9.16.2014

[Audio Replay] Discussing The Teachings 2.0 Twitter Book and The #FarrakhanTwitterArmy on the Ahmad X Morton Show


On September 9, I was guest on the Ahmad X Morton Show alongside Benton Harbor City Commissioner Marcus Muhammad. In my segment, we discussed The Teachings 2.0 book, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan's impact on social media, the consistent work of The Farrakhan Twitter Army and much more. Click below to hear the full replay.


Thawing Out The #IceBucketChallenge and Why Blacks Won’t Benefit


By Shareefah Muhammad
One man drops a bucket of ice water over his head and it all goes viral! With the sudden overnight spotlight on ALS  also known as “Lou Gehrig” disease, one must ask themselves, “From the popularity of the ice bucket challenge, who benefits from my participation and donation?”  

ALS, Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis, is a disease that involves degeneration of parts of the nervous system; it specifically affects nerve cells (neurons) in the brain and spinal cord. As a result of this assault, it eventually kills the neurons. This affects motor neurons that are responsible for muscle movement and progressively leads to paralysis. Celebrities who have fallen victim to the disease include: Hall of Fame pitcher Jim “Catfish” Hunter, Senator Jacob Javits, creator of Sesame Street Jon Stone, boxing champion Ezzard Charles, NBA Hall of Fame basketball player George Yardley, pro football player Glenn Montgomery, musician Lead Belly (Huddie Ledbetter), entertainer Dennis Day, jazz musician Charles Mingus, former vice president of the United States Henry A. Wallace and U.S. Army General Maxwell Taylor.
A wealth of research has been conducted on the disease yet no cure or treatment has been discovered at this time. So who is really benefiting from this newfound “Icebucket” craze? Hopefully this is not a shocker. According to the ALS CARE Database, “60% of the people with ALS in the Database are men and 93% of patients in the Database are Caucasian.” Yes, you read it right, this is a disease that rarely affects the African American population. 

So why are we dumping our tens of thousands of dollars into something that we don’t even get much of a benefit from? With the hard earned monies African Americans make from their salaries, the “African American” dollar stays in our communities less than 24 hours and exits out into the hands of those who care not for our need, let alone solutions to our specific health challenges. [READ MORE]

Community Still Fighting for Justice for Robbie Tolan


By: Jesse Muhammad, for AframNews.com
HOUSTON – Support is not dwindling for Robbie Tolan, who was shot over six years ago by a White Bellaire police officer. The community stood outside the Houston Federal Courthouse to further rally around him and his family.
“It’s an incredible feeling to see everyone come out in solidarity and stand with me,” Tolan told African-American News&Issues at the conclusion of the Aug. 26 rally.
“The point I wanted to make was that this doesn’t just affect Robbie Tolan. My name is in the headlines and my name is on the case, but this is not about Robbie Tolan. This is about the next Robbie Tolan, the next Trayvon Martin, the next Eric Garner, the next Michael Brown, should there be one,” he emphasized.
In 2008, Officer Jeffery Cotton shot Tolan in his driveway after he was mistakenly suspected of car theft. Although Tolan was unarmed, the officer claimed he was reaching for a weapon that led to the shooting that stirred cries of racism and police misconduct.
A lawsuit filed by Tolan alleged that he was racially profiled and had his civil rights violated. Officer Cotton was acquitted, however, Tolan’s legal team filed an appeal, which was upheld by the Supreme Court and is considered a milestone.
A federal magistrate has set a September 2015 trial date, which means Tolan will have his day in court.
“All you want is justice. All you want is your day in court. We were denied that, so now we will get the opportunity. It’s incredible,” said Tolan.“Transparency is what we need. We need them to know that we are watching. When someone is watching, you’re always inclined to the right thing.”
Tolan’s family has since hired Benjamin Crump, who has become a vey high profile attorney in taking on recent cases involving injustices done to Black males. He has represented the family of Trayvon Martin and presently provides legal counsel to the family of Michael Brown, who was recently gunned down in Ferguson, Missouri by White officer Darren Wilson. [READ MORE]


9.09.2014

Nation of Islam on Lee Pitts Live regarding Minister Farrakhan, Muhammad's Economic Blueprint and Ferguson


Nation of Islam members Wali Muhammad of Chicago and Artiium Muhammad of Miami recently appeared on the Florida-based Lee Pitts Live Show to discuss the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Ferguson, Muhammad's Economic Blueprint and more. [Click below to watch].

9.01.2014

Postponement of civil disobedience in #Ferguson: Michael Brown, Sr calls for moment of silence


by Richard B. Muhammad, editor of The Final Call Newspaper
Reporting L
ive from #Ferguson, Mo. 

The father of Mike Brown (@justice4bigmike) called for postponement of civil disobedience today to give the new state director of safety an opportunity to start work. Daniel Isom II became the new director of the Missouri Department of Public Safety, effective Sept.1. Atty. Anthony Gray made the announcement outside of the Ferguson, Mo., Police Dept. flanked by Michael Brown, Sr., whose unarmed 18-year-old son was shot and killed in early August by police officer Darren Wilson.

Instead of blocking highways today with a traffic slowdown, the father asked for 4 minutes and 30 seconds of silence in memory of the 4 hours and 30 minutes his son's body lay in the street.

Zaki Baruti and Anthony Shahid of the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition supported the father's decision. The announcement came after a meeting between the father, leaders and law enforcement, including Capt. Ron Johnson, who is responsible for security in Ferguson, under a state of emergency imposed by the state.

Baruti repeated calls for Wilson's firing and prosecution, and the resignation of the mayor and police chief of Ferguson, which is just outside St. Louis. The governor needs to remove the county prosecutor who cannot be depended on vigorously probe and act on the case, the leadership coalition has said.



In addition, the federal government needs to intervene and the racial profiling, harassment of Black drivers and money municipalities accrue through fines and tickets needs to be probed and audited, Baruti added.

A postponement only means something else is coming, he said.

Major civil disobedience is in the works if those in power do not act with justice, said Shahid, a street activist. Young people need jobs, a major hospital project controls billions that need to be shared, he said. This is just a postponement, not an end, he stressed.

Prior to his appointment by Gov. Jay Nixon, Dr. Isom served as the E. Desmond Lee Professor of Policing and the Community "for the nationally recognized Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a position he took after retiring as chief of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department in January 2013," according to the governor's office.


8.31.2014

Protest rally draws 10,000 people in Ferguson; civil disobedience planned, call for removal of prosecutor repeated at national march


by Richard B. Muhammad, editor of The Final Call Newspaper
Reporting L
ive from #Ferguson, Mo. 

FERGUSON, Mo.—Organizers of the National March On Ferguson said 10,000 people joined their protest against police killings, police brutality, racial profiling and legal cover-ups. The father of slain teen Michael Brown spoke at the Aug. 30 park rally. The mother led a march from the park to the Ferguson police station.

The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition started the gathering at 10 a.m. at “Ground Zero,” Canfield Drive and W. Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, Mo., in St. Louis County. The march was another step in efforts to obtain justice for the unarmed Black teenager shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson, who is White.

“Enough is enough,” said Michael Brown, Sr., speaking through a bullhorn to a crowd outside the police station. The father called for justice for his son and all those who lost loved ones to police violence. He and Lesley McSpadden supported the removal of county prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch from the case. There is wide concern, from street to protestors to Rep. Lacy Clay (D-Mo.), that the prosecutor will not vigorously investigate and prosecute Wilson.

The still hurting father and street activist Anthony Shahid, who called on Gov. Jay Nixon to “man up,” want McCulloch removed under a state of emergency law enacted by the Democratic governor.




Action items and plans for civil disobedience were presented at the rally. The actions include a Monday afternoon traffic slowdown at 4:30 pm on highways around St. Louis, which connect Ferguson and other nearby suburbs, said Shahid. The time and the four and a half minute slowdown will mark the four and a half hours Mike Brown's body lay in the street, he said. If the prosecutor is not removed and Blacks don't benefit financially and from employment throughmajor projects underway, the civil disobedience will increase, he said.

A DAY OF ACTION, TENSION AND UNITY 

Marchers proceeded down Canfield Avenue to the place where the unarmed teenager was killed, shutting down a major thoroughfare. Stopping near the place where the Ferguson police officer pumped at least six shots, including a fatal kill shot to the head of the 18-year-old, religious leaders and activists said prayers and vowed to keep fighting for justice.

The crowd, many carrying signs and others carrying children, filled lawns in the Canfield Green Apartment complex, steps and the street. Marchers were very spirited, cooperative and disciplined in allowing the family to move from one place to another in a highly emotional moment.

From the makeshift street memorial the crowd marched back up to W. Florissant Avenue, heading east toward the Ferguson Sports Complex in Forestwood Park. There was a little confusion as initial fliers had said there would be a rally at the police station.




The marchers stopped in the park and a program began on a crowded portable stage. Lead march organizer A. Akbar Muhammad of the Nation of Islam talked about the need to involve youth and the need for sustained protests. There was tension at times as some marchers felt the demonstration had been taken off course by coming to the park. Tension eased as young people spoke and there were assurances marchers would go to the police station.

The Fruit of Islam, men of the Nation of Islam, secured the family and helped manage the event.

But neither pouring rain nor drizzling rain dampened the spirits of march participants. Young people talked of assaults on peaceful protests by police and how they are mistreated regularly by cops. Speakers spoke passionately about unity seen since the Brown tragedy.

Revolution is the only way, added other speakers, condemning America’s corruption and failure to respect Black life and Black rights. Youth leaders from Lost Voices were among rally speakers and longtime activist Zaki Baruti shared the coalition's five major demands, which prosecution of Wilson and the immediate resignation of Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Police Chief Thomas Jackson. The demands also include a federal probe of police actions in local jurisdictions like Ferguson near St. Louis, racial profiling, traffic stops and revenue derived from traffic stops.


8.30.2014

We Make the World Better: All Real Radio Campaign Kick-Off At Radical Eats in Houston


(Source: Gristleandgossip.com)

I attended a campaign kick-off this weekend for All Real Radio, an online streaming radio station whose tag line is "We Make the World Better" and after spending my Sunday afternoon with the crew, MY world has already been changed. With clean radio from 5am to 9pm this is a station for the entire family to enjoy!

Zin, the "Curator of Soul" and Founder of All Real Radio brought together an eclectic group of Houstonians in support of ARR's mission. Guests were treated to great food, even better music and some heartfelt words of gratitude.

Brother Jesse Muhammad was the emcee for this event and did a great job educating the crowd on the importance of philanthropy. Check out the video above to hear Zin's All Real Radio report!

Connect with All Real Radio via Twitter and Facebook. Tune in their live stream here..and most importantly DOWNLOAD THE APP for (Android) & (Apple) so you can rock all day an all night!



Oakland native, Michele Thibeaux brought the heat with her "quirky", yet amazingly on point performances. One of my favorite jams of the night was her hit "Ultimate MC" where All Real Radio's very own, Zin, made a dope cameo appearance that had the crowd grooving.

Staci Davis, Owner of Radical Eats and avid supporter of All Real Radio, opened the doors of her "Funky eatery with art-adorned surroundings" for all to experience & enjoy! I encourage you to stop by for a meal, a cocktail or coffee. Staci has a neat library of books covering all subjects and she even has live butterflies that she cares for. If you are lucky you may see the birth of one, or one that is being set free! Stop in and say hello to Staci as she is really a jewel to the community and has a heart for philanthropy for meaningful cause that make an impact. Support Radical Eats.










8.28.2014

Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition calls for National March on #Ferguson, Missouri


By Brother Jesse Muhammad

The people took a pause on Monday, for a day of mourning over the loss of Michael Brown, who was shot and killed by Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. (Note: Read the latest Final Call coverage by Editor Richard Muhammad)

A National March on Ferguson is scheduled to take place on Saturday, August 30, at 10 a.m., starting at Canfield Drive and W. Florissant Avenue 63135 in Ferguson, Mo., in St. Louis County. 

Bro. Richard reported via Facebook, "The Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition is sponsoring this march as another step in coalition efforts to obtain justice for Michael Brown, the unarmed Black teenager shot to death by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The march is also part of efforts to embrace and organize youth and the community for the struggle needed to obtain justice and resolve longstanding abuses and oppression."



And that "national leaders are expected to speak at the gathering. National and local hip hop artists are expected to participate..."

“We must keep the pressure on and pull youth and youth leaders into planning and organizing efforts. They have suffered far too long and the targeting Black youth must end now,” said A. Akbar Muhammad, a spokesperson for the Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition.

For more information, please call Zaki Baruti at (314) 594-7022.






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Cell Phone Video Shows St. Louis Police Department Killing of Kajieme Powell


A graphic cell phone video capture the moment of a deadly St. Louis Police shooting.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department released the released the cell phone video Wednesday August 20 of the shooting death of 25 year old Kajieme Powell.  According to St. Louis Public Radio, Powell was suspected of shoplifting energy drinks and donuts from a nearby convenience store. [CLICK TO WATCH OR BELOW]

8.27.2014

Live From #Ferguson: White Media...Protector of White Supremacy

Reposted from Richard B. Muhammad, editor The Final Call, reporting live from Ferguson, Mo. 

FERGUSON, Mo.—The role of the media is supposed to be to protect the public by uncovering truth, but there is an old adage about freedom of the press: Freedom of speech belongs to those who can afford it. We could add “freedom” of the press belongs to those who control it and we need to understand the press role as a major partner, backer and participant in the oppression of Blacks and framing of issues.

Over the past two days, White media outlets, CNN and those following CNN in particular, have spun the story of the audio recording that seems to have captured the shots fired by officer Darren Wilson in his confrontation with Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager.

Remember this whole crisis begins because officer Wilson decides to exert authority over two young Black men walking down a pretty narrow street that winds through an apartment complex. It’s not a major highway, it’s a little street. It’s summer time and Mike Mike and friend Dorian Johnson were walking to Mike Mike’s grandmother’s home. The officer curses and orders them out of the street. They reply that they are almost at their destination. Then officer pauses, backs his patrol car up, blocks the two young men, and an assault begins: Mike Mike is assaulted as the officer attempts to grab him from by the neck. There is a struggle and the friend says the officer fires a shot.

The two friends, terrified, flee. The officer shoots, Mike Mike is hit. Mike Mike turns with his hands up. Witnesses, public witnesses, say his hands were up and he was in a surrender position. They all say the officer pauses and keeps shooting. The line of shots and their concentration fits the identified eyewitness accounts.

Yet CNN is using sources casting doubts on the audio tape, one “source” went so far as to say his first thought was CNN was being “punked” by a shock jock who had put together this recording. Other sources have cast the audio in a negative light and raised questions and scenarios that have never been previously discussed:


• Perhaps the officer was reloading. That has never come up from witnesses, that is conjecture.


• Michael was rushing the officer. Again intentional lying and framing the scenario. There was never any account early one that the young man was charging an armed officer. So a young man runs away from an armed officer who is shooting, then turns around and charges the same armed officer? Madness. Explicable because the forces of White supremacy, with the media as a willing partner, must protect themselves.


• There audio is suspect because it surfaced two weeks into the crisis in Ferguson, say CNN experts, who are mainly former law enforcement or those connected with the police and prosecutorial industrial complex. This is one-sided analysis from a group of experts who see things through a single lens. Audio two weeks late? It was CNN’s fault. According to CNN host Don Lemon, the tape was given to a CNN producer in Ferguson, Mo., and the person who gave the audio tape thought the tape was going to Lemon. There was some kind of mix up and the audio tape languished until it surfaced a couple days ago.


• The officer was possible hurt and trying to recover, say White media experts say. But that lie has already been debunked by CNN, which said a report of eye injuries to Wilson on an x-ray were untrue. This clearly focuses on the problem with the resounding voice and view and frame of White media. It comes up clearly when talking heads are assembled who have little actual firsthand information. The major media give information and at times report accurately, at times the reporting is suspect, and the analysis is ubiqituous and off-base, and Black experts rarely seem willing to challenge, confront or correct their White counterparts who are in error, uttering half-truths and painting pictures that make no sense.


• If anchors and analysts are not prepared, or weakly prepared, on leaning toward the police view, the analysis of the moment—which seems to be intent on raising doubt about the audio tape—drowns out other voices and is seen as true by viewers. Many of whom are not drawing a clear distinction between straight reporting and someone’s opinion.

It is criminal and irresponsible that CNN and other “responsible” media outlets have tried to equate a single anonymous radio interview from “Josie,” a reported friend-of-a-friend-of-a-friend of Officer Wilson who heard about how he was attacked and responded with eyewitness accounts and video from Blacks who live in the community and could easily be targeted by police. While Josie hides, speaks and is elevated to the place of a credible witness, she is not credible. Does she even exist at all? Then law enforcement sources, the same sources who Black people don’t and should not trust, are used by White media to verify her account. This is like going to players on the same team and asking one team member to vouch for his teammate.

What happened the old standard of media skepticism and questioning authority and a predisposition to understand those in power have a tendency to withhold truth and cover up? We still don’t have a police report from the actual shooting incident. What is the problem? Why a delay?

We have seen the police and prosecution industrial complex galvanize and the attempt to tarnish and slander the shooting victim. The Ferguson police chief showed an image from a video that purported to be Mike Mike leaving a store and in a disagreement with a shop owner. The chief, who later admitted the image had nothing to do with the conflict with officer Wilson and was relieved of his command, described the store incident as a strong arm robbery. This power figure in the White establishment felt safe and secure in spewing this slander.

As attorney Benjamin Crump told Lemon, the only witnesses are those who have come forward on the record, spoken with media and law enforcement and whose accounts and motivations are being investigated.

Where’s Josie? The account of a single, unknown, unidentified White woman counts more than the combined eyewitness accounts and videotaped accounts of Black young women and young men who witnessed the shooting.

White supremacy and White media are cooperating at their best.

Why doesn’t CNN have sources who talk about how foolish it would be for someone to try to fake a tape like this and how easy it would be to uncover such a gross, asinine and dangerous thing. The owner of the tape is not an unknown person. The owner of the tape has a lawyer and has been questioned by the FBI. While his public identity is not known, he is known to law enforcement and would surely face prosecution if he faked this thing.

Why is the media so concerned?

Officer Wilson represents the established White Power structure and the structure that controls the lives of Black people, especially with these small police departments that dot the suburbs around St. Louis. He must be vindicated because if he is not vindicated, then the system of White Superiority is exposed. Not the silly framing of race usually given but an entire system constructed to protect and benefit Whites and control Black behavior—both consciously and subconsciously as Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, author and brilliant psychologist, notes.

The White Media, for all its talk of ethics and integrity, is part of the same power structure and must protect White interests. Accept their misinformation at your own risk.

(Richard B. Muhammad is editor in chief of The Final Call Newspaper. Follow him on Twitter: @RMfinalcall)



8.25.2014

Funeral Service for Michael Brown in Ferguson: "Today We Mourn. Tomorrow we return to the fight for justice."

by Richard B. Muhammad, editor, The Final Call Newspaper


FERGUSON, Mo--It has been two weeks since the killing of Michael Brown by police officer Darren Wilson, a ridiculously heavy-handed and brutal response from the police department that Wilson worked for and from Ferguson's police chief. 

There has been the rebellion of Black youth and demands for justice for what family attorney Benjamin Crump called the "execution" of this young man.

There have been protests and there have been marches and meetings, analysis and forums, editorials and interviews, petitions and legal pleas.

There has been overall a spirit of love and unity, a rebirth of Black affection, a reconnection through pain, outrage and humiliation. There has been kindness to one another in warm embraces, tight hugs and firm handshakes.

But today we mourn.

We mourn for Michael Brown, who did not choose to be a martyr. We mourn for the mother and father of Michael Brown, who did not choose to sacrifice their son.

We mourn for the Brown family and Big Mike's friends, who did not choose to be thrust onto the world's stage and who did not choose to have their hearts ripped out.

We mourn for our youth who have suffered the humiliation and the oppression of police departments and institutions that should be serving and not targeting them.

We mourn for our people, who regardless of age, gender, income or location are fed up with injustice.

We mourn today.

Tomorrow we return to the fight for justice.

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8.22.2014

County prosecutor McCulloch must go! says Justice for Michael Brown Leaders


by Richard B. Muhammad
www.finalcall.com
@RMfinalcall


ST. LOUIS—Black leaders took their demands to the office of county prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch—including the demand that he not oversee the case related to the death of Ferguson, Mo., teenager Michael Brown.


The young Black man was shot at least 6 times by Ferguson Police Dept. officer Darren Wilson. A final kill shot sealed the doom of the young man known as "Big Mike." It also ignited outrage, protests, some sporadic looting and brought attention to America’s deep seated racial divide and police targeting of young Black males.


State Senator Jamilah Nasheed was initially blocked by police officers when she tried to deliver petitions that represented a "no confidence vote" to Mr. McCulloch’s office. She and other members of the recently formed Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition want the county prosecutor off the volatile Brown case. She said 70,000 people, from Missouri and anyone had signed petitions call for removal of county prosecutor McCulloch. 


Justice for Michael Brown Leadership Coalition demands include the arrest and vigorous prosecution of Officer Wilson and his immediate firing, said Zaki Baruti, who opened the press conference Aug. 21 and announced the group in front of the county justice building. Mr. Baruti of leader of the Universal African Peoples Organization.


They want Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to remove the county prosecutor, whose father was killed by a Black man and whose family has heavy ties to law enforcement—not to mention the close relationship between the prosecutor and police.


Abdul Akbar Muhammad, a member of the coalition and the Nation of Islam, called for Attorney General Eric Holder and local investigative agencies to look into the “policies and practices” of Ferguson and nearby localities to end racial profile. Traffic tickets and fines are often highly lucrative moneymakers for the small hamlets. 

Mr. Muhammad gave the attorney general a “D-” for his visit, saying the nation’s top official only met with a small group of individuals in what was called a community meeting. Mr. Holder didn’t meet with those people who have been dealing with protests and angry youth and elders on the street, he said. The meeting was a virtual secret, Mr. Muhammad said.



“We call for the Ferguson Mayor James Knowles and Police chief Thomas Jackson to immediately resign their positions of authority and if not we will call upon the people to immediately do a recall of the mayor of Ferguson,” the group added in a statement.

What if nothing happens? asked a reporter. The city will be shut down by civil disobedience never before seen in the St. Louis metro area, which includes Ferguson and small nearby towns, promised Anthony Said, a street activist and director of the Tauheed Youth Group. 

Young people need jobs and training to solve ongoing problems, he said.
With that the group left the parking lot across from the county prosecutor’s office and marched in the streets. “We’re young, we’re strong! We’re marching all night long,” they chanted.


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