Thursday, July 29, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
An Open Letter To Black Leadership by Minister Louis FarrakhanBY THE HONORABLE MINISTER LOUIS FARRAKHAN
Minister Louis Farrakhan
NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE HONORABLE ELIJAH MUHAMMAD
THE NATION OF ISLAM
IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL.
I BEAR WITNESS THAT THERE IS NO GOD BUT ALLAH AND I BEAR
WITNESS THAT MUHAMMAD IS HIS MESSENGER
AN OPEN LETTER
TO BLACK LEADERSHIP
July 19, 2010
To the Spiritual, Political, Educational, and Economic Leaders and to our Sports and Entertainment Giants:
May this open letter find you well and in good spirit as we search for a solution to the many problems that we face as a people.
Most of you have benefited in some way from a relationship that you have with members of the Jewish Community. Some of you have become very wealthy and are able to live in the best manner that you choose because of this friendship. However, have you ever noticed that no matter how rich and powerful some of us have become, we have never been shown how to network with the wealthy and learned of our people, pooling our resources that we may produce for our people that which would grow us from a begging position as little children to become masters of our own destiny?
The Jewish people have maximized their wealth by networking with their people and others in America and the World, thus they have become masters in banking, trade, commerce and have parlayed their wealth to become masters in every field of human endeavor. At the same time, we as their friends amass wealth for ourselves, our families and a few people who benefit from us but never have we done anything collectively to benefit the masses of our people.
It is not that we would not desire to do this; it is because we have not been shown how. Our distrust and disunity prohibits us from doing what the Jewish people have done.
These books that the Historical Research Department of the Nation of Islam has published, “The Secret Relationship Between Blacks and Jews: How Jews Gained Control of the Black American Economy Volume 2” and “Jews Selling Blacks” are being shared with our people to show us how we were completely undone and how others have benefited from what has happened and continues to happen to us. We cannot deal effectively with our so-called friends as men and women without this vital knowledge.
Whenever the Light of Truth has been shone on them, they reach for you to defend them against the Truth that uncovers the horror that has been done to us. They have always been successful pitting us against each other thus keeping them from facing the Truth of their real relationship with us. As they call upon you to denounce me as an anti-Semite and, because of the favor you believe you owe them for what they have done to help make life comfortable for you; I am asking you tostand down. I am asking you to read this research and then discuss it with your Jewish friends. Would you condemn me as an anti-Semite for exposing the research that shows them as being anti-Black? I am asking you to stand down and let them come out to me to defend their record and history of their relationship with us that we compiled from that which was written by their own scholars, historians, and Rabbis.
If you become an apologist for them in this hour, you will be seen by the masses of our people as a modern day Uncle Tom who believes you owe more to them than to the masses of our suffering people. If you attack me at their insistence you will be seen as an enemy of the rise of our people as well as an enemy of your own rise; for you can never be free to rise above the limitations placed on you by them until you know the absolute Truth of your relationship with them. Being an apologist for them will be dangerous for you as the masses of our people are awakening and are increasingly angry at the reality of our condition. No matter how popular you may be and desirous you may be to defend your so-called friends, it is dangerous for any of us to defend those who are the architects of White supremacy and are the architects of the destruction of us as a people.
Most of you are afraid to face such a formidable and powerful enemy. So, I implore you to stand to the side and let them come out to defend themselves and argue against the Truth that I and we speak and write.
I will prove to you and them that Allah (God) is Present and He is with me. As David went out to Goliath and defeated him in the face of the fear of King Saul and the Children of Israel, likewise, I can assure you that I will be victorious over your and my enemies with the Help of Allah (God) and His Christ (Mahdi).
Thank you for reading these words.
I Am Your Brother and Servant,
Respectfully and Sincerely Submitted,
The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan
Servant to the Lost-Found
Nation of Islam in the West
Friday, July 16, 2010
Nation of Islam Youth Return to the Motherland
By: Saajida Shabazz
Nation of Islam youth, from Muhammad Mosque #7, did not let obstacles stand in their way of their 1 month sojourn to Ancient Kemet, commonly known as Egypt, Africa. Their enthusiasm was driven by their love for learning and exploration. These New York youth understand the importance of traveling the world and not limiting oneself to one particular community. Their hopes are to learn much on their journeys, which encourages them to see the world from a vast scope and it makes them aware of different cultures, religions, and way of life up close. The believers of Muhammad Mosque #7 are proud to be represented in the Motherland by Bro. Emmanuel Muhammad, Bro. Jaleel Muhammad, Sis. Aliyah Muhammad, Sis. Annisah Muhammad, Sis. Sajeeda Muhammad, and Sis. Maleeka Muhammad.
This enriching experience was made possible through the International Youth Leadership Institute program (www.iyli.org ) in New York. This is an excellent program that, “…prepares Black and Latino secondary school students to assume active leadership roles in their community and global society.” Through the program, IYLI students are able to enjoy different activities, learn from their participation in various seminars and guest speakers, and establish a family bond with their peers and group leaders. This program is beneficial to our communities because, “IYLI reinforces a belief that individuals can improve their society and their world by first developing themselves.” While in Egypt the students have experienced seeing the Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinxes, riding camels, and sailing on the Nile River, etc.
Obtaining the funds for the trip to Egypt was no easy task for the youth; however they worked diligently to bring forth their goal into reality. They fundraised, collected donations, and the IYLI program facilitated the auctioning of goods to assist with the expenses. The students worked together and were also supported by their families, friends, and religious organizations.
The youth from Muhammad Mosque #7, along with their IYLI family, are blessed to be able to serve as an inspiration for all those who may allow life challenges to discourage us from our goals. This just goes to show, when you have the help of Allah (God), family, and your community- YOU CAN ACCOMPLISH WHAT YOU WILL!
Pictured in the photos are: Believers of Muhammad Mosque #7 - Bro. Jaleel Muhammad, Sis. Maleeka Muhammad, Sis. Sajeeda Muhammad, Sis. Annisah Muhammad, Sis. Aliyah Muhammad, and Bro. Emmanuel Muhammad.
'My son was murdered!'BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD -NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT
Family: Manslaughter conviction of ex-transit cop won't end fight for justiceLOS ANGELES (FinalCall.com) - “My son was murdered! He was murdered! He was murdered! He was murdered! My son was murdered, and the law has not held the officer accountable the way that he should have been held accountable,” declared Wanda Johnson after a jury convicted Oscar Grant, III.'s killer guilty of involuntary manslaughter.
Mr. Grant was lying face down on a station platform, with his hands behind his back, when Mr. Mehserle, then a Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) police officer shot him in the back at close range on Jan. 1, 2009.
Ms. Johnson said the battle is not over. “Even though this system will fail us and let us down, God will never fail us, nor will he let us down and I will trust in him until I die. ... We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places and we will continue to pray without ceasing because we know that our deliverer, Jesus Christ, the Lord our Savior ... will deliver us.”
Before the verdict was announced, Oscar Grant's family, Jack Bryson (whose sons Jack and Nigel were with Mr. Grant that night), their supporters, and even some members of the media, locked hands from row to row and prayed. With all of their heads bowed, and under heavy police watch, Ms. Johnson prayed first, and then Student Minister Keith Muhammad of Oakland.
Immediately after the clerk read the verdict, disappointment, sadness, and disgust ran across the faces of some in the public seating area. Reporters scribbled their notes feverishly and some people stared ahead for a few moments.
Judge Robert Perry had deputies take Mr. Mehserle into custody and his sentencing is set for Aug. 6. As he was being led from the courtroom, he mouthed “I love you guys” to his family, who sat near the court's entry doors, shielded by sheriff's deputies.In a quiet, somber meeting in another area of the courthouse, the Grant and Bryson families met with John Burris, their attorney, and sorted out their next steps. Already waiting for them on the second floor was Cephus “Uncle” Bobby Johnson, who, like his sister the day before, was shut out of the courtroom by deputies for arriving a few minutes late.
Mr. Johnson told The Final Call that the system let the family down in many ways—in particular by denying evidence into trial that would have shown the shooter's state of mind. That evidence included Mr. Mehserle slapping a Hispanic woman and getting kicked out of school, failing to identify the Grant shooting as accidental on a post-shooting form required of all officers, and beating up a Black man within 35 days of shooting the man's nephew.
“This really has stuck a dagger in us to a degree to where we know today that we must begin this fight from this point in order to seek justice ... It hurts us as a family to have been going through this the past 19 months to hear that there's a possibility that this man who committed murder may be able to go home and eat dinner after Aug. 6,” Mr. Johnson said.
While the families were collecting themselves, dealing with their first emotions after the verdict, and Mr. Johnson was speaking with The Final Call, a member of the court's media staff apologized for interrupting and asked them how long they would be because there was a lot of media waiting to talk to them outside of the court.
“Let them wait. We'll be there. We've been waiting for justice for almost 19 months,” Mr. Johnson responded.
When asked if he felt any consolation in seeing Mr. Mehserle handcuffed and taken into custody, Mr. Bryson replied, “No, not at all. You brought us all the way to Los Angeles for this. We could have done this in Oakland.”
Before escorting the delegation to a press conference, Atty. Burris said the decision was a compromised verdict that did not accurately reflect what the former officer did to Oscar Grant that night, but he felt the voluntary manslaughter conviction was better than no conviction at all. It was an historic verdict—the first case where Atty. Burris had seen an officer convicted of any crime against a Black male.
“The next test of course is when and how much time the officer, Mr. Mehserle, is sentenced to jail. Under traditional, regular notions, he should be going to jail for the rest of his life, for the rest of his life, but yet, he very well may get a sentence that does not even require him to go to jail, which would be the ultimate insult and travesty as I could imagine,” Atty. Burris said.
The jury's deliberations for six and a half hours after the family waited for justice for 19 months was a travesty of justice itself, but justice cannot be compromised, said Min. Muhammad.
“Be crystal clear we are not satisfied. Be crystal clear God is not satisfied! It is written in the Bible that God declares that he hears the moaning and the groaning of a people that have endured this kind of suffering for 400 years and that when God hears that kind of suffering know for a surety that if the system of justice will not do justice while it is in the hands of the system of justice to do, that God himself will relieve the suffering of a mother and of a people that have attempted to see that this system would work,” he added.
Grassroots youth and community activists held peaceful demonstrations in Los Angeles and Oakland but by that evening rioting had broken out in Oakland. News reports indicate 83 people were arrested after a group allegedly stormed businesses and vandalized property.
According to Min. Muhammad, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums asked the Department of Justice to intervene and announced after the verdict that the Justice Dept. is conducting an independent review of the case to determine whether federal prosecution is warranted.
“No verdict can ever replace the loss of a son, a father and a friend. Our condolences continue to go out to the family of Oscar Grant during this trying time. Understandably there is grave concern in the community,” said California Democrat Barbara Lee in a press statement.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
"My son was murdered! He was murdered..." declared Wanda Johnson after Oscar Grant, III.'s killer was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for shooting him in the back at close range on New Year's day 2009.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
After arriving to the courthouse just one minute after the proceedings began to select a replacement juror, Oscar Grant, III's mother, Wanda Johnson was not allowed into the courtroom to witness the selection process for another juror.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
Today some activists and media reported to the courtroom before hearing that one juror called in sick and community activists/leaders in L.A. and Oakland stand ready to give their reactions to the verdict.
But the family of Oscar Grant, who mostly addressed media about trial proceedings over the last three weeks, took a rare opportunity to voice their concerns over other issues surrounding the trial. Cephus Johnson, Grant's uncle, said today that they are in a very critical stage for various reasons.
(White cap - Cephus "Uncle Bobby" Johnson / Grey suit-tan tie, Min. Keith Muhammad / Blue warm up jacket, Wanda Johnson / Blue t-shirt/Oscar Grant tattoo, Jack Bryson / Grey Oakland sweatshirt, Kenny Johnson / light blue t-shirt, Aidge Patterson / tan shirt/brown head wrap, Beatrice Muhammad) Sis. Jasmyne Cannick (white shirt/hair locks) and I (headpiece) are at the other end of the table)
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Will Grant murder trial be repeat of Rodney King verdict?BY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD -NATIONAL CORRESPONDENT
As a verdict nears, some analysts and activists wondered whether L.A. would see a repeat of “Rodney King.”
Rodney King is the Black motorist whose infamous 1991 videotaped beating by members of the Los Angeles Police Department drew national outrage. A predominantly White jury acquitted three of the officers, deadlocked on one, and set off six days of rioting throughout South L.A. The period became popularly referred to as the “1992 L.A. Rebellion” and the “Rodney King riots.”“The acquittal of the officers that beat Rodney King triggered one of the worst riots in American history. If the jury with no Blacks acquits Mehserle, it will be silence in the community. It will come. It will go. You will hear angry statements from some youth leaders. You will hear angry statements from the relatives from Oscar Grant, but as far as community anger, rage, you will hear nothing,” predicted Dr. Earl Ofari Hutchinson, political commentator and talk radio host.
The reason is a lack of local and national media attention and what appears to be a lack of emotional engagement and public attention, except for a consistent contingent of youth led protests and scrutiny from community leaders and activists in the Bay Area since Johannes Mehserle shot 22-year-old Oscar Grant, III. on a station platform on Jan. 1, 2009, he said.
According to Dr. Hutchinson, one parallel is that White officers are accused of victimizing Black men, but a difference is there is no sense of a city on edge in the Grant murder as with Rodney King's beating.
The LAPD was on trial, not just the four officers who beat Mr. King, because of its long, well documented history of brutality against Blacks and Hispanics, Dr. Hutchinson told The Final Call.
The sordid history includes an almost relentless war with LAPD which spawned beatings, riots, brutality, and murders, but the analyst and writer felt the same relationship doesn't exist with BART.
“Rodney King was just waiting. King was not isolated. King was not an aberration. King was part of a pattern of abuse from a police department to a community. ... Those four officers that beat Rodney King weren't just seen as four rogue cops. They were seen as the face of a brutal police department but Mehserle is seen as just one bad cop,” Dr. Hutchinson said.
Aidge Patterson, an organizer with the L.A. Coalition for Justice for Oscar Grant, said the system has set the stage for a repeat of Rodney King by lying to people's faces.
“They're trying to tell us what our eyes see is not what the truth is. They're trying to cover this murder by another one of their foot soldiers up but at the same time I see an amazing effort of people across the state to have this cop locked up and let them know they don't have the ability to get away with it like they did back then,” he said.
“As the trial of Johannes Mehserle comes near its conclusion; the city of Oakland fears the response shown in L.A. after an acquittal in the beating of Rodney King. Those whose anger led them to the streets of Los Angeles to protest an unjust verdict were justified in anger. Oakland should learn that the road to peace is the proper administration of justice. Minister Louis Farrakhan teaches us that injustice creates an imbalance of mind; and when the mind is imbalanced, so too can be our actions,” said student Minister Keith Muhammad, of the Nation of Islam mosque in Oakland.“Our hope is that city leadership will take courage, stand together, and demand justice. There is no need to wait for the verdict to call for peace and calm; demand justice now. This case has zero Black members of the jury. This case should have been monitored closely by the federal government. City leaders should stand on the mountain top and demand justice. Then the people may feel that government is on their side and not the side of rogue police, who are trained to cover their tracks,” he said.
“Remember, Johannes Mehserle is the first peace officer in the history of California to face a murder charge for unjustified homicide or murder. Remember, no peace officer in the country has ever been convicted for murder while on duty. Sean Bell, Amadou Diallo, Elenor Bumpurs, and a long list of other police killings have all been considered by courts, justifiable homicides. Cities are paying millions of dollars to settle lawsuits; yet no criminal court has convicted an officer for murder.”
News media indicate the Oakland Police Department recently simulated a riot to prepare for the Mehserle verdict, but rebellions only occur when people get fed up with police injustice and terrorism, Mr. Patterson noted.
Instead of preparing for war against its own citizens, Oakland police should prepare to create better relationships in communities and a society that's just and better for everyone, he added. Instead, they would rather send the message to the people of Oakland that whatever the verdict is, there's nothing they can do about it, Mr. Patterson continued.
“They've made Johannes Mehserle into a victim in this case and he's nothing but a brutal killer.It's like they've been egging the people of Oakland on to smash on the people but they could have done this better. They could have put African Americans on the jury, even African Americans that like police, but they made it blatantly obvious that they've drawn a racist line in the sand,” Mr. Patterson said.
He believes a lack of media coverage of the first cop to be tried for murder in California was intended to quiet people down, the same way media refused to show bodies returning from wars." They learned from Rodney King how they're going to show these cases. This is obviously one of the most historic cases in the entire country and it should be on every news station, but they're good at keeping people ignorant.”
Teen Abuse: A Growing problemBY CHARLENE MUHAMMAD AND NISA MUHAMMAD
For 16-year-old Mia Williams, dating started out nicely. The young man was sweet and kind. She thought he was the right kind of guy for her, but things started to change. She was not sure what happened.
“He really wanted to do it (have sex) and said that if I loved him then I would want to do it too,” Miss Williams toldThe Final Call. That's when the trouble started. He became controlling and abusive, always telling me what to do, where to go and what I couldn't do. It got real crazy.”
“One day, when I just got fed up, I told him, ‘Look. You're not my father and I don't have to do what you say.' That's when he slapped me,” she said.
According to violence prevention advocates, this type of teen dating violence is on the rise among America's youth population.
Teen dating violence is a type of intimate physical, emotional, or sexual violence between people who are in a close relationship. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has determined it a public health problem that leads to poor performance in school, drug and alcohol abuse, eating disorders, depression, and even suicide.
According to the CDC, 72 percent of 8th and 9th graders reportedly “date” and 1 in 4 adolescents report verbal, physical, emotional, or sexual abuse from a dating partner each year. About 10 percent of students nationwide said they were physically hurt by a boyfriend or girlfriend in the past 12 months.
“I never thought I would be the girl getting hit by her boyfriend but I was. He made me think it was my fault and if I would just act right it wouldn't happen. I believed it too at first. Then I heard my mom talking to a friend of hers who was married and whose husband hit her and my mom told her it wasn't her fault,” said Miss Williams.
“That got me thinking about my situation and I told my mom. She hit the roof. She told me to break up with him and that she would get me help. I didn't even know I needed help,” she added.
Most people don't, according Cristina Escobar, senior coordinator of development and communications for Break the Cycle, which addresses dating violence exclusively. Usually when people think about unhealthy relationships, they think about adults, not youth But teens imitate adult behavior and are not immune to domestic violence, she said.
Ms. Escobar cautioned that dating violence is not restricted to children with low self-esteem, or who live in dysfunctional families. The reason people miss the seriousness of it is because there is a tendency to dismiss young relationships as puppy love and just a part of growing up.
Ms. Escobar explained that the problem can begin as early as 12- years-old and isolation is the easiest sign to spot. Youth might see their friends starting to withdraw from their friends, families, and activities that used to define them or give them pleasure, or drawing away from the world. One person's world gets smaller while the other person's world gets bigger.
Another early warning sign is control.
“A lot of relationships struggle and talk about who wears the pants and makes the decisions, but it's really looking for those instances where you feel you're constantly walking on eggshells, or whether it be in picking who you talk to, when you talk to them, what you wear, that feeling of constantly being on edge is really a strong warning sign that something's not right there,” Ms. Escobar told The Final Call.
Break the Cycle urges youth who find themselves in an abusive relationship to talk to a friend, parent, teacher, or counselor, someone they trust to support them and to create a safety plan ahead of time to avoid a serious, dangerous situation.
“We're raised in a culture that says it's okay for violence to be our way of [resolving] issues so we focus on that. We don't know how to dialogue, negotiate, or have conversations, so we grow up with these issues,” said Sulaiman Nuriddin, men's prevention program manager for Men Stopping Violence, which works to end men's violence toward women.
According to Mr. Nuriddin, teen dating violence does not just begin in the home from watching mom, dad, or primary caretakers, but it is also filtered in the community through schools, peer groups, fraternities, and then a micro-community of churches and media until it grows and grows.
Seventeen-year-old Dante Anderson never thought he would strike a girl, so when he did hit his girlfriend, he was as surprised as she was.
“I'm not sure what happened. I was angry and just hit her. I was immediately sorry and wanted to make things better. Things just got out of control and I lost it,” he told The Final Call.
According to Dr. Rozario Slack, a Chattanooga, Tennessee-based consultant who works with teen boys on developing healthy relationships, some guys feel that when girls say yes to sex, they have surrendered their sexuality and will do just about anything. When she finally feels empowered to say no, he thinks she is lying, he said.
Dr. Slack said that girls become objectified because when sex enters the relationship, boys' minds send them a message of entitlement and ownership. In addition, he said, the boy feels, “‘That's mine,' not ‘she's mine' ... She becomes property and in his mind ‘I can do whatever I want to her.'”
According to Lena Cole Dennis, founder of Communications Communities and Connections and former outreach and education director of the Jenesse Center, men could help put an end to such thoughts and abuse by teaching young males how to resolve conflicts within instead of striking out. They could also teach them how to defend themselves without being destructive.
Ms. Cole said that her own friends are petrified of having a healthy relationship discussion with their 12-year-old daughter because they do not want to ruin her innocence, but a conversation around healthy relationships does not have to just focus on sex, she said. They could be taught how to treat each other, how not to hit or talk badly about one another, and how to be secure in themselves around their friends.
“Relationships aren't always about sex! Society tells a little boy and girl that's going to be their girlfriend, their boyfriend, and we tell them about condoms, and they might not even be thinking about sex. That's teaching control,” Ms. Cole said.
(More information on teen dating and domestic violence warning signs and resources may be found at www.jenesse.org, www.breakthecycle.org, www.menstoppingviolence.org, or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.)