and Brian Muhammad -Final Call Staffers-
Holiday boycott, pooling resources just the beginning of Black economic recovery
WASHINGTON (Finalall.com) – The biggest question arising in the minds of those who gathered at the Oct. 10 Justice Or Else rally now is, “what happens next?”
“If we are denied what rightfully belongs to us then there has to be a unified action that we take that will force the justice that we seek,” said rally convener the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan in days leading up to the D.C. gathering.
Many supporters of the movement are just as excited about and planning for the collective activity that happens after the Million Man March anniversary. At Final Call deadline, the Minister was meeting with leaders and thinkers the day after the gathering to discuss next steps.
“It’s a birth day as such for justice and from this day forward we have to continue to build on coalitions that are going to work on justice issues, whether its police brutality … the use of drones … the Palestinian situation,” said Jibril Hough, an activist attending the gathering from Charlotte. “This is just a beginning to more effort.”
“The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has said that the more important day after 10-10-15 is 10-11 because what we have to put into effect are those agendas and protocols that we’ve been talking about,” said Nation of Islam Baltimore Representative Carlos Muhammad.
He said urban centers like Baltimore, Chicago, New York, Memphis and St. Louis must be engaged and infused with the power of God to intervene with the strife of the Black community and curb the senseless killings in the way of conflict resolution.
“This is something that we can do immediately; we do not need a map or a blueprint,” he added. “If we got connections in our communities, then we need to go talk to our people; encourage our people towards the road of peace and justice,” he added.
Throughout history, civilizations and empires have entered crossroads and a time of decision that would affect their future and the rise or fall of their power. In all cases there were two diametrically opposing ideas competing for supremacy centered on justice or injustice.
The 82-year-old leader and freedom fighter raised the history of the Founding Fathers of the United States as we know it, a history wrought with the murderous genocide of the Native American peoples who are original owners of the land and the legacy of enslaving Black people.
White settlers of the original 13 colonies – that later became the United States – were living under the rule of Britain and King George III when they reached a time of decision to either separate or continue living with injustice and tyranny under the Crown. They chose justice, liberty and self-determination and fought with their blood for the idea. That was their decisive moment of history between the oppressed and their oppressor.
In an open invitation to join the Justice Or Else gathering and assessing current conditions impacting U.S. Blacks, Latinos, Native Americans and even poor Whites, Min. Farrakhan asked, “How much more of this can we stand and how much more oppression must we suffer?”
Many initiatives led by activists and organizers are already underway. For example, as an outgrowth of the Chicago Local Organizing Committee for the 2015 celebration, one group is identifying an organizing mechanism that will coordinate the ongoing collective actions of the Black community on both a local and national level.
The committee, which includes both new and seasoned community activists, scholars and thinkers, seeks to help update, crystalize and promote the Black agenda. Along with economics and politics, the Black Agenda focuses on education, disaster preparedness, health and wellness, public safety and more.
The Committee has been meeting twice weekly leading up to Oct. 10 and two organizations involved in the process are the Black United Fund of Illinois and the National Black Agenda Consortium of Chicago.
The Black Agenda will spring forth from two immediate initiatives that Min. Farrakhan has raised that resonate with supporters. During the promotion of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, Min. Farrakhan has often lifted the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who noted in his last public message that “redistributing the economic pain” is a strategy to be used by Black people.
Today, with a reported $1 trillion-plus in Black spending power, it’s time to harness that combined economic power to our demand for justice, the Minister explained.
Thus, one major “or else” next step is the economic withdrawal that will include a boycott of Christmas holiday spending.
“I personally plan to document what the Minister is saying and relay the message back to my community. I personally commit to getting people to implement that plan,” said Quovadis Green, a 24-year-old community activist who fights against police brutality, senseless violence and advocates for better educational opportunities.
“It’s time to make Black Friday into a red Friday. They will be in the negative because we won’t be there,” he added.
Many are eager to get back to their cities and continue to push to improve the Black community.
“Events like this are great gestures and are really about energizing the people, but no one is confused. The work happens in between. I like what (Farrakhan) is saying,” said Chicago native and author Dr. Obari Cartman, 35, who combines his personal experience with both African-centered consciousness and Western psychology knowledge to teach young Black men about relationships and manhood. His father brought him to the Million Man March 20 years ago.
“Pulling our money away from the people who oppress us just makes common sense and I like the strategy of calling men to come out and stand up and be in the community and be teachers and mentors,” he added.
When we talk about Black Friday, we should target those companies who destroy Black businesses,” music industry guru Russell Simmons told The Final Call Oct. 9 during a pre-Justice Or Else reception.
Organized by Nation of Islam West Coast Regional Minister Tony Muhammad, Bikers for Justice Or Else, which includes motorcyclists from around the world united in the spirit of justice, plan to launch a “Peace or Else!” tour to every urban city to promote peace.