In point six of What the Muslims Want of The Muslim Program, which appeared on the back page of the Muhammad Speaks newspaper and today on page 39 of The Final Call newspaper, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad wrote decades ago that, “We want an immediate end to police brutality and mob attacks against the so-called Negro throughout the United States.”
That demand is as strong today as it was then. Why do Black men continue to die in the custody of the Cincinnati police? Why do the police there, and in other cities around the country, act as if they have a license to kill? Why is Black life so devalued?
The community has called for change, parts of the city have been torched from three days of riots, the Justice Department has investigated cases, the FBI has investigated more and racial profiling lawsuits have been filed.
Yet, in the twinkling of an eye, Nathaniel Jones was struck with 40 or more blows by six police officers that eventually ended his life–and the police call their work “appropriate.”
Enough is enough. The Black community is not going to sit idly by and watch our men be beaten like wild animals. Many have wrongly accused Muslims of teaching hate against Caucasians, when they themselves are the best teacher of hatred against their behavior, their practices and themselves.
Our children and your children have watched that video–and others like it–showing the Black man on the bottom getting a brutal beat down and the White man on the top swinging his batons.
Our children and your children seethe with rage as they watch helpless people reduced to the level where all they can do is call out for their mother. They seethe with frustration at a system that is so racially divided that the facts speak for themselves: more Black men incarcerated, more Black men arrested and more Black men killed.
There was an uneasily calm response this time, but a furor is simmering in our community. Our youth look at us as weak and impotent adults who can’t justify our existence with the proper response to this type of tragedy.
We go to our children suggesting peace and prayer while they seek to pursue self-defense and justice. They are not the generation of civil disobedience. They are the generation of restlessness yearning to be harnessed into effective collective action.
It’s in their music and it’s on their minds. They will not go peacefully into the night with the very ones who won’t treat them right.
The actions of the Cincinnati Police Department serve as a warning to us that whether in Philadelphia, Houston, New York or Los Angeles, the institutionalized racism and brutality that has been wielded against Black people in this country for more than 400 years is not likely to change anytime soon.
The arrogance and intransigence of Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken and Police Chief Thomas Streicher in claiming that their officers did nothing wrong shows that they don’t love us and, for them, the wanton loss of Black life is nothing more than business as usual. After all, what’s another dead Negro to people who have a license to kill?
Until we unite, the only thing that can stop these mob attacks and police brutality is to fly to Allah (God) and organize to help the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan establish Islam in the hells of North America.
If not, this behavior will continue and force America into a cataclysmic racial confrontation, which the wise among us should do everything to avoid. But, in the end, Black America, bear in mind, either we will all be free or we will all be dead. There is no in between. The choice is yours.