Tuesday, December 12, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

Playing with numbers and racial profiling?

By Bryan Crawford -Contributing Writer- | Last updated: Dec 12, 2017 - 10:52:46 AM

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Gang database in Chicago gets low marks from researchers and activists
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Gun violence is the top crime problem associated with Chicago, particularly in neighborhoods and communities occupied primarily by Black and Latino people. The issue has long been on the radar of politicians at every level, and the Chicago Police Department has employed a number of strategies to get a better handle on the daily shootings that happen on the South and West Sides.


One of these is the Strategic Subjects List (SSL), also referred to as the Chicago Gang Database. The purpose of the SSL, according to police, is to identify those individuals who are most likely to either be a perpetrator or victim of gun violence.

This is commonly referred to as predictive policing. However, a recent study of the SSL conducted by the University of Illinois-Chicago Policing in Chicago Research Group, found that the Chicago Police department is actually using the database as a profiling mechanism specifically targeting Blacks and Latinos.

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Chicago Police Officer Tony Washington watches surveillance videos at the 18th District Chicago Police Station March 19, 2010. Thousands of surveillance cameras keep Chicago under closer watch than any other U.S. city. Photo: AP/Wide World photos
“Predictive policing is kind of a mathematical, algorithm-based method of trying to essentially predict where crime will happen and who is most likely to engage in criminal activity,” Janae Bonsu, organizer with the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100) and one of the principal researchers on this UIC study, told The Final Call. “The Chicago Police Department isn’t alone in using predictive policing, but the SSL is an example of predictive policing in practice by using data points such as being arrested for certain offenses, being in a particular age group, gang affiliation, or even being a victim of gun violence. However, there are many false positives in this technological, algorithm based policing method, and it just goes to show how unreliable predictive policing is.”


According to the research conducted by UIC, there are more than 400,000 people in the gang database of that 76 percent are male, 45 percent are under 30 years of age, 52 percent are Black and 25 percent Latino. The Chicago Police Department assigns a score of 1 to 500 to each person in the database, based on arrest and victimization records, as well as any known associations with anyone suspected of having a gang affiliation. In addition, any person having been arrested for narcotics possession or a violent offense—such as unlawful use of a weapon or domestic violence—are automatically added to the list.

It also appears that people who have had interactions with police based on the neighborhood they live in have also been added to the database.

Currently, there are approximately 13,500 people in the gang database who have never been arrested or charged for any of the activities that police consider to be gang related.

However, after parsing the numbers and analyzing the data, Black people, especially males, represent the largest group among any identified in the database.

“The list is overwhelmingly male, overwhelmingly Black and Brown, but overwhelmingly Black, for real,” added Ms. Bonsu who explained the challenges a Black person may face by being identified on the SSL. “If they’re on the SSL and they’re arrested, no matter what the offense, they’re not eligible for an I-bond, which is being released on their own recognizance. Sentencing enhancements for any type of crime also goes into effect for someone on the SSL. People can be denied employment, be barred from getting certain professional licenses requiring a background check. There are serious consequences for any Black person labeled as a gang member by being on this list.”

Not only does this list add fuel to the fire of racial profiling by police and mass incarceration of Black people, but it also opens the door to possible deportation for many Latino men and women in Chicago who also find themselves in the database, in what is supposed to be a sanctuary city.
                    
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“The gang database is a way in which police profile and target Black youth, but it also becomes a pipeline for deportation of undocumented immigrants,” UIC professor Andy Clarno, who led the direction of the Policing in Chicago Research group on this study, told The Final Call. “The findings we released were based on a statistical analysis of data released in May by the Chicago Police Department of the Strategic Subjects List. We’ve been trying to learn as much as we can about the database, the way it’s built, the way it gets used, and what happens to the data once it’s in there. But what we do know for sure is that you don’t have to be arrested to end up in the gang database.”

“When the Chicago Police Department conducts what they call investigatory stops, which is essentially stop and frisk, every time they do that, they’re supposed to write up an investigatory stop report,” Prof. Clarno explained. “Someone can be identified in the report as gang affiliated or a gang member, and they can end up in the database.”

Added Ms. Bonsu, “Police act as an entry point, both to incarceration but also deportation of immigrants, both Black and non-Black.”

Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, a member of Organized Communities Against Deportation, worked as a mechanic and lived in the Back of the Yards neighborhood on the city’s South Side. With no gang affiliations and no arrests, he was added to the Chicago gang database without his knowledge sometime in 2014 or 2015. Because of his undocumented status, Mr. Ramirez now faces deportation as a result of this interaction. People living in neighborhoods deemed to be high-crime and known for gang activity, can easily be placed on this list even with no known affiliation to gangs, drugs or violence. In March, Mr. Ramirez’ home was raided by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials as part of President Donald Trump’s promise to crackdown on undocumented immigrants living in sanctuary cities.

“We are going to get the bad ones out,” Mr. Trump said during a rally earlier this year. “The criminals and the drug leaders and gangs and gang leaders.”

In sanctuary cities like Chicago, police aren’t required to cooperate with federal agencies like ICE. However, they are permitted to share information—such as the SSL—between agencies at all levels. This is made easier through the Crime Prevention and Information Center, which is housed at the Chicago Police headquarters. Known as a “fusion center,” it is one of 75 that exist across the United States. This means that federal agencies such as ICE, have unimpeded access to databases such as the SSL that they can utilize in their own investigations.

“On 35th and Michigan (CPD headquarters), there’s someone from Homeland Security in the Fusion Center, someone from the FBI, Illinois State Police, ICE, they all have staff working there. So, data sharing is another huge issue with this kind of policing,” explained Ms. Bonsu.

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Chicago police officers on the street. Photo: MGN Online
In the case of Wilmer Catalan-Ramirez, the Chicago Police Department admitted fault in erroneously putting him in the gang database. However, he is still being detained by ICE and facing deportation.


“There’s fear, not just about being put on the gang list, but really, with all interactions with police officers,” Tania Unzueta, policy director for Mijente, a grassroots organizing movement centered on issues affecting Latinos in Chicago. “Latinos don’t have the same experience as Black folks in Chicago, and I think sometimes the non-Black Latinos have this hope that they’ll be treated like White people and be treated fairly by the system. Latinos live in a contradiction where we expect to be treated right, but our experience is oftentimes that we’re not. I can definitely say that the number of 911 calls has gone down under the Trump administration. That’s definitely a sign that people are more leery of police and law enforcement.”

Mr. Ramirez, with the help of OCAD, was able to get the police to admit that he should never have been in the database. It is unclear if there is a formal process to get out of the database or if there is a transparent appeals process.

No White gangs or gangsters in Chicago?
“The data shows that the Chicago Gang Database is a target list of Black and Brown people who will be the victims of immigration raids, of incarceration and criminalization, and further policing,” argued Ms. Bonsu.

The findings also bear witness to words spoken by Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, warning that President Trump and the U.S. government, have planned a war against Black and Brown people and are currently in the process of executing it.

Interestingly enough, the Chicago Gang Database has identified no White person as being affiliated with gangs or drugs, nor does it identify one White street gang organization with members who would be potentially involved in illegal activities.

“White people put this database together. They’re not going to tell on their loved ones,” Wallace “Gator” Bradley, former gang member and who now serves as an urban translator and political consultant and president of the United In Peace anti-violence organization. “This is the same issue with the FBI targeting what they call ‘Black Identity Extremists.’ You mean to tell me there aren’t any White identity extremists? Steve Bannon isn’t one? You’re saying there’s no White gangs? Does the KKK not exist? The people who put the database together definitely aren’t going to tell on themselves. I’m probably in the database and I’m 65 years old.”

In a department that has continued to stress more transparency and accountability, it would be hard to reconcile the findings of this particular study. However, many activists and those involved in this study agree that simply creating a list that ultimately profiles people and adding more police on the streets is an ineffective deterrent to ending gang, gun and drug violence. They would like to see it done away with because of how harmful it is to individual lives and communities.

“Under the Trump administration, anyone suspected of anything wrong, is a target. And it’s really astonishing that people don’t find out they’re even on this list until it’s too late,” said Ms. Unzueta, who also explained that any Latino who finds themselves on this list are no longer protected under Chicago’s Welcoming City Ordinance which offers a sort of safety net from ICE, meaning local police can’t turn someone over to immigration authorities without due process. “We’ve had some attorneys explain how this list violates people’s constitutional rights, we’re also meeting with city councilmen to talk through the different policy options that exist that get us closer to getting rid of the database. But one thing we do know is that people want safety in their community, but a bigger gang database and more police won’t make anyone safe.”

“The police know who’s doing wrong. They know who the players are,” said Mr. Bradley. “The police also know there’s a structure out here where people who used to be gang members are doing work in the community and trying to steer kids right because they’re now parents. But they don’t want to showcase that. We’ve got to deal with the truth as it is. They’ve always been racially profiling us. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad told us that a long time ago. Parents need to tell their children that all Black folks are targeted. They need to tell their loved ones if they’re out there and around [criminal activity] they’re watching you and they know who you are. We can’t complain about this database they’ve got on us. They’ve always had it.”

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

FROM THE FINAL CALL NEWSPAPER

Can You Survive? - Judgement, Disasters and America's Future

BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD -NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT- | LAST UPDATED: DEC 5, 2017 - 2:08:02 PM

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(Editor’s note: This week The Final Call Newspaper devotes substantive space and places a major focus on the Divine Chastisement on America, disasters that are plaguing the country amid warnings contained in the Teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the words and witness-bearing of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. We pray that the spiritual truths, fact-based reporting, disaster preparation and survival tips will help us survive in this dark hour.)
A hard truth is sweeping America: God’s “Four Great Judgments” of rain, hail, snow and earthquake are being visited on this country.

“Let me tell you something: If you don’t give justice to us, you will lose everything you’ve got, including your life, because God, now, said He is ready to fight you for our deliverance. And he told me to tell you: You don’t have no fight against the forces of nature,” Min. Farrakhan cautioned President Trump during a mid- November press conference at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. The Minister has consistently warned disasters striking America are not happenstance, but the divine Supreme Being’s direct intervention and chastisement.

“The God is after America for her evils done to His people: You have a chance to relieve yourself of some of the heaviness of the judgment that’s against you by letting my people go,” said the Minister in an address earlier this year from Mosque Maryam in Chicago. He also said natural disasters and extreme weather would continue to plague America as punishment for her domestic evils.
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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (R) NOAA satellite image of the Atlantic shows 3 major hurricanes on Sept 17.

The Minister’s warning fits a prophetic pattern and assertions from the Nation of Islam since the 1930s. The basic tenet of the teaching is that God Himself has visited North America, chosen Black people to usher in a new society and is judging America today for her evil done to Blacks and the indigenous people of this nation. Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad unapologetically taught that prophecy was being fulfilled in this modern time and that the man who taught him, Master Fard Muhammad, was the long awaited Messiah of the Christians and Madhi, or self-guided one, expected by Muslims.

In his speeches and writings, he warned America was doomed and the divine Supreme Being would use the forces of nature to bring the country to its knees. Min. Farrakhan has repeated Elijah Muhammad’s teachings and divine warnings.
Calamities thrashing America in 2017 alone signal God is angry with America, said Christian religious leaders, Muslim student ministers and others.

For the last 40 years, Min. Farrakhan has taught, guided, warned, and repeated assertions that America is under judgment, stated Student Minister Ishmael Muhammad, Min. Farrakhan’s national assistant, in a lecture entitled, “Who is Farrakhan.”
“This man is not before us of himself. He’s not self-made. He has been fashioned and made and anointed by the God of this time,” Min. Ishmael Muhammad said.

“Watch how the God will give a punctuation to what I said to you from him (Elijah Muhammad) today. So, if you keep going the way you’re going, it’s over,” stated Min. Farrakhan in Washington, D.C. That same day, a storm system pounded the West Coast with gusty winds up to 70 m.p.h., carrying more than three inches of rain and heavy snow that was set to disrupt the Midwest and East Coast, reported ABC News. Ten western states were on storm alert for damaging winds, heavy snow, and flooding rains.

In 2017, several back-to-back natural disasters of “biblical proportions” have hit America. Early costs for damages were estimated at $125 billion.

Hurricane Irma, with 185 m.p.h. winds, hit Florida and other southern states in September. She left more than seven million people without electricity, starting in the Caribbean.
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Damage and debris left from Hurricane Irma in St. Johns County, Florida, Sept. 17. Photo: MGN Online

Just before that, Hurricane Harvey, which moved far slower, did as much damage when it pummeled the entire state of Texas, hitting the city of Houston hardest.
Reports put Harvey’s death toll at 82. Unprecedented torrential rains also caused massive flooding and damage.
Northern and Southern California are still cleaning after nearly two dozen wildfires dubbed the “October Wildfire Siege” that started on Oct. 8 and scorched football field-sized swaths of land.

The fires, such as the Atlas Fire in Napa and Sonoma Counties in “Wine Country,” claimed thousands of acres of land.
“The forces of nature are great weapons as we see them in play upon America. Storms after storms of snow and ice are rolling in from the North and are pushing great drifts that are just covering up everything. What can you do with a God like that,” wrote the Honorable Elijah Muhammad in his prophetic 1973 book, “The Fall of America.”

Min. Farrakhan reiterated such warnings during his message at the Family Summit Conference, “Strong Families: The Foundation of a Great Nation,” in Atlanta in August.

“Mr. Trump, no bombs from a foreign government are going to fall here, according to what the Messenger (Elijah Muhammad) taught me. But this area is preserved for God,” Min. Farrakhan stated.

Confusion in government, politics
Part of God’s judgment is confusion inside governments, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches. Today near implosion threatens the Republican Party, with President Trump at war every day with members of his own party, Democrats, right wing conservatives, and some known as the Alt-Right.

The battles over repealing President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act and providing health care for all, tax reform, immigration, and military operations are troubling the country. As Elijah Muhammad wrote in “The Fall of America,” “The heads of the governments of the Christian world are confused, and they do not know that they are confused. Why? Because their greatest desire was to confuse us. Now Allah (God) has taken the confusion out of us and put it into them. Eat, America. Help yourself to the dessert that you have prepared for us. You eat it. All praises are due to Allah (God) Who came in the Person of Master Fard Muhammad.”

Witness bearers
“What I am seeing is that it is a blessing in that more and more people, I’m talking about online, and more and more people that I encounter, when the Minister would say ‘watch the weather,’ that now, they’re coming back and saying the Minister is right. The Minister has been on it. Every time he’s predicted these things, it has happened,” said Jesse Muhammad of the Farrakhan Twitter Army. He is Min. Farrakhan’s social media director and a student in the Nation of Islam ministry.

“Now, Allah is touching the hearts of the people to connect what they’re seeing on the Weather Channel and other news stations and on social media, and connecting it back to God’s warning,” Jesse Muhammad said.

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People struggle against blizzard conditions. Photo: MGN Online
Rev. Willie Wilson of Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., noted calamities are found from the Book of Genesis, through Exodus and Revelation in the Bible. Genesis has 49 chapters, so why is that so early God destroyed the earth? he asked.

It’s because America’s rulers have not been a reflection of God, he told The Final Call.

“I think that we have—not withstanding the many years that Brother Minister as well as the Teachings of Honorable Elijah Muhammad has put forth what would occur and what would happen—many who will not listen,” Rev. Wilson said.

“It is coming to pass. You see it all over, the floods, the hurricanes, the rain, all the devastation, the fires burning in California, everywhere. It’s clear indication that prophetic words have been spoken and they are now manifesting as reality,” said the longtime friend of Min. Farrakhan.


“As I look at the way it continued to perform from the very founding of this nation, it has sought to exploit and dominate and control the masses of the people of this earth,” Rev. Wilson added.

President Trump and Congress have ignored environmentalists’ pleas to pay attention to current calamities and climate change, he noted.

“They refuse to listen, because the greed for money and wealth and power supersedes any reality in terms of what’s happening all around.”

Abdul Arif Muhammad, Nation of Islam general counsel, said it’s time to keep up prayer, reflect and to try to walk in righteousness that God may provide mercy.

Avoid the enemy’s attempt to deceive the world about the origins of unprecedented destructive and deadly weather, he warned. “If you are taught and deceived into thinking it’s just happenstance, it’s Mother Nature, it’s climate change, and people are messing with the weather, though all of that could be some aspect of it, but that’s not, as we are taught, the real reason or motivation behind what’s taking place, because Allah (God) is controller of the forces of nature itself.”

As much as Blacks want to think about God’s judgment in the abstract, they actually have control, because God gives them the power to be in control and to follow Him, stated Rev. Mark Thompson of Washington, D.C.

“If we would but humble ourselves to God, and it really ain’t rocket science! We are burning ourselves up,” said Rev. Thompson, through a mild chuckle.

The Sirius XM Satellite radio host of “Make it Plain” painted a vivid picture of Blacks, whom he likened to crabs in a pot unaware of the danger because of water heating up but not yet boiling.

“The Bible shows over and over again, especially in the Old Testament, how the Israelites would love God. God would love them. Then, the Israelites would do something crazy, and disrespect God, and God would punish them. And then they’d make up again. So I think some folks think, ‘We’re just going to keep going with that. We mess up. God gets mad at us, and then we’re just going to make up.’ Well guess what, when this pot really starts boiling, ain’t gone be nobody left for God to make up with. It’s gone be a wrap,” he said.

Min. Farrakhan has been vindicated of any charges that he is crazy, or doesn’t know what he’s talking about because of his constant warnings, Rev. Thompson said.

When White folks hear Min. Farrakhan on his radio show and say, “Mark, we’ve never thought about him that way before. We’ve never heard him that way. We can’t be so angry anymore. That’s the day I think we need to recognize that everything around us is changing and we had better listen to him, listen to ourselves, listen to God, and get right with God,” Rev. Thompson said.

Pastor Thembekila Smart of Christ Liberation Ministries in Los Angeles said scriptures and Min. Farrakhan’s prophetic warnings are clearly playing out.

“I think we’re in that time,” she said. “The time promises that everything will shut down, and then there will be a time of peace.”

From the Bible, to the Qur’an, to the Torah, all speak of a prophetic time, which is taking place right now, stated Pastor Smart. “Time has run out,” she said. “It’s so deep right now … time is up!”

Sacrifices have to be made for survival, to hold the water, the destruction back, and Blacks are not in sacrifice mode right now, she argued.

“This is something that you hear Min. Farrakhan talking about all the time. You hear Harriett Tubman talking about it, Frederick Douglas, Marcus Garvey. There’s going to have to be some type of gnashing of self,” she stated.

Instead, Pastor Smart continued, everyone wants their desires immediately, but as Min. Farrakhan has been pushing for years: “Separate! Separate! Separate! We’ll never get that message until the weather gets bad enough and there’s danger to humanity.”

(Darrielle Muhammad contributed to this report.)

Friday, December 1, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

Slave markets in Libya - Who is to blame?

By Richard B. Muhammad and Raychelle Muhammad, Final Call Staffers | Last updated: Nov 29, 2017 - 11:59:59 AM

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Libya’s suffering and slavery didn’t just happen
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Demonstrators hold signs during a demonstration against slavery in Libya on November 24, 2017,outside the Libyan embassy in the French capital Paris.

When CNN released video footage of a live slave auction in Libya, captured by journalist Nima Elbagir, shockwaves were sent around the world.


Starting the bidding at $400 each, buyers purchased 12 African migrants at an undisclosed location outside the capital city of Tripoli in a matter of minutes.
How is it possible for open slave market to exist in the year 2017?

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At the end of the day, several hundred people gathered in front of the Libyan Embassy in Paris to demand the end of slavery practices in the country updated following a report by CNN. Paris, France, November 24.
The roots of the slavery, suffering and misery in Libya goes back to the purposeful, targeted destruction of the government of Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi.


While President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, declared their assault on the North Africa leader was about protecting the Libyan people and standing for what is right, Libya has gone all-wrong with no solution in sight.

Raymond A. Winbush, a professor and director of the Institute for Urban Research at Morgan State University, noted that by President Barack Obama’s own admission, the worst mistake of his presidency was how he handled Libya.

With three different feuding governments, Libya has never been more unstable. This instability left the door wide open for today’s widespread corruption, human rights abuses, and the slave trade, said Dr. Winbush.

Dr. Winbush told The Final Call that Libya once boasted the highest standard of living in Africa as Col. Gadhafi redistributed oil revenues back to his people. Libya is now in utter chaos. Racism and slavery are running rampant and these are crimes Col. Gadhafi would have never permitted, he said.
Dr. Winbush also noted that the end of Col. Gadhafi’s reign was accompanied by the birth of the international terrorist organization ISIS.

Gerald Perreira, the chairperson of the Black Consciousness Movement Guyana and Organization for the Victory of the People, drew attention to CNN and its role in offering an “expose:” “The world we find ourselves in is complex and full of contradictions. It is easy to fall for rudimentary textbook propaganda based on simplistic dichotomies, such as ‘the good guys versus the bad guys.’ If we are not aware of the complexities and nuances facing us, we can fall for this type of propaganda, whose sole aim is to keep us apart and destroy any type of unity that could strengthen our ability to defeat the enemy,” he wrote in a piece titled “Deceptive Intelligence: CNN breaks story on Slave Trade in Libya; French Government Voices Concern for African Migrants.”

“When examining and assessing the latest information fed us by one of imperialism’s mouthpieces, CNN, there are important things for us, as revolutionary Pan-Africanists, to keep in mind. The first thing to note is the clear hypocrisy and insincerity which is nowhere more stark than CNN’s recent expose of ‘Libyan crimes against humanity’ and French President, Emmanuel Macron’s call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to demand immediate action against this heinous ‘Libyan’ crime,” he wrote.

Mr. Perreira warned against giving too much credence to CNN and Western media without a critical analysis of their roles and their corporate, imperialist agendas. Lies “can come in the guise of the imperialists and White Supremacists themselves, or their mouthpieces such as CNN, BBC, Fox News or any of the mainstream corporate media outlets. We should never forget their role as cheerleaders and purveyors of the fake news that laid the groundwork for the invasion and destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya. Therefore, let us ask ourselves the burning question, why are they providing us with this information, and why now? Why are the imperialists suddenly feigning concern for the plight of Africans?” he asks.

“Muammar Qaddafi and the Revolutionary Committees Movement of the Al Fateh Revolution had a monumental task on their hands: to conscientize and reposition the Libyan people for a significant role in the revolutionary Pan-African project for a United States of Africa. This is a battle for all African revolutionaries. In Sub-Saharan African countries, where almost the entire population comprises Black Africans, we face the same battle. Here in the Caribbean, it is no different. So, when Qaddafi urged his people to look towards a United States of Africa and a revolutionary Pan-African perspective, he had to face Libyans who rejected this program in favor of Libya and the entire North African region joining the Barcelona Project, a Mediterranean-European alliance, whose aim is to take North Africa out of Africa,” Mr. Perreira continued.

“Prejudice against dark-skinned Africans exists all over planet earth. Even in countries where the population is almost 100 percent Black African, we have to contend with ‘shadism,’ a hangover from colonialism and plantation culture, where Africans with lighter skin shades are held in higher esteem than Africans with darker skin shades. However, to say that ‘Arab Libyans’ are selling ‘Africans’ is overly simplistic and deliberately misleading. There is a hidden agenda here—beware. The objective is to ignite hostilities between so-called Arab-Africans and so-called Sub-Saharan-Africans. There is a debate amongst Africans about who is an African. On the one hand, there are those who limit the definition of African to Black Africans in the Sub-Saharan region of the continent. On the other hand, there are those of us who believe that Africa is one, and we will resist any attempt by the imperialists to redefine and further balkanize Africa,” he continued. “Rather than becoming part of the European Community, North Africans promoting the Barcelona Project would be better off seeking out their African roots. This is what Muammar Qaddafi told all Libyans.”
                     
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Col. Muammar Gadhafi

The writer lived in Libya and is a Gadhafi loyalist. Mr. Perreira pointed out how the forces of U.S.-European Union imperialism had fought to take down Col. Gadhafi and his government since its establishment in 1969. In 2011, Col Gadhafi was on the brink of unifying the African continent and was poised to receive the UN Human Rights Award, he wrote in an article published on Modern Ghana online.

But the Obama administration, on the advice and counsel of Secretary Clinton and others, along with British Prime Minister David Cameron, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Saudi Arabia King Salman bin Abdulaziz al Saud, and Qatar Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani launched an all-out assault against Col. Gadhafi which ended in his execution on Oct. 20, 2011.

President Obama’s ‘regret’
In an interview with The Atlantic published in April 2016, President Obama discussed the U.S. “intervention” in Libya which he said was carefully planned to stop Col. Gadhafi from invading Benghazi, where there was an uprising. President Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden and then-Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, initially wanted no part in the conflict, according to the article. It was Secretary Clinton, UN Ambassador Susan Rice, and others who won Mr. Obama over. But he expressed remorse for how Libya was handled and turned out—but not that Col. Gadhafi was killed.
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The effort, which cost the U.S. $1 billion, was an epic failure. Publicly, Mr. Obama said, “Libya is a mess.” Privately, the article said, he called Libya a “sh*t show.”

“When I go back and I ask myself what went wrong, there’s room for criticism, because I had more faith in the Europeans, given Libya’s proximity, being invested in the follow-up,” President Obama said to The Atlantic. “If we’re going to do something, obviously we’ve got to be up front, and nobody else is sharing in the spotlight.”

The former president’s admission of error does nothing to solve the problem. Complicating matters, Italy’s government has made deals with Libya’s coast guard, tribes, and warlords to prevent refugees from entering Libya and continuing their journeys into Europe.

And while Western nations were able to collude on how to deal with Libya and Col. Gadhafi, they have not come together to deal with the horrors of Libya today. Did the Western nations fear what was happening in Libya and an awakening of a broader African identity and possible political and economic reality?

Mr. Perreira offers a compelling answer: “The North Atlantic Tribes Organization (NATO) deeply fear this type of awakening and the unity of purpose and action it could lead to in this oil rich and wealthiest region of the world. Minister Farrakhan said many years ago, reflecting on periods of unity in our history, ‘we did it before and we can do it again.’ Muammar Qaddafi’s persistent struggle to forge a United States of Africa was starting to pay off. He was on the verge of creating an African currency that would have shifted the global economic imbalance, preparing the way for Africa to take its rightful place in the world. … Fear of this emerging African unity, especially between countries in the north and south of the continent, prompted France to orchestrate (Cote D’Ivoire leader Laurent Gbagbo’s)  removal from power at the same time as the NATO led invasion of Libya. Genuine African unity, resulting in anything more than talk, will always be opposed, no matter what the cost, by the forces of White Supremacy.”

Chaos breeds refugee crisis
Since 2014, over 600,000 people have migrated to Italy including an all-time high of 180,000 refugees in 2016 alone. Although this action has left migrants vulnerable to being sold into slavery, Italy’s interior minister Marco Minniti stands behind their policy.

The International Organization for Migration, a United Nations agency, has been reporting the rape, violence, extortion, and enslavement of refugees for months.

The IOM exposed the problem and yet no one was apparently listening. Migrants were being swindled by human traffickers they had paid to transport them off the African continent. Survivors said instead they were enslaved, starved, and abused by their captors.

“The latest reports of ‘slave markets’ for migrants can be added to a long list of outrages [in Libya],” said Mohammed Abdiker, IOM’s head of operation and emergencies. “The situation is dire. The more IOM engages inside Libya, the more we learn that it is a vale of tears for all too many migrants.”

All Africa reported that many families of migrants captured by militia and smugglers have been extorted. If they can’t pay the ransoms, then the prisoners are sold. Often the new owners will try to extort the families as well. If at some point the captors can neither collect on nor sell a prisoner, or if the prisoner falls ill, the prisoner is killed.

The CNN footage has garnered much attention and condemnation from the UN, African leadership, and people around the globe. Shortly after the story aired, a massive, and at times violent protest in Paris outside the Libyan embassy ensued. Similar demonstrations were held at Libyan embassies in several African capitol cities including Bamako, Mali and Conakry, Guinea.
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UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an immediate investigation into the matter and prosecution of all guilty parties.


France called for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the problem. President Emmanuel Macron condemned human trafficking as a “crime against humanity” via Twitter on Nov. 22. He has since met with head of the African Union, Alpha Conde.

But are France’s hands clean? “The destruction of this most prosperous and just African country was led by France, who now dares to call for a special meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the crimes committed against African migrants ‘by Libyans.’ This is devil-speak,” said writer Perreira.

“The same devil who, in the words of the Honorable Minister Farrakhan, ‘unleashed the demons’ that are now committing these and other heinous crimes, is trying to sow more discord by talking about ‘Libyan crimes.’ Where was CNN and the French government when these same gangs of demons were committing the atrocities described above?”

Libyans have vowed to cooperate with the UN probe while also conducting investigations of their own. But West African political leaders have heavily criticized the Libyan slave trade and are taking action on behalf of exploited migrants from the region. Both President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou and the foreign minister of Burkina Faso, Alpha Berry, summoned the Libyan ambassador to meet to address the issue.

President Issoufou has demanded that the International Court of Justice investigate Libya. The matter of the slave trade in Libya has been added to the agenda of the next African Union meeting in Ivory Coast on Nov. 29 and Nov. 30.

Looking to the future
Where do we go from here? The answer to that question is multi-layered with many moving parts. Minister Abdul Akbar Muhammad, the international representative of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam told The Final Call that those who have bought and sold slaves must be held accountable.

All authorities, who include the AU, the UN, the U.S., international human rights organizations, and all three divisions of the Libyan government, must step in to chastise and isolate the offenders, he said.

Mr. Muhammad also observed that the fractured Libyan government model is nothing shy of a “basket case.” And with the government being a product of a military coup, Libya should be kicked out of the UN as well as the AU, he argued.

The United States must now be involved in the solution as both the creator of the problem as well as the home of the media outlet that filmed and aired the footage of the inhumane practice, Min. Akbar Muhammad said. CNN’s reporting has culpability in the world’s perception of this crisis and their investigative team is a witness against the perpetrators, he continued.

Mr. Muhammad also said Blacks in the U.S. and other members of the African Diaspora must become voices for the victims by petitioning their governments and human rights organizations to act swiftly against slave trafficking.

Perhaps the most important action that the 54 members of the African Union must take, Mr. Muhammad said, is to immediately begin to invest in building their economies, creating business and employment opportunities, and improving the quality of and access to education so that young people will no longer have to risk their lives migrating to Europe.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Min. Farrakhan warns President Trump and U.S. government

BY ASKIA MUHAMMAD AND RICHARD B. MUHAMMAD, FINAL CALL STAFFERS | LAST UPDATED: NOV 21, 2017 - 2:27:06 PM
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Press and audience attend The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's Nov. 15 press conference at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Photos: Final X

WASHINGTON—In the ballroom of the historic Watergate Hotel, the building where a Black security guard named Frank Wills set off a chain of events which toppled Richard M. Nixon, the 37th president of the United States from office 45 years ago, Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan delivered a warning to the sitting, 45th president, Donald J. Trump, to lead this country to “repent for all of the evils that America has done” to Black people, and to all “the peoples of the world.”

“Mr. President, you won’t make America great again, not in our time,” the Muslim leader said. “She became great killing Native Americans. She became great enslaving us, bringing us from Africa into America to work the cotton fields. You’re not going to get that opportunity back anymore.”

The Minister laid out how Mr. Trump is the last in a line of six presidents who have plotted the destruction of Black people. But, the Minister said, God has come to judge and destroy America for her past evils and current genocidal plots against Blacks. Congressional leaders and civil rights activists forced America to pass laws to improve the lives of Blacks, but those laws were undermined, eviscerated and made ineffective, he noted.
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The political deception and double-dealing goes back to a political compromise in 1877 that put Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in the White House, but removed federal troops from the South and left Blacks at the mercy of hardhearted Whites.

President Donald Trump.

You love this nation; you suffered every indignity to make America better,” Min. Farrakhan said. But freedom, justice and equality were never achieved. The time for appealing to America is over, he said. America owes Blacks trillions of dollars and a separate state or territory, said the Minister. “So just like you pushed the Palestinians out to give the Jews a homeland—and we are the real ones: Push some of your own people out. And we’ll take eight states.”

“Let me tell you something: If you don’t give justice to us, you will lose everything you’ve got, including your life, because God, now, said He is ready to fight you for our deliverance. And he told me to tell you: You don’t have no fight against the forces of nature,” Min. Farrakhan cautioned President Trump. The Minister has consistently warned disasters striking America are not happenstance, but the divine Supreme Being’s direct intervention and chastisement.

“So now, the ball is in the court of Donald J. Trump. Mr. Trump, you met with your Joint Chiefs of Staff in August, and in early September. You had your generals at Camp David. They weren’t talking about taxes—you don’t use generals to talk about taxes. You were planning a war, sir.”

The root of the revelation was a vision-like experience in 1985 when the Minister was taken to the Mother Wheel, a man-made plane that is a half-mile by a half-mile and fulfills the prophecy of Ezekiel’s Wheel in the bible and is commonly referred to as a UFO. In the experience, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke to Min. Farrakhan through a speaker system. Minister heard a cryptic message from his teacher, who said: The president and his Joint Chiefs of Staff have met to plan a war.

hem_quote_11-28-2017.jpgIt later became clear to the Minister that the war was on two fronts, a war against Islamic countries abroad and the tiny Nation of Islam at home. Under Ronald Reagan, the plot manifested in the bombing of Libya, but every president from Richard M. Nixon to Mr. Trump has plotted against Blacks and Islam, Mr. Farrakhan said.
“Ronald Reagan wanted to kill Gadhafi,” said the Minister, speaking of the 1986 U.S. bombing of Libya. “The next thing I knew, an American plane was shot down, and one of those fine aircraft carriers, that Mr. Trump brought over to Asia, was in the Gulf of Sirte—but something happened to it. By the time I got to Saudi Arabia, it came out in the Arab news that there was ‘a bright object over the Mediterranean.’ … And I said to those with me; I said, ‘The Wheel was there.’ The electronic equipment on the aircraft carrier was messed up, so it had to go back to Florida.”

“Reagan was doing ‘war games’ in California; when he became president, he brought all that stuff with him into the White House … and the war games were practiced even moreso, because they expected (urban revolts) since ‘67 and ’68, when the riots broke out and Dr. King was assassinated,” Min. Farrakhan observed.

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Min. Farrakhan addresses the U.S. government at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C. Photos: Andrea Muhammad

“The government of America knew that the Black youth were dangerous, Black folk were becoming more militant, and instead of seeing that there has to be a solution, let’s separate the two people,” he said. Despite four decades of warnings, letters to past presidents, and major 1984 and 1988 press conferences offering separation as an answer, the divine solution offered by Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad has been rejected and American presidents and American institutions have targeted Blacks. President Nixon labeled the Left, anti-war groups and Blacks as his enemy. President George Herbert Walker Bush and George W. Bush went to war with the Muslim world. “Did you know that after 9/11, Wesley Clarke, a general, talked about seeing a memo 10 years earlier, out of the Pentagon? …

They were going to take down seven Muslim countries in five years, ending with a war on Iran. So the ‘[Arab] Spring’ came, and you saw, like dominoes, members of the Muslim world falling,” he noted. The assault on the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001 was a false-flag operation designed to heal to a bitterly divided nation after the Bush-Gore presidential election, said Min. Farrakhan.


Independent press and audience at Nov. 15 press conference in Washington, D.C.

Bill Clinton, who was called “the first Black president,” did great harm to Blacks, said the Minister. The Clinton administration cut welfare and social safety net programs and oversaw the largest increase in federal and state prison inmates of any president in history. Black men were overwhelmingly jailed because of the Clinton 1994 crime bill and his prison policies. The Minister also distributed 500 copies of Dr. Wesley Muhammad’s book, “Understanding the Assault on The Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity,” which details efforts to destroy the Black male.

Now comes Mr. Trump, who follows Barack Obama and his unsuccessful attempts to make America better, Min. Farrakhan said. Mr. Trump is an “anomaly” who refuses to act “presidential” and whose election has exposed the ugly, ugly side of U.S. race relations and an unrepentant militaristic world view.

Presidential wars against Islam

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Media Press kits at Min. Farrakhan’s Nov. 15 press conference. Photo: Jesse Muhammad
“Mr. President, you’re going to have to deal with either the thought that’s in your mind that will destroy America and her future; because once the trigger of war is pulled, it will escalate,” warned Min. Farrakhan. “Now, I’m going to tell you what my teacher told me: You have planned a war. The war that you have planned, you and your generals, is to the Middle East—you want to use the Sunni, at the prodding of Israel, to attack Iran,” said Min. Farrakhan.
The president in his first visit to a foreign nation touted a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia in May and rallied 50 Sunni, Arab nations to confront Iran and her Shia allies. Several news outlets, including the UK-based Daily Mail, reported in mid-November that the king of Saudi Arabia will step down and appoint his son, 32-year-old Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, as his successor. It has been reported that the crown prince made a covert trip to Israel and wants to partner with Israel in a fight against Iranian-backed Hezbollah in Lebanon, the government in Tehran and possibly have Israel enter the fray in Syria.

None of those developments or possible developments bode well for peace in the Middle East as the U.S. is reluctant to engage China militarily and wary of nuclear weapons in North Korea.

The Moretti Ballroom at the Watergate Hotel was filled with 500 seats taken, news video cameras in the rear with international, national, Black and independent media covering the press conference. National, political, civil rights, activists and local religious leaders, and student representatives were in the audience alongside international guests, Nation of Islam national and regional laborers, student ministers, Believers, and supporters.


With the president facing severe opposition, widespread criticism and a divided party, the Watergate was a striking place from the message to emanate as there are calls for Mr. Trump to be impeached.
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Moretti ballroom, reserved for guests, supporters and members of Minister Farrakhan’s family, was filled to capacity. Photo: Andrea Muhammad

The press conference, covered by the Farrakhan Twitter Army, trended on social media as a leading topic. Min. Farrakhan candidly stated that as the FBI seeks to target Black Identity Extremists and separatists, there is no doubt that he and the Nation are in the government’s crosshairs. But, he said, the enemy will not be successful in killing him. I will escape their death plots as did my teacher, he said.

There was controversy when the Minister wanted to display huge book covers for “The Secret Relationship Blacks and Jews,” and “Understanding the Assault on The Black Man, Black Manhood and Black Masculinity.” The Jewish owners of the hotel objected. Min. Farrakhan defended the books, saying “The Secret Relationship” is composed of work by Jewish scholars and rabbis. There are good, righteous Jews who want to follow the law of God, said the Minister. But, he pointed out, other Jews act like it is a sin to scrutinize Jewish behavior. How can you be better if actions that are contrary to God are not pointed out so that you can be better? Min. Farrakhan asked.


The real Jesus 
Minister Farrakhan carefully explained the theological foundation of the Nation of Islam’s message, explaining why Muslims are taught to reject the false image of Jesus as a Caucasian man. “We have to escape the tyranny of White supremacy that is embodied in an image of Jesus that is not Jesus,” he said.

The historical Jesus was not White but if it makes no difference why did Caucasians change his race? asked Min. Farrakhan.
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The Muslim leader stressed the reason he teaches so emphatically about the true identity of Jesus is because he knows who Jesus is. The Jesus you have been looking for was raised among Black people and is the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, Min. Farrakhan said. “That man (Elijah Muhammad) is on The Wheel with his Teacher. He’s been up there now for 42 years; he said that God studied 42 years to deliver us from the hands of our tormentors.”

It was the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, who escaped a death plot, who spoke to me, disclosed the plans of the presidents for war against Islam and the Nation from the Mother Wheel and whose words have guided the last 32 years of my work, said the Minister. I have one more thing to do to return to the Wheel and see my teacher face-to-face, the Minister boldly stated.

“For 40 years I have labored in this vineyard in the absence of my teacher, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. His work among us for 40 years is unparalleled in the work of reform of the Black man and woman, bringing us from the savage state of existence that we were placed in by our former slave masters and their children,” he said.

Many Nation of Islam members and supporters in attendance frequently interrupted the remarks with cheers and standing ovations.

“Now those of you who are in love with Jesus Christ, I want you to know that a Black man from Georgia was raised from a dead state: Elijah Muhammad. And you tried to kill him, and you thought you had succeeded. That’s why when I was taken up on The Wheel, he said: ‘Make known to them their plans, and tell them you got it from me, Elijah Muhammad, on The Wheel.’ What was he asking me, pardon me, ordering me to tell you that for? So you would know that he escaped your plot to kill him,” the Minister said.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Dirty politics, disrespect and voters: What's next for Democrats and Black America?

By Charlene Muhammad, Barrington Salmon And Nisa Islam Muhammad | Last updated: Nov 7, 2017 - 1:50:27 PM

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Donna Brazile, former vice chair of the Democratic National Committee and serving as interim chair until November, speaks on the floor of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 25, 2016. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

WASHINGTON—The latest crisis for the Democratic Party, sparked by former party interim chair Donna Brazile’s new tell-all book, harkens back to historical mistreatment by an entity that pretends to be a friend of Blacks, several analysts and activists said.


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In “Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns That Put Donald Trump in the White House,” Ms. Brazile speaks of feeling like she was treated as a slave, not being allowed to spend money she raised to do her job, and how she considered replacing Democrat Hillary Clinton with former Vice President Joe Biden after Ms. Clinton fainted on the presidential campaign trail.


Ms. Brazile has been met with attacks from within her party, some, including Blacks, telling her to shut up, to which she replied, “Go to hell.”

Revelations by DNC strategist Brazile may have startled some but many were not surprised, including Lauren Victoria Burke, who writes about Congress and politics from Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. She is the managing editor for POLITIC365.COM.
                    
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“It’s strange that she’s getting attacked for things people say in the background all the time about the DNC. The DNC is becoming irrelevant. People are starting their own campaigns, similar to what Barak Obama did with Obama for America. He knew the DNC favored Hillary Clinton and wanted to elect her,” said Ms. Burke. “What she (Donna Brazile) is saying is the type of thing that many have said for a long time about the DNC.”

Former Ohio state senator Nina Turner told CNN Nov. 3, that Ms. Brazile’s remarks are indicative of a crisis in Washington. “The fact that you have someone like Donna Brazile, who was the first African American woman to run a national campaign, a presidential campaign … ran Vice President Al Gore‘s campaign, 30-year relationship with the DNC and also the Clintons, and whether people agree with what she has done professionally in her life at certain points, the fact that she is pointing this out means that this is serious and that there is absolutely a crisis in the city,” said the former supporter of  Sen.  Bernie Sanders, who lost the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination to Mrs. Clinton. She lost the presidential race to Republican Donald J. Trump.

‘I’m not Patsy, the slave’
The book, and an excerpt published on Politico.com, revealed how the Clinton campaign raised money for a broke DNC and exerted control over spending, staffing and important decisions during the presidential primary. Opponent Sanders raised no money and had no such controls over the party.
Ms. Brazile details a crisis in the DNC that pitted her against Clinton campaign officials. In one fiery conference call, heaped with disrespect for her position as the DNC chair, Ms. Brazile told three senior campaign officials, Charlie Baker, Marlon Marshall and Dennis Cheng, that they were treating her like a slave.

“I’m not Patsy the slave,” Ms. Brazile recalls telling them, a reference to the character played by Lupita Nyong’o in the film “12 Years a Slave.” “Y’all keep whipping me and whipping me and you never give me any money or any way to do my damn job. I am not going to be your whipping girl!”
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“The question of this book’s contents is what does it imply for the Democratic Party in the future and what role Black people will play?” said longtime labor union activist Dwight Kirk. “Donna’s comments are consistent with what I’m seeing, which is disengagement of Blacks from the Democratic Party. She expressed betrayal with how the Democratic Party treated her. They thought that she was a loyal party operative and would just go along with the program. They were wrong.”


Mr. Kirk, a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, agreed that the Democratic Party has fallen short of putting action behind its words.
“The Democratic Party has squandered opportunities that has put Black people at bay,” he said. “(Democratic Pollster Cornell) Belcher said that Black people were given short shrift with promised jobs within the campaign. And potential Black voters are not targeted properly because the party is trying to capture the angry White male vote versus that of Blacks and other constituencies.”

“This Brazile thing to me is a distancing, disjointed thing going down with the party and Black folks.  What direction will the party take? Will it mobilize voters, turn out Black candidates or try to win back White blue-collar voters? If they not dealing with criminal justice, inequality and police brutality, they’ll fall short in attracting Black voter support.”

Mr. Kirk argues that continued exclusion, White privilege and inequality—if unchecked, will impede the Democratic Party’s efforts to become more relevant to a voter base that is becoming browner and younger, very different from the party of the past 50 years.

 There was concern among Democratic establishment circles of the timing of the book and its impact on Nov. 6 elections in Virginia and New Jersey.

“The timing couldn’t have been worse. It does us no good to hash out all this stuff,” former DNC chairman and Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell told Politico of the financial arrangement at the center of Ms. Brazile’s recounting. “At this point, we should be looking to the future—what’s done is done,” he said. “There was no crime committed, but it would’ve been easy to avoid. [So] I don’t think it was rigged, I think what the DNC did was just awful.”

Trying to save the DNC?
Ms. Brazile said she promised Sen. Sanders that when she took over at the Democratic National Committee after the convention, that she “would get to the bottom of whether Hillary Clinton’s team had rigged the nomination process, as a cache of emails stolen by Russian hackers and posted online had suggested.”

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Debbie Wasserman Schultz
She said she found an organization in shambles because of the neglect of disgraced former DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz and then-President Barack Obama and the financial shenanigans by the Clinton campaign “that were keeping the party on life support.”


The Clinton campaign, she said, as leaked emails revealed, “was grabbing money from the state parties for its own purposes, leaving the states with very little to support down-ballot races.”

This weakness is what has hobbled Democrats, said Bill Fletcher, Jr., a racial justice, labor and international activist and writer.

“We need a shift of thinking on statewide strategies,” he said. “We have to look at these strategies more seriously. (Democrats) and many progressives have really ignored these elections but most of the damage is being done at the state level.”

Mr. Fletcher argues that Blacks need not abstain from electoral politics, but need to adopt a more confrontational yet strategic posture. “Every time that we get upset with White progressives or liberals, all we have to do is look at history for the patterns that have played out,” he explained.

“There’s always been uneasiness. There have been points of moments of tremendous unity and the 1890s where there was complete splintering. It’s not if Democrats treat (Black people) well. We also have to understand as Frederick Douglass said, that power concedes nothing without a struggle. We can’t get anything from Democrats by kneeling or complaining. Winning means we need allies. It’s a question of if we want to win or merely register a protest. What we need to do is build alliances and win and push the party to its limits. I think a lot of us have gone on and not thought about winning but are inclined to accept glorious defeat.”

Self first instead of plantation politics?
Dr. Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson for Nation of Islam Minister Louis Farrakhan, holds an opposite view from Mr. Fletcher, arguing that neither Republicans nor Democrats are serious about integrating Blacks into the fabric of their parties.

“I don’t see a place for Black people in the Democratic Party,” the author, lawyer and talk-show host asserted. “A third party is absolutely needed. We’re dealing with effect not cause. It’s the effect of pre-existing cause which is the distribution of wealth and resources. Financial, educational and political institutions set up while we were still picking cotton. Closing the gap within these institutions is not feasible.”

“We cannot vote our way into equality. Black people were congressmen, governors, mayors, and the ultimate prize—president of the United States. President Obama was brilliant, and he emerged from two terms unscathed, untouched by scandal but substantively, as a people, we have not made progress. We need to be about Self. Self-identity leads to economic strength, which leads to political power. It begins with self-identity.”

“Black people have always known that they got short shrift from the Democratic Party. Black people have always known that the Democratic Party is the party of Rahm Emanuel, the party of endless Israeli wars, and if anyone chose to speak up for the U.S. interests, they were slapped to the curve and eventually out of the Congress,” said human rights advocate Cynthia McKinney. “That’s what happened to me, but, that is the position of the Democratic Party.”
                    
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Cynthia McKinney

Ms. McKinney is a former U.S. congresswoman. She told The Final Call Ms. Brazile hasn’t told the whole story, and is repeating what the former Georgia lawmaker stated years ago. She spoke with The Final Call in a phone interview from Iraq.
Notwithstanding the fact it’s way too late, and criminal conduct was engaged in, and more details exist, it’s good Ms. Brazile spoke up, but it’s nothing new, argued Ms. McKinney. Ms. Brazile has said Clinton’s control of the DNC was unfair but no crimes were committed.

The Democratic Party savior could not have Senator Sanders, because he supported many of the Israeli wars, said Ms. McKinney. The long-time Independent Party politician from Vermont failed to beat Ms. Clinton in the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary.

“This is not change! This is at best face change. It is not regime change, and the Democratic Party needs regime change,” Ms. McKinney added. Barack Obama was face change, but still, too many Blacks do not understand the difference between the two, she said. “They don’t understand the difference between being a slave and being free and dying for your freedom.  They don’t understand that yet, and so Barack Obama represents just a different face of the same plantation.”

Dr. Gerald Horne, Moore’s chair of History and African American Culture at the University of Houston, said, “On the one hand the concerns of Donna Brazil resonated with me in terms of being treated like a slave—those are her words by the way—in terms of the general atmosphere of racism that she had to confront at the highest levels of the Democratic Party.”

While it dovetails with what he already knew or suspected, the revelations may be too little too late, Dr. Horne continued. “It may be an attempt to provide juicy headlines to sell a book,” he said.

“The Democratic Party has a fundamental contradiction that many do not want to confront. On the one hand, it is a representative of big business and bosses; and on the other hand, it seeks to speak for those who work for big business and bosses, particularly the Black community. So the Democratic Party is trying to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds,” Dr. Horne argued. “It’s trying to be all things to all people or to most people, and inevitably, that leads to rifts.  Inevitably, that leads to convulsions.  Inevitably, that leads to tell- all books that, apparently, Donna Brazile has written.”

Part of the dilemma is many feel there are no alternatives to the Democratic Party except Donald Trump and the Republican Party and they say Democratic unity must prevail. Dr. Horne and others warn Democrats not to take the Black vote for granted.  “That, I think, would be a fatal error,” Dr. Horne stated. While Democrat Hillary Clinton received Black support, she won fewer votes than Mr. Obama and failed to energize Black voters.

Dr. Melina Abdullah, chair of the Pan-African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles, and organizer with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles, said Ms. Brazile shows again why Blacks need to critically probe their relationship with the Democratic Party. 
“We need to recognize that both major parties represent White supremacist capitalism, and neither really advance Black Liberation,” she told The Final Call.

Black Lives Matter doesn’t buy into Democratic Party politics, and certainly has not been part of the Republican regime, she said. The educator urged Blacks to consider third parties, and ways they can engage in public policy reform outside of traditional politics.

“I think it’s really important that we understand the limitations of electoral politics, that you’re never going to vote yourself into freedom, and so it doesn’t mean that we don’t vote, but it means that we can’t rely primarily on voting as our primary liberation struggle,” Dr. Abdullah said.

In a letter published November 4 on Medium by Jesse Ferguson, Democratic strategist and former press secretary, 100 Hillary Clinton aides expressed shock that Ms. Brazile considered replacing Ms. Clinton and her running mate Tim McCain. Voices 4 Hillary dubbed the book “Brazile fiction,” saying they “do not recognize the campaign she portrays in the book.”

Jasmyne Cannick, Los Angeles-based political consultant and media commentator, warned against Democrats going too hard against a party stalwart. “Ms. Brazile is a highly respected Black woman. The DNC’s relationship with Blacks in America—who by and large still continue to vote Democrat—is rocky at best.  Going after and defaming Donna Brazile to try and save face in light of these truths coming out will not bode well for the Party—and they know that,” she said.

“Basically the Democratic Party is yet to change, so they will always be treated as an afterthought, as a transaction,” predicted Ms. McKinney  “Let’s spend $24 million on election day and make sure the Black community is flushed with money on one day, but let’s not give them any public policy. … That’s what the Democratic Party does,” she said.

Ms. McKinney likened the Black predicament politically to a toddler. “If we are not at that stage and we are still looking to mama to put us up on her shoulders, and that means the Democratic Party, then we will never ever walk on our own two feet,” she said. Ms. McKinney, who was critical of Democratic policies while in Congress, served as a Democrat.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

Reclaiming Our Time: Women’s Convention Convenes In Detroit

By Andrea Muhammad, Contributing Writer | Last updated: Oct 31, 2017 - 1:01:32 PM

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Women of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds convened in Detroit. (R) Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) Photos: Andrea Muhammad

DETROIT—The inauguration of President Donald Trump prompted the largest coordinated political protest in U.S. history and one of the largest in world history. The Women’s March took place on January 21, 2017 with a “mission to harness the political power of all women and their communities to create transformative social change.”


Nine months later, thousands of women from across the country gathered in Detroit for the Women’s Convention from October 27-29. Attendees included “first time activists and movement leaders, rising political stars reflecting our nation’s changing demographics gathered with the intent of tapping into the power of women in leadership as the fundamental, grassroots force for change. A change organizers are hopeful will serve as the beginning of a political groundswell, showing that the rise of the woman is the rise of the nation,” said the group behind the gathering.

Faiza Ali of New York said, “I was really inspired by the Women’s March in Washington in January [after the inauguration of President Donald Trump]. I felt this was a good follow up to talk about what we do from being out on the street and protesting to actually changing policy. A lot of the workshops that I have been attending thus far have been about how we get women who look like us, who share our values to run for office.”

Since the 2016 election, Ms. Ali also noted “a lot of people are angry. People are outraged. One thing I was worried about with the Women’s March was that people would get tired. The last 10 months of this particular administration has been extremely difficult for many communities of color.
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Young women hold signs supporting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) also known as the “Dream Act.”
“What I learned when I first got here to the Cobo Center this morning is that there are lines of women trying to get in. I think that there are many things that bring people to this space, it’s not just one thing. People feel that this is a place of community where they are angry and upset but also they are moving to action.”


During a highly-charged opening session, national co-chair Tamika Mallory welcomed the sold-out conference proclaiming, “They told us that we would only get together to march on one day and look at all of you who have shown up here this morning!”
                    
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Packed audience listens to presentation at Women’s Convention in Detroit at the Cobo Convention Center. Photos: Andrea Muhammad

Ms. Mallory set the tone for attendees to engage in open, honest dialog stating, “The only way for us to be productive is through truth. It is important that we tell the truth.”
Speaking of confronting challenges in the movement regarding changes in America’s racial, social, political and economic demographics, Ms. Mallory drew a thunderous applause. “When we hear that our Muslim brothers and sisters are under attack, we need to stand up. When we hear that our Mexican brothers and sisters are under attack, we need to stand up. When we hear that our DACA registrants are under attack, we need to stand up. When we hear that Black people are under attack, we must stand up. When we hear that our children are under attack, we must stand up and when we hear that women are under attack, we must stand up!” she declared.

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Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) fired up the crowd during her remarks.
Ms. Mallory took on the notion of feminism as an entitlement exclusively for White women saying, “Your feminism does not represent me if it is only about our right to get an abortion. If you do not care about the fact that I cannot even have children because I am too poor, then your feminism does not represent me. If men are not a part of this movement, your feminism does not represent me because I have an 18-year-old son that I cannot leave behind, he must be protected. If your feminism does not include how gun violence impacts our communities, it does not represent me. And if your feminism is the difference between Bernie and Hilary, it does not represent me!”


“Don’t call me about Bernie Sanders. I’m not interested in having that conversation. I want to know what you are doing on the ground in your communities. Who have you saved? Who have you lifted? Where are the most marginalized communities that you have walked through?”

Actress Rose McGowan gave her first public address since accusing movie producer Harvey Weinstein of sexually assaulting her. She defiantly told the audience, “No more will we be shunted to the side. No more will we be hurt. It’s time to rise; it’s time to be brave in the face of unspeakable action.” 
                    
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Many breakout sessions were moderated over the weekend including hyperlocal activism (creating successful neighborhood groups); women’s economic and entrepreneurial empowerment; gender equity; histories of Black and Southern women organizing; lobbying and grassroots advocacy; police violence against women of color; confronting White womanhood; immigrant protection and advocacy; training classes on running for elected offices and a powerfully delivered keynote address from Rep. Maxine Waters of California.

Students from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy in Detroit participated in the “We All We Got? Reflecting on 40 years of Black Women Organizing” session. Areiona Burton, a senior, said, “I am looking forward to learning a different way to display confidence in Black women, to be more independent, display more pride in our color and ourselves.”
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Students and participants from the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy at convention.

The energetic Democratic stateswoman affectionately referred to as “Auntie” by millennials gave a stinging rebuke of the abuse and mistreatment of women saying, “As we continue to witness a record number of women who are boldly coming forward to reveal disturbing and grotesque acts of sexual harassment, assault and rape oftentimes at the hands of men who believed they were too rich and too powerful to ever be confronted or held accountable. Women who may have lived in shame or fear but have now boldly come forward with their own #MeToo stories and expose just how prevalent rape culture is in our society.”


The congresswoman drew thunderous applause declaring, “We will not tolerate, ignore or be a part of a culture or turn a blind eye to sexual harassment and violence! Keep your nasty comments away from us! Keep your tricks and your lies to yourself! And keep your hands off our backs and our goddamned bottoms!”

Congresswoman Waters further ignited the audience, bringing them to their feet as she took on Donald Trump for his past and present treatment of women up to her friend and colleague Florida Democrat Frederica Wilson. “This is a president who has insulted a grieving widow and even a gold star soldier. This is a president who mocked a disabled reporter. This is a president who is slow to offend the White supremacist and KKK!” The congresswoman closed by asking the audience to join with her in repeating chants of “Impeach 45.”

Symone Sanders, a political strategist, CNN commentator and former national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign, told The Final Call, “Maxine Waters is out there saying things that a lot of people actually do think and believe. Things that people are saying behind closed doors, but no one would ever dare say it on CNN or MSNBC.”
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Sixteen-year-old Winter Minisee, founder of community organization BlackIsLit, told The Final Call, “I think she’s [Congresswoman Maxine Waters] just very moving. She’s unapologetically Black. She doesn’t hold her tongue to appease her White counterparts. She speaks the uncomfortable truth which I really love. She has really motivated young people.”


In an exclusive interview with The Final Call, Tamika Mallory said, “There were a lot of people who were not sure that we could have a mass mobilization on Jan. 21 and turn around nine months later and have an occasion that brings people for real thoughtful process so that we can do work on the hyper local level so that we are prepared with the tools and resources that we need to be real grassroots organizers.”

Those doubts appear to have been put to rest.