Countering the Deception of False Police Narratives: We Are At War

By Tony Muhammad

Hiphopeducator19@gmail.com

“There’s a war goin’ on outside, no man is safe from” – Mobb Deep – Survival of the Fittest (1995)

“Coming from the school of hard knocks, some perpetrate, they drink Clorox, Attack the Black because I know they lack exact the cold facts, and still they try to Xerox” – Public Enemy – Don’t Believe The Hype (1988)

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Sun Tzu

The legendary Chinese master general Sun Tzu said that all war is based on deception. Deceptive is a very fitting term to describe an innumerable amount of police narratives that have been given to us historically on a daily basis, especially in respects to the unjust treatment, brutality, murder and terror of Black, Brown and Red people at the hands of law enforcement in the United States. As the publisher of Urban Urban+America+Cover+resizeAmerica Newspaper in South Florida for over five years reading such police narratives became common place for me. Likewise was the unraveling of truth covered up within them. Often times the people who were arrested, shot, brutalized, terrorized or killed were presented as being crazy, as if they belonged more in an insane asylum than in a jail cell. It is the same today.

Here’s an example. In 2006 an emcee by the name of Caliba came to me with a story about how he was unjustly arrested on the beach. According to him and several other sources, Caliba ran into one of his rivals near a club in South Miami Beach. g52264gux2wHip Hop open mic and event organizers have for years discouraged emcees from battling in the street like that because of the constant negative run-ins that they would have with police who did not understand their culture. In the midst of the battling in this particular case, police showed up and told the two emcees to “STOP FIGHTING!” Caliba was told specifically to go across the street. Caliba complied and quickly walked across the street. However, because he was upset that his battle was abruptly ended by police with no definite winner he began to vent loudly. Police followed up by arresting him and later tasing him while cuffed in the back of a police vehicle because he refused to stay quiet. The way it read in the police report was incomplete and was phrased in such a way that made Caliba appear crazy. It read that Caliba was “fighting” with someone in the street. He was told to stop fighting and go across the street. He went across the street and “started fighting some more.” After contesting the charges in court, Caliba was cleared of the charges.

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Tamir Rice

The way circumstances are today, with the high rate of police homicide on Black, Latino and Indigenous lives, many of our people aren’t as lucky to speak about the truth and reality concerning their negative encounters with police. But it is obvious that almost every time that we get the police narrative it is incomplete and made to appear like the slain was crazy and at fault. A more careful analysis of most cases in which our people are unjustifiably brutalized, terrorized or murdered, as in the cases of Eric Garner, Oscar Grant, Mario Woods, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown,

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Jesse Hernandez

Dontre Hamilton, John Crawford, Dante Parker, Akai Gurley, Ricardo Diaz Zeferino, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Pedro Erick Villanueva, Anthony Nunez, Vinson Ramos, Melissa Ventura, Raul Saavedra-Vargas, Rexdale W. Henry, Jesse Hernandez and countless others, we find that they were situations that could have been avoided and/or de-escalated as shown in countless of examples dealing with whites in similar or even much more dangerous circumstances.

Coherently, the recent so-called retaliatory shootings and killing of police officers in both Dallas, Texas and Baton

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Micah Xavier Johnson

Rouge, Louisiana can have us easily conclude that the narratives presented by police and the media are not only incomplete, but in many ways are flawed and dangerous; meant to unjustifiably blame and target groups in our community that have historically stood for truth and justice. In the case of Micah Xavier Johnson, the identified Dallas shooter, it has been repeatedly said that he was upset with the Black Lives Matter Movement and wanted to kill white police officers, however there are no official voice recordings or witnesses that can verify this argument. All that is known, according to the police narrative, in the midst of a Black Lives Matter demonstration, is that Johnson used military tactics to shoot and kill five police officers while “taunting” and “singing” to them. It is also argued that his identity was ultimately discovered because his identification card miraculously survived a bomb detonation through the use of a robot; unusually, the first time such a military tactic of this nature has been used on a US civilian. Soon after his identity was revealed, a picture from his social media page that has been repeatedly used by the media is one in which he is wearing a dashiki. It was also said that he was in and around Black militant groups that carried weapons; making different “African-centered” groups in general targets. Within an hour of his name being released, some in

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Professor Griff

the media were emphasizing that his middle name began with an “X,” making the fraudulent claim that he went by the name “Micah X,” because he was influenced by Malcolm X and The Nation of Islam, making The Nation of Islam a target.  Yet another picture that was repeatedly used by the media was one that he took with Professor Griff of the political Hip Hop group Public Enemy, making not only Professor Griff, but Public Enemy and ultimately all Hip Hoppers that are “Black Conscious” targets. Professor Griff recently held two press conferences stressing that he did not know Johnson personally and how in the digital age it is very common for fans to take pictures with celebrities and post them on their social media pages.

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Gavin Long

In the case of Kansas City resident Gavin Long, according to the official police narrative he was walking in an area of Baton Rouge, Louisiana unusually dressed in a “ninja” outfit intentionally seeking to shoot and kill police. However, according to initial reports from WAFB Channel 9 news in Baton Rouge, residents said they had heard shots in the area right prior to the police showing up on the scene. Here again, a false police narrative, in this case exposed by the media itself. When police showed up, three of them were killed and another three were injured by Long. Just as in the case of Micah Xavier Johnson, Long was killed before any information could be gathered from him. A robot was also sent to him as well. In this particular case in order to make sure he did not have any bombs on his person. After his name was publicly released, a video from his YouTube channel, under the name “Cosmo Ausar Setepenra” was posted in the media in which he spoke against the killing of Alton Sterling. Despite him saying clearly in the video that he stood alone and had no group affiliation, several media sources have insidiously emphasized more the statement he made about “how he used to be a member of The Nation of Islam.” Just as in the Dallas shooting incident this poor form of journalism, which is really not journalism at all, is nothing more than what is clearly a plot to inspire white militia groups to target The Nation of Islam and other Black conscious movements that emphasize Self-knowledge and Self-development. No effort has been made to ask members of The Nation of Islam in Kansas City, Missouri or in Baton Rouge, Louisiana or even at its National Headquarters in Chicago if he was an “official member” or not. Just as a note in my own personal experience in the Nation of Islam, I have met many people in over 20 years that have claimed that were “once members” of The Nation of Islam. After I investigated in many instances I came to discover that those that made such claims had actually merely attended Mosque meetings. In some cases they had only gone as far as attending Orientation Class (where more information is given about The Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad and how to become registered members). In my own personal experience, most people that become registered but stop attending after a while seldom use the phrase “I used to be a member.” Those who become registered but stop attending after a while usually use the phrase that they are “inactive.” In addition, anyone who is acquainted with The Nation of Islam know as a verified fact that

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Dr. Boyce Watkins

registered members do not carry as much as a pen knife. Further evidence shown that not just The Nation of Islam but Black conscious groups in general are being targeted is noted by how several media sources highlighted the fact that on another video on his YouTube channel show Long giving away Black conscious books from his own personal collection to people. Similarly to Professor Griff’s experience with Micah Xavier Johnson, it has been publicly noted that Long had attended business seminars conducted by author Dr. Boyce Watkins and Hip Hop entrepreneur Damon Dash and how consequently had been receiving email blasts from Watkins. Watkins has similarly come out publicly and has stressed that he did not know Long personally.

The fact that both Johnson and Long were dishonorably discharged from the military has been emphasized. But what is not mentioned is how many men in the military suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome, often times untreated, and how experiments are often performed specifically on Blacks (and Latinos) in the military using psychotropic drugs, causing them to act in erratic ways both while they serve in the military and afterwards when they are discharged, dishonorably or otherwise. Also consider that when much information is missing from these types of narratives presented to us, it leaves much room to make the accused, who are now dead and cannot speak, appear mentally unstable; as if police are all the way “normal” when we learn of yet another incident of one of us getting shot, injured or killed.

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Educator Tony Muhammad

The war that is being waged on us presently in America begins not with the physical, but with forces that impact the mind which ultimately cause us as a collective to act and react in ways desired by those in positions of power who constantly and consistently work to deny us Freedom, Justice and Equality. Our choices under such a wretched condition that we are presently in limit our perspective of reality which land the majority of us cyclically either in the military, in prison or dead.  As The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has taught us, we cannot afford to lose another generation. A new cultural movement of consciousness is needed for this time that inspires us, especially our youth, to think intelligently and work on behalf of our people in the Spirit of Love and Truth! Our people cannot wait! We need this Movement NOW! In the mean time, let us practice not simply going along with police narratives. Let us come together and organize whether we are Pan-Africanists, Black Nationalists, Nation of Islam, Moors, Nation of Aztlan, Hebrew Israelites, Native Americans, etc. and learn how to write our own narratives; not just the kind that we have to work to unravel truth while living in an unjust system based on lies, but one that we write in advance for our collective benefit where true FREEDOM, JUSTICE AND EQUALITY EXISTS FOR US ALL! Unity is needed among us more than ever before because this war doesn’t affect any one particular group. In truth, it affects all of us!

Until next time, Peace and Universal Love!

Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.

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Jesse Williams, Beyonce’, Kendrick Lamar, the Call for Freedom and the Challenge against White Supremacy

By Tony Muhammad

Hiphopeducator19@gmail.com

The unofficial yet official theme of the 2016 Black Entertainment Network (BET) Awards late last month in Los Angeles, California was FREEDOM. This was determined not by any white corporate entity such as Viacom (the owner of the network), but by artists themselves on their own terms.

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Jesse Williams receiving the 2016 BET Humanitarian Award

The most noted and profound statement at the award show was made by actor, film maker, activist and BET Humanitarian Award winner Jesse Williams, who earned his award for documenting and participating in the Black Lives Matter Movement. In his acceptance speech he spoke on our perpetual and horrific condition from slavery times to present times as Black, as well as (I can safely argue) Indigenous, “Latino” and other non-white people in this unjust land of bondage called America, a speech that touched the lives of millions who not only were able to relate to his words in thought, but painfully and consistently experience the reality he described every day of their lives. His words were also subjected to harsh criticism and scorn not only by many whites who refuse to confront the dreadful atmosphere that racism, largely in the form of police brutality and police killings in Black communities, continues to produce in this country, but also by many Blacks who argued that he was somehow “NOT BLACK ENOUGH” to make such strong arguments because of his “mixed” background (his mother being white and his father Black). Some Blacks in the “conscious” community even made ridiculous “conspiracy theory” type arguments claiming that Jesse Williams was told specifically by the upper echelon “illuminati” forces in the entertainment industry to say what he said in order to fool the Black viewing audience into believing that BET actually has the vested interest of the Black community.  This myth was quickly debunked when videos of the speech “mysteriously” disappeared from social media time lines the next day and then later reappeared more than likely out of the realization that the powers that attempted to censor William’s message were actually making themselves look worse by doing so. It was obvious that William’s speech was obviously “TOO BLACK” for BET to outright accept. The message was also TOO REAL for many so-called activists, whose activity is mainly concentrated on posting memes on social media rather doing real activist work in their

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Philando Castile and Alton Sterling

communities. The fullness of this part of his message became vividly real one week later with not just the post-Independence Day police unjust shootings of Black men such as Alton Sterling (in Baton Rouge, Louisiana), Philando Castile (in St. Paul, Minnesota) and Alva Braziel (in Houston,

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Pedro Erick Villanueva

Texas) but also the police shootings of young “Latinos” such as Pedro Erick Villanueva (in Los Angeles, California), Anthony Nunez (in San Jose, California), Vinson Ramos (in Fresno, California), Melissa Ventura (in Yuma, Arizona) and Raul Saavedra-Vargas (in Reno, Nevada) along with the lynching (police-ruled suicide) of a Black man in Atlanta, Georgia and nation-wide protests that followed.

 

In addition, not only was Jesse Williams telling whites in general to “stand down” from criticizing a condition and a struggle that they refuse to admit responsibility over; not only was he challenging Blacks in general to not be “bystanders” and simply watch as their people get brutalized and killed; he was also very specific in his aim in terms of language. In short words he was challenging Black entertainers, Black artists, many who have their roots in Hip Hop culture, which is in its origins about challenging the status quo, to not allow themselves to become exploited any longer, change their focus and realize that the mere pursuit of money, name branding and physical branding will not change our collective condition as 21st Century slaves. A total change needs to take place on our terms, defined by us, in the form of a working towards a “hereafter” while we physically live here on planet earth, not waiting to see heaven after we die.  Williams referred to this work as a “hustle,” as he inferred it has not started yet, but rather has to be ignited.

He ended his speech by saying “We’ve been floating this country on credit for centuries, yo, and we’re done watching and waiting while this invention called whiteness uses and abuses us, burying Black people out of sight and out of mind while extracting our culture, our dollars, our entertainment like oil – black gold, ghettoizing and demeaning our creations then stealing them, gentrifying our genius and then trying us on like costumes before discarding our bodies like rinds of strange fruit. The thing is though… the thing is that just because we’re magic doesn’t mean we’re not real.”

downloadWhat did Jesse Williams mean by “magic?” Could it be referring to a shared secret religious belief that many in the entertainment industry subscribe to? As noted in the final chapter in the recently released book Protect Ya Neck: A Music Industry Survival Guide by Christian Farrad, a very popular underground religion practiced among many in the entertainment industry is Thelema, founded by occultist leader Aleister Crowley. The name of the organization is the Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.). It is what many, especially the youth, have been popularly been referring to in recent years as the “illuminati” in the entertainment industry because of the high level of secrecy in its practice. Central to its teachings is the belief in the use of magic, or rather “magick” which is defined by Crowley as “the science and art of causing change to occur in conformity with will.” Followers of this religion believe that human beings have entered the “Eon of Horus.” Horus is the Christ figure in the Ancient Egyptian (or Kemetic) theology.  In Thelema, it is claimed that through the dictation of a “super natural being” while under the influence of drugs during his visitation of Egypt in 1904, Crowley received the “law of Horus” for this new era which teaches the idea “Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” Initiation into the hierarchy of the organization is done so through both perverted heterosexual and homosexual rituals which are meant to “satisfy the will.” These teachings promote a high level of freedom which attracts many in the entertainment industry because artists, as creative as they are, are by and large very free spirited. What is highly problematic, besides

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Aleister Crowley

the fact that the teachings corruptly distort and exploit the very essence of the righteousness of Black African culture, is the very contradiction of the practice of freedom that white people advocate through the organization itself. Just picture this scenario: white corporate executives sitting in the same OTO meetings with Black artists signed to their labels. Members are told not to allow the freedom exercised by others to infringe on their own freedom. The next day, those same executives are in meetings with those same Black artists concerning what to say and what not to say in their songs and albums, especially concerning the current state of Black America and the injustice it faces by police and in general by the white power structure that oppresses Black people.

Jesse Williams was not the only one who posed such a challenge at the BET Awards. Beyonce’ and Kendrick Lamar, who have been known for encoding “illuminati” symbolism in their songs and music videos, did as well. During a breath taking performance of her song “Freedom,” Beyonce’ wore a dress with wings underneath her arms, styled in form of

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Beyonce’ in Ma’atic form in her performance at the 2016 BET Awards

the goddess Ma’at, which represents Truth, Balance, Order, Harmony, Law, Morality and Justice in the Egyptian (Kemetic) theology. In ad
dition, covered all over her body suit (as well as the body suits of her dancers) were Adinkra (African) symbols of the Sun, representing Freedom and representing a reclaiming of her African identity. Beyonce’ and her dancers walked towards the stage with an African beat with bold words by Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. demanding justice and afterwards performing an African-styled dance over water, more than likely representing the Black primordial-liquid matter of the universe that the Original Black God created Himself. Kendrick Lamar arrived towards the close of the song with lyrics not found on the album

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Kemetic (Egyptian) Goddess Ma’at

version of the song. He began by repeating the phrase “Meet me at the finish line, 40 acres give me mine,” which symbolically echoes a call for reparations for Blacks who experienced slavery as originally proposed by certain members of Congress after the passing of the 13th Amendment (“ending slavery”) in 1865. However, the reparations he was calling for are for the abuses Blacks have been experiencing up to the present, 461 years long. Lamar ended his rap calling for an end to police brutality and the unjust killing of Black people.

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Beyonce’ and Kerdrick Lamar

In the aftermath, Beyonce’ and Lamar were both criticized by white audiences for their “overly Black expression.” In truth, this is not the first time Beyonce’ has caught heat for expressing Black pride and consciousness. In late 2015 Beyonce’ was criticized for releasing the song and video “Formation” which in a coded way sends the message of the intentional blowing up of the levees in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina in

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Beyonce’ in the music video “Formation”

2005. Beyonce’ herself is presented throughout the video sitting on top of a sunken police car. Earlier this year, at the Superbowl, Beyonce’ performed a tribute not only to Michael Jackson, but very apparently also Malcolm X and the 50th anniversary of the formation of The Black Panther Party as well; an act that earned her the threat of police throughout the country boycotting her concerts.

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Jay-Z

In the midst of all of this and over 500 people who have been shot and killed by police this year thus far (the majority of them being Black, Latino or Indigenous), Jay-Z recently announced that he will be finishing and releasing a song against police killing citizens. Many other commercial and underground artists are doing the same. However, the real question when it comes to some of the most financially wealthy personalities in Hip Hop that are pained by our present reality in America and realize the fact that war is being waged on us is not if, but when are they planning to get together and begin a true Black-owned network that not

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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan with Jesse Williams on the Breakfast Club Radio Show

only supports Black entertainment with a conscientious message, but present news uncompromisingly with an authoritative voice about the truth and reality about THE TIME that we are living and WHAT MUST BE DONE in this TIME! We can no longer allow the voices of consciousness TMthat are among us to be censored! The Truth must be exposed and Right Guidance must be provided! To the Sean Combs, Jay-Zs, Kanye Wests, Snoops and many others who have been touched by consciousness, the Teachings of The Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the words of The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, I encourage you to do everything in your power to bring us closer to this reality so that both our message and cause can be furthered and our survival as a people increased!


Tony Muhammad has been teaching Social Studies and Humanities in Miami-Dade County Schools for over 17 years. Tony is most noted for his work as publisher of Urban America Newspaper (2003 – 2007) and co-organizer of the Organic Hip Hop Conference (2004 – 2009). He has also designed curricula in the area of Black, Latino and Hip Hop studies for Miami-Dade County Public Schools. He currently serves as a student assistant minister to Student Minister Patrick Muhammad at Muhammad Mosque #29 in Miami, Florida.