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The Birth of the NFAC; Amerika’s Black Militia

Black grassroots movements have led the charge throughout the history of Black Americans fighting for equality in America. From the 1954 Civil Rights movement to the Black Power movement of the ’60s, and the more recent Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the dismantlement of the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense in 1982, no other organization composed of Black men and women has disrupted America’s white comfort. Until the NFAC (Not ****ing Around Coalition) led by the 2016 independent presidential candidate, John Fitzgerald Johnson, known as Grandmaster Jay, took formation.

The NFAC is a focused, self-finance armed militia of trained Black military veterans, and according to the Grandmaster Jay, the NFAC is neither protestors nor demonstrators. “We are a Black militia. We don’t come to sing; we don’t come to chant. That’s not what we do,” says Grandmaster Jay.

The first public sighting of the NFAC took place on May 12, 2020, in Brunswick, Georgia, as a direct response to the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old Black jogger murder by two white males in February. Although early reports on the NFAC linked the organization to the Black Panther Party, the NFAC has denied any connection.

One of the biggest shows of arms and unity from the NFAC came on July 4, 2020, America’s Independence Day. Along with an upward of 1,000 troops, Grandmaster Jay marched in sync through the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan, Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Appearing on Roland Martin’s “Unfiltered Daily Digital Show,” Grandmaster Jay tells Martin that the Stone Mountain formation took place for two reasons: One, to exercise their constitutional rights to bear arms and to assemble peacefully. It was also to challenge the white nationalist organization after threats of lynching and shooting people of color began circulating online.

“You are not going to continue to threaten the Black Race, Grandmaster Jay says. “It was time to show folks that we can defend ourselves.

The NFAC showed another demonstration of unity and strength when they took to Louisville, Kentucky, to apply pressure on Louisville Attorney General, Daniel Camron, for his lack of urgency in bringing justice to 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. Taylor, an EMT, with no criminal history, was shot by the Louisville police officers eight times as they mistakenly raided her home. The presence of the NFAC in Louisville resulted in a conversation between Daniel Cameron and Grandmaster Jay. According to Jay, he gave Cameron an ultimatum, finish the investigation in four weeks, or the NFAC would return to Louisville. Grandmaster Jay says the NFAC presences in Louisville were not to create or add any more chaos to a city already under the public’s microscope but feels their appearance is necessary to spread a particular message. That message was justice for Breonna Taylor.

Everyone may not agree with the NFAC and what some may call an aggressive approach.  But in a country where Black people continue to be murder and threatened by local law enforcement and white nationalist organizations, the NFAC is needed as an alternative to what’s to come if America doesn’t correct their mistreatment to people of color.

“Anytime there appears to be a gross injustice against the Black community, we’ve decided we’re going to take it to the streets. We’re going to take it to their face and show them what Malcolm said was true. There are no such things as a bloodless revolution.” -Grandmaster Jay


Statement from Hanif Shabazz Bey

Fake News

As the nation remains incensed and shocked beyond belief at the recent
brutal murder of Bro. George Floyd, now in the aftermath of the inhumane
action and the upheaval that has arisen, the mainstream media should be
scrutinized in its attempts to prevent unity between the different
ethnic groups.

Now they are propagating that anarchists and “white nationalists” are
exploiting the rebellions, by going into the so-called Black communities
and setting fires to Black-owned businesses.

Most of the people being “interviewed” by the mainstream media, and
commenting on the activities, are African-Americans and their underlying
theme is usually “Black Lives Matter” which fans a nationalistic fervor.

The media is focusing on the deaths of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor,
who are recent victims of police brutality, while giving little or no
focus on the Anglo woman killed sometime ago in Minneapolis by an
African-American police officer.

It is a fallacy that all Anglos on the streets are out there to exploit
the activities.

Many of these individuals are freedom loving individuals out there
fighting for social justice, and to end systemic racism.

I have to believe that the media plays down the amount of Anglo victims
who lose their lives to police violence.

Even though Anglo-Americans outnumber African-Americans “10 to 1” in
this country, the media would have us to believe that there are more
police attacks on African-American citizens.

It is all just a sign that the purpose of all the mainstream media is to
protect the interests of the ruling class, and keeping the masses
divided along ethnic lines.

Hanif Shabazz Bey #5161331
S/n Beaumont Gereau
Citrus County Detention Facility
2604 W. Woodland Ridge Dr.
Lecanto, FL 34461

May 29, 2020

When you write to Hanif, address the envelope to Beaumont Gereau, letter to Hanif.


What’s in a Name Change?: A New Black/Native Amerikan Solidarity

by   Gustavus Griffin

What’s in a Name Change?: A New Black/Native American Solidarity

Native American and African/Black people in America have both been victims of Settler Colonialism.

“Black Lives Matter activists stood in solidarity with the Sioux at Standing Rock in resistance to the Keystone Pipeline.”

A friend texted me, asking: “Do you think Snyder really will change the Skins name?” My answer was “Yes.” I’ll explain why and what can come out of this.

The current uprisings for racial justice are primed to become the tipping point for the fall of yet another symbol of racist oppression. The days of the Washington football team slur are apparently short.

Though nothing is official yet, when the stadium sponsor, in this case FedEx, bailed on being associated with the team over the name, the first shot was fired. Normally a number of corporate suiters would line up to replace them.

Not today, no way!

And as a result, the team has formally announced the beginning of doing what it should have done long ago, and that is to change the damn name.

Should this slur fall, pressure will increase for the baseball team in Cleveland, the hockey team in Chicago and other racist slur mascots.

One thing to take away from this victory is the irony that the final nail did not come from the valiant agitation of Native American groups. It came from the reaction to the “lynching” of a Black man named George Floyd.

There is an irony in that Floyd’s” lynching” took place in Minnesota, which was also the cite of one of the largest mass lynching in American history. In 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed off on the lynching of 39 Dakota resistors.

“The final nail did not come from the valiant agitation of Native American groups.”

On the one hand, this is not at all unusual. Black people have either been at the heart of, or have inspired, every significant social justice movement in American history. While I believe that an expression of appreciation is warranted, that is not what I am most interested in securing. I am interested in a stronger bond of solidarity arising between Native American and Black people.

There have been signs of this growing. Black Lives Matter activists stood in solidarity with the Sioux at Standing Rock in resistance to the Keystone Pipeline.

There are also challenges rooted in historical wounds.

Black folks have routinely praised the so-called “Buffalo Soldiers” which were a group of Black military regiments formed after the Civil War. Their primary mission was to help advance Western expansion by driving Native People from their lands.

During the Civil War, several Native American tribes sided with the Confederacy.

It is also true that many of the enslaved that escaped who would come to be known as Maroons, found refuge among Native Americans.

“’Buffalo Soldiers’ helped advance Western expansion by driving Native People from their lands.”

With all this said, the most common intersectional aspect in the relationship between Native American and African/Black people in America is that we have been the victims of Settler Colonialism both historically and today. Black America is essentially a domestic colony. We just don’t have the sovereignty that Native Americans have and, if that meant as much as it appears to mean on paper they would have the power to stop President Trump from speaking at Mount Rushmore, which is on Sioux territory.

Maybe I am too optimistic about the possibilities that might come from the name change of a sports team. On the other hand, two months ago if someone were hopeful that major cities would be redirecting funds from their police budgets, I myself would dismiss them as being too optimistic. So, I say as long as we are willing to put the work in, we should not limit ourselves to what is possible. And greater solidarity between Black and Native American people is absolutely not only possible but necessary.


by  Shaka Shakur


If there can be no peace without justice, then there can never be peace while the US Prison Gulag exists.

“Prison Lives Matter as Black Lives Matter!!!”

“There shall neither be slavery nor involuntary servitude unless duly convicted of a crime.” — 13th Amendment of U.S. Constitution

We as prisoners held captive in one of the united states many modern day plantations wish to stand in solidarity with our people as they protest the systemic racism and genocide perpetrated by the united states security forces and kriminal (in)justice system.

As our people march and protest in righteous anger and rage throughout the country, we not only want to add our voices in unity, we also want to say, We Too!

We Too! Are often murdered/lynched in the streets by the u.s. security forces and throughout its prison system, and it’s ruled a suicide or natural causes.

We Too! Are often lynched in the biased and racist courtrooms throughout amerika as we are railroaded into the Prison Industrial Complex.

We Too! Are systematically harvested from our communities and families and fed into the Prison Industrial Complex in the interest of big business, privatization and social control.

We Too! Are often the first to be sentenced to death, either literally or figuratively through a slow death of an outrageous amount of years.

We Too! Are the victim of racist attacks and beatings while unarmed or handcuffed behind our back by racist guards or strike teams and its covered up.

We Too! Are subjected to white supremacist gangs and militias hiding in plain sight behind badges, in prison guard uniforms and as prison administrators.

We too! Are subjected to the planting of evidence, the filing of false reports/charges and thereby extending our sentences without any checks and balances or oversight.

We Too! Are subjected to decades in solitary confinement without due process or penological justification.

We Too! Are the first to be denied parole or clemency for decades, no matter how many programs we have completed and in spite of meeting the criteria.

We Too! Are denied preventable health care and allowed to die and suffer due to official Indifference.

We Too! In the midst of a pandemic that is sweeping the country and ravishing the prison system, are also being denied C-19 testing.

We Too! Are being denied serious consideration for early release or pardons based on the color of our skin, what city or community we come from or based on our politics or religious beliefs.

We Too! Are here and feel your pain, because your pain is our pain and we stand united and in solidarity with you because Prison Lives Matter as Black Lives Matter!!!


Committee For Freedom C.F.F.

Shaka Shakur #1996207

P.O. Box 860 Oakwood, Va 24631



source: #WE TOO 

Black Panthers See Echoes in Today’s Protest Movement, With Focus on Cell Phones, Not Guns

Perspective: Black Lives Matters’ media savvy sidesteps marginalization of ’60s revolutionaries

At a Blacks Lives Matter protest, a young woman stares boldly into the camera’s lens, hoisting a sign that reads, “George Floyd isn’t a wake-up call. The same alarm has been ringing since 1619. Y’all just keep hitting snooze.”

The last time the alarm rang this loudly may have been when the Black Panthers built a nationwide movement.

What distinguishes the Black Lives Matter movement from the Black Panther Party, which brought national attention to police brutality and racial injustice more than half a century ago, is widespread appeal, said one early member of the Black Panthers. His simple advice for the younger generation: Stick with it.

“I see Black Lives Matter trying to avoid the mistakes we made,” said Henry “Hank” Jones, who was active in the San Francisco chapter starting in 1968. “We allowed ourselves to be marginalized. We had ego issues, went to the gun too soon, and allowed the government to label us as gun-crazy criminals.”

The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense, as it was initially known, was founded in 1966 to challenge police violence against African Americans in part by protecting Oakland’s Black communities with armed organized patrols. At the time, California residents were legally allowed to carry weapons openly. After the Panthers began to take advantage of this law, the state Legislature passed a law banning the open carry of loaded weapons by anyone outside of law enforcement or others with explicit authorization to do so. The National Rifle Association, which vehemently opposes gun control, supported the law.

Today’s activists need patience, said Jones, who at 85 doesn’t expect to see radical change in his or possibly in his grandchildren’s lifetimes. “We were trying to make a revolution in our lifetime,” he said. “You can’t rush things.”

Other former Black Panther Party members similarly connected the dots, outlining how the Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality serves as an extension not just of their own struggle in the 1960s and ’70s, but also of struggles stretching much farther back.

“We have all been encouraged by the energy of the Black masses and our allies in protesting the murder of George Floyd, but as each of you are well aware the murder and brutality visited upon our people is nothing aberrational or new,” said 17 former party members in an open letter to hip-hop artists published June 10.

“The butchering, torture, and dehumanization of Black people extends to the bullwhips, castrations, and mass rape on the plantations of America’s European ‘founding fathers’ and continues to this day,” said the letter from the party members, including Kathleen Cleaver, former communications secretary and organizer of the campaign from 1968 to 1970 to free co-founder Huey Newton from jail. “This is the legacy from which modern law enforcement in America derived its overarching purpose, the protection of property and wealth, not people — especially not Black people.”

While the Black Panthers worked to connect history to the realities of police violence and structural discrimination they faced, they gained widespread notoriety — and support from activists — when armed members marched into the California state Capitol to protest the bill that later became the Mulford Act, banning the open carry of weapons.

These days, Black Lives Matter activists and their allies are using phones instead of firearms, recording videos of police killings and other brutality that have gone viral repeatedly. The resulting waves of outrage, amplified by immediate access to millions of viewers via social media, culminated in the current movement of daily protests that have spread around the world over the last month.

From ‘Pony Express’ to social media posts

“Back then, we didn’t have the technology that Black Lives Matter has,” said Jones. “Our news and information were transmitted by Pony Express. You couldn’t flick your finger across a screen and have information immediately at your disposal.”

Today’s activists — including one in my own family — recognize the huge advantage modern organizing tools give them to control and distribute their message.

“One of the big issues of the late ’60s and ’70s was limited opportunities to present themselves to the country,” said Kamel Jacot-Bell, a San Francisco-based activist who is also my nephew. His understanding of how the Black Panthers worked and how they compare with the current movement come in large part from his father, Herman Bell (my brother-in-law), a former member of the Black Liberation Army and the Black Panther Party, who served almost 45 years in prison after being convicted inthe killings of two New York City police officers.

“They had the Black Panther Party Newspaper, but that had a limited circulation,” said Jacot-Bell. “They had few other tools to get their message out beyond television, which was owned by the corporate structure and the state who distorted their intentions.”

While some former party members laud the “wonderful consciousness” they see behind the current protests, they also question whether the Black Lives Matter movement will have staying power without a set platform, programming and goals.

“Black Lives Matter has adopted some of the same policies the Black Panther Party put forth as far as police community review boards, observers and calling for the dismantling of the police,” Jones said. But their methods might need more “teeth” or strategies for community building beyond the protests, he added.

The Black Panthers, co-founded by Newton and Bobby Seale, developed a 10-point program articulating their demands and philosophy. It declared their independence from a racist society and outlined ideals, modes of operation and organizational structure.

Community building as social and political strategy

Though they are often remembered for their gun-toting activism and were depicted in mainstream media as a Black militant militia, the Black Panthers created more than 60 programs to aid the community, some of which have been emulated by governmental, private and nonprofit organizations.

The Black Panthers sponsored a free hot breakfast program in 19 cities that fed more than 20,000 children in 1969. From storefronts, trailers and tenuously constructed shacks, their People’s Free Medical Center offered screenings for high blood pressure, lead poisoning, tuberculosis, diabetes and cancer, physical exams, immunizations and other primary care services. These centers predated President Bill Clinton’s attempt at universal health care and President Barack Obama’s affordable health care program.

Other programs included the People’s Free Ambulance Service, a food pantry for the poor and the Black Student Alliance, which provided mentoring and support for Bay Area college students. The mission of the latter program can be seen in modern day Black male and minority mentoring programs at universities. Finally, the Black Panther Party newspaper kept the community apprised of the party’s initiatives, issues and ideologies as well as struggles affecting the black community.

“We were about nation building for blacks,” Jones said. “That meant you didn’t call the police when you had an issue. People called the Black Panther Party to settle their issues.” Members were known to carry guns in one hand and a law book in the other to protect and advise Black people who had been stopped or harassed by the police.

“There was ownership in the community,” he added. “You didn’t have to call in outsiders.”

The power of multiracial campaigns and modern tools

Black Lives Matter protests have taken a different tack, shutting down major business and retail districts, blocking traffic on major throughways in major U.S. cities and bleeding over from primarily minority communities into integrated and predominantly white communities as well.

With mass mobilization reminiscent of the civil rights era, the movement’s far-reaching, influential social media awareness-building campaigns and largely peaceful protests have succeeded in changing the national conversation and spurring progress.

After worldwide demonstrations, all four officers involved in Floyd’s death were arrested and charged. Charges against Derek Chauvin, the police officer seen with his knee on Floyd’s neck, were upgraded from third- to second-degree murder. Afterward, Minneapolis announced plans to disband its police department. Several other cities, including New York and Los Angeles, have announced plans to redirect part of their police departments’ budgets to youth and social services. San Francisco Mayor London Breed on June 11 announced a plan to redirect some police funding to the African American community and institute other police reforms.

Louisville’s Metro Council is considering a law, named in honor of Breonna Taylor, to limit the use of “no knock” search warrants. Taylor was shot and killed in her home by Louisville police after they used a no-knock warrant to enter her apartment. Elsewhere, statues of racists and Confederate monuments are being torn down. Even popular racecar circuit NASCAR will now prohibit the display of the Confederate flag at its events.

“The next step is for people to organize within themselves in various aspects, like providing actionable steps to defund the police, creating alternative options for security and safety in our community, economic blocs and ways to create ownership and equity within our communities,” Jacot-Bell said.

Despite their achievements, all revolutions or movements have arcs that can go from success to dormancy if participants are not careful, some former Black Panthers said. To avoid that, they said long-range planning is essential.

Jones emphasized the importance of continued pressure to eliminate structural racism. “This generation is amazing. It’s the generation after the Black Panther Party who dropped the ball,” he said. “They thought they were free. They thought hard work and following the rules would gain acceptance. Racism knocked that out.”

Now that the movement has spread around the globe, it’s important to think ahead and be deliberate, he suggested. “Black Lives Matters has to be in this for the long haul.”



Black and Proud


“Black Is Beautiful”-The Original Black Panther Party

Hotep (Peace)!!!

Take notes!!!!!!!!!

“Follow in the footsteps of your ancestors, for the mind is trained through knowledge. Behold, their words endure in books. Open and read them and follow their wise counsel. For one who is taught becomes skilled.”

-Selections From The Husia: Sacred Wisdom of Ancient Egypt (Selected and Retranslated by Dr. Maulana Karenga page 50)
James Baldwin, the great Afrikan American writer once said, “To be black and conscious in America is to be in a constant state of rage.” This statement is very true. If you are Black and conscious, White supremacy and the system of racism keeps your blackness in a constant state of rage. You become more and more angered with White domination and with Black oppression. Whiteness constantly and consistently challenges Afrikan people on their blackness through the neocolonialism in Afrika; Eurocentric education; police brutality (i.e. Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, etc); Black to Black violence (i.e. Dariun Albert, Hadiya Penalton, Dawn Riddick, Nakeisha Allen, etc); the denial of reparations; the negation of a Black agenda by elected officials; White racial violence (i.e. James Byrd, Trayvon Martin, Ahmaud Arbey, etc); Europeanization; Arabism; the controlling and concoction of Black leadership; the validity of Black unity; the validity of Afrocentricity; the validity of the Black Libration Flag; the validity of Afrikan History; the validity of Afrikan culture; the validity of Afrikan spirituality; the validity of independent Black schools; the validity of Black liberation organizations (i.e. the Moorish Science Temples of America, the Universal Negro Improvement Association, the Nation of Islam under the leadership of the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, the Us organization, the New Black Panther Party, the Original Black Panther Party, the Republic of New Afrika, the Black is Back Coalition, Black Lives Matter, etc); the validity of Black nationalism; the validity of Pan- Afrikanism; the validity of Black Power; the validity of Black revolutionary struggle; the importance of Black marriages to Black people; the emasculation of Black manhood; the high incarceration of rates of Black people; and Black self hatred. However, as you age with time you learn how to keep your rage in the spirit of Ma’at (Kemetic for balance). Kemet is the original Afrikan name for Egypt. Ma’at is an ancient Afrikan ethical and moral philosophy for truth, righteous, reciprocity, and balance originated in Kemetic (Egyptian) spirituality. It is very hard thing to do in a world controlled by white hegemony. White supremacists and racists will work to destroy your blackness. Some of your own people will attack you on your blackness. And even some of your own family members will attack you on your blackness. White supremacy and the system of racism are so interwoven into our world that many people embrace whiteness (light, bright, and anything and everything close to Europeans) over blacknes. For some Black people, being Black is too hard for us to live in this world. White hegemony dictates and defines Whiteness as the only thing that matters in the world. In response, some Black people develop issues of self-hatred. A huge part of Black liberation struggle is freeing ourselves from Black self-hatred with a love for our blackness.

Oppression regulates a people down to lowest realms of society. White supremacy and the system of racism have made Black people an oppressed group in America. Mixed between the march and movements against White supremacy, and the system of racism, is the struggle against Black self-hatred. This oppressive mentality of anti-blackness rears its ugly head in our community socially everyday (i.e. movies, reality shows, t.v talk shows, radio talk shows, social media, music videos, rap music, etc), and even amongst many family members.

Culturally, to rid ourselves from our blackness, some of us desperately try to find the one ounce of white blood in our veins. This, we believe, will help us justify us not being Black. We will say, “oh I am not Black, I am German.” Or we say, “oh I am not Black, I am French.” Or we say, “oh I am not Black, I am Spanish.” And some of us say, “I am not Black, I am bi-racial.” We try to be everything else except what God intended us to be-Black. If you are Black and proud, this really hurts our Afrikan centered Black conscious soul. However, this is the struggle for blackness. Unfortunately, without a national movement for Black liberation, White hegemony has beaten some us Black folk down in this new millennium. Some of us have given up on blackness. They, many White people and some Black people, do not want to accept the fact that Black self-hatred is a consequence of White supremacy and the system of racism.

Consequently, the purpose of White domination is to reduce Black people down into oppressive conditions in America, and in the world, to be exploited as group of people. Black self-hatred has been a tool used by our White oppressors to keep Black people from being Afrikan centered in their Blacknesss. If Black self-hatred is pervasive in the Afrikan American community, then Black people will never seize power for ourselves to be on equal footing with everyone’s culture in America and in this world.

However, there are many us that have not given up on blackness. I happened to be one of many Blackmen that have not given up on blackness. Afrika has been in my spirit, heart, and mind since 1990. That is the year I became conscious of my blackness. Prior to 1990, I knew nothing about the value and the importance of my blackness. I, like many Black youth growing up in the post Civil Rights and Black Power movements of the late 1970s, and the 1980s, were not taught on our blackness. Most leaders and organizations of the Civil Rights and Black Power movements had vanished, or became irrelevant, due to US government co-optation and repression. The schools in our neighborhoods, religious institutions, and many family circles did not teach us our Afrikan History, Afrikan culture, and Afrikan spirituality to help us develop an Afrikan centered Black conscious love for our blackness.

In this new millennium, young people call your awareness to blackness being “woke.” These type Black people are just conscious of their blackness. However, the “woke” Black person has not reach the level of consciousness to apply their blackness to Black liberation struggles.

Prior to the millennium, when you embraced your blackness, it was called Black consciousness. These type of Black people are conscious of their blackness. They work to help empower Black people in government, non-profits, community-based organizations, schools, colleges, universities, the business sector, and in religions institutions.

However, in Afrocentricity, there is deeper level of blackness. It is called-Afrikan centered Black consciousness. These type of Black people used Afrikan centered Black consciousness as a pathway for independent Afrikan centered education, nation-building, self-determination, independent politics, independent businesses, and Black liberation.

When I was a college student, my path to Afrikan centered Black consciousness started with Afrocentricity through the Nation of Islam. Both movements were very popular in my community of Newark and East Orange, NJ in the early 1990s. They both survived the onslaught of government co-optation and repression.

After the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad departed in 1975, his seventh son, Warith Deen Mohammad (former named Wallace Muhammad) took over the leadership of the mighty Nation of Islam. In three years, the Nation of Islam, the largest Islamic organization in America was dismantled. There was no more Nation of Islam. It was replaced by Sunni Al-Islam. All of the Nation of Islam’s Mosques were closed for public meetings that were at one timeused as a platform for organizing Muslims and Black people for liberation struggle. They were turned into a masjid (Arabic for mosque) now just used for salaat (Arabic for prayer). The Fruit of Islam (F.O.I) and Muslim Girls Training-General Civilization Class(MGT-GCC), the weekly military training of Muslims, Blackmen and Blackwomen,were abolished. Its’ Black liberation theology on Al-Islam was replaced by a moremoderate American, and some aspects Arabic centered theology. After three years,the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, who join the Nation of Islam under the most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and Malcolm X, could not take the destruction of Nation of Islam moving forward. He left Imam Warth Deen Mohammad’s leadership. He saw how the fall of the Nation of Islam, help set the Black community back deeper under the yoke of oppressionin America. Therefore, he went on to rebuild the work of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad and the Nation of Islam to fight against White domination and Black oppression. He reestablished the F.O.I and MGT-GCC for the training of Muslims, Blackmen, and Blackwomen to help empower Muslims, Blackmen, and Blackwomen.

I joined the local Nation of Islam Mosque called-Muhammad Mosque #25. I was a committed member of the Nation of Islam. But after given a knowledge of my Black self through the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, I became a exposed to Afrocentricity.

The movement of Afrocentricity is an Afrikan centered intellectual and cultural movement challenging White supremacist and racist notions about Black people, Afrika, Afrikan History, Afrikan culture, Afrikan spirituality, Black people, World History, Caribbean History, western religions, and American History.

I started studying the great master teachers of our culture to cultivate my Afrikan centered Black consciousness, such as Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop, Dr. John Henrick Clarke, Dr. Yosef Ben Jochannan, Dr. Ivan Van Sertima, Dr. Asa Hilliard, Professor Jacob Carruthers, Professor Ashra Kwesi, Tony Browder, Professor Dr. Runoko Rashidi, Professor James Smalls, Dr. Naim Akbar, Dr. Lenard Jeffries, Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Dr. Marimba Ani, Dr. Charshee McIntyre, Dr. Amos Wilson, Dr. Maulana Karenga, and Dr. Molefe Kete Asante.

I went from being born Carlos Cortez to being reborn as brother Carlos X. I went from not knowing who I was in this world culturally to knowing my Afrikan roots.

In turn, my Afrikan centered Black consciousness help me develop my love for my blackness. And I wanted a name that reflected my new blackness in me. I did not want to go to the egunguun (ancestors realm) with the name of a European conqueror. Names like Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Jackson, O’Tool, Hudson, Marquette, La Salle, Cavelier, Albuquerque, Pizarro, Leon, Soto, Nunez, Vasquez, Velazquez, Lopez, and Cortez were given to Black people by our slave masters and European conquerors.

After a few years pondering over an Afrikan name, I chose Bashir Muhammad Akinyele in 1995. Bashir Muhammad Akinyele has been my legal name since 1996. That was the same year I left the Nation of Islam.

However, it was Islam as taught by the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad that help me develop my Afrikan centered Black consciousness love for blackness. Therefore, I accepted the name Muhammad. It is Arabic. It means one worthy of praise or who praises much in english. My middle name is Muhammad. The name Muhammad is Islamic in origin. And if you qualify yourself as a good Muslim, Muhammad is the name the Nation of Islam member earns. With my sojourn in the Nation of Islam, I had earned the name Muhammad.

The name Bashir, my first name, means one who brings good news. It is also Islamic in origin. However, I choose my first name after the name of an Original Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army political prisoner named Bashir Hammed. I came to know brother Bashir Hammed after being inspired to write letters and visits to community activists in prison through political prisoner community activists Baba Zayid Muhammad, Tayari Onege, and T.J. Witicker. Original Black Panther Bashir and I became good friends. He became my primary source history teacher on the revolutionary struggles of oppressed people in the world. Bashir Hameed was framed by the US government’s racist counter intelligence program called, COINTELPRO, to neutralized the Black liberation Movements in the Afrikan American community. In the 1950’s, 1960s, and early 1970s, the US began a secret campaign to destroy all Black leaders, Black Power organizations, and discredit all Black nationalist ideologies in the Afrikan American community that threatened White domination. Original Black Panther Party member Bashir Hameed became one of its many victims. Unfortunately, Bashir Hameed went to the egunguun (Yoruba for ancestor’s realm). He died on August 30, 2008 at Great Meadow Correctional Facility in Comstock, NY. As a Muslim, Bashir Hameed had his Janazah rights at Masjid Dar Salaam in Elizabeth, NJ.

The name Akinyele is Afrikan. It is my last name. Akinyele comes from the Yoruba people of Nigeria. It means a strong one befits the house, or one of valor is in the house. Although my first and middle names are Islamic, I specifically chose Akinyele to connect me culturally to mother Afrika.

Eventually, community activist Baba Zayid Muhammad had organized an Afrikan community naming ceremony for me in Newark, NJ at the W.S.O.M.M.M (the Women In Support of the Million Man March) community center. It was there that my name, Bashir Muhammad Akinyele became official in the Afrikan centered conscious community.

During American slavery (the Maafa), the slave masters legally and violently forced Black people to accept bondage. The politicians and White slaver masters in America made it illegal for us to bear our Afrikan names. But the slave masters did not stop at just taking away our Afrikan names. They made it illegal for Black people to speak our own Afrikan languages, practice our own Afrikan religions, follow our own versions of western religions (i.e. Judaism, Christianity, and Al-Islam), to know our own Afrikan History, and to practice our own Afrikan cultural traditions (i.e Yoruba, Kemetic spirituality, etc). But most importantly, the American slave system (the Maafa) made sure that Afrikan people hated blackness.

Ultimately, US slave masters did this to disconnect us culturally from everything Afrikan to turn us into an negro people. The concept of negro is an European concept that disconnects a people to their history, culture, or a language.

We had to bear the names and cultures of our White slave masters. To this day, this is why many Afrikan Americans do not have Afrikan names and cannot speak our own Afrikan mother tongue.

American slavery (the Maafa) lasted for 250 years in America. It accumulated billions of dollars in wealth for America and White people for generations. American slavery made the United States the wealthiest and most powerful country in the world. When American slavery ended in 1865, Black people never received an apology, nor a penny in reparations to repair the psychological, cultural, social, and economic damages done in the Afrikan American community for hundreds of years.

But the European Slave-Trade (Maafa) lasted for 400 years. It was international. White slave masters from all over Europe were importing Afrikan people from Afrika to many parts of their colonialized new world in the Western Hemisphere, such as Canada, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Jamaica, Trinidad, Barbados, the Bahamas, and Granada. To this day, this is why there are millions of Black people in the North and South America. The Maafa, or the European Slave -Trade, uprooted and displaced Black people to the new world. However, Black people transported our Afrikan cultural traditions, such as cornrows, soul music, and the drum. The word Maafa is Kiswahili for great disaster, which forced Black people from Afrika to the world. Kiswahili is an Pan Afrikan language spoken in many parts of Afrika. It is the language of the Afrikan / Afrikan American holiday called-Kwanzaa.

In certain parts of the Western Hemisphere, new people of Afrikan descent emerged, such as Jamaican Haitians, Dominicans, Puerto Ricans, Brazilians, Latinos, and Afrikan Americans.

Struggling to liberate one self from the vestiges of American slavery (the Maafa) to embrace blackness is dangerous. Many of us know White supremacy and the system of racism will work to discredit and attack Afrikan centered Black consciousness. But we also know that some of our own Black people, our co-workers, and family members will work to discredit and attack our Afrikan centered Black consciousness as well in America and in the world. In our world, blackness is viewed as a threat to White domination. Personally, I have been attacked by some White people, some Black people, some education colleagues, and some family members because of my strong embrace of my blackness in this world. Dr. John Henrick Clark, the great Pan-Afrikanist and historian, taught us that one of the most powerful thing the European (Whites) did to Afrikan people (Blacks) was colonialize our minds.” Unfortunately, some people have developed a disrespect for blackness.

However, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad taught the Blackman and Black woman to be proud of being Black. He, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, said that the original man and woman of the planet earth are Black people. The Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, said this in his Lessons to the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America, “we are the maker, the owner, the cream of the planet earth, and God of the universe. If that is too ‘religious’ for you to accept as actual facts, then study the humanities and science of the secular world. Many histories and sciences reflect the teachings of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad by showing us that we as Black people fathered and mothered all people (humanity) on the planet earth (i.e. Afrikans, White people, Asians, Latinos, Native Americans, Arabs, etc), created civilizations, inspired the world’s religions, and established standards of beauty.

If you read Dr. Ivan Van Sertima’s book, They Came Before Columbus, it documents Black people from Afrika traveling to foreign lands to help build civilizations in places that the Whiteman calls North and South America, such as the United States, Mexico, Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Columbia, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Chile’, Honduras, Bolivia, and Peru.

If you read Charles Darwin book, The Origin of Species, he discusses that Afrika most likely is the birth place of humanity. Darwin said these things back in the 1800s!!! With the discoveries of the oldest recorded human bones in world history in Afrika by anthropology Drs Louis S.B. Leaky in 1959, and Donald C. Johannson in 1974, science now says conclusively that humanity’s birth place is in Afrika.

If you read Dr. Yosef ben Jochannan’s book, Africa: The Mother of Western Civilization, he documents Afrika’s Kemet (Egypt), and many other Nile Valley civilizations, contributed to the development of western civilization and western religions. This is why when Egyptologist Count C.F. Volney went to Kemet (Egypt) with Napoleon Bonaparte’s team of European scholarly professionals in 1798, he jumped at the opportunity. At this this time Napoleon was the Emperor of France, but he had an interest in the ancient world. They discovered that Kemet was a great Black civilization in Afrika, and that she influenced the world. Volney writes in his book, Voyages on Syrie Et En Egypt on pages 74-77, “Just think that the race of Black men, today our slaves and the object of our scorn, is the very race to which we owe our arts, sciences, and even the use of speech. Just imagine, finally, that it is in the midst of peoples who call themselves the greatest friends [White people] of liberty and humanity that one has approved the most barbarous slavery and questions whether Blackmen have the same kind of intelligence as Whites!”

If you read Dr. Runoko Rashidi book, African Presence In Early Asia, he documents Black people leaving Afrika to spark civilization on the continent of Asia.

Afrika’s presence is all over this planet. We can try to run way from our blackness, but as the respected Black nationalist freedom fighter Dr. Khalid Abdul Muhammad once said, “you can’t run from your Black self Blackman and Blackwoman.”

In summation, blackness has made me an effective Afrikan centered history teacher (I graduated from Seton Hall University in South Orange, NJ in 1993 with Bachelor of Arts degree in History), a committed community activist, a better human being, and a proud Blackman. However, when you stand on your blackness Black people prepare for battle. Blackness is a threat in America and in the world.


Asante sana (Kiswahili for thank you very much) for reading my commentary.

O Dabo (Yoruba for go with God until we meet again)!!!

-Bashir Muhammad Akinyele is a History Teacher, Black Studies Teacher, Community Activist, Chairperson of Weequahic High School’s Black History Month Committee in Newark, NJ, commentary writer, and Co-Producer and Co-Host of the All Politics Are Local, the number #1 political Hip Hip radio show in America.

Note: Spelling Afrika with a k is not a typo. Using the k in Afrika is the Kiswahili way of writing Africa. Kiswahili is a Pan -Afrikan language. It is spoken in many countries in Afrika. Kiswahili is the language used in Kwanzaa. The holiday of Kwanzaa is celebrated from December 26 to January



“I think this is the most ridiculous thing that has ever happened. The nigras are just as free as we are, they have the same opportunity to work and build their part of the town up the same as we have. I just don’t understand it and don’t approve of it. I’m gonna stand up for my rights.”

“Well I think if they remain peaceful it would be a lot better than perhaps the violence.”

“I don’t think it’s the time right now, I think they have equal rights though.”

“I don’t like it, I think it’s tryin to put something on us that we don’t want.”

“I sure don’t like it that’s for sure… I’m afraid we might have niggers next door.”

– Random whites in Albany, Georgia asked about their reaction to 1964 Civil Rights Bill and black protests

As I look at the footage of assault weapon-toting white men pushing their way into the State Capitol building in Lansing, Michigan I can’t help but to ask why white people can call themselves “peaceful” protestors when they freely carry assault weapons as they threaten their governor because she will not open the state up before public health officials deem it safe. I saw armed white men in Madison, Wisconsin during a protest that was also called “peaceful.”

America has a clear double standard for armed whites versus everyone else. I don’t even care if there is a law that allows open carry in place because I know that this would never be allowed if the people with military grade assault rifles were not white. And don’t try to convince me that these were simply Americans taking advantage of their Second Amendment rights. What they are protesting against are stay-at-home orders designed to slow the spread of a deadly pandemic that has taken more American lives than the Vietnam War and has nothing to do with the Second Amendsecond amendment rights ment.

None of the stay-at-home orders has ruled that people can’t bear arms. Obviously people have the right to protest unless they are strictly told they don’t have a permit as was done in Madison. These so-called law abiding citizens not only violated a state order by Governor Evers to stay home but also dared the authorities to stop them from marching without a permit. They did not even try.

I did not see the same response when peaceful protests happened around the country to demand an end to police violence against blacks. I know that none of these protests included assault weapons carried by someone other than the heavily armed police. Can you imagine what the news coverage would have said if just one black man showed up at one of these Black Lives Matter protests with a weapon? All hell would have broken lose.

Tear gas and rubber bullets were raining down on unarmed black protestors in Ferguson and Baltimore. Police were standing in ballistic hardware behind armored vehicles with snipers targeting unarmed civilians including children in peaceful protests. There were no armored vehicles, snipers or police helicopters on hand as crowds of protestors including armed white men descended on Madison and Lansing. No news reports clamored to talk about how dangerous and violent these protestors were.

This is a perfect example of the frustration at the hypocrisy we as black people talk about in this country. These double standards are clear for us to see, but white people generally see nothing nefarious in them. I get tired of hearing white  defend these “thugs.” Yes I said thugs, because this is who these men are. They bring their assault rifles, Confederate flags, swastikas and bad attitudes to try to bully their way into getting what they want.

Every time I hear someone refer to a black child or adult with sagging pants as a thug it makes me angry. I see people that obviously don’t see assault weapon carrying white men in the same light. How can anyone be frightened at the sight of a black person whose pants are not pulled up, but feel perfectly safe when a group of clearly angry white men with assault weapons are pushing their way into the state Capitol in Michigan?

“Directly above me, men with rifles yelling at us. Some of my colleagues who own bullet proof vests are wearing them. I have never appreciated our Sergeants-at-Arms more than today.” – Michigan State Senator Dayna Polehanki, Tweet from inside Capitol building on April 30

Much as he did when White Supremacists wreaked havoc in Charlottesville in 2017, President Trump defended these men by Tweeting “The Governor of Michigan should give a little, and put out the fire. These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.” He’s promoting their bullying tactics and claiming these are good people, a term he also used to describe the mobs of White supremacists in Charlottesville yet there has been no national outrage over this Tweet.

Back in 2015 while still a Republican presidential candidate, Trump complained about unarmed Black Lives Matter protestors by telling Bill O’Reilly of Fox News, “I think they’re trouble. I think they’re looking for trouble.” He went further by asserting, “I looked at a couple of the people that were interviewed from the group. I saw them with hate coming down the street last week talking about cops and police, and what should be done to them. And that was not good. And I think it’s a disgrace that they’re getting away with it.” And most significantly he said, “I don’t think it’s going to end up good. The fact is all lives matter. That includes black and it includes white and it includes everybody else.”

Well what does the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan tell us? If all lives supposedly matter then why are people angrily demanding an end to measures put in place to save lives. As of May 2nd black people in Michigan were 32 percent of the coronavirus cases and 41 percent of the COVID-19 deaths despite being just 15.2 percent of the population. Do these protestors care about those statistics? Is it a crisis to them that over 1,600 black people in Michigan have been killed by the virus or is opening the economy more important? 1,049 people have died in Detroit, 77.3 percent of them have been black.

Last year a heavily armed right-wing militia group calling themselves the United Constitutional Patriots kidnapped and detained at gunpoint Central American migrants at the U.S. border. How did the government respond? They sent border patrol agents to force them to release the captives but did not arrest a single one of these men but did take the migrants into custody. The group had been posting videos of their activity online for months. “These individuals should not attempt to exercise authority reserved for law enforcement,” New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas said in a statement.

The New Mexico American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) sent a letter to New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grishman saying, “The vigilante members of the organization…who posted videos and photographs of the unlawful arrests to social media, are not police or law enforcement and they have no authority under New Mexico or federal law to detain or arrest migrants in the United States. Their actions undermine the legitimate efforts of our state’s law enforcement officials to keep New Mexico families safe and they erode community trust.” A spokesman for Customs and Border Protection said that the agency does not endorse “private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands.”

Back in January 2016 a group of armed, far-right white men led a six-week standoff against federal law enforcement officers after they illegally seized and occupied the headquarters of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Harney County, Oregon. The leader of the group Ammon Bundy, along with three other men were arrested and charged in federal court with multiple charges. In January 2018 the trial judge declared a mistrial stating that, “The court finds that the universal sense of justice has been violated,” as a result of misconduct by the federal government.

Bundy became a cult hero. On March 26, 2020, Idaho’s Governor Brad Little issued a stay-at-home order. Bundy held a public meeting declaring he would fight the order and provide support for protestors. “I will be there,” Bundy said. “I will bring as many people as we can. We will form a legal defense for you, a political defense for you, and we will also, if necessary, provide a physical defense for you, so that you can continue in your rights.” This veiled threat about a “physical defense” should have been national news but it was never considered important enough to cover.

A group of armed, angry white men are allowed to confront law enforcement and flaunt “their rights” without suffering bodily harm in Idaho while the FBI has labeled unarmed black protestors “Black Identity Extremists” (BIE). They made false claims that Black Lives Matter protestors were making “premeditated, retaliatory lethal” attacks on police officers around the country. They issued an “intelligence assessment” sent to law enforcement agencies around the country warning them of “ideologically motivated, violent criminal activity within the BIE movement.” Of course this has proven to be not only highly inaccurate and inflammatory but incited opposition to Black Lives Matter protests around the country.

We recall very clearly that just hours after he murdered nine black members of the Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina the avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof was treated with kid gloves in the eyes of many and even brought a meal from Burger King during his interrogation by police.

When we see armed, angry white men in Madison and Lansing we are reminded that not so long ago armed, angry white men beat down and attempted to burn to death Freedom Riders in Birmingham and Anniston, Alabama. We remember the images and video of armed, angry white State Troopers in Selma, Alabama trampling and beating unarmed peaceful black protestors on the Edmund Pettis Bridge in 1965. We remember the images of armed, angry white men destroying property and murdering blacks when James Meredith attempted to integrate “Ole Miss” in 1962 before 3,000 federal troops quelled the riot.

We also remember that in each of these instances police took a hands off approach, standing by watching, and in the case of Freedom Riders beaten in Birmingham Police Commissioner Bull Connor made it clear to the mobsters that, “when the bus arrives at the terminal, the mob will have 15 minutes to burn, bomb, kill and maim without police intervention or arrests.” The FBI made was aware of the attack in Birmingham ahead of time but did nothing to intervene.

Howard K. Smith, a CBS reporter, described the violence on the radio: “Toughs grabbed the passengers into alleys and corridors, pounding them with pipes, with key rings, and with fists. One passenger was knocked down at my feet by twelve of the hoodlums, and his face was beaten and kicked until it was a bloody pulp.”

All of these examples of law and disorder are singed in the collective memory of black people. When we see our community being devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic and armed, angry white men fighting for their “rights” to end the stay-at-home orders of multiple governors it is a clear reminder that white people can arm themselves in so-called peaceful demonstrations while no alarm bells go off among most of their white peers.

When we look back on the reactions to peaceful protests by unarmed blacks in recent years and during the Civil Rights Movement the hypocrisy is plain as day. Dr. King was celebrated because he took a non-violent stand against violent mobs of white citizens and law enforcement agencies. The Black Panther Party for Self Defense (known as the Black Panthers) in Oakland, California was formed to protest rampant police brutality against blacks in that city. California was at that time an open carry state. The Panthers marched to Sacramento, the capitol of California, on March 2, 1967 legally armed with rifles, shotguns and pistols. They were described by the Sacramento Bee has having “invaded” the Capitol. “Two dozen armed Negroes entered the state Capitol at noon today and 10 made their way to the back of the Assembly Chamber before they were disarmed and marched away by the state police.” They were perfectly within their rights under California law to carry weapons into the Capitol.

Black Panther leader Bobby Seale of Oakland read a page-long statement declaring: “The Black Panther party for self-defense calls upon the American people in general and the black people in particular to take careful note of the racist California Legislature which is considering legislation aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless at the very same time that racist police agencies throughout the country are intensifying the terror, brutality, murder and repression of black people.”

Later Governor Ronald Reagan along with the state legislature passed the Mulford Act, a state bill prohibiting the open carry of loaded firearms, along with an addendum prohibiting loaded firearms in the state Capitol. Interestingly, the National Rifle Association (NRA) at the time backed that law and others that mandated stricter gun regulations in the 1960s.

“The law was part of a wave of laws that were passed in the late 1960s regulating guns, especially to target African-Americans,” according to Adam Winkler, author of Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms. “Including the Gun Control Act of 1968, which adopted new laws prohibiting certain people from owning guns, providing for beefed up licensing and inspections of gun dealers and restricting the importation of cheap Saturday night specials [pocket pistols] that were popular in some urban communities.” What he did not mention was that these particular weapons were intentionally flooding black communities as gun makers saw a huge profit.

When we see such double standards we must call them out. We are not blindly sitting by not paying attention to the actions of these armed, angry white men while our community suffers disproportionately during this pandemic. It is time someone calls out this inaction and lack of outrage by white people around the country. They are not outraged enough at the sight of armed, angry white men pushing an agenda that is certain to lead to more premature re-openings of states and the subsequent reemergence of the coronavirus in the months ahead.

Malcolm X called out the double standard whereby blacks had to be non-violent in the face of constant violence from whites.

“We will be nonviolent with those who are nonviolent with us… I don’t call it violence when it’s in self-defense. I call it intelligence.” – Malcolm X

When armed, angry white men are allowed to freely express themselves by showing their assault rifles at “peaceful” protests none of us are truly safe. There is no rational reason these men need to bring assault weapons designed for use by the military to a “peaceful” protest. White Americans just chalk it up to “boys will be boys.” The black community sees the dishonesty and duplicity in this double standard. We would never be allowed to express ourselves in this same way without facing the wrath of law enforcement.

The fact that organized groups of armed, angry white men have been allowed to grow unabated over the past several decades should scare everyone. America did not learn from what happened in Charlottesville. The clear message sent that day was not just one of hate but of growing power since they received a pat on the back and wink from the President of the United States.

White Supremacists groups are now using the pandemic to actively recruit new members online as many are stuck inside with plenty of screen time on their computers. Last month, the Department of Homeland Security warned law enforcement officials throughout the United States of the mobilization of violent extremists in response to stay-at-home measures, according to the New York Times. The New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness issued a statement on March 21st warning about how these groups are ramping up to exploit the anger over stay-at-home orders.

“White supremacist extremists are taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to advocate for the theory of accelerationism. The theory states that participating in mass attacks or creating other forms of chaos will accelerate the imminent and necessary collapse of society in order to build a racially pure nation. A neo-Nazi media group that promotes this theory has encouraged supporters to incite panic while people are practicing social isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak, which includes discharging firearms in cities and putting bullet-sized holes into car windows.”

These groups have also spread disinformation to stoke fear across the nation. In early March they sent a text falsely stating, “that President Donald Trump would enact the Stafford Act and order a two-week mandatory quarantine. The National Security Council quickly took to Twitter on March 15 to disprove the rumors of a national quarantine.” When we see these men carrying military grade arms wearing bulletproof vests among these protestors we better pay attention to the clear message that’s being sent. Let’s not just wantonly dismiss them as a bunch of gun fanatics or pretend they are like the American colonists protecting their rights. It is more sinister because these far-right groups have used these images to promote the coming race war by showing that they are building an army of supporters. Many of the protestors in the crowds are clearly not understanding how their presence at these protests allow them to be a proxy of the White Supremacists pushing this agenda. They stand side by side with these people and are in effect showing their support for them.

Despite some people attempting to claim these protests as being aligned with those of the Civil Rights Movement, nothing could be further from the truth. We were fighting to save the lives of blacks killed by white Ku Klux Klan members, vigilantes and lynch mobs just as these stay-at-home orders are saving lives that would be taken by the coronavirus. Those 1950s and 60s protests were clearly justified. We can learn a valuable lesson from what Dr. King said about the inaction of white moderates in his famous Letter From a Birmingham Jail.

“You deplore the demonstrations taking place in Birmingham. But your statement, I am sorry to say, fails to express a similar concern for the conditions that brought about the demonstrations … It is unfortunate that demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham, but it is even more unfortunate that the city’s white power structure left the Negro community with no alternative … I must say to you that we have not made a single gain in civil rights without determined legal and nonviolent pressure. Lamentably, it is an historical fact that privileged groups seldom give up their privileges voluntarily. Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups tend to be more immoral than individuals.”

The US Surges Into A Police State While Media White Out Structural Racism

The US Surges Into A Police State While Media White Out Structural Racism
The US Surges Into A Police State While Media White Out Structural Racism

Trump wants to “surge” against urban Black and brown Americans in the same way that the US surged against Iraq and Afghanistan.

“No matter how many cases of murderous police brutality there are, each is treated like an isolated incident.”

If withholding US military aid from a neo-Nazi friendly  government in Ukraine is unacceptable, then it is only logical that a fascist police surge on Black and Brown communities in the US is acceptable.

Until the threat of war between the US and Iran stole what had been central in media attention, the power elite worked to keep the public fixated on the antics of a useless partisan impeachment. All the while career politicians in the Democratic Party have been betraying their constituents with their typical and deafening silence about a police crackdown by the Trump administration that Donald Trump himself dubbed “The Surge.”

Concerns about Trump’s overt racism by Democratic Party leadership and the media are fake. He first announced his plan for a nationwide crackdown on “violent crime” and for a more militarized police on October 28, 2019 in his remarks  at the International Association of Chiefs of Police Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago. The only news stories corporate media thought worthy of reporting then were about Trump slinging insults at Chicago and its former superintendent of police, Eddie Johnson. And whatever stories there have been since seem to leave out “The Surge” entirely.

“The Democratic Party has been betraying their constituents with their silence about a police crackdown.”

“In coming weeks, Attorney General Barr will announce a new crackdown on violent crime, which I think is so important — targeting gangs and drug traffickers in high crime cities and dangerous rural areas,” Trump said. “Let’s call it, ‘The Surge.’ We can come up with lots of names, but we’re going to be doing something that’s very dramatic, headed up by our great Attorney General.  And you’re going to see tremendous results very quickly.”

As promised, more details for this structurally racist and anti-working class plan — called Operation Relentless Pursuit  — were announced by Attorney General William Barr on December 18th. It is described as “an initiative aimed at combating violent crime in seven of America’s most violent cities through a surge in federal resources.” The cities are Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee.

We can safely bet the deeper and more menacing implications of this plan will get a bi-partisan pass. None of the major presidential candidates or elected officials have touched the underlying issues, let alone pointed out its connections to US militarization across the planet.“The cities are Albuquerque, Baltimore, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Memphis, and Milwaukee.”

In fact, 188 Democrats who pretend to resist Trump, handed him  $738 Billion for the military in December that includes a “Space Force,” proving they serve the imperial state, not their constitents,

The unspoken role of the US military and police is to control and contain the populations politically marginalized by — and now economically redundant to — the global neoliberal order. Root causes of crime and violence — or “extremist terrorism” for that matter — cannot be addressed by this order. Which has been intensifying through what Glen Ford of Black Agenda Report has warned is a global race to the bottom.

“To help keep you safe, I have made 600 million dollars’ worth of surplus military equipment available to local law enforcement,” Trump said in October.

The transfer of military equipment to law enforcement is consistent with DOD’s 1033 program  that dates back to 1990. Trump’s numbers are conservative compared to the value of military equipment transferred by Obama to the domestic occupying army called the police. In his remarks Trump distorted Barack Obama’s support for the program responsible for most of the equipment transferred, by suggesting Obama didn’t support it.

“Trump distorted Barack Obama’s support for the program.”

Under Obama 1033 experienced a 2,400% increase. The only changes he made to it were cosmetic and were toward the latter part of his second term. He curtailed the transfer of certain “heavy equipment” and certain kinds of ammunition that had no impact on the program overall. When Trump reversed Obama’s modifications of the 1033 program, the liberal press acted as if some great policy change had occurred, but failed to mention how the program was expanded under the first “black” president.

Now Trump’s “surge” is being met with bi-partisan complicity.

It must be understood that the USA is a white settler colonial regime, built on the bones of indigenous and formerly enslaved African populations. Settler colonialism is the primary tie that binds the US and Israel. “One of the most dangerous places where the regimes of Trump and Netanyahu [President of Israel] converge are in exchange programs that bring together police, ICE, border patrol, and FBI from the US with soldiers, police, border agents, etc from Israel.” This program has been appropriately dubbed, “Deadly Exchange .”

The intersecting factors of race, class and patriarchy are laid bare when the dots are connected between the 1033 program and bi-partisan support for the obscene and steadily rising military budget, the 800 military bases in foreign countries , and legislation like the Blue Lives Matter Bill that makes “assault” on a police officer a hate crime and a federal offense.

“Trump’s ‘surge’ is being met with bi-partisan complicity.”

The culture of affinity for police emboldens more overt racism by them. A couple of months ago a Montgomery County, Maryland police department tried displaying the flag  of the Blue Lives Matter movement, a national organization made up of police and their supporters formed in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

No matter how many cases of murderous police brutality there are, each is treated like an isolated incident by media and policymakers, despite the daily assaults on Black bodies and dignity by cops across the country.

US fascism has been on a steady increase ever since the Nixon administration declared the War on Drugs. Racist urban offensives like Trump’s surge always mean more repression of the Black and Brown working class. That’s why we have to educate our people to oppose the domestic military surge, the training of U.S. police forces by the Israeli state, and to struggle to shut down AFRICOM. We must demand that elected officials take an unequivocal public position on these issues. Eighty percent of the Congressional Black Caucus supported militarizing the police. The Black Alliance for Peace is demanding to know where Black elected officials at every level of government stand by requiring them to fill out this pledge form . Help us make these politicians accountable to the people.


Progressive White People: It’s Time to Stand Up and be Counted

Protesters march to the state Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., Sunday, July 10, 2016. People are protesting the shooting death of a black man, Alton Sterling, by two white police officers at a convenience store parking lot last week. (Scott Clause/The Daily Advertiser via AP)

White People, can I have a few minutes of your time?

I know you wouldn’t even be here reading this if you weren’t some degree of “evolved” or “woke.” Not many outright racists hang around here at Daily Kos.

Nevertheless, it’s time for another painful conversations about race, racism, and what it actually means to not be a racist.

🚩{{{{{ 🚩Spoiler Alert: The Answer Is In The Title! 🚩}}}}} 🚩

Here at DK, we know a few basics.  We know that overt racists are likely to:

  • think White Privilege doesn’t exist
  • bring up The Race Card
  • preface statements with, “I’m not a racist, but…”
  • think BLM is a terrorist organization
  • object to an oil pipeline being put through a church, but be fine with putting one through sacred Native American lands
  • refer to NFL players who take a knee as “thugs”
  • believe that racism doesn’t exist
  • believe Affirmative Action is reverse racism
  • refer to anyone of Hispanic or latino descent as “Mexican”
  • believe that black-on-black crime is a bigger problem than cops killing black people
  • believe that the black men and boys who get shot or killed by cops had it coming for some reason or another.

  /  /  /  🏴  /  /  /  🏴  /  /  / 🏴  /  /  /  🏴  /  /  /

If you had trouble getting through that list without checking off a few, you’ve likely got more work to do than I can help you with here. But even if you are in good standing with that paradigm, as white people, we can’t help it if there are some deeper issues at play.

We are white and most of us have grown up in white families and mostly white communities through no fault of our own. None of us, (white, black or other) can help where we were born, what religion we were born into, or what language we learned. We’re not responsible for the early prejudices or lack of outside experiences that we may or may not have been exposed to in our youth. Some of which very likely contributed to our being racially “sluggish” or even “comatose.”

It’s in our teenage and young adulthood that we usually begin to examine our “given belief system” for flaws. We compare them with our experiences and make adjustments. We can read and listen and hopefully learn and grow into a better awareness of what life is truly like for “others.”

But as we become adults and make our way through life, opportunities to intersect and learn about other cultures and ethnicities don’t always just happen. Sometimes a job, travel, or living location may provide the impetus to expand our horizons, but sometimes “chance” just doesn’t open that channel. Many times it is actually a choice to learn more about different people. Sometimes we, as white people, have to make an effortWe have to leave our comfort zone and do the reaching out. We have to take the risk.

(Why do WE have to? Because we can. We have the power to do so. A power that has not been afforded to those with darker skin. They have never had the power to just move into our neighborhoods, get jobs where we work, join the groups that we are part of.)

Do you consider yourself, as a progressive or a liberal white person, to be an ally to your black and brown brothers and sisters? Because there’s actually a lot of ground between not being a racist and being an ally.

It’s not enough to just “not be against POC” as we go through life. 

We must attempt to see the world through their eyes.

We must try to become them.

Deeper growth and understanding must occur within our white hearts and minds before we can truly be allies with POC. Their histories, their stories, their voices must be truly heard. Have you listened with your heart? Do you understand their pain?

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Let’s try another inventory, just to see how “woke” we really are:

A. Do you read or study the history of other ethnicities that live in the same country as you, perhaps the same communities?  Do you assume/expect them to know about the white leaders and heroes in America?

Head and shoulders photo of the journalist Ida B. Wells-Barnett
                                          Ida B. Wells

Do you know know who these people are?

  1. Robert Smalls
  2. Benjamin Banneker
  3. Frederick Douglass
  4. Ida B. Wells
  5. W.E.B. Du Bois
  6. Sylvia Mendez
  7. Cesar Chavez
  8. A. Philip Randolph
  9. Dolores Huerta
  10. Antonia C. Novello

B. Do you make an effort (or perhaps you just do it naturally) to read the works of current black/brown authors or known black/brown literary figures?  Have you read any of these authors?

Toni Morrison receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama 
  1. Richard Wright
  2. Frederick Douglass
  3. (Helen Hunt Jackson)
  4. Zora Neale Hurston
  5. James Baldwin
  6. Toni Morrison
  7. Maya Angelou
  8. Alice Walker
  9. Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  10. Isabel Allende
  11. Julia Alvarez
  12. Jorge Luis Borges

C.  Do you read contemporary “ethnic authored” literature?  

Check out these lists.

Angie Thomas wrote an amazing book, which was soon enough made into an amazing movie.  As a white person, I was out of my comfort zone most of the time I read it — I was still uncomfortable when I saw the movie a few years later.  But I didn’t doubt for one moment the truth of it.

D.  If you don’t have time to read the books, do you see the movies? Do you know these stories?

  1. The Hate U Give
  2. Black Panther
  3. Selma 
  4. Straight Outta Compton
  5. The Color Purple 
  6. Waiting to Exhale
  7. Cry Freedom
  8. Glory
  9. BlacKkKlansman
  10. Boyz ‘N the Hood

Visit HuffPo: 29 Classic Movies To Watch In Honor Of Black History Month

E. Do you know these names?

  1. Dontre Hamilton
  2. Eric Garner
  3. John Crawford III
  4. Michael Brown, Jr.
  5. Ezell Ford
  6. Dante Parker
  7. Tanisha Anderson
  8. Tamir Rice
  9. Freddie Gray
  10. Rumain Brisbon
  11. Jerame Reid
  12. Tony Robinson
  13. Phillip White
  14. Walter Scott

    {{{ Hint — these names come from a list of unarmed black people killed by police — compiled over a single calendar year. }}}

F.  Do you know any POC?  Have you ever….. a POC?

Ex-skinhead Michael Kent embraces parole officer Tiffany Whittier
  1. gone out with
  2. been friends with
  3. are you related to
  4. been to a wedding
  5. been to the funeral of
  6. been inside the home of
  7. had some stay at your home
  8. shared a bed with
  9. been to the church of
  10. been on a trip with
  11. been the only white in a group of
  12. cried with
  13. argued with
  14. forgiven a
  15. been forgiven by

G.  Music:  Do you know the names of any songs by any of the following artists?  Have you really listened to this music?

  1. Nina Simone
  2. John Coltrane
  3. Louis Armstrong
  4. Billie Holiday
  5. Ella Fitzgerald
  6. Tupac Shakur
  7. Carlos Santana
  8. Shakira
  9. Enrique Iglesias
  10. Jenni Rivera
  11. Prince Royce
  12. Pitbull

H.  Life Statistics:

1.  Do you know the basic life expectancy rates of POC as compared to us White Folk?

Over the last 50 years, white women have maintained a solid life expectancy of ten years longer than black men.
The life expectancies of white men and black women hover together between the other two. 

2.  Infant Mortality Rates?…

Straight across the board, with rare exception, black infant mortality rates far exceed those of non-Hispanic whites.  Hispanic infant mortality rates are also significantly higher than those of white infants.

3.     Income Rates?…


4.     Incarceration Rates?

Data Source: Statistics as of June 30, 2010 and December 31, 2010 from Correctional Population in the United States and from U.S. Census Summary File 1. (Graph: Peter Wagner, 2012)

5.      Education?


I could go on and on and on, but I’m hoping you get the point.

“What is the point?” You may wonder. None of this is really new to us. We kinda understand the inequity that goes along with “the race problem” and we are comfortable being on the right side of the issue, am I right? As liberal, progressive, democratic white people, we live in The Camp of Good Intentions.

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The Camp of Good Intentions

“It’s not only Republicans that are racist.”     “Liberals can be racists, too.”

Being white and liberal all my life, it has taken me many decades to see the reality of this. It’s been painful. I know there was a time when I was in that camp. Heck, I’m probably still a part-time resident there.

🤦🏼‍♀️ 😰 🤷🏼‍♀️

I call it the Camp of Good Intentions. Where said “non-racist” white person has virtually no real meaningful experiences or relationships with POC, little knowledge of or appreciation for their history, culture or music. Non-racist white person has no real participation with their struggle for equality. NRWP has best wishes for POC but no actual dog in the fight.

And sadly, said NRWP has no specific motivation to move outside the Camp of Good Intentions, and perhaps no real awareness that they reside there.

In the Camp of Good Intentions, it seems like it should be enough to have voted for the first black president, to have fully supported Civil Rights, to never use the n-word, to revile people who do (behind their backs) and even be on friendly terms with some POC. It’s pretty comfortable for us white liberals in this space. We have lots to give and only a little to lose.

I know many older, life-long (white) liberals with good hearts who have never left that safe space. Even some who still somehow live there despite having grandchildren or in-laws who are bi-racial or POC themselves. I do think young people in general are becoming progressively more socially accepting in terms of not “making a deal” out of race and gender mixing, certainly not as much as those in their 50’s and older. But even that doesn’t necessarily translate to understanding the deep pain of racism.

How do we (white people) know where we stand?

How do they (POC) know where we stand?

Does it matter where we stand?

Are we actually standing at all?

When a racial injustice happens in our own city or town, do we step up? Do we show up? Do we speak up? Or do we huddle in our Camp of Good Intentions and look to the “National Struggle” for our instruction? When things get really bad, do we write a check?

Do we fall back on the old, “If he had just done what the cop asked…” when another black child or man is shot in the back by the police?

Do we speak up when someone does use the n-word or use racist language in our presence? Do we bite our tongues and go along, or just turn away in silent disgust?

OR, ummm, have we in our liberalism, insulated ourselves such that we don’t actually run into those kind of white people (racists) very often anymore, yet knowing very well that they exist. All the while,  living in a very white world. Because, well…family. Or geography. Or a job or whatever.

Okay. Whatever. I am not one to judge, that’s for sure. I absolutely love where I live (rurally in the Rocky Mountains) at this point in my life, but the sparse populace is old, white and “politically red” —  a bit of a cultural desert — save for the Native Utes who lived here for centuries before we came.

But chance, as well as specific choices, earlier in my life, enriched and enabled me such that I was able to come to know very well many POC — of all ages and in many varied circumstances — from my late teens to my late 50s. As a survivor of traumatic childhood sexual abuse, I probably imagined a certain kinship with POC. I have certainly felt a unique sense of belonging when I was especially close with a small group of WOC back in the day.

But that’s not where I live now. So the question is, even for me…

Can the POC that we encounter in our daily lives SEE us?

Can they tell who we are? Is there a way that they can identify that we are on their side? That we are not a Trumpian or a BBQ Becky — someone ready to call the cops on them simply because they exist? How might we show them? How can they know that we are their allies? That we even exist? How are POC supposed to know that there are white people who would stand up for them? That they can turn to for help.  How do POC know who we are?


…there really are white folks who care. Who are working slowly and diligently to help in the struggle. There are white people who are somewhere on that journey from good intentions to “wokeness.” And when we get to the point where we don’t need to be singled out for being “woke,” we may almost be there.

Yes, that means we don’t wince when POC talk about “white people” and feel like we need an asterisk next to our name as an exception to the rule. We need to be strong enough in our belief in who we are to rise above the stereotype that has attached itself to our “group,” just as POC have been doing for generations on end.

Don’t let anyone tell you who you are — show them who you are.  

Understanding other races comes with making deliberate choices, small efforts, repeated outreach, and defeating our fear of rejection.

How To Stand Up and Be Counted:

IMG_4725.JPG…… 25 buttons for $11 — I gave 23 away!
  • Wear a Black Lives Matter pin.  (Everyday! Just stick it on your hat or bag or jacket and forget about it. I have some amazing stories coming out of doing this over the past four years!)
  • Put a BLM or NAACP bumper sticker on your car.
  • Wear tee shirts or sweat shirts with strong messages on them.
  • Join the local NAACP and follow the local events.  Attend some!
  • Identify and support candidates of color that you agree with — get involved!
  • Put your energy into having tough conversations with white people around you, don’t leave that to POC. We have much more “leverage” with these peers than they do.
  • Expect to be uncomfortable. Pushing back against racism shouldn’t be “comfortable.”
  • Use vocabulary that speaks “the truth about the disempowerment, oppression, disinvestment and racism that are rampant in our communities.
  • Boots on the ground. Show up. Stand up. Speak up.

Little Things:

  • Smile at, nod to, sit near, hold the door for POC.  (And don’t “need” or expect them to reciprocate.)
  • Attend a black church service.
  • Read Black Kos. Masters Degree level information and discussion right here every Tuesday and Friday afternoon. It’s a welcoming community of people and knowledge and culture, many you probably already know.
  • Identify your own privilege. As white people, it’s easy to exist without realizing we are swimming in privileges that POC simply don’t have.
  • Educate yourself. Take the initiative — the struggle for equality and justice belongs to all of us.
  • Don’t get your feelings all hurt if someone mistakes you for just another white person. It’s on us, the minority of whites, to change the perception of who we are as a whole.  Educate other whites, POC already know how it is.
  • Build real relationships with POC!  Connect and collaborate!

POC consistently ask their white allies to have the uncomfortable race conversations with other white people. Yet we really hesitate to do this, don’t we? Don’t wanna rock the boat. That’s privilege right there.

Being white myself, I know I have barely scratched the surface of this topic. There is so much more to understanding the many rich cultures and often tragic histories of POC. The longer our nation continues, the more we see these stories embedded in its own white-washed history. There have been fateful consequences and also incredible stories of triumph.

I am only suggesting, based on experience and research, some things that might help to change this situation. I am eager for more conversation. I hope it will be productive.

(I apologize in advance for any possible offense to anyone of any race. Unless you’re a racist. Lol.)