From The Final Call Newspaper

Court decision on Israel-Gaza war a first step, but much more must be done, observers argue
By Brian E. Muhammad, Staff Writer
- January 30, 2024

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) decided on an important provisional measure in the much-watched case of the Republic of South Africa versus the Zionist State of Israel. The world paid close attention on January 26 as 17 judges ordered six provisional measures to protect Palestinians in Gaza. These measures were agreed to by an overwhelming majority of the judges.

An Israeli judge voted in favor of two of the six, and a Ugandan judge voted against all the measures. The ruling is part of a case South Africa brought to the ICJ on Dec. 29, charging Israel with genocide, concerning the Palestinian people.

The president of the court, Judge Joan E. Donoghue, said that South Africa has the right to bring the lawsuit and that Israel’s request for its dismissal cannot be accepted. “We have the authority to rule on emergency measures in the case of genocide against Israel,” she added.

A provisional measure is a temporary order issued by a court to protect the rights of the parties pending a final decision in a dispute. In this case, it is to ensure no irreparable harm is inflicted upon the Palestinians pending the conclusion of the full trial. Justice advocates lauded the outcome as a historical milestone, although some noted the court did not clearly call for an immediate ceasefire.

“First and foremost, it is historic,” said Eugene Puryear, investigative journalist and commentator. “It’s the first time there’s even really been a potentially enforceable legal action against Israel for any of its crimes over the 75 years of occupation,” he added.

South Africa vs. Israel initially opened on January 11 and can ultimately take years to conclude. In a 15-2 vote the ICJ ordered Israel to do everything possible to prevent genocide of the Palestinian people in its war raging since October 2023 and ensure its military commits no acts constituting genocide.

Also, to take all measures to “prevent and punish” the direct and public incitement of genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. And, allow urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza. Finally, to submit a report on its compliance 30 days after January 26, the date of the order.

Mr. Puryear said the nature of the provisional measures makes it “highly unlikely” any real compliance could take place without a ceasefire and believes Israel will continue its genocidal path. That will not only build on the case against Israel but “more importantly” open a new phase of struggle around Palestine for any country or third-party entities to take action against the Zionist state.

“Now, without a doubt, there is a strong legal basis—you might even call it legal cover—for some individuals to take direct action sanctioning Israel,” said Mr. Puryear. “Now, any country will be able to cite the ICJ provisional measures,” he added.

The case also opens the way for other actions against Israel, such as a supercharging of the Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) efforts, “because there’s a new legal framework that I think will speak very directly to the urgency of the moment,” reasoned Mr. Puryear.

South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the urgency of the moment and why his government had to step up against Israel’s atrocities. “This marks an important first in our quest to secure justice for the people of Gaza,” President Ramaphosa said hours after the hearing.

Pro-Palestinian supporters picket outside the High Court in Cape Town, South Africa, Thursday, Jan. 11, 2024. South Africa’s genocide case against Israel opened last week at the International Court of Justice at The Hague. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht, File)

“Some have told us that we should mind our own business and not get involved in the affairs of other countries. Others have said it was not our place, and yet it is very much our place as a people who know too well the pain of dispossession, discrimination, [and] state-sponsored violence,” he said. “We are also a people who were the victims of the crime of apartheid. We know what apartheid looks like. We experienced and lived through it,” said Mr. Ramaphosa.

“We, as South Africans will not be passive bystanders and watch the crimes that were visited upon us being perpetrated upon other people elsewhere. We stand on the side of freedom for all. We stand on the side of justice,” said Mr. Ramaphosa.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lambasted the ruling as a “vile attempt to deny Israel” a right to defend itself and a “blatant discrimination” against the Jewish state. “The charge of genocide leveled against Israel is not only false, it’s outrageous, and decent people everywhere should reject it,” he said.

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al Maliki said, “The ICJ judges assessed the facts and the law, they ruled in favor of humanity and international law.”

“The ICJ order is an important reminder that no state is above the law. It should serve as a wake-up call for Israel and actors who enabled its entrenched impunity,” he said.

The United States said it continues to believe that allegations of genocide are “unfounded,” a State Department spokesperson said.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: “Today, the authorities of the fake Israeli regime … must be brought to justice immediately for committing genocide and unprecedented war crimes against the Palestinians.”

Other leaders around the world also reacted to the court’s ruling. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed the interim ruling by the ICJ on the genocide case against Israel, describing the provisional measures as “valuable.”

The ongoing push for accountability

However, in the moments in which the ICJ was issuing the order, destruction rained down in Gaza taking death tolls past 26,000 Palestinians. Famine and desperation are not strong enough to describe what people faced on the ground on the very day of the decision. One Palestinian among the thousands displaced told Al Jazeera that he came out to meet death just for a parcel of food.

Reactions from around the globe were mixed and consistent in calling on nations to hold the Zionist state accountable.

Sally Abi-Khalil, Oxfam International Regional Director for the Middle East, said all States—particularly those supporting Israel with military weapons despite the clear risk of them being used to commit war crimes—must respect the court’s ruling and refrain from any actions that undermine it.

“Palestinians should not have to endure another day of this suffering. We urge all countries to do all in their power to ensure an immediate ceasefire,” said Ms. Abi-Khalil. “Ensuring those responsible for violations on both sides are held accountable, and to end Israel’s decades-long occupation of Palestinian territory,” she said.

An injured Palestinian boy cries as rescuers try to pull him from the rubble of a destroyed building following an Israeli airstrike in Bureij refugee camp, Gaza Strip, Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Mohammed Dahman, File)

Al Mayadeen English quoted reactions from resistance organizations in the region. Hamas welcomed the decision, considering it as substantiating the accusations of genocide being committed in Gaza.

The group emphasized the decision “opens the door for holding the enemy’s leaders accountable for these crimes before the International Criminal Court, affirming the rights of our Palestinian people to determine their destiny, establish their independent state, and return to their land and homes from which they were forcibly displaced, under international resolutions on this matter.”

Hamas also declared its appreciation for the “genuine stance” of South Africa.

The Palestinian Islamic Jihad viewed the ICJ measures “as falling short” for not demanding a ceasefire. It is “evidence that global evil powers dominate the international legal system and organizations to serve their interests at the expense of the oppressed,” the group’s statement read.

Progressive organizations and coalition groups also applauded the ruling but implored that pressure must remain on Israel and its chief political backer the United States.

“We welcome the ruling,” said Ajamu Baraka, national organizer for the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP), speaking on behalf of the group.

It is quite clear that the court, even under significant pressure on the judges from the countries they represent like the US, saw the evidence and argument South Africa advanced as so overwhelming that it had no other options than to at least concede in its provisional opinion that Israel is involved in genocidal activity, observers note.

“What this provisional decision reveals, is the true nature of the Israeli settler colonial project,” said Mr. Baraka. “People need to be reminded that not only are we dealing with the assault right now in Gaza, but that the Israelis have used their military technology … weapons … training, to back repressive right-wing governments around the world,” he said.

“That Israeli training of police forces in the US is directly responsible for the enhanced ability of those police forces to repress and to murder Black people in the US,” he continued, stating the importance of Israeli accountability. “So, this provisional ruling, should help people to understand that objectively, the Israeli government along with its enabler the US government, stands as an enemy to all colonized and oppressed people around the world,” said Mr. Baraka.

BAP is a founding member of The International Coalition to Stop Genocide in Palestine (ICSGP), which sees the court’s order as a crucial first step toward forcing Israel and its strongest political ally—the United States—to end the months-long brutal assault on Gaza, and the decades-long denial to Palestinians of their rights to self-determination and return.

“The ICSGP calls upon social movements to demand that world governments uphold international law and protect the integrity of the United Nations by ensuring that the ICJ’s provisional measures are immediately enforced, and to hold Israeli war criminals and their powerful U.S. accomplices accountable for genocide,” they said in a Jan. 26 statement.

A significant ruling

Dr. Luqa AbuFarah, North America coordinator for the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions National Committee (BNC), an ICSGP member organization, stated:

“It’s clear we have a moral obligation to take action and end our government’s complicity with Israel’s Gaza genocide. We must have the courage to speak out and take action to advance the struggle for justice. We must end US military funding to Israel, which at $3.8 billion a year could instead provide more than 450,000 households with public housing for a year or pay for 41,490 elementary school teachers.

I also hope that every person outraged with the blatant disregard for Palestinian life will join and escalate our BDS campaigns and make sure companies know that complicity with Israeli apartheid and genocide is unacceptable. We must take action now more than ever!”

The provisional hearing happened one day before the International Holocaust Remembrance Day recognized every January 27. Some noted the ironic significance of Israel being on the court docket for genocide. “That is huge,” said Mouin Rabbani, analyst and co-editor of Jadaliyya, an electronic publication of the Arab Studies Institute.

“That’s what this issue is really about. Because for 75 years since 1948, Israel has instrumentalized, two words: ‘never again’ to justify everything that it’s doing,” said Mr. Rabbani. “It has managed to transform the definition of ‘never again,’ as applying exclusively to Israel,” he pointed out.

“That is no longer the case. Today ‘never again,’ the meaning of that has been transformed; never again shall any people be the victims of genocide, even if those seeking their destruction is Israel—many of whose people were victims of genocide themselves.

The Palestinian intellectual Edward Said often referred to Palestinians as the “victims of the victims,” and has talked about the uniquely difficult situation this puts the Palestinians in because the Jews are the victims with a capital “V,” so how can Israel possibly be guilty of crimes against the Palestinian people? Mr. Rabbani asked rhetorically. “That all changed today. Israel can no longer shield itself from accusations of crimes against the Palestinian people, by pointing a finger at the Nazis,” he reasoned.

Protesters carry flags and banners outside the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, Friday, Jan. 12, 2024. The United Nations’ top court opened hearings Thursday into South Africa’s allegation that Israel’s war with Hamas amounts to genocide against Palestinians, a claim that Israel strongly denies. (AP Photo/Patrick Post)

“The historical irony of the Jews who’ve been subjected to European anti-semitism and experience what they experienced in Germany in World War II are now one of the first major governments ever to be exposed as a government engaged in genocide,” added Mr. Baraka. “This is significant.”

Around the world the pain anguish and cries of oppressed populations at the hands of unjust rulers is being seen, heard and felt.

According to the New York Times, more than 1,000 Black pastors representing hundreds of thousands of congregants nationwide have called on for a ceasefire.

“In sit-down meetings with White House officials, and through open letters and advertisements, ministers have made a moral case for President Biden and his administration to press Israel to stop its offensive operations in Gaza, which have killed thousands of civilians,” the New York Times reported in a Jan. 28 article.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam, has described this world demand as an intensifying “universal cry for justice,” and he warned that all tyrants will be removed today by God Himself. The Minister spent decades calling the nations to a posture of balance and warning about the consequences of unbridled oppression.

Echoing his teacher, Minister Farrakhan stated that justice will ultimately come from the God of justice and cautioned tyrannical nations will be requited for their deeds and every nation will be called to its record.

On that day everyone will be requited for what they did, Minister Farrakhan pointed out in Part 15 of a yearlong lecture series called, “The Time And What Must Be Done,” in 2013. “So as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that ‘the principle of justice’ will be ‘the weapon’ that God will use in ‘the Day of Requital,’ or, ‘the Day of Judgment,’ then this is ‘a bad day,’ then, for the wicked—a very bad day,” said Minister Farrakhan.

“What is the recompense for those who administer ‘suffering’ and ‘loss’? Jesus mentioned this ‘Law of Requital’ in these words found in the Book of Galatians, Chapter 6, verse 7: ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap,’” said Minister Farrakhan.

From the Bible Book of Hosea, Chapter 8, verse 7, Jesus said if you “sow the wind” you will “reap the whirlwind”—because nature never gives you “exactly” what you gave,” the Minister continued. “Nature always gives you more; so, if you’ve done ‘good,’ God will give you more than the good that you have done,” explained the Minister. “But for the ‘evildoer’: God will bring recompense on your head. And for the wicked who persist in evil: Oh, this ‘whirlwind’ is now blowing at your door!” he warned.

On February 25, Minister Farrakhan will address the subject, “What does Allah The Great Mahdi and The Great Messiah Have to Say About the War In the Middle East?” in Detroit, Michigan, at the Nation of Islam Saviours’ Day Convention. For more information, visit

From The Final Call Newspaper

U.S. push and shove with Yemen is not slowing down

- January 23, 2024

Photo: U.S. Navy photo

Antiwar protesters rallying against the devastation and bloodshed in the Gaza Strip from over 100 days of war by the Zionist State of Israel are also mobilizing to condemn the United States’ bombing of Yemen and to demand the “U.S. get out of the Middle East.” The military forces of America and the United Kingdom, along with Canada, Australia, Bahrain and the Netherlands, began striking cities in the small country of Yemen on Jan.12. Observers and analysts say it is a major rise of hostilities that can spiral to regional fighting.

“It’s clearly a major escalation on the part of the U.S. as part of this war … genocidal campaign waged by Israel against the people of Gaza,” said Brian Becker, executive director of the Act Now to End Racism (A.N.S.W.E.R.) Coalition.

“Because the people in Yemen are standing up and saying no to genocide … the U.S. is now bombing them. So, it marks a major escalation, even if the airstrikes turn out to be limited,” he told The Final Call.

The ANSWER Coalition mobilized a large gathering of anti-war advocates at the gates of the White House within hours after the initial strikes hit the cities of Sana’a, Hudaydah, Sa’ada and Dhamaremen. “We should acknowledge that this is a major escalation on the part of the U.S.,” he reiterated.

As the conflict heated up, more than 400,000 people embarked on the streets of Washington, D.C., on Jan. 13 in a Global Day of Action calling for ceasefire in Gaza that also included messages denouncing U.S. war in Yemen. On Jan 15, the Yemen based Ansar-Allah (Houthi) movement waged counter-attacks striking a U.S.-owned commercial ship off the coast of Yemen.

The strike on the Gibraltar Eagle owned by Connecticut based Eagle Bulk Shipping was one day after the Houthis fired an anti-ship cruise missile toward an American destroyer in the Red Sea. In a televised address the same night, Houthi military spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree claimed the attack.

“The Yemeni armed forces consider all American and British ships and warships participating in the aggression against our country as hostile targets,” he said.

Paired with Gen. Saree’s shoving back against what he calls “American” and “British” aggression on Yemen, are earlier words by Houthi leaders saying the targeting of commercial ships won’t cease until the Israeli aggression in Palestine ceases. Regional tension heightened since the October 2023 bombardment of Gaza began, that has by presstime killed nearly 25,000 mostly women and children. Growing numbers of critics deem the carnage as genocide perpetrated by the occupying power of Israel, backed by America and Western collaborators.

Joining what some call an “axis of resistance,” the Houthis entered the mix by attacking global merchant ships in the Red Sea, the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, and the Gulf of Aden.

The U.S. contends that bombing the turmoil tattered Yemen is about the money and defending global trade lines. However, the Houthis say targeting shipping lines is about resistance, and placing pressure on America’s and Israel’s blocking global ceasefire demands.

The Yemeni Armed Forces declared in a Jan. 17 statement posted on X, a response to the U.S./British attacks on Yemeni soil is inevitably forthcoming. The statement said shipping traffic will continue undeterred to all destinations except the ports of occupied Palestine.

“Operations against Israeli ships or those heading to the ports of occupied Palestine will not stop until the aggression stops and the siege imposed on the steadfast Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip is lifted,” said the statement.

The strategy ties up a crucial corridor linking Asian and Mideast energy and cargo shipments to the Suez Canal, destined for Europe. Egypt’s Suez Canal connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea and is the fastest way to ship fuel, food and consumer goods from Asia and the Middle East to Europe, said Reuters. Up to 30 percent of cargo that arrives at the U.S. East Coast travels through the Suez Canal.

The U.S. and British militaries bombed more than a dozen sites used by the Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen on Jan. 11, in a massive retaliatory strike using war-ship- and submarine-launched Tomahawk missiles and fighter jets, U.S. officials said. Photo: Sgt Lee Goddard, UK Ministry of Defence via AP

Since the American and British bombing of Yemen, multiple attacks on shipping vessels were reported to the United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO), a British Naval security agency that receives reports of specific attacks and threats on ships in the region. It announced on Jan. 17 that, “Naval ships will conduct depth charge firing with live ammunition” in the waters. A depth charge is a type of anti-submarine weapon that explodes at a chosen depth.

Meanwhile, America continued bombing Yemeni sites as well as redesignated the Houthis a “Specially Designated Global Terrorist” group, effective Feb.17, 2024. The Biden administration previously removed the designation to help access to humanitarian aid into Yemen, during the U.S. backed Saudi Arabian-led coalition war against the Houthis.

The impact of the war which largely subsided in 2023, left Yemen in a dire humanitarian crisis. In a December 2023 country update, UNICEF noted after eight years of conflict, the national socio-economic systems of Yemen remain on the edge of total collapse, while conflict, large-scale displacement and recurring climate shocks.

“We demand an immediate end to this bombing campaign and all U.S. war threats,” said Mr. Becker. “We need a ceasefire now to end the genocide in Gaza, not an escalation to a regional war,” he said.

The firefights are happening amid amplified fear of a broader war in the explosive region involving America as a declining power but with formidable fire power. For the Houthis to chest bump with Washington, say observers, indicates the weakening teeth of America and its losing hand in the Middle East.

Months of war in Gaza, U.S.-driven conflicts around the region, and calls for America to leave—as requested by Iraq’s Prime Minister Mohammed al-Sudani in an interview on Jan.17 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Devos, Switzerland, where he said the U.S.-led Military Coalition in Iraq should leave—shows weakness in U.S. influence. The request is an ongoing demand that accelerated in the recent attacks on American military personnel and coalition soldiers and American counterattacks into Iraq and Syria.

According to the Pentagon, between Oct. 17, 2023, and Jan. 11, 2024, there were 130 attacks, including 53 in Iraq and 77 in Syria. Mr. al-Sudani condemned the attacks and U.S. counterattacks.

“The sooner we withdraw the coalition, it is a necessity for the security and stability of Iraq,” Mr. al-Sudani said at the televised WEF event. He told the interviewer it is the desire of the Iraqi people that the foreign forces leave. “It is also a necessity for preserving constructive bilateral relations between Iraq and the coalition countries.”

The pushback on America from Iraq as well as the Islamic Republic of Iran, heightened rhetoric, and threats by resistance groups throughout the region, and bold antiwar resistance on her own streets can be seen as America reaping what it has sown.

Such sentiment has been long warned of by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and his teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad of the Nation of Islam. They cautioned America would lose in the Middle East.

The warnings of Messenger Muhammad and Minister Farrakhan are proving true. In His illuminating book, “The Fall of America,” Messenger Muhammad warned of terrible consequences of imposing Israel on Palestine. “America and England deposited their little brother, Israel, on foreign soil, Palestine, which is Arab land. They deprived the Arabs of their own land and sent them into exile,” wrote Messenger Muhammad.

“This injustice against the Arabs is now costing America the power and authority that she once exercised in the East. She is on her way out of the Near East,” He added. “This means bloodshed and plenty of it,” Messenger Muhammad warned.


From The Final Call Newspaper

Dr. King in context: A revolutionary and visionary for freedom, justice, equality

By Charlene Muhammad, National Correspondent
- January 16, 2024

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., speaking in Alabama on February 1968. Photo: AP Photo/Charles Kelly

Over the years, humanitarian and civil rights champion, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his mission, narrative and work have been gentrified, watered down, white-washed, hijacked and blatantly misquoted, but he was a revolutionary who truly fought for freedom, justice and equality.

As the nation prepares to honor and reflect on Dr. King with activities and events on the U.S. federal holiday marking his birth—observed the third Monday in January—it is important to understand and unpack his true legacy and impact.

His mission, his daughter, Reverend Dr. Bernice King, CEO of Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, made clear after stand-up comedian/actor Amy Schumer posted soundbites in an edited clip on some of his remarks about Israel’s right to exist, antisemitism and bigotry towards Catholics on X (Twitter) on October 30, 2023.

The crowds seen at the march on Washington, D.C. in which Dr. Martin Luther King gave his eloquent “I have a dream…” speech to a million – thronged mall on August 28, 1963. (AP Photo)

“Certainly, my father was against antisemitism, as am I. He also believed militarism (along with racism and poverty) to be among the interconnected Triple Evils. I am certain he would call for Israel’s bombing of Palestinians to cease, for hostages to be released …,” Dr. Bernice King tweeted directly to Ms. Schumer the next day.

She continued, “and for us to work for true peace, which includes justice.” He said, ‘“Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. We have much to correct.”’

Dr. Bernice King then continued with a clip of her father talking about withdrawing from the Vietnam War and “moral power,” and #MLK.

Two years ago, Dr. Bernice King issued a similar call:

“Please stop using out of context quotes from my father to excuse not working to eradicate racism. His ‘content of their character’ quote lies within a full speech, ‘I Have A Dream,’ in which he talks about ending racist police brutality and economic injustice,” she posted.

“The handling of Dr. King in mainstream spaces, there has been an exercise in reductionism and this has been the case with so many of our great Black luminaries, the heroes and heroines of our struggle,” stated Student Minister Demetric Muhammad of Mosque No. 55 in Memphis.

They are reduced to slogans and more softer aspects of their legacies, such as with Dr. King and his famous August 28, 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech, he added. It is most times referenced, yet Dr. King continued to live for five more years, and people never hear about his 1966 meeting with the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Eternal Leader of the Nation of Islam.

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledges the crowd at the Lincoln Memorial for his “I Have a Dream” speech during the March on Washington, D.C., on Aug. 28, 1963. The march was organized to support proposed civil rights legislation and end segregation. King founded the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, advocating nonviolent action against America’s racial inequality. Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, King was assassinated in Memphis, Tenn., in 1968. (AP Photo)

There is silence about Dr. King’s saying that he thought that temporary separation of Blacks and Whites might be a good idea or what he experienced when he left the South and he went to cities like Chicago, and thousands of Whites came out and protested against him, said Student Minister Demetric Muhammad, an author and member of the Nation of Islam Research Group.

Dr. King was somewhat amazed to see that the racism in the North was not different than the racism of the South, but there are so many aspects of him that often time is hidden if the information source is a mainstream media outlet or some corporate sponsor, he noted.

“And this is why the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan’s choice, for example, to make the Million Man March a march that did not have funding from corporate America is so important, because as the old saying goes, whoever pays the piper calls the tune, in other words, whoever finances you can dictate how the program is going to go and how you will spend their money,” said Student Minister Demetric Muhammad.

“King has been sanitized,” stated Attorney Nkechi Taifa, director of the Reparations Education Project. However, he was in the process of moving out of the mythological, sanitized box people put him in, as exhibited in his April 16, 1963, “Letter From Birmingham Jail,” stated Atty. Taifa.

In it, Dr. King called for action, for freedom now, but people keep waiting for the ideal time or set of conditions before they move, she told The Final Call.

“I would like to hear more about what King was talking about when he said we’re coming to Washington to get our check … because that ties right into the reparations,” stated Atty. Taifa. She interpreted that in many ways; not just getting a check, but there’s a whole panoply of remedies that should have improved since the enslavement period, she continued.

She would have loved to hear more about Dr. King in his early years, for example, he was a contemporary of Black nationalist matriarch Queen Mother Ali Moore, she said. “There’s a lot about King that has not been out there as part of the public discourse that we really deserve to have known more about and not have them just paint it inside a box with the lid on. Let’s have the lid come off and hear all that he was about,” added Atty. Taifa.

The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is accompanied by his wife, Coretta Scott King, as he appears at a press conference on the occasion of the release of his book “Why We Can’t Wait,” in New York , on June 8, 1964. (Jacob Harris/AP Photo)

To ensure that Dr. King is portrayed as the true revolutionary that he is, Black writers, historians and periodicals, must conduct their own independent research into his life and then present him to Black people, and subsequently to the world through their eyes and lens, recommended Student Minister Demetric Muhammad.

“As the old saying goes, ‘The oppressor sees the freedom fighter as a threat, but the oppressed sees the freedom fighter as a freedom fighter,’ and so should not the oppressed take control of the history of their own freedom fighter,” he questioned.

“We see Dr. King as a freedom fighter and we have to arrest control of his history, his legal, his narrative, away from those who are the oppressors who he was fighting against on our behalf. In addition to that, we have to seek and create opportunity to share the truth of Dr. King and other great Black leaders to young people.”

It is what Minister Farrakhan did when he brought Dr. King to the world through his preparation leading up to the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March (Justice Or Else!), October 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C. The Minister lifted up the Dr. King who called for Blacks to redistribute the pain of injustice and brutality suffered at the hands of Whites in America by waging an economic boycott of U.S. corporations.

Minister Farrakhan explained that Dr. King was a man evolving toward a common goal for his people but that he was assassinated before he reached it.

Minister Farrakhan asked and encouraged the world to study Dr. King’s last speeches, and reflect on the evolution of his message, which moved from one of an integrationist “dreamer” in 1963, to one of a true wide awake revolutionary in 1968 when he was murdered.

“When I read it, I said, this man, you must know the reality of Dr. King. He’s more than a dreamer and don’t you let them throw the ‘Dream’ speech on you from ’63,” Minister Farrakhan instructed during his August 2015 lecture in Memphis, Tenn., as part of a tour to promote Justice Or Else!

“Let them play for you the speech that he made in New York City when he condemned the hypocrisy of the Johnson government that’s fighting a war in Vietnam against poor people there and practicing violence, then want Dr. King to preach nonviolence to us, while they’re training you to kill people that never did nothing to you overseas,” Min. Farrakhan said.

In addition to lifting Dr. King’s words, Minister Farrakhan resurrected Dr. King’s desire to retaliate after White supremacists bombed 16th Street Baptist Church in Alabama which killed four little Black girls.

In this Aug. 28, 1963, file photo, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. As civil rights leaders and activists gather Monday, Jan. 16, 2017, at sites across the country to celebrate the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr., the slain civil rights leader’s daughter Bernice King is encouraging Americans to fight for his vision of love and justice “no matter who is in the White House.” (AP Photo, File)

“He wanted to do all-out war, not violence. But shut it down, but he didn’t have the support. He wanted to boycott Christmas. So, today, so, today, I’m asking us, all of us, let’s boycott Christmas,” in Dr. King’s name, Minister Farrakhan said.

And some young people got it, that is, an understanding of the true essence of Dr. King, as indicated by some of their writings:

“… I don’t need Your watered down King; the Dr. King you make simple, the King you only mention with subtleties as if he was meek, minor, minute. Of a champion’s truth, Dr. King is more than worthy. Call him a lion. His accomplishments should roar loudly in history books, on talk segments where we are identifying, describing, the man, the humanitarian, the preacher, the fighter, writer, speaker, teacher, reacher, leader, word warrior,” writes Christopher Sims in “I Don’t Need Your Watered-Down King: A Poem.”

The poem continues, “I need the revolutionary Dr. King who was educated by various religious truths, leanings; the never afraid King who moved his family into a housing project in Chicago; the mighty King who challenged economic inequity years ago at the White House lawn with the Poor People’s Campaign!”

Aleeya Alam, a Los Angeles Times high school contributor wrote in a 2021 op-ed, “MLK’s peaceful rhetoric has been weaponized as a way to wrongfully critique the Black Lives Matter movement. …”

Ms. Alam went on to note that in the summer of 2020, while Black Lives Matter protests were taking place in hundreds of cities nationwide, Dr. King’s son, Martin Luther King III, tweeted his father’s words, “A riot is the voice of the unheard,” and “was met with extreme backlash, many stating he was taking his own father’s words out of context. The legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. has been politicized in a way to silence the outrage of the same people MLK would have given a platform to.”

“Dr. King died with an extremely high disapproval rate. He would be shocked to see how popular he has become. He would be even more shocked to see how his rhetoric was being used today,” continued Ms. Alam.

It is the Minister’s loving heart and respect for all of his people, regardless of their ideology, theology or philosophy, that has caused him, as a follower of the Honorable Elijah Muhammad to take a second look at Dr. King, stated Student Minister Abdul Haleem Muhammad, Southwest Regional Representative of the Nation of Islam.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., right, chats with Greenwood, Mississippi African Americans on their front porch on July 21, 1964, during his door-to-door campaign, telling all them to register to vote and support his Mississippi Freedom Democratic party. (AP Photo/Jim Bourdier)

“King was not a dreamer. Dr. King was a visionary, who was evolving towards understanding and recognizing the reality of life in America and the world she created post-World War II,” stated Student Minister Abdul Haleem Muhammad. Another sermon from which Dr. King is taken out of context is “The Drum Major Instinct,” delivered February 4, 1968.

“But, in truth, he said some things that, if I didn’t tell you it was Dr. King, you would think it was the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan,” stated Student Minister Abdul Haleem Muhammad, who proceeded to quote an excerpt from that message:

“God didn’t call America to do what she’s doing in the world now. God didn’t call America to engage in a senseless, unjust war as the war in Vietnam. And we are criminals in that war. We’ve committed more war crimes almost than any nation in the world, and I’m going to continue to say it. And we won’t stop it because of our pride and our arrogance as a nation,” he stated from Dr. King’s message.

He continued Dr. King’s quote stating: “But God has a way of even putting nations in their place. The God that I worship has a way of saying, ‘Don’t play with me.’ He has a way of saying, as the God of the Old Testament used to say to the Hebrews, ‘Don’t play with me, Israel. Don’t play with me, Babylon. Be still and know that I’m God.

And if you don’t stop your reckless course, I’ll rise up and break the backbone of your power.’ And that can happen to America. Every now and then I go back and read Gibbons’ Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. And when I come and look at America, I say to myself, the parallels are frightening.”

From The Final Call Newspaper

 Is the new law enforcement accountability database symbolism or substance?

By Charlene Muhammad, National Correspondent
- January 2, 2024

The Biden-Harris administration launched a new National Law Enforcement Accountability Database to help advance police reform and build community trust, but is it just more symbolism over substance?

We want an immediate end to the police brutality and mob attacks against the so-called Negro throughout the United States. We believe that the Federal government should intercede to see that Black men and women tried in White courts receive justice in accordance with the laws of the land—or allow us to build a new nation for ourselves, dedicated to justice, freedom and liberty.—What the Muslims Want / The Muslim Program

The recently launched National Law Enforcement Accountability Database aims to address the profound fear and trauma that Black Americans in particular have experienced for generations. But the new federal database is “dangerous symbolism,” argued human rights attorney Nana Gyamfi. It “keeps policing alive under the guise that it can be reformed. It cannot,” she told The Final Call.

“As part of my Administration’s executive order on policing, we committed to create a first of its kind database to track records of law enforcement misconduct so that agencies are able to hire the best personnel. Today, I am fulfilling that promise by launching the National Law Enforcement Accountability Database,” read a White House statement issued December 18.

“This database will ensure that records of serious misconduct by federal law enforcement officers are readily available to agencies considering hiring those officers. We are also working to allow and encourage state, Tribal, local, and territorial law enforcement agencies to make available and access similar records as part of their hiring processes,” the statement continued in part.

Some advocates and legal experts feel the new accountability database issued by President Joe Biden’s executive order he signed on May 2022 is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough, they point out.

“What people have to recognize, first and foremost, is you ain’t gonna change the system. The system has been in existence for over 400 years, and it was designed to be exactly the way it is,” stated Lieutenant Charles Wilson, who is retired and is the new chairman of the National Association of Black Law Enforcement Officers, Inc.

“It is inherently biased against people of color and low income,” he said. Reform mandates changing the culture of the profession, who and how people are hired, and what and how officers are trained.

We have habitually trained people to be warriors in the community, not guardians of the community,” Lt. Wilson told The Final Call. Further changes must be made in the management of supervisors and placement of policies and procedures, then there can be true police reform, he said.

“I tell people religiously, there’s over a million law enforcement officers out there on the street— Black, White and indifferent, male and female. The vast majority of cops, all they want to do is go to work, do their job, if possible, help people along the way, get off—no complaint, no bruises, no injuries; go home, see mama, the dog, and have dinner,” stated Lt. Wilson.

According to the White House statement, Lt. Wilson argued that police accountability, whether it is a federal or local mandate, must be bolstered by encouraging those within the profession to actively stand up and speak out about those who abuse their oaths of office because they are a danger to the community and a danger to those who attempt to truly serve the community.

“When you work next to them and do not report their abuses, you are equally complicit in the abuse. And there must be better measures taken to protect those who speak up and report these offenses,” he added.

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) posted a statement on its website applauding the measure while also addressing its shortcomings.

“The database documents instances of federal law enforcement misconduct, including criminal convictions, suspensions and terminations, civil judgments, resignations while under investigation, and sustained disciplinary action based on serious misconduct.

It requires federal law enforcement agencies to provide information about misconduct, but would not bar an individual with a record of misconduct from being hired or penalize agencies for hiring them.

Also, the database is not available to the public, only includes the last seven years of records, and is entirely voluntary for state and local law enforcement agencies to participate,” noted in a Dec. 18 news release.

However, civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said the database is what he and others have wanted, ever since the deaths of 18-year-old Michael Brown, Jr.’s in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014, Terrence Crutcher, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in September 2016, and 12-year-old Tamir Rice in Cleveland, Ohio. All three were killed by police.

Officer Timothy Loehmann shot Tamir, who was playing with a toy gun in a park. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty announced in December 2015 that a grand jury had decided not to charge either Mr. Loehmann or his partner Frank Garmback.

According to Ohio news site, Cleveland city officials decided to fire Mr. Loehmann more than two-and-a-half years after he shot Tamir because he failed to disclose that he would have been fired from a previous job if he had not quit.

Less than five months after being hired by the Independent Police Department on July 11, 2012, Deputy Chief Jim Polak said in an assessment that “He could not follow simple directions, could not communicate clear thoughts nor recollections, and his handgun performance was dismal,” continued

All of those young, Black men were killed by officers who had been fired from one department and walked across the street to another municipality or another county and got a job in law enforcement without anything being on their jacket or probed by their future employer, said Atty. Crump.

“This hopefully will be a clarion call to employers in law enforcement to check and see if that potential employee’s name shows up in the federal accountability database for law enforcement,” he told The Final Call.

“With everything as it is now, 2000-soon-to-be-24 and the information age, there’s no reason that you hire an officer who has a pattern and practice of engaging in excessive force and brutality against Black people and others,” he argued.

That the new database came through executive order means it could be stripped by a new president, he continued. “It’s troublesome that it and the other components of the George Floyd Policing Act could not pass the United States Congress and be signed into the law by the president and be the law forever. We have to rely on executive orders now until we can build a consensus in this very divided country,” said Atty. Crump.

Except perhaps in New Jersey. In September 2022, the Garden State launched its Law Enforcement Internal Affairs Investigations website, which displays data from internal affairs investigations of its over 500 police agencies.

In addition, most police departments have gone to National Internet Based Reporting System (NIBRS), which includes officer-involved shootings and preceded the new federal database. As of January 1, 2002, it became the national standard for law enforcement crime data reporting in the United States, according to Bureau of Justice Statistics.

There are over 18,000 policing agencies in the country, and there is no federal law mandating that they report acts of misconduct, use of force, etc. to that accountability database, noted Cephus “Uncle Bobby” X Johnson, a California-based police reform advocate and co-founder of the Love Not Blood Campaign and Families United 4 Justice.

Per President Biden, his administration will encourage state, Tribal and territorial agencies to make available and access similar records in the new database as part of their hiring processes.

“We have a national database that is not being used to the fullest right now called the National Decertification Index (NDI). This database is supposed to capture every decertified police officer in this database. But because there is no national federal law that requires it to be done, agencies are not sending that information to The NDI database,” argued Mr. Johnson.

Donnell Walters, president of the Ethical Society of Police, thinks the National Law Enforcement Accountability Database forces agencies to deal with the problem of police misconduct versus allowing officers to transfer from agency to agency.

For example, it will help eliminate or at least reduce instances such as former Louisville police officer Myles Cosgrove, who fatally shot Breonna Taylor in March 2020, but who was hired by the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office, after he was fired from the Louisville Metro Police Department in January 2021.

“It’s a start and it’s incumbent upon the people, upon organizations, to really stay on top of it so that it doesn’t fall by the wayside, because quite often you find that stuff falls by the wayside, because it makes news today, but then the next thing will come up and this gets pushed to the back burner,” Mr. Walters told The Final Call.

“I am a 100 percent believer of transparency, good or bad, because people in my opinion will respect you telling the truth and you made a mistake then you trying to lie and cover it up. We’re human, and that’s what people have to understand,” he stated.

The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam pointed out in a message titled “Justifiable Homicide: Black Youth in Peril,” delivered on October 28, 2007, from Mosque Maryam in Chicago, that since Black people have been in America, “we have been under the domination of a power that during slavery did not have to justify the murder of our fathers.”

“They didn’t have any group of people to look at facts. The slave-master had the power of life and death on every Black person outside of the principle of justice, with no regard for the life of the Black male or female that was being put to death,” stated the Minister.

The Minister urged Black youth to hear his message, pointing out to them that police authorities are the same today as they were during slavery. “In fact, this is how policing began. Police were formed to catch runaway slaves, bring them back to their masters and make examples of them to throw fear into other slaves. It’s the same today. Police authorities are trained to kill, as well as to protect,” Minister Farrakhan continued.

“But where Black people are concerned, police legitimize their mob attacks under the name of ‘back up.’ Police back up is often no different than the lynch mobs 100 years ago. The killing of our people, shooting them with many bullets when one would have done the job. And then, that deliberative body which is to discuss the brutal murder of our people by looking into the facts, comes away calling it justifiable homicide,” the Minister said.