Learn more about the questionable death of Minister Robert Muhammad of Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids Study Group Invites You:

The Ministry of Spiritual Development  
The mission of the N.O.I. as a whole and of each of its parts is the spiritual development of the Lost-Found Nation of Islam in North America and our people throughout the world. The mission of the N.O.I. is the resurrection spiritually of a dead people and the entire focus and meaning of its work is to bring about this resurrection as quickly as possible. This is the purpose that gives meaning to all other activities engaged in and is the criterion by which we expect to be judged by Allah and His Messenger, the Honorable Elijah Muhammad. As such, the spiritual dimension must be present in all and excluded from none. (copied from AtonementCommission.com).  
For more information, call Student Minister Marcus Muhammad (269) 861-6504 e-mail: muhammadmarcus1@gmail.com     

From The Final Call Newspaper


    The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan: A Year End Interview For 2016 And Looking Ahead At 2017

    By The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan | Last updated: Jan 3, 2017 - 1:47:17 PM

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    Richard Muhammad (FCN):  As-Salaam Alaikum. I’m Richard B. Muhammad, editor in chief of The Final Call Newspaper.  We are pleased to have our founder, publisher and the National Representative of the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, with us for a year-end 2016 and looking ahead at 2017 interview.

    Brother Minister as always we are pleased and honored to have any opportunity to speak with you and to hear words of insight, analysis and guidance—but especially as we go into the New Year. I thank you personally and I thank you on behalf of our staff, our readers and the F.O.I. (Fruit of Islam) who take this newspaper across America.

    On January 20, 2017 a major change is scheduled to take place in America with the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as president of the United States.  What does this change portend for the United States, the world and Black America? 

    The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan (HMLF):  First let me personally thank you Brother Richard, your staff and all of those who take this paper in every part of the United States of America and even in other parts of the world.  Thank you for your service, your stellar service, in the year 2016.

    We thank Allah for bringing us to this point safely through this year and we pray that Allah will be gracious and merciful to us and even make 2017 a more successful year in expanding the readership and the influence of the wonderful messages that are in this unique newspaper.

    On January 20, 2017 there will be a change of the guard.  Many, many Black, Brown and Native people are worried over what may come from a Trump presidency.  Some Caucasian people are upset but many more see hope in Donald Trump, who has already broken all of the norms of what presidents say and how they say it, what they do and how they do it.  He is a huge question mark in the eyes and minds not only of many inside America but people who rely on America throughout the earth are concerned about what his presidency will bring.

    We take this approach: Nothing happens but by the permissive or active Will of God.  Certainly the American people, 64 million of them, voted for Mrs. Clinton.  But Mr. Trump took the presidency and shocked the media, shocked the political pundits and shocked capitals around the world.  So what happened is from a power bigger than the powers that usually control.  We happened to see it as a possible lull, as the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, predicted before the storm.  But his presidency is not going to avoid the storm and therein lies the great problem and question that his administration faces in the upcoming years of his tenure in office.

    FCN:  Brother Minister you mentioned of course the extreme level of disappointment certainly within Black America.  At the State of the Black World Conference, maybe a month or so ago, you talked about what this new political reality in the U.S. means for a new reality for Black people.  Can you speak a little bit to how Black folks should consider what is happening in the country; in particular in light of what the Honorable Elijah Muhammad has taught us?

    HMLF:  As you may recall in that lecture and in other lectures in the time of the election I said that Mr. Trump is a wind that is blowing on the dry bones in this valley.  We have found it exceedingly difficult to unite as a people to confront the impediments in the pathway of our progress toward true freedom, justice and equality.  So we like the dry bones are in this valley and we have lost hope that we would ever unite.  And the words of the first lady of the United States of America, Mrs. Michelle Obama, in her interview with Oprah Winfrey she expressed a sense of hopelessness.
    First Lady of the United States Michelle Obama

    Hopeless why?  Because the thing that she, and we, and her husband, our people trusted to keep a path open of inclusion of progress for some in an administration governed by Mrs. Clinton is gone now.  But this that has happened we believe is the Will of God.  For when the Son of Man, speaking to the dry bones could not produce the unity that he desired, he was told by God to prophecy unto the winds and the winds blew on those bones and ultimately they stood up an exceedingly great army.

    Donald Trump, his administration, their thoughts, their attitude and the attitude of many Whites that feel liberated by the advent of Mr. Trump—that attitude will begin to manifest greater pain and hurt for our people.  No matter what he may try to do for us; an attitude has been brought to the surface by his candidacy and is one that White people have felt a loss in these last years, loss of their position of supremacy.  Now there’s a sentiment growing; they have to put the Black, the Brown, the Red back in a place that they have cut out for us.  But God has in mind a better place for us but that can’t happen under a so-called integrated pathway; it can only happen when we are united and desire a land and a government of our own where we can be free, justified and equal.
    The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan

    So Mr. Trump is a part of that wind and his way will signal other winds to blow on the bones.  But in the end he will probably be the best news for the future of a united Black people by the attitude that is taken toward our rise.

    FCN:  Brother Minister I think you may have answered this question but if you would, I would like to explore it just a little more, maybe have you expand on it just a little more.  Eight-years-ago we saw President Obama come into office with an incredible amount of enthusiasm, positive energy and hope. He was able to appeal across racial, age and gender lines.  He campaigned on the theme ‘Change We Can Believe In.’  Mr. Trump—of course—a totally different even divisive message ‘Make America Great Again’ which most Blacks saw as heralding back to the bad old days.  In that eight-year period what happened that has had such impact, what one person called a white lash?  What happened in the last eight years?

    HMLF:  Why would there be a white lash?  Most of us have not understood the nature of the people in whose hands we have been for the last 460 years.  We have fallen in love with our open enemy because we have hope that one day they will receive us as an equal or treat us as an equal.  And the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said to us that is not going to happen.  Any kind of unity with our former slave masters and their children has to be on their terms and not on ours.  Otherwise their power and their arms and their will, will be against our rise as it always has been.

    So now the white lash is based upon the nature that they were made to rule and to rule for a specific period of time which is now up.  So the darker people of the earth are challenging the rule of Whites over them.  And that challenge is coming up in the rise of our people and our desire for justice, our desire for equity and our desire for greater freedom, greater equality of opportunity. So our desire for all these things that should come to us, and it looked like in the advent of the presidency of  Barack Obama we were on the way to achieve more of that.  But after eight years in office the lullaby of what he represented is now leading to a rude awakening and White people are now lashing out because making America Great Again to many means Make America White Again. 

    ‘Bring back White Power, bring back this idea that no one is better than we and we are better than all.’  So this wind will blow on Black people from every direction to force us to come to the realization that we cannot get along in peace with this people after giving them 400 years of our sweat and blood and receiving in return some of the worst treatment ever accorded to a human being.  This is going to pick up with greater force, these winds, and so the bones will ultimately be forced to come together.

    And when they see this mask of civility taken off and now you see an enemy that hates our shadow.  And like Abraham Lincoln said, ‘you suffer from being here with us and we suffer from your presence among us.’  This is going to come to a head and the Will of God will be carried out which is that the Black and the Brown and the Red we must go free in a land of our own; not under White supremacy but ruled under our own wisdom, knowledge, understanding and the guidance of God.

    FCN:  Brother Minister thank you. I can really just go and explore more and more, the answer to that question was so magnificent. But I’m going to try and contain myself and move forward with another question. We just saw recently in Fort Worth, Texas, a Black mother manhandled by a White police officer.  She and her daughters were arrested after she called 911 because a White man had allegedly choked her son.  She was a victim yet she ended up victimized.  We saw a mistrial in the trial of officer Michael Slager accused in the shooting death of Walter Scott in South Carolina. We saw no charges in the killing of Keith Lamont Scott by police in Charlotte, North Carolina.  We have seen other instances where Black men and women were shot and killed by police yet nothing happened; the officers were not charged.  Without justice, but with these continued assaults and loss of life, where do you see things headed in this country?

    HMLF:  If wisdom does not prevail we’re headed for revolution.  Black people can’t take much more of this kind of treatment.  And there are Whites in this nation that are angry with their government.  Mr. Trump has successfully destroyed the influence of the media which has been used by corporate powers that control the media to set up or sit down whomsoever they please.  That power has been broken. 

    And now the media and its acceptance is probably, according to one pundit, lower than the esteem afforded to members of Congress which has teetered at 14 percent down to as low as nine percent—and the media is below that.  So all the forces that can be used to produce trends or curtail trends—now those forces have been broken.

    Mr. Trump is the first president that has the ability to change the ultimate course of American politics; that is national and foreign policy.  But he, if he yields more to Israel in the quest of  Israel to continue settlements and to deny Palestinians their right of self-determination in a nation of their own, there will be a conflagration in the Middle East which is going to bring China, Russia and every nation into the War of Armageddon.

    This is the storm that Elijah Muhammad said America is going to face and couple that with divine judgment that has entered America because of her consistent mistreatment of Black people.  Now that they have no jobs for us and they can’t make jobs for us, the policy then is to find a way to get rid of as many of us as they can.  And this is kindling a greater anger in the God who is present today to bring us into the sphere of freedom and justice.  The battle is His and He is able to fight it and none can hinder him.

    So the forces of nature; rain, hail, snow, earthquakes, wind, sleet, heat, cold—all of this is being brought to bear.  Famine is coming to America like no nation has ever seen in fulfilling the prophecies of Jesus and other prophets of both the Bible and Holy Qur’an.  This is a serious time.  So if Mr. Trump, who loves to make a deal, is a wise leader and sees the handwriting on the wall which it was in the time of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar: ‘Your kingdom has been weighed in the balance and found wanting.’ What is the way out?  What will give America a greater extension of time?  What will cause some of these forces of judgment to be diminished and even put away for a while?  It is giving us justice; letting us go and giving us a final settlement for what we have done to make America great; to make her rich and powerful and fight in all her wars to keep her in that position even though we have not advanced as a people to real freedom with land and opportunity to build a nation of our own.
    Well America, the choice is yours.

    Mr. Trump can facilitate that separation once he sees that the war is right at our door and once he sees that the calamities are increasing, let’s make a deal.  And the deal is what it was with Moses—let us go and give us a good send-off and God will remove the clouds of war that are hanging over our heads and remove the judgment and delay it and give America time again.  Never to be as great as she once was, but it’s not greatness, it is to exist as a nation.  The choice is America’s. The choice is Mr. Trump’s, the choice is his government’s to make.  Whatever choice they make nothing, nothing will turn the Will of God and make God’s Will of non-effect.

    May God bless us in the New Year to understand more of God’s Will and may Allah bless us to come together with all of the scholarship that we have been blessed to gain in America; all of the wealth that we have been able to accumulate and now turn that toward self in our own development.  Otherwise we’re going to suffer great, great pain as these winds blow from the four corners of the earth.

    FCN:  Brother Minister these challenges and losses that Black folks suffered in 2016 are one side of our experience.  But on the other side there was I think what could be called a banner-year for the Reawakening of the Black Athlete, notably Colin Kaepernick with his protest against police violence, but others were part of that.  What does this reawakening or this growing into consciousness among athletes and even celebrities mean?  Certainly we’ve seen you talk with brothers like The Game, Snoop and others and we have seen them speak, like Killer Mike, speak to the injustice and the need for justice for our people.

    HMLF:  What it does Brother Editor it brings us into a clash with the forces that want to keep things as they are or put them back where they were where White supremacists will be more comfortable with our presence.  That’s not going to happen.  Our people are not going back to that; they’re not going to accept that.  So the more we awaken, the more we challenge the powers that have kept us down, the more we challenge those powers it brings great pain and suffering to us.  These are the winds that are blowing now that will force America to make a decision.  What shall we do with 40 million to 50 million Blacks?  What shall we do with 50 million Hispanics?  What shall we do with five or six or eight million Native Americans?  What shall we do?  You can’t kill us all.  So at some point the art of the deal will have to come to the table.  And no cowardly Negro who doesn’t know what justice looks like can be at a table negotiating for us.

    FCN: Even as you were talking about us not understanding the nature of these people whose hands we have been in, I was thinking, “My God what does it take for a people who have suffered like this to come to that ultimate conclusion?”  Is it almost only utter destruction that will make us recognize the truth?

    HMLF:  Yes. That’s why the Scripture says those who did not heed the call of Moses and Aaron God cause them to be bitten by fiery serpents which the Honorable Elijah Muhammad said are angry White people.  So all Colin Kaepernick and all the brothers that are standing up and Black Lives Matter pushing up, all of this is bringing about anger to the forces that have controlled us but now see how difficult it’s going to be.  So they have to either beat us all the way down and kill us or let us go.  There’s no other alternative because they can’t stop the rise, they can’t stop the awakening—they can’t.

    May Allah bless us.  Thank you brother.  As-Salaam Alaikum.

    FCN:  Walaikum Salaam. Thank you, sir.

From The Final Call Newspaper

    The quest for truth, justice continues

    By Richard B. Muhammad - Editor | Last updated: Dec 14, 2016 - 12:52:40 PM

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    A brochure outlining the disturbing details surrounding the death of Student Minister Robert Dion Muhammad of Grand Rapids, Mich.

    GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.—An effort to dismiss a wrongful death suit aimed at finding the truth about the passing of Nation of Islam official Robert Dion Muhammad failed in Kent County Circuit Court.

    Defendants wanted to quash Yreva Muhammad’s effort to gather information, conduct depositions from expert witnesses and gather additional facts in a process known as “discovery” over the death of her husband. They failed.

    The hearing on a motion for summary disposition came as the defendants argued there are no “material facts” in dispute and the facts are so in their favor that the case should be dismissed, explained Atty. Berve Power Muhammad, who is representing Yreva Muhammad and the estate of Robert Muhammad.

    Since all defendants had called for that judgement, if any one or all had prevailed the case would have been effectively over, he explained. The presiding judge denied the motion so the discovery period and search for truth will continue, Atty. Muhammad said. An extension has been granted for discovery until April 2017.

    The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan and some of his top aides and ministers were in court and sat through the Dec. 9 hearing.
    The courtroom was packed on the snowy Friday afternoon and Muslims filled an overflow room on a lower floor where the proceeding could be viewed. Some sat in the courtroom for almost three hours to ensure that they would witness the proceeding. The case has captured the attention of the Nation of Islam and while Muslims flooded the courthouse, showing a strong but quiet, disciplined presence, more would have come if there had been more capacity. Believers had to almost be assigned seats and those seats were filled.

    Attorneys for Robert Muhammad’s seven co-workers named in the wrongful death suit argued there was nothing more to be found and that their clients had nothing to do with his death just over two years ago.

    The 39-year-old husband, father of eight and student minister of the Nation of Islam’s Grand Rapids Study Group went missing in the waters of Muskegon State Park’s campground beach September 5, 2014 during an outing with co-workers. His body was found the next day in Muskegon Lake on what would have been his 40th birthday.

    Without conducting a criminal investigation, authorities stated Robert Muhammad struggled while swimming back to a boat situated nearly 50 feet offshore that belonged to one of his co-workers and ruled his death an accidental drowning. Others are not so sure pointing to photos of his body after it was pulled from the water that revealed multiple bruises and contusions on the young student minister’s face along with other questionable findings.

    His widow filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Bertrand Thibault, Daniel Moore, Michael Champrenault, Nicholas Pelfrene, William Gresley, Matthew Kamps and Sebastien Lebon. They were with her husband that fateful day at the lake. The suit alleges they are responsible for his death.
    Student Minister Robert D. Muhammad was a dedicated and committed helper in propagating Islam and working in the community of Grand Rapids. (R) Student Minister Robert Dion Muhammad

    An active member of his community, Student Minister Robert Muhammad, 39, died after he went missing in the waters of Muskegon State Park’s campground beach Sept. 5, 2014. His body was found the next day. (R) Student Minister Robert Muhammad pictured here with his wife Yreva Muhammad and their children, was a loving and dedicated husband and father.

    “At some point, while on the boat, it is likely that the Defendants then assaulted and battered Mr. Muhammad which caused significant injuries to his face,” said court documents filed on behalf of Yreva Muhammad.

    Defense lawyers, however, argued the tragic death was an accident and nothing more. Robert Muhammad was well liked, respected and agreed to go on the outing, said the four White males and one White female, whose clients were also Caucasian. And, defense lawyers added, even if something happened that was wrong, no act had been applied to a single defendant. One defense attorney argued that from the beginning of the case there were charges of foul play that were unwarranted.

    The female defense attorney charged the Nation of Islam with trying to vilify innocent men and seeking a crime where there was none. The charges in the wrongful death suit were a “red herring,” another defense lawyer declared.

    Atty. Muhammad, going up against five opposing lawyers, stood tall at the courtroom lectern as he laid out his case. Multiple lawyers on the other side had cast their arguments, buttressing one another and at times seeming to paint the Nation of Islam as outsiders—and perhaps troublemakers. None of that seemed to phase Atty. Muhammad, who calmly and intelligently argued the proceeding wasn’t about any of those issues or arguments.

    The question is whether relevant questions exist that deserve to be pursued, he said.

    The Muslim lawyer outlined 12 different points in his argument before the presiding judge. Among his arguments were the need to question more witnesses, questions about some findings of experts, questions about the nature of injuries found on the body, the cause of drowning as well as a Coast Guard report saying Robert Muhammad fell versus the defendants’ story that he drowned while swimming.

    As the legal drama unfolded, the courtroom was quiet. It included Muslims, elected officials, and ordinary people who wanted to see how the justice system would work—or not work.

    Once Atty. Muhammad finished making his case, lawyers on the other side were given a chance for rebuttal. Even as they sought to counter his argument, the opposing lawyers, on more than one occasion conceded the impressive argument mounted by Atty. Muhammad. In the end, the judge ruled shutting down the process would be premature, echoing the analysis and argument offered by Atty. Muhammad, and ruled against the defendants’ motion.

    An impressive legal battle has been won, but the case and the struggle is far from over—and the quest for justice takes resources and hurling truth at falsehood. Reputable experts from Oregon, California, Texas, and Florida have been retained to investigate the death of Robert Muhammad and rebut analysis offered by the other side, said Atty. Muhammad, who also serves as student National Secretary of the Nation of Islam.

    He thanked his assistant Kristy Farrakhan, who works at his law firm, for researching the experts that were eventually brought on board. He also thanked Atty. Sadiyah Evangelista, a Muslim attorney from Houston, for tremendous work in research and strengthening the court presentation. She also attended the hearing as did Nation of Islam General Counsel Abdul Arif Muhammad. Members of the Nation of Islam executive council Ishmael Muhammad, Leonard F. Muhammad, and Mustapha Farrakhan.  Student Ministers Nuri Muhammad of Indianapolis, Troy Muhammad of Detroit, Fontaine Muhammad of Chicago and Marcus Muhammad, of Benton Harbor, Mich., where he is also mayor, came to observe the proceeding.

    According to Berve Muhammad, the legal fight has involved some 15 trips to Michigan with more travel to come to the state and different parts of the country to obtain depositions and take care of other legal matters over the next four months.

    He thanked Min. Farrakhan for personally financing the entire case, which includes experts in facial injuries, plastic surgery and reconstruction, a marine biologist, the foremost drowning expert in America and an underwater photographer.

    He thanked the Believers who came to court and those who could not come but offered support. He also won kudos on social media as Muslims who attended the hearing shared their pride and support.
    The fight will take a tremendous effort, but we are up for this fight, vowed Berve Muhammad.
    Yreva Muhammad sat quietly and dignified during the proceeding before Judge George S. Buth. A different judge will take over the case in 2017.

    Atty. Muhammad described the Muslim woman as a “soldier,” and “tremendously strong.” With us waging this battle ferociously, she is much more content and doing remarkably well considering the circumstances, he added.

    “We are fighting for Islam and we will surely win,” said Atty. Muhammad.
    For more information, visit Justice for Robert Muhammad, go to: NOI.org/justiceforrobert.
    (Final Call staff contributed to this report.)

From The Final Call Newspaper

    Forward Ever, Backward Never, The Life, Legacy And Value Of Paul Robeson

    By Richard B. Muhammad - Editor | Last updated: Nov 23, 2016 - 4:49:54 PM

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    NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J.—The effort to bring Louis Farrakhan to Rutgers University was met with severe opposition: Lies were told about the Nation of Islam minister, false charges were lodged against him and the event organizers, Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity’s chapter on campus, were charged thousands of dollars to try to have the outspoken and beloved leader speak at the university for free.
    Min. Farrakhan spoke Nov. 19 to students at Rutgers University. Photos: Andrea Muhammad

    “I don’t charge college students because the greatest gifts of all are you,” said the 83-year-old leader, who has been teaching for some 60 years. Min. Farrakhan called young people “the love of my life” and said he treasured every opportunity to impart knowledge to make their life struggle a little less difficult and to have youth avoid past mistakes made in the battle for Black liberation.

    It isn’t that Farrakhan is violent, but true revolution comes through knowledge and which is like bringing light to Black people, he said. It’s also like cockroaches who run when the lights are turned on in an apartment, he said. The audience laughed and applauded.

    He denied false charges he was a misogynist. “I’m anti-sup-posed to be everything, but anti-woman? My mother is the greatest woman in my life and I would not be who I am without her. I am married to my wife for 63 years and she really is the wind beneath my wings,” he said. We teach honor, love and respect in particular for Black women but for all women, without you we don’t exist, there is not future for any nation without the honor, elevation and protection of the female, he added.

    And, the Minister added, hopefully the professors who have had to so much to say about me are here.
    At left, Abdul Rahim Mahmoud, vice president of the Delta Iota chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, and chapter President Nana Kweku Annoh.
    He thanked those who decided his subject would be Paul Robeson, the great Black champion for justice who graduated from Rutgers and was an accomplished scholar, athlete, actor and singer. Mr. Robeson was taught about the value of convictions and standing on what you believe by his father, said Min. Farrakhan.

    He spoke of a kinship with Mr. Robeson, calling him a hero.

    “You are college students and should never be afraid to hear ideas coming from someone else,” he said. “You are intelligent. … When a college is afraid to have a man like me come on campus and spread all kinds of rumors that make you fear me and want to stone me,” he said. But that same thing was done to Paul Robeson, Prophet Muhammad, Jesus and all wise people who bring light that brings people out of darkness and ends their misuse as tools and slaves of the enemy. Mr. Robeson didn’t drink, he didn’t smoke, he didn’t use drugs, he pursued excellence, said Min. Farrakhan.

    If you are afraid of White people and refuse to stand for truth, you don’t know Mr. Robeson, he said. In the late 1930s and 1940s, he challenged White mistreatment of Blacks and traveled outside of America to Russia and Africa, said the Minister. Mr. Robeson studied scientific socialism but was branded a Communist, persecuted and had his passport taken, he explained.

    White theatre owners denied Mr. Robeson the ability to make a living at home and then the U.S. government deprived him of the right to make a living abroad, he said. Mr. Robeson earned a law degree but was unable to use it and was an incredible singer and performer, said Min. Farrakhan.
    Mr. Robeson had integrity, which isn’t taught in college, he said. Mr. Robeson developed into a man of high character and the basis of good character is honesty, said Min. Farrakhan.

    If you are a college professor you should not be afraid to deal with truth to protect your job, he said.
    Growing up Mr. Robeson learned how to appease and not threaten Whites but he was hated by some of them and envied for his gifts and intellect, said Min. Farrakhan.

    “Now that Mr. Trump is in office I think you can feel that something is going down now,” he said. Latinos, Blacks and young Whites who want a different path feel the chilling change and racial animosity in the air, he said.

    The current animosity is rooted in a system of White supremacy and domination over Blacks who are the original people of the planet, which was proven by historian Ivan Van Sertima, another Rutgers graduate and scholar. They don’t teach you about Mr. Van Sertima because his research will destroy the lies of western education, the Minister said.

    “They don’t want you to know the real truth of who you are,” said Min. Farrakhan. “Right now you are struggling to find yourself so you are everything. Nobody should use any tool to make you into themselves.” But, he said, your natural religion is Islam and Whites made you Christians and did not find it incompatible for Blacks to be Christians and slaves, he said.

    The myth of Black inferiority and the lie that Blacks did not have high civilization is part and parcel of higher education and what is taught at Rutgers, he said. Blacks were denied the right to read for 300 years and the libraries of the native peoples in South America were destroyed by Whites, he said.

    In addition to a corrupted education rooted in White supremacy, the focus on education is to make money, the Minister said. But Mr. Robeson’s father taught him integrity is more important than amassing wealth, he said.

    At the height of his career, earning $100,000 a year, Mr. Robeson decided to speak out against the hurt and pain of Black people, said the Minister. He suffered and his income dropped to just $6,000 a year, he added.

    Mr. Robeson was as big as Michael Jackson and was an artist rooted in the culture of his people, early on he only sang songs written by Blacks, Min. Farrakhan said. People think that when you are greatly gifted you will not sacrifice those gifts for something bigger than yourself, he added. But Mr. Robeson didn’t care just as NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick doesn’t care and speaks to the hurt of Black people, he said.

    “What price are you willing to pay for the liberation we seek? It’s not going to come easy,” he told the students.

    “I am not anti-White, but I am antilies, anti-injustice and anti-those things that make a human being less than what that human being potentially can achieve,” said Min. Farrakhan.

    “(Mr. Robeson) was hated because of his love for you. Why are you hated Farrakhan? Because of my love for you. Paul was willing to die to see Black people in a better place, he didn’t learn that at Rutgers,” said the Minister.

    Mr. Robeson was called before the House Un-American Affairs Committee, and he confronted them, continued Min. Farrakhan. Asked why didn’t he stay in Russia or Africa, Mr. Robeson responded that America is where he lived, had a right to live, and called the congressmen fascists, he said.
    The men of the Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha with the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan. The Black fraternity organized the Minister’s recent visit and lecture to students on campus. Photo: Andrea Muhammad

    So the American government was his enemy yesterday and remains the enemy of the Black community today, warned Min. Farrakhan. They fear the growing Black population, just as it is written of pharaoh in the bible feared the growth of the birth of the children of Israel, he said.

    The U.S. government targeted Marcus Garvey, Dr. Martin Luther King, Kwame Ture (Stokely Carmichael) and Black organizations, fearing the rise of a Black messiah who wanted an independent nation for Blacks, he said. They want Farrakhan, the Minister added.

    “When he parlayed his cultural genius into a spokesperson for our hurt, they did everything they could to destroy him. Brothers and sister you have a chance to make your life a meaningful life. … Paul Robeson found his purpose in life and he built his life from principles that never die,” the Minister told the students.

    Storm Ervin, a graduate student, was impressed by the Minister’s lecture. “It was how he was able to break down White supremacy on college campuses that you’re not going to learn in school. It was fascinating to hear. Because every time I hear about Farrakhan I hear about his relations to the Nation of Islam and the movement at large but for him to make it specific to college campuses and I’m a college activist. So that was really intriguing to me,” she said.

    She wore a Black sweatshirt that read “The Liberation Of All African People.” A graduate of the University of Missouri, she was at the school as racial problems erupted on campus last year. Blacks at Mizzo and southern rural schools face blatant White supremacy and see disparity in hiring, she said. “Black students again being called a nigger is common, it’s not uncommon from White students. It’s pretty upsetting. There was a Black student at Mizzo last week who had a gun pulled out on him by a Trump supporter,” she said.

    Ms. Irvin was hearing the Minister for the first time. His words about the choices students face were real to her. “About two days ago I had this fight, ‘ok are you going to speak your truth and be real or are you going to play safe—play the respectable Negro in the situation?’ I chose not to. And the reason I chose not to is because it’s a disservice to your people to use your education, which is a privilege in America, to not speak the truth or to not make freedom a real thing for your people. It’s a disservice. Because you are here on the backs of Black slaves, our Black ancestors. So you have to it’s your duty,” said the St. Louis native.

    “I can’t say on how he used to be but I do think today he addressed the issue of being misogynistic or women hating and he defended that and said he wasn’t. But I appreciate that, I appreciate him bringing up, ‘well this is how I’m not.’ I think that shows real leadership.… Because sometimes you can be critiqued and say ‘whatever’ and that’s not what he tried to do,” she said.

    “Some of the main points that I feel Brother Farrakhan was able to make in his public speech was the call for unity. I think that’s the biggest issue that’s kind of seen today on the campuses and in the community and kind of every aspect. I feel like that’s the main point that we need to make is the call for unity especially being a member of a fraternity,” said Ivan Thompson, a senior from Cumberland, N.J., majoring in human resources and labor studies. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma fraternity. He will be graduating in December.

    “We see that there’s so much emphasis on differences between fraternities that at the end of the day we forget that we’re also here for the same cause and from the same population. We’re here to unite the Black population with everybody as a whole in general. And I feel like we’re not actually taking the steps that we need to take in order to empower the community and uplift like we need to be doing.”

    Abdul Rahim Mahmoud, a Rutgers student and vice-president of the Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha, worked with others since last year to bring the Minister to the school. It was initially estimated $10,000 would be required for security costs for a room limited to 500 people. The final cost may be $5,000. The pressure was so heavy that even the Paul Robeson Cultural Center on campus reportedly gave a $700 donation but didn’t have its name on the event flier. The Minister chided the center, saying Mr. Robeson was no coward and a center that carries his name should reflect his strength.

    The Minister spoke as Rutgers celebrated its 250th anniversary and a report detailed the school’s connection to slavery from its earliest days. There had also been anti- Trump protests by students.
    A very deceptive structure uses people after they are dead and that was not going to be allowed to happen with Paul Robeson who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha at Rutgers, said Brother Mahmoud. There have been racial issues on campus since the Trump election and it is often difficult for Black students to graduate, added Brother Mahmoud, who is also a member of Mosque No. 25.

    Black students are disrespected, he said. “I would want the Black student body and the Rutgers student body as a whole to actually revolutionary think and revolutionize their train of thought. And actually question and evaluate, if you just take something because a professor said it, that doesn’t make it valid. But actually investigate and get to know a man or woman before they judge that person’s character,” he said. When they lied on the Minister, it was war, said Brother Mahmoud.
    For more information or to assist the Delta Iota Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity contact deltaiota1906@ gmail.com.