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.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

Cointelpro 2017? - FBI targets what it calls “Black Identity Extremist” groups

By Charlene Muhammad -National Correspondent- | Last updated: Oct 24, 2017 - 12:31:55 PM

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More questions, few answers about the FBI targeting of Black groups
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Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., right, speaks at a Congressional Tri-Caucus news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Sept. 27, on injustice and inequality in America. Photos: AP/Wide World photos

National Black leaders, organizations, and activists continue to challenge the Federal Bureau of Investigation over its leaked “Black Identity Extremists” report labeling certain Black individuals and organizations as violent threats to police.


The Congressional Black Caucus, including ranking members on three House committees, has requested a meeting with FBI Director Christopher Wray.  At Final Call presstime, the Black lawmakers had not received a response to their letter sent Oct. 13.

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FBI director Christopher Wray is shown before speaking to reporters during a dedication ceremony for the new Atlanta Field Office building Oct. 12.
CBC Chairman Cedric L. Richmond and John Conyers, Jr., the Judiciary Committee; Bennie G. Thompson, the Homeland Security Committee; and Elijah E. Cummings of the House Oversight Committee want to know the origins of the report and how it will be used.


They also expressed concern about the Aug. 3 document, given the FBI’s “troubling history” of targeting Black leaders and movements, including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and other civil rights leaders.

“The assessment and the analyses upon which it is based are flawed because it conflates Black political activists with dangerous domestic terrorist organizations that pose actual threats to law enforcement. It relies on a handful of obviously terrible incidents to paint Black Americans who exercise free speech against witnessed police brutality as possible violent extremists,” charged the lawmakers.

The FBI declined The Final Call’s request for an interview and gave no comment on the intelligence report itself. “Our focus is not on membership in particular groups but on individuals who commit violence and other criminal acts. Furthermore, the FBI does not and will not police ideology. When an individual takes violent action based on belief or ideology and breaks the law, the FBI will enforce the rule of law,” stated Andrew Ames of the FBI’s national press office in an email response to The Final Call.

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Critics point to a double standard when it comes to how certain groups are viewed or perceived as threats. There have been documented cases of violence perpetrated by White anti-government militias and White supremacist groups that U.S. law enforcement should be more concerned with, activists said.


“We know they’re targeting us. They’ve always targeted us, and maybe they’re stating it more blatantly, maybe they’ll come after us more blatantly than they have in recent years, but the freedom of our people means that we have to work for what it means to be free. The freedom of our people is more important than any risks that we run,” said Dr. Melina Abdullah, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles and chair of the Pan African Studies Department at California State University-Los Angeles.

“Who are they calling an extremist? They’re calling us extremists, but they’re saying nothing of the real extremists, who are assaulting and killing our people. Why is there no call for threats that White Identity Extremists pose?” she asked.

“When we think about the number of people who have been killed by terrorists in this country, White men are by far the most dangerous group, but there’s no umbrella term for White Identity Extremists,” she added.

The record against ‘White extremists’
In October 2006, the FBI’s “White Supremacists Infiltration of Law Enforcement” intelligence report indicated White supremacist have had a historical interest in infiltrating law enforcement communities or recruiting law enforcement personnel.
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Two supporters of White nationalist Richard Spencer clash with a crowd of protesters after Spencer spoke at the University of Florida in Gainesville on Oct. 19. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

The report, redacted almost line for line, concealed much of what it was supposed to address, except that it examined infiltration from organized groups and law enforcement personnel sympathetic to White supremacist causes. It hid information pertaining to recruitment campaigns and systematic attempts by White supremacist groups to infiltrate law enforcement. But among White supremacist sympathizers, the FBI reported that the Ku Klux Klan was notable for historically having support in many communities and ties to local law enforcement.


“Of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far right-wing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73 percent),” said a General Accounting Office report, “Countering Violent Extremism,” issued earlier this year.

“In that same 15-year span they’ve also killed 34 police officers, compared to 10 from left-wing extremists (including the five officers killed within minutes of each other in Dallas), and one from a domestic jihadist terrorist,” observed Paste.com in a September article titled, “White Lives Matter, Blue Lives Don’t: Right-Wingers Kill More Cops Than Any Other Group.”

“Despite these stats, police kill black people 2.5 times more frequently than they kill white people. What’s more, police kill unarmed black people at five times the rate they kill unarmed white people. That gap is racism at its ugliest,” Paste.com observed. “This January the Intercept published an important but overlooked story about another FBI investigation: White supremacists have infiltrated law enforcement organizations around the country. That’s right: white supremacists want to kill cops, and white supremacists want to be cops.”

Activists argued the Justice Department is neither going to pursue these White hate groups, nor call them out as threats. 

“We’ve seen a blatant example in Dylan Roof, after his arrest, the police literally took him out to eat at Burger King. This document is a sign of the times. Though U.S. President Donald Trump is extremely reactionary, the machine which he represents is not reactionary,” said Fred Hampton, Jr., a Chicago activist and son of assassinated Black Panther Party leader Fred Hampton. He was referring to the young, White convicted murderer of nine people in a Black church in Charleston, S.C. Mr. Roof, who was sentenced to death after a federal trial, pleaded guilty last year to state charges related to the 2015 killings.

James Alex Fields, Jr., 20-year-old alleged White supremacist, was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Heather Heyer, an anti-racist demonstrator, and injuries to 19 others when he weaponized his car, mowing them over during a “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va. in August. 

On Oct. 19, White supremacists rallied again at an Alt-Right rally at the University of Florida featuring Neo-Nazi Richard Spencer and were met with mass demonstrators mobilized by the ANSWER Coalition.

Three White nationalists were charged with attempted homicide after they shot at the anti-racists protestors. According to police, 28-year-old Tyler Tenbrink fired a single shot that struck a building, after Colton Fears, 28, and William Fears, 30, encouraged him to “kill them,” and “shoot them.”
Then there have been armed stand-offs between Whites and federal agents in recent years, including the January 2016 occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge headquarters in Oregon and the 2014 Bundy Ranch standoff. Cliven Bundy engaged in an armed confrontation with law enforcement after the federal government ordered him to pay over $1 million in grazing fees for his federally-owned land near his ranch in southeastern Nevada. Many of those involved in the Bundy Ranch standoff joined the Oregon occupation. It ended with one White militia member shot to death by federal agents.

In March 2010, the Justice Department indicted nine members of a White, Christian militia group in a plot to murder police officers. “Hutaree,” an anti-government extremist organization, advocates violence against local, state, and federal law enforcement, according to the Justice Department.
Basically, the group planned to kill police in traffic stops, by ambush in rural communities, or by luring them with a false 911, according to the authorities. Seven were acquitted on charges related to conspiracy and sedition, and two were sentenced to time served on weapons related charges, and two years’ probation.

A long history of domestic terror, surveillance against Blacks?
“Keep in mind, ‘alt-right’ is a very nice way of talking about White Supremacists, including White Supremacists organizations that have been active in this country, primarily from its very beginnings,” said Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP Washington Bureau.

“I think what we’re seeing is, there’s been a consistent growth in White Supremacists hate groups in this country, that was also stimulated by having an African American being elected to serve as president of the United States,” Mr. Shelton told The Final Call.  “We’ve seen, based on data from the Justice Department and other places, there has been a consistent uptick in recruiting and membership to these White Supremacists organizations throughout the country.”  

On Oct. 18, the American Civil Liberties Union and Center for Media Justice filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking other records regarding the FBI’s surveillance of Black people on the basis of a supposed shared ideology, including records using the term “Black Identity Extremists.”

Malkia Cyril, executive director of Center for Media Justice, and Hugh Handeyside, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said the FBI’s assessment contains troubling signs that it is scrutinizing and possibly surveilling Black activists in its search for potential “extremists.”
They found the report disturbing on several levels, starting with the label “Black Identity Extremist.” The FBI definition of the term is so confusing as to be unintelligible, critics said.

The FBI assessment mentions the Moorish Science Temple and followers of Noble Drew Ali, and not the Nation of Islam, but “we know they’re coming,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan during his recent riveting address, “Separation or Death,” commemorating the 22nd Anniversary of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement.

“I thought since they said that separation of Black people from White people was one of the things that upset them, so I want to upset them a little more today,” Min. Farrakhan during his Oct. 15 address from Symphony Hall in Newark. 

“The Minister said after acknowledging the existence of this report, that the only solution to the toxic relationship between Black and White is separation, and of course, he put up on the screen the first four issues under What the Muslims Want in the Muslim Program that was developed by the Honorable Elijah Muhammad,” said Dr. Ava Muhammad, national spokesperson for Min. Farrakhan.
“I believe very strongly that the FBI report is the product of an effort to craft some type of policy and law that will allow the U.S. government to come after the Nation of Islam as we move forward on behalf of our people to implement the Muslim Program,” she said.

Roy Bey, national coordinator for the Moorish American National Republic, under the leadership of National Grand Sheik Jole Bratton Bey, said the group will not stand by and be the FBI’s new target.
“The enemy never sleeps, and we are all targets of this political construct, and they are finding discrepancies with the Moorish American paradigm, because some of us claim sovereignty,” he said.
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Ward Churchill, Native American activist, former head of the ethnic studies department at the University of Colorado, and author of “Agents of Repression,” warned, “Beware of erratic, irrational behavior of particularly people approaching to become members.” This type of infiltration of Black organizations helped the groups fall victim to COINTELPRO, he observed.


Under the COINTELPRO secret domestic infiltration program, the FBI used agents as spies, criminals and others to disrupt and neutralize legitimate organizations, said Mr. Churchill. It was all part of a trap as part of the aim was to instill paranoia, he said.

“The only real antidote I know to that is imperfect, to exercise some common sense and to step on rumors, because one of the main techniques that was used for internal disruption and the amplification of internal tensions and negative dynamics was to spread rumors based on nothing at all,” Mr. Churchill stated.
“Just simply with the state putting this out, the system putting this out, this sets an atmosphere from the White House on down, to the rank and file police officers, to the school teachers, TSAs and airports, to the sentiments of everyday people, to the music, to how entertainers dress, what people feel they can say and what now becomes ‘politically correct’ and what’s not politically correct,” said Mr. Hampton, Jr.

“Though this is an articulation of how this system has been operating quite historically, COINTELPRO has never ceased. …  In fact, we use the term ‘NOWINTELPRO,’ ” said the activist, who is also chairman of the Prisoners of Consciousness Committee.

Despite constant attacks, there’s been resistance, uprisings, and organizing, which must continue, he said.  Mr. Hampton believes the government underestimated the people’s rebellion in Ferguson, Mo., which though small in locale, was a marker that has and continues to inspire many.

Be mindful of the government creating bogus organizations, spokespersons, and individuals as agent provocateurs to justify repressive tactics, not only against individuals in organizations, but against people in general, he said.

Krystal Muhammad, chairman of the New Black Panther Party, said the FBI is essentially criminalizing common terminology by twisting words and making being Black a crime.
“It is criminal that we feed our people? No. It’s not. It is criminal that we speak up against the tyranny of this government? No. It is not. It is criminal that when our people have been devastated by natural and manmade disasters that we’re out doing search and rescues? No, it’s not,” Ms. Muhammad said.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, author, academic and Black economic empowerment advocate, told The Final Call he was detained during a recent trip to London, which took him by surprise.
He couldn’t figure out if his nine-hour hold to determine if he was on a work visa for a scheduled speaking engagement was really a technicality or based on political motivations.

They took his picture and wanted to fingerprint him. He said he was held in a room where he couldn’t contact the outside world. He said he was threatened and couldn’t mention anything about the detention on social media.

“My reaction is I’m just not one to fall for your intimidation. I’m going to call your bluff. My term is you’re not going to try to molest me in the dark. You know how child molesters will try to scare the child into not telling nobody? My feeling is I’m going to tell the world what happened here so that people are just aware of what’s going on,” he said.

Lawyers with BlackHistoryStudies.com helped to finally gain his release, he said.  They also shared with him the history of the UK ban on Min. Farrakhan, Dr. Watkins continued.

“Because I have so much respect for the Minister, I said, ‘well, at least I’m in good company,’ ” he said.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

False flags and Black America's salvation

BY ASKIA MUHAMMAD AND RICHARD B. MUHAMMAD, FINAL CALL STAFFERS | LAST UPDATED: OCT 17, 2017 - 2:14:05 PM

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NEWARK—Some scholars and scientists demonstrate their intellectual prowess by observing simple phenomena, natural phenomena, and explaining their observations to other scholars in fancy polysyllabic terms.

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Veterans hold American flag during playing of the National Anthem before the Milwaukee Bucks face the Denver Nuggets in the first half of an NBA basketball game, Nov. 11, 2015, in Denver. Photo: AP/Wide World photos
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan however, takes the complex and sometimes confusing concepts of nature and society, explaining them so that both the unlettered and the learned understand clearly.

And as part of a near three hour lecture, the Minister spoke to the issue of justice, judgment and the controversy regarding respect for the American flag roiling the country.

He spoke Oct. 15 to a controversy that exploded nationwide following professional football player Colin Kaepernick’s decision last year to protest to racial injustices and the unjust police killings of Blacks by not standing for the national anthem.

Instead of dealing with the young star’s appeal for justice by taking a knee, President Donald J. Trump switched the narrative to talk of disrespecting the American flag, Min. Farrakhan.


Nuri Muhammad of Muhammad Mosque No. 74 in Indianapolis describes the audience as a "bouquet of human beings," attending the 22nd Anniversary of the Million Man March. Photo: Courtney X


It was another ploy to mute Black cries for justice, freedom and equality and whitewash the history of a flag drenched with the blood of Black people.

“Black people don’t hate the flag as such. Black people don’t hate America as such,” said the Minister. “But they just wanted to draw attention to what we have been suffering under the flag. And the police that shoot us down, they have a flag somewhere on their uniform. When we go to court, the flag is there and we can’t get justice.”

Men like his son’s father-in-law, who fought and lost comrades in World War II, stand for the flag with their hands over their hearts in remembrance of honorable men who lost their lives, said the Minister from the stage at Newark Symphony Hall as part of a weekend commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the Million Man March.

His subject was “Separation Or Death.” Blacks have fought and died in every war under the flag, with Crispus Attucks, a Black man, the first to die in the Revolutionary war, but have not received the freedoms the flag represents, said Min. Farrakhan.

The federal code for proper treatment of the flag says one should not be punished for not standing for the flag. It prohibits the horizontal display of the flag—which is the standard for National Football League games.




(L-R) Nuri Muhammad, Abdul Haqq Muhammad, Abdul Hafeez Muhammad





(L-R) Louis Scott Roundtree, Imam Aquil Mateen, David Muhammad, Ishmael Muhammad

The use of the flag is tied to millions paid to the NFL from the Defense Dept. to “display flag in a disrespectful manner,” the Minister observed. It’s not about patriotism, but about money, recruitment and manipulating love of country to fight America’s wars, said Min. Farrakhan.

The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, patriarch of the Nation of Islam and the Minister’s teacher, taught Muslims to respect the American flag as a sign of a sovereign nation and reminder that Black people desire to be a sovereign nation with their own flag, Min. Farrakhan said.

But, he continued, we do not pledge allegiance to the flag, we pledge allegiance to God and bow to God alone.

The Muslim oath is to God: My Prayer, my sacrifice, my life and my death are all for Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. In Islamic tradition the flag is respected but allegiance is not given to a temporal flag.

Min. Farrakhan said he would not kneel outside the White House with his fist up. Black salvation is not in the White House but in building your own house as God has decreed, he said.

The same day as the Minister’s message, Mr. Kaepernick announced a grievance charging NFL owners colluded to deny him employment during this year’s football season.

Mr. Geragos said in a Twitter statement: “If the NFL (as well as all professional sports leagues) is to remain a meritocracy, then principled and peaceful political protest—which the owners themselves made great theater imitating weeks ago—should not be punished.” And “athletes should not be denied employment based on partisan political provocation by the executive branch of our government. Such a precedent threatens all patriotic Americans and harkens back to our darkest days as a nation,” the high profile attorney warned.


San Francisco 49ers Eric Reid and Colin Kaepernick take a knee during the National Anthem prior to their game against the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte North Carolina.


“This lawsuit could literally be a game-changer, not just for Kaepernick, but for the labor rights of all NFL players. He is hoping to trigger termination of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was signed on 2011 and is set to expire in 2021, by proving that the NFL-at-large conspired to keep him out of the league,” said

ThinkProgress.org.
ThinkProgress.org also noted, “Kaepernick parted ways with the 49ers in March, but despite the fact that the 6’4 29 year old has started 58 games in his six-year NFL career and led the 49ers to a Super Bowl in 2013 as a rookie, he remains unemployed six weeks into the season, while dozens of untested and unproven quarterbacks have signed contracts and injuries to elite quarterbacks have left playoff-contending teams hungry for a capable veteran to lead the way.

“It doesn’t take a ‘football expert’ to know that something fishy is going on—Kaepernick is objectively more talented and experienced than a swath of starters in the NFL, nevermind the backups.”


Thousands turned out for message at Newark Symphony Hall. Photo: Andrea Muhammad



Powerful history, message in Newark
Min. Farrakhan spoke of the significance of celebrating the march anniversary where the teaching of Islam among Black former slaves began in North America 95 years ago under Noble Drew Ali.

When Minister Farrakhan stood at the podium wearing a muted marine-green suit, white shirt and gold-colored bow tie and pocket scarf, he looked out on thousands in the orchestra seats; and in the balcony there were thousands more in an adjoining overflow room.

He looked out on an assembly that Nuri Muhammad, student minister of Muhammad Mosque No. 74 in Indianapolis, described as a “bouquet” of human beings.

“You’ve got the Moorish Science Temple in the house,” said Nuri Muhammad. “You’ve got the Baptists in the house. Pentecostals are present. The Sunnis, the Sufis, the Shiites, the Hebrew Israelites, the Jehovah Witnesses are here. The Omegas are here. The Kappas are here. We’ve got the Crips and the Bloods in the building today. We’ve got the Vice Lords. This is how it’s supposed to be, brothers and sisters.”

Min. Farrakhan led the audience on a historical and geographical tour of the origins of the Islamic movement and the movement to acquire a separate Black state or territory.

The gathering was held at what’s now known as Newark’s Symphony Hall, he explained. The theater was built in 1925 by Shriners, and it was first known as “Salaam Temple,” and it later took on the colloquial name the “Mosque Theater.”



The hall is also the location where Mr. Ali—whose movement was headquartered in Newark—held his community meetings. In 1913 in Newark, he established the Canaanite Temple. Coincidentally, the Moorish Science Temple held its first national convention October 15-20, 1928 in Chicago. Brother Noble Drew Ali was “the prime predecessor” of Master Fard Muhammad—the Saviour, the Founder—of the Nation of Islam in North America, who taught the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and gave Mr. Muhammad his mission, uniting and resurrecting the descendants of slaves.

In fact, Minister Farrakhan pointed out, after Noble Drew Ali returned to the ancestors, many of his followers joined the early Nation of Islam, but Mr. Muhammad “never, ever touched the names that Noble Drew Ali gave to his followers. They already had a righteous name.”

This point was emphasized at one of the first meetings Minister Farrakhan attended after he accepted Islam. It was in New York City, in 1959, and the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad spoke at the Rico Ray Theater, the location where the Right Honorable Marcus Mosiah Garvey once held his meetings of the Universal Negro Improvement Association and African Communities League. “That day he ordered us to always show honor and respect to Noble Drew Ali and Marcus Mosiah Garvey. And that stands to this very hour.”

Mr. Garvey, however, never taught Islam, though he was influenced strongly by Duse Mohamed Ali, an Egyptian Muslim, scholar, playwright and journalist, who eventually served as foreign secretary and director of UNIA-ACL African Affairs.

Religion and faith are indispensible to the liberation of Blacks and others in this country, said Minister Farrakhan.

“And the aim of God is to take humanity, with all its diversity to another level. That we outgrow our race, our ethnicity,” he said. False religious teachings, however, and the false image of a White Jesus must be discarded.

Black people can only achieve those higher levels of development after separation from White Americans.

“We suffered every kind of indignity to get just a little freedom,” said Min. Farrakhan.

If Black people choose to remain with and under the authority of the White Americans, whom God has condemned because of their cruelty and injustices heaped upon them, then, the Minister warned: “You will die with your lover.”

Thomas Jefferson, one of the Founding Fathers of this country, its third president and author of the Declaration of Independence, was emphatic in saying Whites and Blacks would not find peace together in a single nation, said the Minister.

Mr. Jefferson urged settling Blacks in a separate place with arms, tools for farming and survival and protection as they grew into political maturity.

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, met with a delegation of Negro pastors who were former slaves. “Look at what Abraham Lincoln was saying to our Black pastors. ‘You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Your race suffers very greatly, many of them by living among us,’ ” said Min. Farrakhan.

Minister Farrakhan cleared up some confusion about his “conversion” to Christianity. After a recent lecture at Union Temple Baptist Church in Washington, White Christian media purposely misused his words to suggest he had “just found Jesus.”

“At the end of my talk I said: ‘I know that my redeemer liveth. And I said, because he lives, I too shall live, and will stand with him at the latter day,” said Min. Farrakhan.

Since 1981 the core of the teaching of Minister Farrakhan has been his and our “Jesus—the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad” is alive and is in control of the forces of nature, and that Mr. Muhammad, and Master Fard Muhammad—Allah in Person—are both backing and protecting the Minister’s every step.

While the Muslim leader recognizes that many find his message of separation “unbelievable”—such as Black intellectual Dr. Cornel West, who told the Minister separation is “a pipe dream”—he remains steadfast to separation as God’s solution to America’s race problem.

The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad is the “real Jesus,” Minister Farrakhan declared, and an ovation erupted in the auditorium, when Mr. Muhammad’s picture was then displayed on a screen for the audience to see. “Before too long, you too will bear witness,” the Minister said.

“America cannot defend herself against what my God has stored up against her. This country however has chosen to wage war against Black people,” said Min. Farrakhan.

The Minister promised that he would come back in a few weeks to speak in Washington, directly to President Donald and the federal government, to deliver his message from Elijah Muhammad.

“When I deliver my message to Mr. Trump, watch what happens. I’ll get through and so will you if you choose God over Satan, and correct your behavior,” he said.

Min. Farrakhan praised the courage and sincerity of those still working to try to change the wicked American system for the better. “Stevie Wonder, Dick Gregory, the Civil Rights Movement, you have beautiful hearts, trying to clean up the system. This is not a system you can reform. It must be destroyed,” he said.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

What will end Black suffering?

By Charlene Muhammad -National Correspondent- | Last updated: Oct 10, 2017 - 1:06:44 PM

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In this Oct. 19, 2016, file photo, Kanockwa Horton, left, from Stone Mountain, and Jacqueline Merritt, from Atlanta, stand first in line at the Airport Community Job Fair, in Atlanta, joined by hundreds of other applicants in line. Photo: AP/Wide World photos
Black people face harsh realities in all areas, including but not limited to economics, education, health and mass incarceration.

As Blacks continue the fight for political and social justice in the wake of America’s so-called post-racial progress under its first Black president, how can they continue to survive a Donald Trump administration when in better times, solution after solution has failed or netted limited progress?

A snapshot of solutions implemented to curb Black suffering shows former president Barack Obama’s administration ushered in 11 million new jobs and reduced racial disparities in health care coverage by passing the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”), now under constant threat of repeal by Pres. Trump and the Republican Party.
                    
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Protests erupt after deadly police shooting in Charlotte, Sept. 2016.

Pres. Obama passed the Fair Sentencing Act, which reduced the draconian mandatory minimum drug sentencing ratio for powder and crack cocaine from 100 to 1 to 18 to 1.  He released a National HIV/AIDS Strategy Federal Implementation Plan to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care, and reduce HIV-related health disparities.

He also created the My Brother’s Keeper Initiative to create more pathways to success for young men of color. Prior to that, there was a long history of fights for equality during the Civil Rights Movement which netted passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Civil Rights Act of 1964 and some progress.
                    
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As part of a series of activities, community advocates in Baton Rouge protest outside of City Hall June 28 in Baton Rouge, La. against the de-funding of two local community HIV clinics. The clinics provide care to 30 percent of the HIV population in the area. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

But today, Blacks earn less hourly wages (men 22 percent and women 34 percent) than White men with the same education, experience, marital status, and region of residence, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

One-in-five incarcerated Blacks are serving life or virtual life sentences in America’s prisons, according to the Sentencing Project.
And although the Centers for Disease Control indicates national HIV infection rates have declined, Black women are still disproportionately affected by the disease compared to their female counterparts (4,524 Black women diagnosed with HIV in 2015, compared to 1,131 Hispanic/Latino women and 1,431 White women).

Unsecured gains
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam has warned that any gains in Blacks’ desire for equity, greater freedom and greater equality of opportunity made during Pres. Obama’s eight-year tenure were not secure.

Rather, after eight years in office, the lullaby of what Mr. Obama represented is now leading to a rude awakening and White people are now lashing out because making “America Great Again” to many means Make America White Again,” said Min. Farrakhan.

“ ‘Bring back White Power, bring back this idea that no one is better than we and we are better than all.’  So this wind will blow on Black people from every direction to force us to come to the realization that we cannot get along in peace with this people after giving them 400 years of our sweat and blood and receiving in return some of the worst treatment ever accorded to a human being.  This is going to pick up with greater force, these winds, and so the bones will ultimately be forced to come together,” the Nation of Islam minister explained during a previous Final Call interview.
Pres. Trump’s Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, has rolled back the use of federal consent decrees to check law enforcement misconduct in rogue police departments.  And his 2017-18 budget slashed funding for Medicaid and social service programs, including food stamps and low-income housing.

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Black suffering in America has been non-stop. Photo: istockphoto

Black beatings and deaths

During Pres. Obama’s tenure and even as Mr. Trump was campaigning for office, there was an uptick in beatings and justifiable homicides of Blacks by White vigilantes and police officers across the country, or as several activists pointed out, there was an increase in revelations about such incidents.
“I believe that their intention was to push us until we went over the edge, to start what they wanted, which was called a race war,” said Harry “Spike” Moss, a long-time activist in Minnesota.

Essentially, White men, women and children began preparing themselves for a race war, which they knew they were going to create and wage through various assaults by right-wing organizations and from within police and sheriff’s departments, but they didn’t get that,” Mr. Moss told The Final Call. 
Blacks in America have been oppressed for 460 years and the negative impact of these experiences generation after generation runs deep in their spirit, soul, and intelligence, explained Mr. Moss.  But, the Black community has run from good information and good leaders, and run to weak leaders, who weren’t saying strong things, he continued.

The solution remains, Blacks need good teaching, need to respect the leadership willing to tell them the truth and, need to learn how to follow, Mr. Moss urged.

“Most of what the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan told us, he told us years ago!  We are still not listening.  He was clear years ago! … When we stopped listening to truth and moving on truth, then we would be right where we are,” the activist said.

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Dr. Melina Abdullah, chair of the Pan African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles
The reality is Blacks live under a predatory system, said activists and educators like Dr. Melina Abdullah, chair of the Pan African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles, and an organizer with Black Lives Matter Los Angeles.


“Living under the system of criminal justice that we do, living under the system of miseducation that we do, the existing capitalist structure, the economic system, all of it is meant to exploit and abuse us so with that comes Black suffering,” said Dr. Abdullah.

Her solution-oriented approach means finding beauty in the midst of the struggle, and peace amid Black suffering.  

“As we’re working to dismantle a system that abuses, exploits, and harms us, we can find beauty in each other, beauty in the work, beauty in knowing that we are fulfilling our sacred duty to our ancestors and to our creator,” Dr. Abdullah stated.

There is also fulfillment in Blacks going a step beyond trying to simply dismantle what is currently in place.  It’s about envisioning and building the kind of world they want to live in, said Dr. Abdullah.

A Black political agenda
Civil rights attorney Barbara Arnwine of the Transformative Justice Coalition said the current, biggest threat to Blacks is the erosion of their political power, caused by purposeful and deliberate acts by state governments and the Trump administration, especially through its Department of Justice and new Election Integrity Commission.

Attorney Arnwine recommends developing a serious political agenda to fight state laws that make it harder for Blacks to vote and to fight against false allegations of voter fraud, she recommended.
“We don’t have reparations in this country.  Why?  Because African American political power isn’t organized to demand it.  We have a tax on affirmative action. Why? Because we don’t have the political power in education and collectivism to protect it,” Atty. Arnwine said.

 “It’s all about the policies that are undergirding everything in this country, from the food you eat, to the schools you go to, to whether or not somebody gets a loan or not to buy a home or a car, the regulations that determine what is safe on the road for a car or safe to be ingested as food … dirty streets, that is a reflection of the lack of skillful use of political power,” she added.
                    
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Years ago, Min. Farrakhan introduced the Million Family March National Agenda, a plan of action which called in part for redistribution of tax dollars to better educate the American people, teach proper nutrition for better health, and to protect its citizenry through an enlightened, strong military force.

Best and only solution
Black people around the U.S. and abroad are greatly anticipating Min. Farrakhan’s October 15 message, entitled, “Separation or Death,” in commemoration of the 22nd Anniversary of the Million Man March and Holy Day of Atonement. The Minister’s subject matter is taken right from what his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught. The message will be delivered in Newark, NJ. 

“We cannot be successful in the house of our enemies; we should be in our own house. That which is other than our own is for those who are other than our own. ‘Our Own’ is unlimited physically and spiritually,” wrote the Most Hon. Elijah Muhammad in his book, “Message to the Blackman.”
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Shortly before Min. Farrakhan’s address, self-rule and self-governance demands in Spain once again made news. Catalonia, located in northeastern Spain, is still fighting for separation from that nation in order to form its own country.  Reports indicated that 90 percent of the 2.26 million who voted in a recent referendum chose to separate from Spain.


Separation would cause a problem for the European Union as other enclaves begin similar pushes, said Akbar Muhammad, International Representative of Min. Farrakhan. Min. Akbar Muhammad also noted the movement for independence for Puerto Rico.  The island nation was granted U.S. citizenship in 1917 as a commonwealth or territory. Residents are American citizens and can elect their own governor, but are not permitted to vote in U.S. elections or independently engage in trade or international commerce with other nations.

The latest in the debate over whether Puerto Rico should remain a U.S. territory, be granted statehood or be an independent nation came November 2012, when 65 percent of the U.S. island territory’s four million citizens voted in favor of becoming the 51st U.S. state.

In the 1950s, despite lobbying, rebelling, and other tactics, the movement to become an independent country was crushed in that vote, Min. Akbar Muhammad said.

“Now, they’ve got a clear signal that there are nearly 3.5 million on the island, but in the Diaspora, there’s another three million Puerto Ricans, and they have enough to form their own country, when you look at countries in the Caribbean who are independent,” he stated.

“To be in America, and abused by America, and to have a president that doesn’t really look at them as though they’re Americans is a prime example of why they should go on their own … This kind of movement will catch on,” Min. Akbar Muhammad added.

When you come to the table unified, Min. Farrakhan recently stated, that is the power behind demand—unity.

Additional activities during the weekend of Holy Day of Atonement include: The Newark Youth Ambassadors hosting their second annual youth forum titled, “Are You Ready?” on Saturday, Oct. 14 from noon to 4 p.m. and Family Fun Day with activities, fun, food and entertainment at from noon to 5 p.m. at Newark Central High School. For more information call Muhammad Mosque No. 25 in Newark, (973) 624-5532.

Min. Farrakhan’s timely message, “Separation or Death” on Oct. 15 will be broadcast live from Symphony Hall at 1020 Broad St.  in Newark, New Jersey. Doors open at noon and the program begins at 2 p.m. The message will be also broadcast live via webcast at NOI.org/webcast.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

From The Final Call Newspaper

Las Vegas shooting—the latest in deadly, unstoppable violence in U.S.

By Charlene Muhammad -National Correspondent- | Last updated: Oct 3, 2017 - 12:33:49 PM

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Debris is strewn through the scene of a mass shooting at a music festival near the Mandalay Bay resort and casino on the Las Vegas Strip, Oct. 2, in Las Vegas. Photo: AP/Wide World Photo

Terror has struck again on American soil in the form of a White, male shooter identified by law enforcement as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, who allegedly opened fire and killed 58 and injured 515 at a country music concert in Nevada at press time.
                    
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Multiple victims were transported to hospitals after a shooting late Oct. 1 at a music festival on the Las Vegas Strip. At about 11 p.m., dozens of patrol vehicles descended on the Strip after authorities received reports of an active shooter near the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Some officers took cover behind their vehicles while others carrying assault rifles ran into the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino.

Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo reported Mr. Paddock, an accountant from Nevada, killed himself. Police recovered at least 17 guns and explosives from his room.

Witnesses say country singer Jason Aldean was performing near the end of the concert when gunfire rang out. Concert-goers reported seeing muzzle flashes from the upper floors of the Mandalay Bay Hotel-Casino across Las Vegas Boulevard and the sound of what they described as automatic gun fire.

Thirty-six-year-old Kodiak Yazzie said the music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.
As the tens of thousands of fans in the crowd began to flee, he took cover and said he saw flashes of light coming from the Mandalay Bay hotel tower high above.

The bursts of pops would start and stop for more than five minutes. He says he saw dozens of ambulances as he ran for safety.

Continued violence in America
Mr. Paddock’s Oct. 1 assault stunned a nation unable to stop deadly violence, begging the question, what is happening inside the United States? The Las Vegas tragedy is now considered the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history eclipsing the Orlando night club massacre last year.

“What’s striking about the United States is that this week, the move towards having some sort of gun control has already been swift,” said Dr. Gerald Horne, Moore’s Professor of History and African American Studies at the University of Houston.

At least that’s the way it appears, which is extraordinary given the fact that the now-deceased suspect apparently had several automatic weapons that he was able to bring into a hotel room in a major urban center, Dr. Horne said.

“This attempt to squash any conversation about gun control stands oddly in juxtaposition with what happened in 1967, when the Black Panther Party walked into the California State Assembly in Sacramento, with weapons, which led even the National Rifle Association, the gun lobby, to call for gun control,” Dr. Horne told The Final Call.

He continued, it’s apparent that gun control has a particular purpose: “The White Right, the Alt Right as it now terms itself, has made it clear that it doesn’t believe in gun control, because it wants to execute an armed uprising in case there is a government not to its liking.”
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People are searched by Las Vegas police at the Tropicana Las Vegas during an active shooter situation on the Las Vegas Strip on Sunday, Oct. 1. Photo: AP/Wide World Photo

For many, the Vegas massacre like others creates an initial shock, said Los Angeles-based social justice and political activist Greg Akili. Then reality sets in that they live in a violent culture focused on protecting and promoting guns, which produces mass shootings as a consequence, he said.

“We’ve seen it over, and over, and over again. The gun culture is popular. It’s protected. And it’s prevalent in America,” Mr. Akili told The Final Call.

As usual, he continued, people will grieve for the families of those killed, but as long as the culture promoting and accepting of gun violence remains, another shooting and killing more people is inevitable. Still, people seem unwilling to come to grips with that and do something about it, he stated.

“Look here! Twenty children were killed (in the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre) and we still supported and were unwilling to do anything about gun culture in America, so we are just willing to accept the level of violence and death that gun violence brings. That’s America!”

A nation in mourning
“I’m quite saddened by the tragic killing in Las Vegas and every time a person’s life is lost. What we need to look into is the regulations in Las Vegas, Nevada. The laws that will allow a person to have ten guns on their person and don’t have to have a permit. And no mental health background check. Something is wrong with that,” said Missouri State Senator Maria Chappelle- Nadal.

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Police officers and first responders at the scene of the mass shooting in Las Vegas.
“I feel that instead of concentrating on external terrorists and building a wall to keep people out, we have home grown terrorists that we need to pay attention to,” she said. “It hurts when a life is taken because every single life is important,” Sen. Chappelle- Nadal continued.


President Donald Trump offered words of comfort to the families of the victims. He called the shooting an act of pure evil. “We are joined together today in sadness, shock and grief,” Pres. Trump said.

“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother or sister,” he said. “We cannot fathom their pain; we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you, and we are here for you and we ask God to help see you through this very dark period,” he added.

“Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence. And though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens it is our love that defines us today and always will, forever.”

‘White male lone wolf’ syndrome
With the death toll and injury count still climbing, authorities announced beliefs that Mr. Paddock acted alone.

Police questioned 62-year-old Marilou Danley, a female companion, initially considered a person of interest.

Police have not yet determined a motive in the shootings, but have ruled out connections with any terrorist group. This after reports indicated ISIS claimed responsibility.

“We have seen all those so-called lone wolves before. We saw ’em at Columbine, at Sandy Hook and they are considered lone wolves and in fact they are not lone wolves,” argued Mr. Akili.

Some of the other more deadliest mass shootings in the U.S. where suspects were lone, White males include: July 20, 2012 inside a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado resulting in 12 fatalities and January 8, 2011 in Tucson, Ariz. that resulted in six fatalities and the severe wounding of former U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

“I know this feeling of heartbreak and horror too well,” Ms. Giffords stated in the aftermath of the Las Vegas shooting. “The massacre in Las Vegas is a grave tragedy for our nation. This must stop—we must stop this,” she added. Ms. Giffords and others have been pushing for stricter gun laws.

“I am praying for the victims of this shooting, their families and friends. But I am praying for my former colleagues, too. I am praying they find the courage it will take to make progress on the challenging issue of gun violence,” she said at a press conference.
                    
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Reed Broschart, center, hugs his girlfriend Aria James on the Las Vegas Strip in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a concert, Oct. 2, in Las Vegas. The couple, both of Ventura, Calif., attended the concert.

But what if anything will change remains to be seen and many are not optimistic anything substantive will change at all when it comes to America’s obsessive gun culture.
“They live in a society that supports what they’re thinking, and it’s certainly been supported in these last few months with this current president, so we live in a society where their thinking is promoted. Their ideas are accepted, and their actions are tolerable,” Mr. Akili added.

Dr. Horne found it very curious that some commentators suggested the incident was not “an act of terrorism.

“I’m not sure how they’re arriving at that conclusion. I’m not sure how they’re defining ‘terrorism.’ It’s a very curious circumstance, and in any case, it also all comes back to gun control, the fact that weapons of this sort are all too easy to obtain by people who obviously do not need to have weapons,” he stated.

A way forward?
Moving forward means understanding that massacres keep happening in the first place, because America is dealing with symptoms and not root causes, said Aquil Basheer, author, a top specialist in street violence intervention and hostility based-gang aggression, and founder of the Professional Community Intervention Institute.

“The biggest problem in America has never been external or international terrorism. It’s always been domestic terrorism, and they’ve never admitted to that fact. … Why are we not calling this a blatant act of domestic terrorism?” Mr. Basheer told The Final Call.

“Why are we not putting a direct profile of the domestic terrorist, in this case which was a White male,” which has been the most instrumental in using domestic terrorism, he argued.
When that’s ignored, profile developments are missed, which leaves people unprepared to deal with pending threats.

“We’re ignoring the fact of who the actual aggressor is. We don’t want to admit to that in this country, so therefore, people are not able to create in their mindset a vision of what I must prepare for. … Violence leaves a road map. Violence leaves a trail. Violence always lets you know it’s getting ready to happen,” said Mr. Basheer.

(The Associated Press and J.A. Salaam contributed to this report.)