Grandmaster Jay of the NFAC Coalition faces serious state and federal accusations of threatening law enforcement officers during a protest calling for justice for Breonna Taylor in Louisville.
But why are authorities really coming after the Black militia leader? Is it modern Cointelpro and targeting of Blacks who claim the right to self-defense and the constitutional right to bear arms?
Grandmaster Jay, also known as John Fitzgerald Johnson, told The Final Call he was in state court Dec. 18, where he pleaded not guilty to charges of threatening law enforcement. Authorities claim he pointed a rifle at federal agents and Louisville police officers who were on a downtown rooftop. A grand jury will convene Feb. 26, 2021 to consider possible indictment, he said.
The charges came about three months after the alleged incident during a protest the night before the Kentucky Derby.
Activists, African American studies professors and Grandmaster Jay believe the charges are a repeat of history where the Counterintelligence Program (Cointelpro) ran by the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1956 to 1976 and local police forces tracked, harassed, discredited, infiltrated, destroyed, and destabilized dissident groups in the United States—and killed members. The domestic surveillance and infiltration schemes targeted the Black Panther Party, Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, the Nation of Islam, and other nationalist and Black liberation groups. Government surveillance operations also targeted the Communist Party, the Socialist Workers Party, the American Indian Movement and the anti-Vietnam War movement.
“They’ve targeted every major Black leader that has existed since we were brought to this country. So, this is nothing new. It is the same playbook, the same methods, the same ideology that drove them to assassinate our leaders before. And I am the target because I’m probably one of, if not the most visible target in that particular realm right now, that is not only a part of an organization like that, but also has been expounding a message that is inclusive of all of us,” said the Black militia leader, in an exclusive interview.
FBI director J. Edgar Hoover considered “militant” Black nationalist groups to be the most dangerous threat facing the United States at that time saying they could cause civil unrest and violence. But it is actually police agencies and White right wing and White supremacist groups that have perpetrated violence yesterday and today.
On Dec. 3, federal officers with a search warrant forced the door of Grandmaster Jay’s home open and searched his residence. He said the authorities did not destroyed or ramshackle his home.
“They came in my home, tranquilized my dog, looked throughout my place and just took all my weapons,” said Grandmaster Jay.
Still, he said, 51 years earlier Chicago police raided an apartment and Black Panthers Fred Hampton, 21, and Mark Clark, 22, were shot to death Dec. 4, 1969, almost to the day of his encounter.
In an exclusive in-depth interview Dec. 15 with The Final Call, the outspoken Black militia leader shared his thoughts on his arrest, the message it sends to Black people in America and in the Diaspora and why government agencies are targeting him at a time of genocide against Black people. “What they are doing is from the same playbook they used 51-years-ago. They came with a military taskforce the same way they did when they assassinated Fred Hampton,” he said.
“They went in that man’s (Fred Hampton’s) house and killed him and they wanted me to do the same thing. They wanted me to come out in a blaze of glory so they can say, ‘See I told you, a violent Black man.’ They expected me to come out with all that firepower I had. With all that time they gave me, they expected me to do something stupid. But when I came out, they found themselves in a situation where it has backfired on them and it has united us in such a way that it’s really not about me, it’s about all of us.
“The United States government decided to target the leader of the largest, all Black militia, which has to this point, broken no laws, which has given significant shows of strength, more significant than anything since the Black Panthers just on appearance alone, who have pretty much personified the one thing that the U.S. government admitted through J. Edgar Hoover, that they were very much afraid of. And that is Black unity. So why not target the leader?” he asked.
Video footage and photos show NFAC during the Breonna Taylor protests and rallies in different cities where there have been violations of the human rights and mistreatment of Black people. The legally armed group has been seen as a sign of strength and support for those seeking justice.
Grandmaster Jay stressed NFAC has done everything in their ability to avoid confrontations between their members and local law enforcement. “We’ve gone out of our way not to precipitate these situations and we have a zero incident track record in that respect. Add to the fact that our numbers are growing, and the fact that there is a wave of unification sweeping across all avenues of the melanated people,” he continued.
“What we did for the last six months was we never broke a law. We were never aggressive in an unnecessary way, only to defend. So, for them to come back three or four months later and say, ‘Oh they were trying to attack the police,’ and then they come with federal and state charges. This is about shutting me up. It’s about shutting down the militant side of the movement. This is about them, believe it or not, it’s about killing off the leadership that they see standing up and the movement and the physical manifestation,” he said candidly.
“You know how it goes. First, they kill the reputation, then once the people turn their backs on you, then they kill the person.”
Grandmaster Jay reiterated his concern that the attack on him is not just a personal assault but is an attack on Black people. “Regardless of what happens to me, or what happens to the NFAC, this is not an attack on either one of those entities. This is an attack on Black people as a whole. This is an attack on Black unity. This is an attack of us overcoming our differences and all getting on one accord. When I say unity, unity means that we all agree on one idea. We don’t make a difference with what our differences are,” he said.
“This plan consists of not only their complete domination of all melanated people globally, but eventually the genocidal elimination of those that are resistant, who will not allow themselves to be enslaved. I’m very much aware of that plan. And most of the alliances that I have built internationally are all on that same page,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is that a Biden administration … is completely in favor of regulating ownership of assault style weapons or disarming the American public so that there’s no reason for them to possess assault style weapons or high capacity magazines. His (Mr. Biden’s) administration cannot move that agenda forward because you run into the same argument that we’ve been having for the last 20-some years. And that is, how do you disarm America? America has 432 million guns on the street that we know of right now. That’s more than the population of this country. The average gun owner, just like myself, has seven to eight weapons. If you want to just break it down. There are more people in this country that own weapons than there are collectively of all the police. Which means, if you got every police officer in America together, they would not even form a force of a fourth of the people who own guns.”
He described his “Grandmasters Plan” as reflective of a desire “for the complete liberation of us as a people, to a nation of our own, that we govern, that we rule, that we defend, that we trade and the entire nine yards where we have a seat at the table of every other world leader on earth.”
“We are exercising our first and second amendment rights, speaking power to power and telling people get educated, exercise our right to police your own neighborhoods. Just be Black. That’s what we’ve been saying,” he added.
A Go Fund Me account has been launched to assist with Grandmaster Jay’s legal defense. Visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/Grand-Master-Jay-Legal-Defense for more information.