Well in 11 days - and counting, we'll all be in Washington, DC with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, at the Justice or Else march - the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March. And it couldn't come at a more opportune time.
The epidemic of police killing Black youth is only surpassed by Black youth killing each other. As significant as that is, African leadership is at a crossroads, as those who have been engaged in internecine conflicts - i.e. tribe against tribe - are waking up to find that their land has been stolen and repurposed by europeans and chinese exploiters while they were out there killing each other.
As in the 60's there is a rise of the number of Africans residing permanently in the United States, either working in positions affiliated with their own government; or having obtained advanced degrees at US Universities, have decided not to return home. Many of them have worked hard to blend into the woodwork of Blackness, so they don't stand out.
Minister Abdul Hafeez Muhammad, who serves as Minister Louis Farrakhan's New York Representative, spoke recently as to the relevance of the upcoming "Justice, Or Else" march to Africans, both here and on the Continent.
I asked him why should Africans participate in the March, and of what relevance was it to them. The Muhammad Mosque No. 7 Student Minister responded, in a resounding voice:
"20 years ago God used the Honorable Minister Farrakhan to call the Million an March on Washington DC. Five years later he called together the Million Family March. And now, 20 years later, God has put “Or Else” in his thoughts...or else. It is the attitude he wants the people to have. This not so much a march, but a gathering of sober thinking people. And what a gathering! People are coming from all over the US and the Caribbean."
He continued, "With that in mind, how will it benefit Africa and Africans? Amadou Diallo was from Africa. He was profiled as a Black man; profiled as a threat and gunned down with 41 bullets as a Black man. I know his mother Khadiatou Diallo well. We are all over here (in the US) as displaced Africans. We were thrown in the hulls of slave ships, with shackles on our wrists and legs and feet, in the hull of the slaveships; lying in our own urine and feces." His voice reached a crescendo to such an extent that you could literally see those heinous ships as they approached the US in the 1600s.
He stated, emphatically, "We are all Black – and what benefits one, benefits all. We are all fighting for justice for all of us. Getting colonialism out of Africa, off your necks and backs – was essential. While you don't have to deal with that anymore, you now have neo-colonialism – which is currently controlling you in Africa."
Neo-Colonialism is even more insidious than colonialism because it pretend Africans are liberated, while maintaining a strong hold on their resources, economy, education, and, when they can't get cooperation, foments internicine wars where brothers are often pitted against each other, while the europeans steal everything, leaving the people to starve.
Abdul Hafeez Muhammad continued to outline the relevance, "Though Mandela became the first Black president of South Africa, the economics and development was still under control of the europeans.
Africa then has no control over its economy, but has been burdened with repaying a debt they never owed. "You colonize us, brutalize us, rape us, stole the land, and then charge us with the bill for invading our territory. This is why The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan says "Justice, or else;" we don't have complete freedom."
The Justice or Else March, on October 10, 2015 - 10/10/15 - is just as important for brothers and sisters from Caribbean as it is for Africa. In the, Caribbean, he states, "They are entrenched in our economy. The Carribbeans can't produce their own food. They are forced to take imported food, even though they are perfectly capable of growing their own independent of european interference. We can produce our own food." The imports to the Caribbean from the US are often overpriced, substandard, and out dated. As with Africa, they are forced to take it under threat of embargoes against the few products that are allowed to be distributed in the US. The balance being unequal and inequitable, and higher tariffs being placed on their products to prevent them from being competitive with US products.
Per Abdul Hafeez Muhammad, "Or Else" has to do with fair dealing – because we don't have fair dealing in any of our transactions or interactions with them."
I noted that there had been a recent increase in recognition for African actors and actresses for the pivotal roles they've played in recent movie productions over the past few years. Many Africans see that as progress and view it as some sort of acceptance of Africans in the United States. As an example I cited Lupita Nyong'o, who won an academy award in Twelve Years a Slave; or Chiwetel Okiofor, who has had several pivotal roles.
They try to somehow show it as progress, while continuing to discriminate against Black actors and actresses in general,whether they're making the movie or producing it. Some see it as being competitive with other Black actors and actresses, without dealing with the overlay of discrimination.
Muhammad Stated: "But the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said of your people, "No one actor can be so elevated that he is no longer part of the problems of his or her people. The “I can make it, so can you, using them as an example, when there is underlying racism throughout the industry. They always try to buy our people with money."
He continued: "They gave Denzel Washington an Oscar for “Training Day”, where he played that reprehensible character; but not for John Q, where he was the father in the hospital trying to save his son. Which shows that a Black actor is commended for playing corrupt characters – Denzel's character went around wearing the Star of David, and perpetrating heinous acts. Halle Berry got an Oscar for Monsters Ball for making love to a white man; but not for playing and producing Dorothy Dandridge – which was a brilliant performance."
And last year, in 2014, just to show they can turn it on and off whenever they wanted. You make it, but they have nothing for you. Barely a mention. Then everybody was protesting and complaining that no major Black actor, actress or movie was award of any kind for any of the great work that was being shown in theatres. If they can turn it on, they can turn it off. Just like if they can give you freedom, instead of getting it yourselves, you are still at their mercy."
"The Honorable Elijah Muhammad said that freedom, justice and equality comes from the law of God.
We are going to DC with freedom, power and unity to demand Justice- or Else.
And for those who don't know, or who have not been part of the "inner circle," "Justice Or Else, is as much a message to Black people as it is to white policemen, or (in)justices; it's also about Black People taking action proactively to save themselves and each other - or perish."
"New York City has 10 local organizing committees – one in each borough, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, Westchester, Inglewood, and Harlem. There are buses leaving from New York City on the morning of the 10th. Those who are interested should make their reservation can call 347.903.5132 and make a reservation; or log on to www.justiceorelse.com - and GET ON THE BUS!