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Min. Farrakhan: America's criminal justice system must be abolished

By Richard B. Muhammad - Editor | Last updated: Dec 17, 2015 - 3:15:40 PM

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The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan spoke in the studio of WVON -1690AM Dec. 12. Photo: Starla Muhammad

Many Chicago residents are calling for the resignation of state’s attorney Anita Alvarez. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has also come under fire. Photo: Haroon Rajaee

America’s corrupt criminal justice system cannot be reformed and faces divine destruction, said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam on the Cliff Kelley Show, a popular Black talk program.

And everyone connected with hiding the truth and lying about the controversial shooting of a Black teenager in Chicago must be held accountable and concrete steps are demanded, not just talk, if they wish to regain any public trust, he said. But liars and evil doers must be exposed and pay a price for their actions, Min. Farrakhan said.

Chicago residents took to the streets to protest the police killing of Laquan McDonald. Photo: Haroon Rajaee
The destruction of the system is not only warranted but inevitable because God himself is bringing in a new system that will give justice to all, he told the radio show host and listeners.

The discussion of justice arose Dec. 12 as the Minister answered questions about events in Chicago driven by the death of Laquan McDonald, a suspected cover-up by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, police officials, officers, state’s attorney Anita Alvarez, other entities and subsequent angry protests and demonstrations.

The problems in Chicago point to a need to do more than remove a mayor, police chief or state’s attorney, said Min. Farrakhan. What difference does it make to get rid of them and the system that produces them is still in place? asked Min. Farrakhan. “Who is man enough, who is strong enough to say that the system of justice in America is an injustice to the American people? It all should be destroyed and something new and better put in place. Because the system produces a McCarthy, an Alvarez and all that we have suffered under. We need a new system.”

Time and again people are replaced but the same compromises and the same problems arise because the system is no good, cleaning house must include getting rid of those unworthy to serve and changing a system that thwarts proper service, he said.

“The kind of way that Black men are being shot down—not only in Chicago—but in America tells me that there is a culture of violence against us that is now systemic because it is happening everywhere,” the Minister added.

Chicago’s mayor has been under intense scrutiny since video of the 17-year-old being shot 16 times by police officer Jason Van Dyke was made public because of a judge’s order. The officer has been charged with murder. Protests have been an almost daily occurrence at city hall, the state’s attorney’s office, police headquarters and downtown shopping and business districts. Former police superintendent Garry McCarthy has been fired and protestors have called for state’s attorney Alvarez and Mayor Emanuel to resign.

Garry McCarthy, former Chicago Police Superintendent was fired, but many also want Atty. Alvarez and Mayor Emanuel to step down.
There was a rush by the city to get money to the family of Laquan McDonald in an effort to keep the death quiet, the Minister said. The payment was made to avoid a trial with subpoenas and depositions from all involved in keeping what happened secret and those who lied saying the teen lunged at officers while video shows him walking away, said Min. Farrakhan.

A 26-year-old Black male was recently shot multiple times by officers in San Francisco, who blocked his way, the Minister noted. “See this is (a) hate crime because you don’t shoot an animal when you go out to hunt 25 times. … So this is hatred of us.”

Even police unions, who are the defense counsel for the police officers, don’t want to discipline “police officers who have killed somebody in wicked error. So now when you talk about getting rid of stuff, you’ve got to go all the way to the top, clean it all the way to the bottom. Otherwise Black people have no place in American jurisprudence.”

In response to a caller, the Minister explained that the destruction of the present system was underway.

However, he said, there is time between God’s decree and the total destruction of a nation facing divine judgement. Those who heed God’s call must work to be better and the Nation of Islam is part of ushering in the system that Master Fard Muhammad, founder of the Nation of Islam and powerful one prophesized of in scripture to deliver justice, will create. 

“When you take a person that you think is good and you vote them in to replace somebody that you believe was bad then the system turns that one,” the Minister said. Barack Obama went into the White House with the best thoughts to make America stronger and better in the world by changing foreign policy, but he ran into “forces,” he added. “Now he’s signing off on drones that are assassinating people and killing men, women and children. We didn’t vote him into office to do that. I say to all of us, it’s not them. It’s that system that is so corrupt and rotten to the core that there must be change— but real change. Otherwise putting a new mayor into the same old system you get the same results. Putting a new state’s attorney in to the same old system, putting the same city counselors in to the same old system—everything has got to change.

“And we have to be the agents of change, using this opportunity that the God of time has given us, and our young people rising in the streets, joined by White people who understand that this is something that has to change, because they are not getting the justice that they deserve. Come on, brothers and sisters, let’s unite and if we do we can make a better Chicago and really a better world.”

Polls before and after a Dec. 8 apology by the mayor showed major dissatisfaction with the mayor and the police department. A Public Policy Polling survey found 62 percent of Black Chicago voters disapprove of the job the Chicago Police Department is doing, DNA Info Chicago reported Dec. 12. Fifty-three percent of Black voters in Chicago “disapprove of how Emanuel is doing his job” the poll said. Many doubt the mayor did not see the McDonald shooting video before a $5 million settlement was reached with the teen’s family.

Demonstrators protested downtown and in other areas of the city.
“I have not seen, since I have been in Chicago, any mayor that has been under the withering heat that Mayor Emanuel is under at this present moment. It’s difficult for any of us to believe he didn’t know or see that video,” said Min. Farrakhan.

The Minister was referring to the city’s battle to keep the video from coming out for over a year. It took over a year for the video to be made public and the officer was charged at the same time the judge ordered release of the video. The shooting happened last fall but the mayor faced a runoff election in April. There are questions about whether the mayor could have won reelection if the video had been made public.

“Here we are now, our mayor is in deep trouble, I listened to some of his impassioned speech to the city council and there is no way that Mayor Emanuel would say “I’m sorry,’ ” without the public pressure, he said. Was the mayor’s regret that the crisis had arisen at this time, that the video got released, that a judge permitted the video to be shown or that people are asking for his resignation? asked Minister Farrakhan. “Because it doesn’t really seem that he is genuinely sorry for what is happening in this city to Black people. And for our mayor to say in a very strong tone, ‘there are no second class citizens in Chicago,’ I hope I am quoting him correctly. Ask Black people do you feel that you are a first class citizen or do you feel like you are a citizen at all?”

The fired police superintendent came to Chicago after leading the police department in Newark that was under a federal consent decree, Min. Farrakhan noted. It seems like a new police chief would be vetted and, if so, “did the misconduct of Newark’s police toward the Black community mean anything in your choice of such man to be the head of the Chicago Police Department?”

“It’s difficult for any of us to believe (the mayor) didn’t know or see that video. And since there were so many attempts to cover this up, I have to question motive at the time of a mayoral election,” he said.

While an apology can be accepted, words alone are not enough to redress a grievance or a wrong, the Minister explained. “The mayor cannot say ‘I’m sorry’ and not take actions to regain the people’s trust,” said Min. Farrakhan. The process of atonement requires actions to make up for wrongs done, not just words, he said.

The conversation about the city and the mayor was sparked by questions from Cliff Kelley about whether President Obama should speak out about conditions in his adopted hometown. The radio host argued President Obama had not spoken out strongly about events in Chicago versus statements when other shootings have occurred.

There is a “political dynamic” to how the president has responded to mass shootings in California, Colorado and in Paris versus the McDonald shooting video, the Minister said. The Black Lives Matter movement is catching fire because it’s making an important statement inside a nation where Black lives have never mattered, he said.

During the two-hour program, the Minister also covered the successful ongoing boycott of holiday spending to “redistribute the pain” as part of efforts to demand justice in America. The idea of rejecting Christmas frivolity as a way to pacify slaves goes back to 19th century abolitionist Frederick Douglass and was proposed by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1968, he explained.

Whites raised $4 million in days for Dylan Roof, who without a doubt killed nine Blacks in a South Carolina church, the Minister noted, offering an example of financial support lent to an accused cold-blooded killer of Black people.

The Minister promoted the spending boycott while promoting the Justice Or Else! 20th anniversary of the Million Man March gathering. He annoumced at the Oct. 10 successful event in Washington, D.C. the holiday spending boycott is connected to hurting a system and country that devalues Black life, he said.

In 1962, NAACP leader Medgar Evers led a successful Christmas boycott in Jackson, Miss., and the mayor begged Blacks to shop with White businesses, said Min. Farrakhan. Dr. King wanted to boycott Christmas after a 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Ala. That killed four Black girls, he added. Dr. King called for Blacks to use their tremendous spending power in 1968, the night before his death, to redistribute the pain on behalf of suffering garbage workers by engaging in economic withdrawal, Min. Farrakhan continued. Adam Clayton Powell, the legendary Harlem political leader, called for a boycott of Santa Claus and shopping in 1963, he said. “Let’s make our ancestors proud by engaging in boycott. We are doing it and it is successful,” he said.

According to the Associated Press, “the National Retail Federation estimated that spending averaged $299.60 per person over Thanksgiving weekend. That was down from $381 last year.” The association blamed the drop on a change in how spending is measured, but spending in downtown Chicago, hit by protests, was an estimated 25 percent to 50 percent lower than last year. Black Friday spending was reported down by $1 billion nationally. Spending is lower than it has been since the Great Recession in America and Great Britain, said the Minister, referring to information provided by the N.O.I. Research Group.

“I know our pain and the pain of mothers who have lost children, the pain is now being felt in places that didn’t care about our suffering,” he said.

The Minister encouraged listeners to spend time with family instead of on gifts this year and to spend money with Black businesses if shopping was a must. Sit at a table together, instead of partying and drinking in the name of Jesus, share a meal, your love for one another and your love of Jesus, he said.

Offering the gifts of your heart and your lips will make a change in community, said Min. Farrakhan.

In his closing, the Minister warned that false flag operations and misdeeds sometimes by those who in anger take innocent lives is leading to the targeting of Muslims and Islam. Muslims in the Nation of Islam over 85 years have not killed innocent people and immigrant Muslims are doing great things as businessmen, physicians and scientists, not the things America “claims” Muslims are doing, said Min. Farrakhan. Study Islam to find the truth, he added. The lie about Islam is similar to lies about me, the Minister said. But once people hear me they can see I am not a hater, except that they are liars and deceivers who hate being revealed, he said.

Race relations in America continue to deteriorate and leading GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump is peeling back the layers of White civility showing the ugly character of Whites who follow him, the Minister said. But, he warned, America should be careful about the leadership she chooses. Mr. Trump will take America exactly where God wants America on a rocket ship, he cautioned. The late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall once said the KKK used to wear white robes but now they wear black—meaning there is a White supremacist mentality sitting on the Supreme Court turning back gains Blacks have made, said Min. Farrakhan.

And, he added, the case of a White cop in Oklahoma City, Okla., convicted of raping and sexually abusing Black women is the tip of the iceberg. Officers take advantage of Black women and girls, traffic them and abuse and kill young Black males, Min. Farrakhan noted. The Honorable Elijah Muhammad gave us a command: “Make your own communities decent places to live,” he said. When we do that, we will see all the evil ones wreaking havoc in Black neighborhoods and profiting from it, the Minister said.