mr. Bannon’s selection ‘sends the disturbing message that anti-Muslim conspiracy theories and white nationalist ideology will be welcome in the White House.’ ”

    “The racist, fascist extreme right is represented footsteps from the Oval Office,” said John Weaver, a Republican strategist who ran the presidential campaign of Gov. John R. Kasich of Ohio and previously advised Senator John McCain of Arizona, in the Times piece. “Be very vigilant, America.”

    Ana Navarro, a Republican strategist and anti-Trump voiced, tweeted: “Oh, hell! White supremacist, anti gay, anti Semite, vindictive, scary-ass dude named Senior Strategist. After vomiting, be afraid, America.”

    “The appointment of Steve Bannon to a senior position within the White House does very little in the interest of healing our country following months of contentious campaign rhetoric from President-elect Trump. Bannon’s appointment is a cold slap in the face to those of us who are working to mend race relations in America, and it further divides our country along the lines of hate and bigotry,” said Congressional Black Caucus Chairman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.).

    “President-elect Trump must work to bring us together and his appointment of Steve Bannon sends an alarming signal that he remains loyal to the animosity and hatred that was the core of his campaign.”

    The other issues are negotiable and there is room to change and morph. What Mr. Trump cannot afford to do is to alienate or deny the White malaise that swept him into office. They want one thing: Make America White again. Then, they believe, everything else will fall into place.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper


The quiet aftermath of carnage in Charleston
By Richard B. Muhammad and Brian E. Muhammad -Final Call Staffers- | Last updated: Nov 9, 2016 - 12:30:38 PM

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Frame from video seconds before Mr. Scott’s death. Photos: MGN Online

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Michael Thomas Slager, North Charleston police offi cer who shot and killed the unarmed Walter Scott.

CHARLESTON, S.C. —An overcast Friday afternoon closed the first week of the trial of former officer Michael Slager, who is accused of murdering an unarmed Black man. The death was captured on videotape.


The opening week included tearful testimony from the mother of Walter Scott, whose unsuccessful run for his life was captured by Feidin Santana, who happened to be late for work that fateful day in 2015.
                    
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Walter Scott

“Murder is murder, I don’t care what uniform you are wearing,” said a Caucasian woman crossing at the intersection of Broad St. and Meeting St. She was speaking into a cell phone and commenting on the Slager trial.

To her back was the courthouse where Mr. Slager was facing potential justice and tucked in a courtyard were journalists covering the trial. Their TV trucks lined up along Meeting St.

The Scott trial opening coincided with plans for the trial of accused mass murderer Dylann Roof, who authorities say shot down nine Blacks after Bible study at Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston trying to start a race war.

Despite defense lawyers’ objections, the jury, composed of 11 Whites and one Black male, watched the videotape of 50-year-old Scott running away as Off. Slager fired his weapon.

Mr. Scott scuffles with the officer, then turns and runs. Shot in the back, his body collapses on the ground.

“For some reason I decided to use my phone to record and prevent something that might happen,” Mr. Santana told jurors.

What should have been a simple traffic stop over a broken tail light ended up in a horrifying encounter witnessed by horrified viewers over the internet and on television. The friend who was in the car with Mr. Scott testified that his friend was murdered.


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eidin Santana, witness who took video of Michael Thomas Slager and Walter Scott confrontation and shooting.
Defense lawyers tried to argue the video was part of a life and death struggle between the two men. It was hard to accept that with bullets pumped into a man who was running away.


Mr. Santana testified that he never saw the victim with the Taser nor on top of Off. Slager who was fired after the incident. The family of Mr. Scott also received a $6.5 million settlement from the city of North Charleston, where the shooting took place.

Mr. Santana, who is bi-racial and a permanent U. S. resident, was fearful for his life and of police which led him to initially hold the videotape. When it went public, the images were explosive, released to the media by Scott family lawyers contacted by Mr. Santana.

Defense attorney Andy Savage questioned Mr. Santana, raising questions about a song against police brutality he wrote. “I’m not against any law enforcement, any officer,” Mr. Santana replied. “I am against police brutality.”

Past and current officers who testified the first week and Nov. 7 as the trial began its second week were generally supportive of their former colleague. One saying Mr. Slager was not a hot head and one insisting Mr. Slager had been in a fight.

But two officers were forced to admit the account of what happened given by Mr. Scott did not mesh with the damning videotape.

One officer said he tried to perform CPR on Mr. Scott who was handcuffed, laying facedown and suffering from bullet wounds. Mr. Scott did not respond to efforts to revive him, the officer said.
Both officers testified that when they got to the scene, Mr. Slager told them he and Mr. Scott had wrestled and that Mr. Scott got control of Mr. Slager’s Taser. The 34-year-old faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.

Judy Scott, who testified in the first week, broke down. Her anguished cries could be heard as the trial was livestreamed on the internet. She testified that her son called her during the traffic stop, saying he was Tasered and she heard his moans. Solicitor Scarlett Wilson, the lead prosecutor in the case, questioned the hurting mother. The prosecutor argued the ex-cop was intentional in his murder of Mr. Scott and tried to cover up the crime by dropping his Taser next to the man’s body.


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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks Nov. 5 in North Charleston, S.C. Photo: Andrea Muhammad
“Justice is the only principle that will cause Charleston to be favored by God. The policeman that shot Walter Scott has a jury of 11 Whites and one Black. If justice does not come for this family and if justice does not come for the nine that perished from the pistol of Dylann Roof, let me tell you what Charleston will soon face,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in an important statement. It was issued Nov. 7 over social media, just two days after a highly successful major speech in North Charleston, hosted by the “magnificent pastor” Isaac Holt, Jr.


The Minister recounted how for nearly two years his efforts to come to Charleston and pay his respects to the families of the Emanuel 9—but every effort was blocked. The North Charleston police officer who killed Mr. Scott fired eight shots, striking the unarmed man five times, the Minister noted. That officer is on trial now and the trial of the Emanuel 9 killer, according to authorities, will soon follow, the Minister observed.

A biblical scripture in the chapter Isiah, says justice stands afar off and equity cannot enter because truth has fallen in the streets, said the Minister.

“Whenever truth is spoken, justice in accord with truth must follow if there is going to be peace. But if justice does not come when truth is spoken, that the truth now falls in the street and justice stands afar off and equity cannot enter, then it’s a sign that the forces of falsehood are so strong, so wicked that they will not bow to the majesty of truth to bring about justice and eat the fruit of peace,” he said.


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Dylann Roof at his bond hearing in Charleston South Carolina June 19, 2015. Photo: MGN Online
“So these forces of falsehood if justice does not come, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said they have to be removed physically and that is why God enters that picture. Since he gives you a chance to do justice, then vengeance is his and he will exact a terrible punishment to prove to those who have power to lie, to cheat, to steal, to kill and think that they get away with it. God is on the side of the weak, the oppressed. God is never in favor of the tyrant. And fighting against tyranny really is obedience to God,” said Min. Farrakhan.


“So God will have his way no matter what the jury does. But if they are wicked enough to deny these families justice, then God will answer and I fear the terrible nature of his chastisement. Be warned.”
The Slager jury consists of six White men, five White women and one Black man.

The local NAACP and the National Action Network affiliate have complained about the racial makeup of the jury. Scott family lawyers have said they are unconcerned about the jury’s racial makeup as it just takes two eyes and ears to see Mr. Slager’s guilt and hold him accountable.

“Overall I am frustrated. I am sickened,” said Thomas Dixon, a Charleston community leader and U.S. Senate candidate. He lambasted those in the established power structure and political leaders, complaining about a lack of will to use their influence and power.

“Those who have the power to put legislation forth that possibly could have … have done nothing,” he said. In this instance, Mr. Dixon was referring to the Emanuel Church massacre. He blamed Senate Republicans and the South Carolina state legislature for blocking “sensible gun control” laws. But, he noted, when tragedy strikes these politicians hypocritically tweet prayers, but fail to change policy.

“Don’t come talking about we praying for you after the fact—that’s hypocritical—just say we don’t care nothing about you because we did nothing to stop this from happening out in the front,” Mr. Dixon said.

“I have a problem with these folks who like to pat themselves on the back and when they have sound bites or photo ops, all of a sudden they want to bring up Mother Emanuel. That sickens me.”
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The trial of ex-cop Michael Slager is underway in downtown Charleston SC. Photos: Richard B Muhammad

Some residents, like Micki Zalatimo and Danielle Jackson, are watching as things unfold with the Slager trial. “We need something or someone to give us hope that this is going to turn out right,” said Ms. Zalatmo. Ms. Jackson, a lifelong resident of Charleston, added, “We’re so stuck on our old ways and our old ways haven’t brought upon change. We need somebody to stir up the fire, stir up the pot to get us riled up.”

Others say Black leaders should beware of capitulating to the White power structure while Blacks and the poor in Charleston, North Charleston and the state suffer. Some leaders quickly offered forgiveness for Mr. Roof before he asked for it or expressed regret for his alleged crime. Some spoke of reconciliation and healing but said little about the law of justice.

“The masses are not going to listen to the buffer or the sellout leadership anymore, they have lost their power … God has silenced their voices,” stated Student Minister DeAndre Muhammad of the Nation of Islam group in Charleston.

There is another power that’s controlling the masses that neither the misleaders nor the enemy can control, he said. Among the grassroots and leadership, there are those watching these two cases and their outcome, the Muslim student minister continued. They have already imbalanced the jury in the Slager trial by having 11 Whites with one Black juror, he added.

“There is no trust in this justice system because of the years of lies and disrespect and injustice that we have received,” said Student Minister Muhammad. “They don’t want to play with the aspirations of the people for justice because the God of Justice will answer. Allah Himself and the forces of nature is set and ready and the anger of the masses of the people is going to be ignited based on injustice and that is only right.” As the Slager trial and the Roof trial go forward, it will be seen if the quiet Friday afternoon was a sign of disconnection, complacency or reconciliation—or a ticking racial time bomb ready to ignite at the proper time.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

  


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper

America - A House divided against itself
By Charlene Muhammad, Brian Muhammad, J.A. Salaam -Final Call Staffers- | Last updated: Oct 27, 2016 - 11:25:22 AM

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‘Ugly days ahead,’ regardless of winner of 2016 presidential election
America is on the brink of destruction if the vitriol between candidates in the November national election continues.

Political analysts warn the tug of war between Donald Trump, the Republican Party candidate, and Hillary Clinton the Democratic Party standard bearer, is pointing to a critical crossroad for the United States, like times leading up to the Civil War.

“I feel like we’re in this moment that is comparable perhaps in some ways rhetorically to 1859, 1860, and even though I think that, I hope that cooler heads will prevail,” said Tim Wise, anti-racism activist and author. 

“I wouldn’t put all my money on that, and I certainly think we need to be ready for some pretty ugly days ahead, regardless of what happens on Nov. 8,” Mr. Wise told The Final Call.

Divided politics, divided country
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Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks on Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and Presidential Election. https://www.noi.org/webcast1030
The hostile political climate is shaping up to similar tensions in the 1800s rooted in national division along ideological lines. The Civil War is a central event in American history fought primarily over the question of slavery.

    Today the country is divided against itself at another critical juncture, which Dr. Wilmer Leon, host of “Inside the Issues” heard on Sirius-XM Radio, agrees is like a new civil war.

    “The fear amongst predominately high school educated, White males is that the White privilege that they were told they were entitled to is no longer a privilege,” said Dr. Leon. “These are the White people that the real White people left behind,” he said.

    Dr. Leon sees the animosity as a carryover of barefaced racism and proverbial shock of the hour over the 2008 election of President Barack Obama.

    In the closing days of Mr. Obama’s presidency with the rough and tumble campaign to replace him, concerns from the White demographic are prominent in political discourse, but included in the national conversation are voices of Whites that have been called the fringe element on the right.  The racial dynamic of having a Black president the last eight years has pushed these voices to the front. 

    Those voices include segments of White America, which now comprise the Trump machine, and who have figured out that they are unlikely of winning elections, at least at the national level by normal democratic means, said Mr. Wise.  Except for a few Whites, most people aren’t into the “alt-right,” he said.

    His fear has always been that segment would look around and say what many are saying right now: “If Hillary Clinton wins, it’s time for revolution. It’s time for armed struggle. It’s time for assassination.”

    Mr. Trump stated during the Oct. 19 presidential debate that he would keep America in suspense when asked whether he would accept the outcome of the 2016 election. The next day he said he’d accept the outcome if he wins.

    His remarks came days after he told supporters Ms. Clinton wants to destroy their Second Amendment right, the right to bear arms, and that it “would be very dangerous” if her bodyguards’ guns were taken away.
                        
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    Observers say Blacks vote overwhelmingly Democratic, despite no significant change in government policies since the civil rights acts of the 1960s. Photos: MGN Online

    Mr. Wise hopes it’s all talk, and doesn’t believe it’s most of Mr. Trump’s supporters.  But even if it’s 10 percent, that means about 40 million votes, 10 percent who are “locked, loaded, and dangerous,” he said.

    They are committed to the notion that somehow their country is being stolen by people of color, by Muslims, by liberals, by feminists, by gays and lesbians, the cabal of global bankers or whatever it is that Mr. Trump is saying, Mr. Wise added. He is also Caucasian.

    Racial animus and armed revolution?
    Income stagnation and census projects Whites will be an American minority by 2047, which has given rise to scapegoating Blacks and Latinos.

    Many Whites believe under President Obama, resources were wasted on “lazy, shiftless” minorities, Dr. Leon said.  Their disdain manifested in an increase of gun sales, hate groups and extrajudicial police killings of Blacks, he said.

    Experts say White anti-government “patriot” groups reached an unprecedented 1,360 organizations in 2012, and hard core hate groups have risen to more than 1,000.

    Dr. Leon stated, “It’s a class issue driven by race.” Whites would choose war between themselves or against the government before being the underdog, he predicted. Whites feel victimized, marginalized and in a state of decline after centuries of rule and enjoying a privileged position. 
                        
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    President Barack Obama

    Some analysts also surmise that some Whites are in a precarious situation, fighting for their place in a changing America.  Their struggle is returning to a time when White supremacy ruled unchallenged. Their discontent is grown more malicious and extreme.

    Boiled down into one phrase, the history of America is the history of rich, White men telling working class and lower middle class poor White people that their problems are Brown folks, Mr. Wise said.

    ‘Race realism’
    “I think in general terms, White people are not treated fairly,” said Henry Wolff, assistant editor of the online “American Renaissance Magazine” dedicated to White nationalism. “White men especially are the kind of one group that you are allowed to disparage,” he told The Final Call.

    Mr. Wolff advocates “race realism” and lifting the subject of “White identity” among White people. He argues Whites are resistant to talking openly and honestly about the issue. 

    Mr. Trump resonates with White nationalists and extremists and is regarded as a last hope.
    There is apprehension about how far Mr. Trump and his supporters would go to gain power if defeated. Trailing and upsetting the Republican establishment, with no indicators show him conceding anything, Mr. Trump has already created a kind of political crisis.

    A choice between two evils
    The Republican Party surely will squash Mr. Trump once he loses the election, predicted Yoele Haile, political director of the Afrikan Black Coalition, a collective of Black Student Unions throughout California.

    “At some point, I believe they’re going to employ their law and order tactic against their own and put him down, because what he’s doing so far is detrimental to their agenda, because he is exposing all the things they say and do in private,” Mr. Haile told The Final Call.

    As Blacks are concerned, this is a White affair, and the more they fight and weaken each other, the stronger the chance Blacks have at dealing with Whites Mr. Haile said.

    Both candidate’s lack of popularity have increased attention and support for third political parties in the race for presidency, such as the Green Party, which Mr. Haile said he wished would focus on local rather than presidential elections. The latter is so rigged, it’s almost impossible to do anything, he stated. 
                        
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    “In places like California where I think there is an opportunity to go the grassroots level and take over the school boards, city councils, and county supervisor positions, and some district state assembly seats, I think if the Green Party’s serious, that’s where it needs to turn its attention to,” Mr. Haile said.

    On the presidential level, the best they could hope for is an alternative discussion, but not material impact on people’s lives, he argued.

    Millennials, considered a driving force in these elections, know Mr. Trump is a fascist, and Ms. Clinton’s a war monger, he said.  She’s maybe an inch better than Mr. Trump, but it’s no change to the system, he said.

    The Afrikan Black Collective is focusing on ballot measures it believes will have immediate impact, such as the death penalty, sentencing, and parole eligibility. 

    “In terms of the national presidential elections, it’s just a lost cause for us,” said Mr. Haile.
    “Here we are now at the time of one of the most fateful elections in the history of America,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during his Oct. 16 keynote speech for the 21st anniversary of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement in Atlanta. 

    “In this political season, we have two people:  Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.  Mr. Trump calls Hillary ‘Crooked Hillary,’ and then from the other side, he is called ‘Lying Trump,’ ” Min. Farrakhan said.

    The Muslim leader spoke to the divisive presidential campaign and upheaval as the American people are asked to choose between “liars” and the lesser of two evils. However, the Black, Brown, Red and many poor Whites are in the middle, and their conditions remain the same, regardless of which party that wins elections, he said.

    Minister Farrakhan advocates the position of his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam, who called for separation and advised to “vote for Allah (God) to be your ruler and come follow me.”

    “If I have to vote for Satan or Lucifer, I don’t have much of a choice there.  I would rather vote for Christ,” Minister Farrakhan said. 

    It is going to be rough, regardless of who wins, said Opio Sokoni, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based activist and professor. 

    Mr. Trump is employing tactics used by some international strong men, where he’s setting things up since he’s figured he won’t win the election, he said.

    Alleging the election is rigged, getting people riled up, threatening violence, are all things which ultimately tear smaller countries apart, Dr. Sokoni pointed out.

    “He’s doing that, but because the elections here are a bit decentralized, it’s kind of hard to do some major rigging of elections,” Dr. Sokoni stated.

    “It’s all interesting stuff, but when you have somebody like a Donald Trump, it’s interesting because he’s basically breaking his party up. It could make his party better, greater, or even worse,” said the Florida-based analyst. 

    America can find peace, but a concerted effort on all parts is required, said Helen Butler, executive director of the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda, and convener of the Georgia Black Women’s Roundtable and Board of Elections.

    That would require a state-by-state, community by community strategy, she said.

    “The thing is, a lot of people are talking about dead people. Dead people are not voting,” Ms. Butler said. The voters rolls are purged, and there’s no way for many dead people to be on the rolls, unless somebody died 90 days before the elections and would still be on the list, she explained.

    Use paper ballots, not provisional ballots or machines, to allay the fears of those concerned about fraud, she suggested.

    Distrust in failed politics
    The current racial climate in America is no different than it has always been, said Bob Law, legendary radio broadcaster, and national political activist.

    Mr. Trump is uncovering more of the animus, he told The Final Call.  “People are saying the country is polarized, but not with racism, but that’s not true. It’s the racism that’s making it polarized,” Mr. Law said. Black or White, elected officials have failed to serve the people, he said.

    “Blacks in office is just symbolism, because they don’t offer policy change and empowerment for Blacks. Many of our people don’t participate in the political process, because they have not ever got anything from it, and, they have little trust in politicians because they have performed poorly to the people who needed them the most,” continued Mr. Law.

    It’s time for Blacks to step back into the forefront of struggle, he said.  “We might not see justice in our life time, but we are willing to continue to fight for it?” Mr. Law asked.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Real jail time for fake drug crimes

BY STARLA MUHAMMAD -MANAGING EDITOR- | LAST UPDATED: OCT 4, 2016 - 1:18:15 PM

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Report, activists slam feds for targeting Blacks, Latinos in sting operations
CHICAGO—A research report accusing the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives of plotting drug stash house sting operations that targeted dozens of Black and Latino males for arrest and prosecution is evoking outrage from social justice advocates and attorneys.

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Young men were recruited by ATF informants and agents and convinced to rob drug houses hoping to reap rich financial rewards. The drug houses never actually existed and neither did the drugs. But being ensnared in the federal scheme meant heavy prison time because of laws that exact harsher punishments for drug crimes—even if the crimes are fake crimes.

Sometimes “robbers” had to be given guns by ATF to carry out the fake crimes, or were almost coerced into the robberies—as in the case of a young man who was threatened by an ATF informant with gang retaliation if he didn’t pay back a loan given for a car. The payback was to participate in a drug house robbery. Those ensnared by the ATF often had records as small time drug dealers but not for violent crime.

“This is disturbing and provides further evidence of the racial inequities in our criminal justice system—inequities that must be addressed,” said Ed Yohnka of the Illinois branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Even on the watch of a Black president and Black attorney generals, the ATF’s misdeeds prove historical inequities still exist in U.S. law enforcement and in the criminal justice system, said critics.

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The comprehensive report, authored by Professor Jeffrey Fagan, was the basis of motions to dismiss charges filed in three federal criminal drug and weapons cases in late September by attorneys with the Federal Criminal Justice Clinic.

The clinic represents poor and low income defendants charged in federal crimes and is affiliated with the University of Chicago Law School. Attorneys plan to file motions in seven more cases over the next several weeks.

The ATF intentionally discriminated in drug stings by targeting Blacks and Latinos and violated their constitutional rights, said the clinic. Sting targets were arrested and charged with felony drug crimes. While some of the men arrested had prior criminal histories others had little or no criminal record.
Of 24 cases involving 94 individuals charged between 2006-2013 in Chicago, the overwhelming majority were Black and Latino. Between 2011-2013 the ATF engaged in nearly exclusive recruitment of non-White persons in these operations, noted Prof. Fagan’s report.

“From 2011-2013, the selection of only one White defendant among the 57 Stash House defendants recruited in that period suggests that Black and Hispanic persons were targeted for selection by the ATF,” the report continued.

Of 94 sting targets, eight were White, 12 Latino and 74 Black. Mr. Fagan, a professor of law at Columbia Law School and professor of epidemiology at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and senior research scholar at Yale Law School, was also instrumental in compiling data from the controversial Stop and Frisk police policy in New York that targeted Blacks and Latinos and was deemed unconstitutional. 

A long history of nefarious law enforcement conduct?
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The ATF is the U.S Department of Justice agency responsible for enforcing firearms, explosives and tobacco laws and regulations and protecting communities from violent criminals and criminal organizations.

“This has been going on for ages, this type of behavior. I was a former Los Angeles police officer. I worked narcotics, I worked with the ATF. These things have been going on for the longest, this isn’t anything new under the sun,” said Alex Salazar, now an activist with the National Association of Law Enforcement Officers for Justice, Accountability and Reform.

As more people become empowered, more problems within policing and criminal justice will be exposed, he said.

What made the tactics all the more nefarious was that ATF agents often lied to lure suspects, said activists and lawyers.

“The ATF’s Stash House Operation is a wholly fictitious crime that is created, managed, and orchestrated by the ATF for the ostensible purpose of identifying persons and infiltrating groups that ... focus their criminal activities on executing robberies, by means of force, for personal gain,” attorneys argued in court documents.

The ATF ignored controls that were supposed to be used in stash house stings, said Chicago lawyers. Each of the 24 cases reviewed included use of the same or similar tactics. But the cases did not comply with ATF internal guidelines for identifying criminals prone to commit violent crimes—and therefore legitimate targets for drug stings.

“In this district, the program swept up not the ‘worst of the worst,’ but enormous numbers of poor and vulnerable Black people and other people of color,” court documents noted.

These drug cases are especially difficult to win because they are fought at the federal level, said Chicago-based attorney Standish Willis.  

“I think I’ve had three of these (cases) in the last 10 or 12 years and all the guys went to prison because it was hard to beat them because they were set up by the ATF—and we raised the issue of race. I raised it with various judges but it didn’t go any place because we couldn’t prove it,” said Atty. Willis.

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“If I did three cases and all of my defendants were Black then it doesn’t look right. And it was set-up, it wasn’t a drug case,” said the Black lawyer. “It was just a robbery but it ends up being a drug case. Nobody had any drugs except the government agent who was saying they had drugs … but (sting targets) still end up getting hit with a drug offense.”
“It just didn’t seem like it was something that the government should be doing since people weren’t really doing anything,” said Atty. Willis.

War on Drugs, war on Blacks and Latinos?
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Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) officers inspect the grounds of an apartment building after tear gas was used during a raid in South Los Angeles, April 12, 2007. A two-year probe of the violent South Los Angeles street gang, the Neighborhood Crips, ended with 22 arrests, including one that involved tear gas, a neighborhood evacuation and the seizure of drugs and guns. Photo: AP/Wide Worl photos
According to the Sentencing Project, half of those incarcerated in U.S. federal prisons are locked up for drug offenses. “Most of these people are not high-level actors in the drug trade, and most have no prior criminal record for a violent offense,” the group notes.

In 2014 there were 488,400 people in U.S. prisons and jails for drug offenses, a ten-fold increase from 40,900 in 1980 after harsher sentencing penalties were instituted under the Reagan administration’s War on Drugs.

In 1986, people released after serving time for a federal drug crime had spent an average of 22 months in prison. By 2004, sentences had increased three times that length to over five years, 62 months in prison.

When drug prosecutions were taken from individual local law enforcement agencies and given to the federal government, a change took place, said Atty. Willis.

“During the mid-80’s even earlier we as lawyers begin to see, in particular activist lawyers, begin to see there was something going on in the community and it was unusual. We didn’t know how broad it was,” he explained. Lawyers began noticing the increased penalties for drug crimes.

“We’re talking about wars against drugs, wars against crimes, wars against gangs. And this became the rhetoric and it was pretty clear that they were talking about wars against Black youth.  Still we couldn’t put it all together but it was pretty clear that something is going on. And it was not just happening in Chicago,” he said. 

ATF tactics have been called into question in similar cases nationwide under what the agency called “Operation Gideon,” which launched in Phoenix, Ariz. in March, 2009. According to a Sept. 22, 2009 press release from the ATF, “the pilot project involved the deployment of some of ATF’s most experienced undercover operatives to team with local agents and police investigators by conducting sting investigations involving violent home invasion crews.”

The operation was shut down after 120 days in Phoenix. But other versions of Operation Gideon were attempted.
In 2014 California’s 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied a hearing that could have allowed a lower court to overturn long prison sentences for four defendants convicted in some of the “more bogus” drug stash house stings.   

“Dissenting judges argued that the practice of enticing poor young men into robbing stash houses raised questions not only of fair play, but also of constitutionality. The dissenters were particularly concerned that federal agents targeted primarily minority neighborhoods filled with desperate, unemployed young men tempted by the lure of fast cash,” wrote Clarence Walker in an article, “ATF’s Operation Gideon Raises Questions of Fairness, Justice, and Race,” posted on stopthedrugwar.org.

The sting tactics are part of a mass incarceration campaign to imprison Blacks, said Atty. Willis.

“That’s what the mass incarceration has been about. They don’t have one way to do it they have several—many ways to do it. Drugs seem to be the key element in doing it because drugs in the federal court gives you more (prison) time than anything you can do in a federal court.” 

The ATF has a stereotypical perception that Black communities are crime-filled, crime-oriented and crime-related, said Atty. Lew Meyers, Jr.

In order to fulfill their mission to regulate and control guns in Chicago, the agency feels it must come to the Black community, which is extremely prejudicial and racist, said Atty. Meyers, who is also a professor of criminal justice at Chicago State University. 

Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan has warned for decades of the U.S. government’s very real conspiracy to incarcerate Black youth. There is no real “war on drugs,” the Muslim leader has pointed out.  

“This is purposely done, because prison, now, is ‘big business.’ You know, the prison industrial complex is now on the stock market, and the privatizing of the prison industry is going on as we speak. Therefore, just as people don’t build hotels if you don’t expect occupancy, people don’t build prisons unless you expect people to fill those prisons,” the Minister has often warned.

The Fagan report only amplifies what lawyers have always known, said Atty. Meyers, who questioned the number of Black agents that work for ATF.

“You’re going to find that the great majority of those agents, including in the Chicago field office are White. You might also find that the great majority of those agents in the country who are involved in the targeting process and who are involved in the racist policy of the ATF that involves the targeting of the Black community, those people are White,” added Atty. Meyers.

He could only recall only one or two times in the last 20 years where he has seen a chief ATF agent that was Black. But even in those rare instances, the chief ATF policymakers are White and call the shots, he noted.

On Sept. 24, federal prosecutors in Chicago dropped several drug conspiracy charges against 27 defendants with no explanation. There is strong suspicion the decision was connected to findings outlined in Prof. Fagan’s report. Prosecutors didn’t want to be drawn into controversy or be forced to justify any suspect investigations or convictions. Weapons and other charges against the defendants were not dropped.

The Final Call contacted the ATF Chicago field office and received no response. Calls to the ATF headquarters in Washington, D.C., were met with a terse reply: ATF does not and would not comment on ongoing cases, contact the U.S. Attorney’s office. The Final Call called the office of U.S. Attorney for Illinois Zachary Fardon, left a message but received no response.

A spokesman from the ATF’s Chicago field office was quoted as denying discrimination accusations. “We don’t see race or ethnicity when we are conducting a criminal investigation,” Thomas Ahern, a spokesman for the Chicago ATF told the Chicago Tribune. “We are not planting that seed,” he said.

The ATF’s denial that race is a factor in the numbers of Blacks and Latinos arrested “borders on the ludicrous,” said Atty. Meyers. The statistics in the report defy that logic, he added.

What comes next?
Atty. Willis believes it will be up to attorneys with current clients indicted under drug stings to determine how to handle allegations of bias raised by the report. Many judges will probably “put things on hold to see how this is going to play out,” he predicted. “The next step will very likely be filing motions to dismiss these indictments and we’ll see what happens.”

U.S. courts, especially at the appellate level do not like and usually will not entertain overturning such cases, Atty. Willis noted. “So we said that if we’re going into the courts and if it gets up on appeal, we have to have very solid statistical basis, otherwise they’ll probably just throw it out.  But if we have very solid statistical basis, especially with this guy (Prof. Fagan) who we hired, then it will be more difficult for them to throw it out. And if they throw it out then we will go to the Supreme Court,” said Atty. Willis.

He believes judges in some pending cases will grant new trials. U.S. attorneys can appeal that decision but the appellate court is likely to be cautious, he said. “They know the next step will be taking it to the Supreme Court and we’ll have a much better chance in the Supreme Court because it’s a national issue now,” he argued.

Asked if other law enforcement agencies are employing similar tactics, Mr. Salazar said it is “very highly probable.”
The government would love to have you believe these are isolated incidents, but unfortunately they are not, he added.
Mr. Salazar said the head of the ATF, Deputy Director Thomas E. Brandon, should be fired and U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has to answer some tough and serious questions. “This is madness here, I mean this falls directly under that jurisdiction of Loretta Lynch who oversees all of the DOJ’s operations whether it be DEA, FBI, ATF, Homeland Security. She ultimately oversees everything.”

Atty. Meyers agreed. Attorney General Lynch and Jeh Johnson, head of Homeland Security, must intervene and assess what is happening.

While he hopes there will be significant changes after this latest report, Mr. Salazar is not overly optimistic. “Until the log is removed out of their eyes and it’s made very glaring like with this report, they usually don’t do anything and before, that’s exactly what it’s been. The world has known that this type of behavior happens,” said Mr. Salazar. 

It is ironic that much of the ATF action occurred under President Obama’s watch, said Atty. Meyers. “Eight years later, we’re still being confronted by systemic problems of racism in the criminal justice process and, in general, agencies involved in the criminal justice process. I’m not so sure that that might not be a drag on whatever good will that our president leaves office with in 2017,” he said.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper

State Of Emergency - Black skins, White minds and false promises

By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Sep 20, 2016 - 6:09:26 PM

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What's your opinion on this article?
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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan speaks Sept. 18 at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C. Photos: Mark 6X

Farrakhan warns against evil political choices in 2016 and the consequences of practicing White America’s demonic ways

WASHINGTON—There are two “very evil people” who are the main contenders for the U.S. presidency, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan warned guests attending the Union Temple Baptist Church annual Men’s Day.

The Rev. Willie Wilson, pastor of Union Temple Baptist Church, and Min. Farrakhan’s “brother and companion in struggle” issued a “call to action” in response to a “state of emergency” for men’s day this year, and, as he’s done for more than 39 years, the Muslim leader answered the call.
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Audience applauds message delivered at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C.

“The despised, the rejected, the lost that needs to be found; the unloved, the unwanted, the unsaved that need to be saved,” are among the souls to be redeemed, Min. Farrakhan said. “That which was called the irredeemable, needs their redeemer; that which was considered hopeless and lost and beyond ability to save, must be serviced today in the name of Him who is Savior; Who is Redeemer, Who is The Finder of that which was lost.

“He said ‘I didn’t come to judge you, I came to save you from your sins,’ ” said the Muslim leader. “But then, my teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said, ‘not saving you from your sins, but saving you from the sins of White people that you have learned by your sojourn among them for 460 years.’ “You never were in Africa, what you have become today. Never. Never. You’re not yourself.                     
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Thomas Muhammad, left, and Doug E Fresh at Union Temple Baptist Church. Photo: Mark 6X

You’re a White person in Black skin,” and therein is the critical choice facing Black people Min. Farrakhan explained in his Sept. 18 address. “That’s why it’s so easy for you to kill your brother, lie on your sister, rape your daughter.

“It’s easy for you to do those foul things to yourself and one another, because the enemy has made us unto himself. You’re not yourself. You’re the product. You should have it in your coat, on your lapel, ‘Made in America.’                     
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Men line up to hear a special message from the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered Sept. 18 in Washington, D.C. Photo: Mark 6X

“Don’t tell me you’re the mayor of Washington, or Baltimore, or New York. Don’t tell me you’re the President of the United States of America. To them, you’re still a nigger. They have no respect for you, no matter how high you rise in their world.”
Just hours earlier, President Barack Obama pleaded with guests attending the 46th annual legislative conference of the Congressional Black Caucus that he would consider it a “personal insult” if they did not vote for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to succeed him as president. “My name may not be on the ballot, but our progress is on the ballot,” Mr. Obama said. “Tolerance is on the ballot. Democracy is on the ballot. Justice is on the ballot.”

But President Obama’s legacy is not to be fairly judged by those who will succeed him, or by those who opposed and condemned him, literally from the day he took office, said Min. Farrakhan. Those same critics of President Obama have continuously referred to him and to First Lady Michelle Obama using “dirty names” bordering on the obscene.

Today, there are two “very evil people” contending for the White House today, said Min. Farrakhan. “Which one is worse, Lucifer, Satan, or the devil?” Ironically Minister Farrakhan pointed out, “the best woman who’s ever been in that White House is coming out of it in a few months,” and like President Jimmy Carter, history may eventually remember Mr. Obama as a better “former president” than he was when he was the president, and confined by the dictates of his office.
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But for now, Min. Farrakhan warned: “You’ve got no choice.” The politicians have “been promising you. They make a promise and they never fulfill it.” As far as Republican nominee Donald Trump is concerned: “You vote for him he’ll put you on a rocket ship to hell. Hillary’s rocket ship may not have as much octane in it, but she’s going in the same direction. Do you really think she will do any better for you?”


None of the political leaders on the scene today can intercede with God, who is in command today, said Min. Farrakhan. Conventional politics cannot solve the problems Black people are confronting today because, “God intends to break the bond because you are made in America. God has marked our children to inherit the Promised Land.“Don’t let your children inherit the Promised Land while you go to hell with pharaoh. Don’t sell your soul for a little money,” Minister Farrakhan advised. The political establishment never keeps its promises to suffering people. “Show me the promises they made to the Native people, and tell me did they ever fulfill them? Show me the promises that they made to us, and did they fulfill them?

“Trump said: ‘You ain’t got nothing to lose.’ He ain’t lying. And when he tells the truth, you’re mad. He said your schools are no good. How do you know the schools are no good? Look at the product that they produce. You ain’t no good for your people!”

The only way White politicians can intercede or deter the wrath of God and slow down the wrath of God is to give you justice that you deserve, the Minister said.

A trumpet is being sounded today because this is an emergency time, Min. Farrakhan explained. Our children are the ones that God has marked to inhabit the Promised Land. The only way the elders can make it—except as you become as a child and accept the real gospel.

“God is telling you, he didn’t come to integrate you. No, brothers and sisters don’t sell your souls for a little money. Be what Christ wants—Christian soldiers, marching. This is the call today. Open the doors, and let the sick and the lame in, and above all pastors, stop running the young away,” said Minister Farrakhan.

“You Democrats have been in that party a long time. Answer me, what did you get? You got a president. He’s worried about his legacy. You want Hillary to get in to protect your legacy, because Trump said, the minute he gets in, he’s gonna reverse the Affordable Care Act, because that’s your signature achievement.

“I just want to tell you Mr. President. You’re from Chicago, and so am I. I go out in the street with the people. I visited the worst neighborhoods. I talked to the gangs. While I was out there talking to them, they said: ‘You know Farrakhan, the president ain’t never come. Could you get him to come and look after us?’

“There’s your legacy Mr. President. It’s in the street with your suffering people, Mr. President, and if you can’t go and see about them, then don’t worry about your legacy, if you didn’t earn your legacy with us.

“We put you there. You fought the rights of gay people. You fought for the rights of this people and that people. You fight for Israel. Your people are suffering and dying in the streets, and you failed to do what should have been done,” Min. Farrakhan said of President Obama.

“But it’s never too late. Come on back to the ‘hood, and start organizing like you did, and with your influence all over the world,let’s make a new and better people, and from us, if it’s Allah’s will, we can build a new and better America,” Min. Farrakhan said.
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He’s “a spokesperson for the poor,” wrote @aboog19, “grace and mercy from Allah” wrote @ sisterdonna, and “food for the soul” wrote @nestaplc on Twitter.


A standing room only church crowd in the sanctuary, an overflow crowd in the lower level, nearly 9,000 watched on the church’s live stream, another 1,000 watched via Student Minister Carlos Muhammad’s Periscope live feed and countless others followed the Minister’s message via social media.

“I look forward to Mens Day at Union Temple because I know my soul will be fed when I come to hear Rev. Willie Wilson and his special guest Minister Farrakhan. Some might have been offended when he said we were ‘Made in America.’ It’s true. Look at how far we’ve fallen,” Shameeka Anderson told The Final Call.

“Our men can’t get jobs, our women run the home with children and no man, our dollar leaves our community as soon as we get paid, we are in bad health, we fill the jails and so much more. I could go on and on but you get my point. We are made in America.”

“I knew I was looking for something. I just wasn’t sure what it was but after hearing Minister Farrakhan I knew the answer as soon as I heard it. I’m so glad I came. He made me want to start my life all over again. He made me want to get right with God,” said David Richardson.

@billknox thanked Student Minister Carlos Muhammad for the live broadcast on Periscope but as the Minister continued in his presentation @billknox wrote, “He pretty much hates America.” @grassrootsjamil responded by writing, “He hates EVIL.”

In 1979 when Minister Farrakhan was rebuilding the Nation of Islam and the teachings of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Rev. Wilson bravely allowed Minister Farrakhan to speak at Union Temple. Even though he lost members in protest, Rev. Wilson has maintained this decades-long relationship and continues to welcome Minister Farrakhan to his church. He has gained new members and a stronger presence in the Black community in his demonstration of Black unity.

It wasn’t warm wishes for all on social media. @obamasukks wrote on Periscope, “black racists.”
Sonya wrote on the church’s comment page while watching, “Truth is truth and the words coming out of his mouth is the truth so maybe we should be digesting what he’s saying.” Florinicia Williams wrote, “Thank you for TRUTH which set my Brother Aaron free which in turn set me free mentally, physically and morally. ... Truth teller in all ways understood.”

Minister Farrakhan invited the audience to hear his message celebrating the 21st Anniversary of the Holy Day of Atonement and the Million Man March. That address will be delivered Oct. 16 in Atlanta, Ga. He plans to offer “the truth of both candidates.”

(Nisa Islam Muhammad contributed to this report.)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

From The Final Call Newspaper

The Final Call takes a look at mass incarceration in America, where the money is and goes and what the future holds for a country that leads the world in locking people up.

Phone calls, slave labor, vending and profits

How mass incarceration still feeds lucrative prison industrial complex in U.S.
A long battle has been waged by prison advocates, inmates, and their loved ones against what they contend is profiteering on the part of phone companies that contract with private prisons.  In some cases, a call out of prison can cost as much as $14 per minute.  Photo: Justicewire.org
A long battle has been waged by prison advocates, inmates, and their loved ones against what they contend is profiteering on the part of phone companies that contract with private prisons. In some cases, a call out of prison can cost as much as $14 per minute. Photo: Justicewire.org

LOS ANGELES— Prison abolition groups are fighting to cut the tentacles of the prison industrial complex saying that it dehumanizes and exploits inmates largely through private corporations.
Prisoner advocates say the high costs of prisons are fueled by stock trading, prison labor, prison construction, exorbitant phone call fees, and other money made on the backs of the poor.
“The fight to end mass incarceration is immense. This is a country that was founded on a lot of those principles to criminalize and exploit people of color,” said Daniel Carillo, executive director of Enlace.

The alliance of low-wage worker centers, unions, and community organizations in Mexico and in the U.S. organizes for racial and economic justice.

Its National Private Prison Divestment Campaign targets investors in the Corrections Corporation of America and GEO Group, the two largest private prison companies in the United States. Their private prisons are slated for cuts with a Justice Department Aug. 18 announcement that the federal government would phase out use of private prisons.

Mr. Carillo said the Justice Department’s efforts are a step forward, but companies are scrambling to determine what their next steps are for expanding mass incarceration—and making money.
Enlace has been meeting with groups to push for the closure of immigrant detention centers, most of which privatize, he said.

Phone calls, commissary and price gouging
“Over the last couple of decades, this industry has really been created from nothing,” said Carrie Wilkinson, Prison Phone Justice Director for the Human Rights Defense Center.
In this Aug. 14, 2015 photo, Larry Stephney holds wooden products he helped make while he was an inmate at a privately run prison in Nashville, Tenn.  Stephney says inmates were required to build plaques, birdhouses, dog beds and cornhole games for officials who sold the items through an online business and at a local fl ea market.Photo: AP Wide World Photos
In this Aug. 14, 2015 photo, Larry Stephney holds wooden products he helped make while he was an inmate at a privately run prison in Nashville, Tenn. Stephney says inmates were required to build plaques, birdhouses, dog beds and cornhole games for officials who sold the items through an online business and at a local fl ea market.Photo: AP Wide World Photos

The whole web of prison for profits grew off the prison phone industry, she said.

“Thirty years ago, prisoners picked up the phone and made a collect call to your A long battle has been waged by prison advocates, inmates, and their loved ones against what they contend is profiteering on the part of phone companies that contract with private prisons. In some cases, a call out of prison can cost as much as $14 per minute. Photo: Justicewire.org family or their loved ones for support and now there’s been an entire industry created with the business model of a company going to a correctional facility and being granted a monopoly contract in exchange for a kickback paid to the correctional facility based off of gross telephone revenues,” Ms. Wilkinson told The Final Call.

Over time, she said, the government has seen an opportunity for profits through prison phone calls. Prison phone rates have long been based on the amount of kickback, which works backwards, she said.

Instead of offering the best service for the lowest price, prison phone contracts include kickbacks of up to 93.6 percent of gross revenues going back to the institutions, she said.

For every dollar spent, almost 94 cents goes to the Arizona Department of Corrections which has a contract with Century Link, observed Ms. Wilkinson.

“The prison phone industry is a billion dollar industry. The last number I saw regarding kickbacks paid nationwide I believe was 2013 and the number was $460 million paid to correctional facilities in a year,” Ms. Wilkinson told The Final Call.

Those kickbacks were generated solely from prisoners and their families, some of the poorest people in the country, unti the Federal Communications Commission stepped in.

Through the 2011 Campaign for Prison Phone Justice, co-founded by the Human Rights Defense Center, activists won rate caps for interstate calls, effective February 2014.

Rates for collect calls were capped at 25 cents a minute and for 21 cents a minute for debate or prepaid calls, said Ms. Wilkinson. That led to a significant increase in call volume since people could afford to make calls, though the rates are still too high, she said.

She stated, “In 2010, a 15- minute call from the Washington Department of Corrections cost $18.30 as one of the highest in the country, and now that same call costs $1.65.”

Inmates from Oak Glen Fire Camp in Riverside retreat to higher ground May 14, 2014 as they work to control the fire near Oriole Court in Carlsbad.  Photo: MGN Online
Inmates from Oak Glen Fire Camp in Riverside retreat to higher ground May 14, 2014 as they work to control the fire near Oriole Court in Carlsbad. Photo: MGN Online

But companies just took the opportunity to increase in-state call rates after that, she said. And there was also an acceleration in the use of video monitor visits, instead of in-person visits, and money transfer fees to put money on prisoners’ books so they could purchase items from prison commissaries.

The latter presented a dual edged sword with families paying exorbitant fees to transfer funds and prisoners price gouged to buy what should be reasonably priced items, she explained.
With the use of monitors, loved ones must now pay fees to visit with someone who is behind bars as there is a charge to pick up a phone, talk to and see someone on-screen. “What I personally fi nd particularly egregious about the video presentations is that in a number of facilities, the facilities are eliminating in-person visitations altogether, and in some of the contracts I’ve reviewed, the kickbacks paid to the facility is based on volume,” Ms. Wilkinson said.

“I think that we’re now personally affected by mass incarceration. If we don’t have a personal family member who’s incarcerated, we have a friend who has a family member, or we know someone. It’s much more personal to us and we have an opportunity to hear about these things,” she said.

Tax breaks and prison industry
National activists are pushing Congress to eradicate the hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks private prison corporations receive under the guise of real estate investments.

According to Bob Sloan, executive director of the Voters Legislative Transparency Project, the problem stems from a last minute settlement brokered in 2012 when the majority Republican Congress threatened to shut down the government over budget debates.

It included an authorization from Congress for federal prison industries to join a program that exempts certified state and local departments of corrections and other eligible entities from normal restrictions on the sale of goods made by prisoners and distributed between states. Typically prison products had to be sold to government or state agencies and sales were limited to the states in which the products were produced.

The Prison Industry Enhancement Certification Program lifts some restrictions and permits certifi ed entities to sell such goods to the federal government for more than the previous $10,000 limit.
The program in part was supposed to put inmates in realistic work environments, pay local prevailing wages for similar work, and help inmates gain marketable skills to increase their rehabilitation and employment when released.

But many inmates receive nowhere near prevailing wages, activists argued.

Daniel Carillo
Daniel Carillo

‘Cash cows’ milked by the system?
“It’s really a modern day slavery that causes a burden on the family from something as simple as products in outdated vending machines marked up extremely high, like the cost of an average frozen burrito which is $5-7,” said Ansar Muhammad, a Nation of Islam Western Region Prison Reform minister and co-founder of the H.E.L.P.E.R. Foundation gang intervention and prevention organization.

“Prisoners are cash cows and have been for many, many years,” he stated. He worked in the prison laundry department when locked down.


‘The fight to end mass incarceration is immense. This is a country that was founded on a lot of those principles to criminalize and exploit people of color.’
–Daniel Carillo, Executive director of Enlace

“I made 15 cents an hour and remember at the end of the month, I was able to get me a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream after that. That was the highlight,” Ansar Muhammad said. “Can you imagine all the inmates that don’t have any family or outside support?” They wound up with nothing.

In 1980, the American Legislative Exchange Council began driving laws benefi tting corporations and privatizing everything associated with prisons, such as inmate bank accounts run by a private bank in Florida, Mr. Sloan told The Final Call.

Every inmate is charged $4 a month, whether money fl ows through his account or not. If he accrues fees over a year and gets $100 all of a sudden, fees are paid right off the top, he explained.

“In 2013, the last count, there were 309 full-time factories operating coast to coast employing over a million inmates and most of those factories are hooked up with these different private companies,” he stated.

Those include potato cultivation, harvesting and distribution by the Idaho Department of Corrections, as well as private medical care by different health care organizations.

“Both Elijah Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan Muhammad have told the world that the Black man and woman are the chosen people of God,” said Nation of Islam Prison Reform Minister Abdullah Muhammad. “Minister Farrakhan said that this is a spiritual problem calling for a spiritual solution.”

Citing scripture, he said, it is prophesied that the people of God would be snared in holes and hid in prison houses. “They are for a prey. The snare is the crack cocaine pipeline to finance a war. The prey are the people of God entrapped and entangled in the distribution and sale of the cocaine which results in mass incarceration,” Min. Abdullah Muhammad said.

“Once snared, the lobbyists go to work on the politicians to pass laws that allow the corporations that they represent to prey on the ensnared to feed their treasuries by providing business opportunities to phone companies, clothing companies, food service, personal hygiene products and cheap labor, etc.,” he continued.

Under the National Correctional Industries Association, prisoners make almost everything from apparel, hardware, chemicals, decals and tags and license plates, eyeglasses, fabrics, furniture, lighting, electronics and entertainment, software, shoes, sewing machines and food products.

Prison Policy Initative
“It’s an evil wheel, and in order to stop it, really put a dent in it, we’ve got to get rid of the fodder that they’re using for labor,” Mr. Sloan said.

Reduce incarceration, reduce overcrowded prisons, and get people back on the streets, to their families, and work to not incarcerate people except when they pose serious threats to other humans, he recommended.

“That used to be what it was, a last straw, but it’s moved away from that. Now it’s mandatory minimum sentencing, prison for 10 years. They know you have a shelf life for 10 years, and they’re going to get to utilize them for 10 years,” Mr. Sloan argued.

However, those same people that worked for prisons while incarcerated making chain-link fences for 10 years are rendered unqualified once released.

In this June 15, 2010 file photo, the Idaho Correctional Center is shown south of Boise, Idaho, operated by Corrections Corporation of America.  The Justice Department says it’s phasing out its relationships with private prisons after a recent audit found the private facilities have more safety and security problems than ones run by the government.  Photo: AP Wide World Photos
In this June 15, 2010 file photo, the Idaho Correctional Center is shown south of Boise, Idaho, operated by Corrections Corporation of America. The Justice Department says it’s phasing out its relationships with private prisons after a recent audit found the private facilities have more safety and security problems than ones run by the government. Photo: AP Wide World Photos

“They will not hire them, because number one they’ve got to check the box (saying you were convicted of a crime), and number two, why should I hire you at $15 or $20 an hour when the guy that’s replacing you in that factory behind the prison fence we only have to pay him 35 cents an hour?” asked Mr. Sloan.

The big news for 2016 has been reform in the states, according to Molly Gill, director of federal legislative affairs for Families Against Mandatory Minimums.

Florida repealed a mandatory minimum 20 year sentence for aggravated assaults. In some cases, she said, people who’d fi red shots in self-defense were getting charged and sentenced 20 years even though no one was injured.

Maryland repealed all of its mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses earlier this year, and Iowa cut its mandatory minimum drug sentences in half and gave people parole eligibility halfway through their minimum term, Ms. Gill said.

“We’ve seen well over 30 states now that have reformed their mandatory sentencing laws in the last 10 years, and crime has continued to go down in these states, so sentencing reform has been a huge success at state level,” Ms. Gill said.

Part of that stems from strong bipartisan support in Congress, she said. She attributed some of the support to age rather than party lines. Some congressional members age 60-65 lean toward those laws and seem reluctant to reevaluate them, while younger ones, under 60, grew up in a very different world, she noted.

“They weren’t part of passing the mandatory minimums in the fi rst place … they’ve seen crime go down, … Also, frankly, probably a lot of them know people who have substance abuse problems and they’ve seen that these long drug sentences probably haven’t done much to stop the use of drugs,” Ms. Gill added.

Dorsey Nunn is with the All of Us or None Prison Advocacy Organization and executive director of the San Franciscobased Legal Services for Prisoners with Children. The objective of prison privatization is to make money, not to provide real security, he argued.

“When I look at private prisons, that’s one of those places where you could say clearly on the stock exchange, they’re selling and trading human bodies!… They’re trading Latinos and Black people on the Stock Exchange,” he said.