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Universal corruption breeds universal dissatisfaction


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Demonstrators march in New York, Dec. 13, 2014, during the Justice for All rally and march. In past weeks, grand juries decided not to indict officers in the chokehold death of Eric Garner in New York and the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. The decisions unleashed demonstrations and questions about police conduct and whether local prosecutors are the best choice for investigating police. 

Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of that which men’s hands have wrought, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, so that they may return. Holy Qur’an 30:41

From East to West and North to South, injustice is everywhere and corruption is being called the underlying cause of violent extremism, terrorism, bloodshed, conflicts, and social upheaval.
Until the source of the problem is addressed and eradicated, there will be mayhem and war without end.

Transparency International, a monitoring group that rates corruption by countries, defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted power for private gain that harms anyone who depends on the integrity of people in positions of authority.

A pro-Palestinian demonstrator throws a stone towards riot police, during a demonstration in Paris, July 19, 2014. Police had clashed with thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters who defied a ban in Paris on marching to protest the Israeli offensive in Gaza. Some of the protesters threw objects at riot police, who responded with rounds of tear gas. Photos: AP/Wide World photos

“The root of corruption is the way that capitalism moves,” said A. Akbar Muhammad, international representative of the Nation of Islam. “What you have is organized greed from the top down while the masses of people still suffer.”

Much of the bedlam in the world’s hotspots is directly tied to corruption and the response by people adversely affected by injustice in various forms, said Sarah Chayes, author of “Thieves of State: Why Corruption Threatens Global Security” and a senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program and South Asia Program at the Carnegie Endowment.

Ms. Chayes’ research reveals a pattern: Where notoriously corrupt nations exist, there are also movements of religious extremists such as in Afghanistan, Yemen and Nigeria. The causes that drive rebel actions are “revolutions about corruption,” she said.

Prominent examples of extremism with religious overtones are groups like Al-Qaeda in the Middle East, the Islamic State (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, the Lord’s Resistance Army—a Christian terror militia in East and Central Africa—and Boko Haram in Nigeria. Al-Qaeda began as a U.S.-backed entity fighting Soviet occupation of Afghanistan during the 1970s and turned on its benefactor, blaming the West for facilitating corrupt governments.

A pro-Palestinian protester is arrested by riot police after clashes erupted during a banned demonstration in support of Gaza at Place de la Republique in Paris, France, July 26, 2014. French police fired tear gas as clashes broke out at a banned pro-Gaza demonstration as thousands defied a ban on the protest. The interior minister had earlier called on organizers of the Paris demonstration to observe the ban imposed to halt potential anti-Semitic violence. Photo: AP/Wide World photos 

“Boko Haram initially had the principle of kicking back against the corruption of the state,” observed Kemi Okenyodo, director of an organization that advocates for justice reform, in a Washington Post op-ed. Initially Boko Haram targeted Nigerian police forces—notorious for abuses—and government offices. Attacks on civilians are a more recent activity of the group.

Why does corruption open the door for religious extremist groups? “There is a human reflex that says when you’ve got really severe lapses in public integrity, the only way you can really hope to reform it is through very strict personal morality,” Ms. Chayes told The Final Call in a telephone interview.

Religion provides a framework and rationale for morality and right conduct. It can also be a powerful tool for identifying enemies and overthrowing rulers seen as wicked. Reformists see often religion as a counter force against deviation from the path of faith and right.

Ms. Chayes shared historic instances where acute public corruption was accompanied by the rise of militant extremism. There was the rise of “militant puritanical religion” during the 16th century Protestant Reformation led by Martin Luther. The German theologian condemned the Catholic Church for corruption and his writings inspired splintering from the church—a protest movement. The rich could buy “indulgences” which meant their sins could be pardoned for a price, which Luther condemned. He argued Christian salvation was based on faith and grace, not simply deeds. His ideas spread. By January 1521, Pope Leo X excommunicated Luther. He still refused to change and was branded a heretic. By 1524 Luther’s arguments were used as reasons for the Peasants War, which he did not support. But his writings helped produce new branches of the Christian faith and dogma.

Protesters embrace outside the Ferguson Police Department, Jan. 19, in Ferguson, Mo. Protesters marched several miles to the police department from the site where Michael Brown was killed last summer. 

Today’s events mirror the 16th century when elitists waxed rich on the backs of the poor and were targeted by the poor who yearned for freedom, justice and equality, Ms. Chayes said. Like today, resistance turned violent and deadly, she added. “They went after virtues and the manifestation of wealth,” Ms. Chaynes continued.

Similarly Al-Qaeda went after the World Trade Centers and Wall Street as the “manifestation of abusive accumulation of wealth in America and the Pentagon, which is the military force that defends that” abuse, said Ms. Chayes.

In “Thieves of the State,” Ms. Chayes wrote, “For decades ... extremism had been the only outlet for people to express their legitimate grievances. Autocratic governments liked it that way, because the extremist alternatives to their rule were frightening—to the United States and other international donors, but often to their own citizens as well.”

Ordinary people were often more afraid of the extremist groups than those who were already stealing. “We would prefer thieves to murderers,” an Algerian shopkeeper told Ms. Chayes when asked about corruption.

In a lecture titled “Unjust Judges Have Imbalanced the Society,” the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam explained what happens to people who are denied justice.
“Those who prey on people of color and disproportionately people of African descent, rarely are they punished,” the attorney said in a recent interview with The Final Call.

America’s perception of corruption has been narrowed to include only “quid pro quo bribery,” which is trading kickbacks with politicians for political influence and favors. It doesn’t only work like that. “Corruption is a way broader, way more insidious thing,” said Ms. Chayes. “It’s a danger for all of us.”

Corruption and abuse plague military contracting and the lucrative energy and health industries. Reuters has reported on major financial discrepancies at the Department of Defense. In 2012, the Pentagon reported a $9.22 billion difference between its numbers and numbers from the Treasury Dept., Reuters said. Billions unaccounted for by the Defense Dept. had increased from the previous year, said the news service. The Pentagon maintained the “discrepancies” were based on missing records and legitimate accounting differences.

Then there has been almost no accountability for a million people who lost homes in a housing crisis fueled by fraud and corruption. “The fact that nobody was prosecuted for 2008, for the financial meltdown, I just find that unacceptable that nobody was held personally accountable for what they did,” said Ms. Chayes.

Surveys conducted by Transparency International and recorded in their Global Corruption Barometer Index reveal high numbers of citizens are fed up with government corruption and greed. Political parties were seen as the most corrupt institution, followed by police forces.

As global resistance against injustice and corruption rages, Human Rights Watch warned, “Meeting security challenges demands not only containing certain dangerous individuals but also rebuilding a moral fabric that underpins the social and political order.”

But some governments have decided security threats take precedence over human rights, which are a luxury “for less trying times,” the group said. Subordination of human rights is not only wrong, but shortsighted and counterproductive, wrote Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth in an essay called “Tyranny’s False Comfort: Why Rights Aren’t Wrong in Tough Times.”

“Human rights violations played a major role in spawning or aggravating most of today’s crises. Protecting human rights and enabling people to have a say in how their governments address the crises will be key to their resolution. Particularly in periods of challenges and difficult choices, human rights are an essential compass for political action,” Mr. Roth.

Some see resistance as Divine Providence and the law of cause and effect—what goes around comes around and what one sows, so shall he reap.

Nation of Islam patriarch Elijah Muhammad warned of the consequences of “universal corruption” and a solution in his vital book, “Message to the Black Man.”

“There is no doubt in anyone’s mind today that the condition of the nations is such that needs a ruler who is not involved in the present world of corruption to bring about peace and good will among the people of the earth,” wrote Elijah Muhammad.

Mr. Muhammad said peace cannot be attained until “peace breakers have been removed from authority and their activities of mischief making, causing bloodshed, grief, sorrow and trouble among peace-loving nations” has ceased.
“There is not a civilized government of people at this writing that is not in trouble and trying to find a solution to the cause. All the nations of the earth are so corrupt with other than good that they cannot come to any agreement on peace with each other, (and) then carry it into practice.”

He said corruption started in Europe and has engulfed nine-tenths of the world population, causing near 100 percent dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction is so high it is bound to bring about universal war, since corruption is universal.

“The war is on, now, and the forces of evil are fighting a last-ditch battle to hold on to power. However, God is present now to remove not some of them, but all of them,” said Minister Farrakhan, echoing his teacher’s warning.

From The Final Call Newspaper


    SELMA and the real Dr. King

    By Askia Muhammad -Senior Editor- | Last updated: Jan 13, 2015 - 6:17:36 PM

    Martin Luther King leads march from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, March 1965

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    WASHINGTON ( - The movie Selma is, and will likely remain, one of the most talked about films of 2015.

    It earned four Golden Globe nominations, for: Best Picture; Best Actor, David Oyelowo as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.; Best Director, Ava DuVernay; and won Best Original Song, “Glory” by John Legend and Common. And it is certain to be a contender for multiple Academy Awards as well.       

    Selma is an exceptionally well crafted depiction of the last successful campaign in the career of the most charismatic and possibly most misunderstood leader of the 20th Century Civil Rights Movement. It takes its greatness from portraying the tension caused by blood in the streets of Alabama in the mid-1960s brought on by violent, White-racist, legal and extra-legal resistance to the legitimate demands for the right to vote by Blacks in the South, and from the political push and pull generated from the teeming grassroots represented by Dr. King, all the way to the desk of President Lyndon B. Johnson.

    The movie tells the story of three months in Selma, Ala., in early 1965 when Dr. King was mobilizing for the fight for voting rights. The bloody, one-sided “beat-downs” of peaceful, unarmed, non-violent protestors by vicious police, some on horseback, some with dogs, with tear gas, with billy clubs and other weapons, provokes a painful reaction to the scenes of the injustice and reminds moviegoers of the public moral outrage in 1965 which became massive public support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act by Congress later that year.

    And while a great deal of “artistic license” is taken with the presentation of, or the exclusion of important Black figures in the voting rights struggle—Fannie Lou Hamer, Stokely Carmichael, Ella Baker, Floyd McKissick, among others—it is President Johnson’s screen role in the infamous Selma marches which has garnered the loudest rebuke.

    This March 21, 1965 file photo shows civil rights marchers crossing the Alabama river on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. to the State Capitol of Montgomery. Photos: AP/Wide World photos
    Historians and former Johnson administration officials have insisted that the film is flat-out wrong in the way Mr. Johnson is shown, as an opponent of the Selma voting rights marches, when in fact the march was his idea, his former aides insist.

    In the film, one dramatic climax occurs when Dr. King scolds the reluctant and tough-talking president, about the immediate need for federal voting rights legislation, all the while with a portrait of George Washington looking on in the background.

    “Mr. President, in the South, there have been thousands of racially motivated murders,” Dr. King says, imploring President Johnson to put his weight behind a voting rights law. “We need your help!” But the President replies: “Dr. King, this thing’s just going to have to wait.”

    “In real life, that December 1964 meeting happened—but not that way, according to one who was there,” Richard Prince reports in his online column “Journal-Isms.”

    “‘It was not very tense at all. We were very much welcomed by President Johnson,’ recalled former Atlanta mayor and U.N. ambassador Andrew Young, who attended the session as a young lieutenant to King. ‘He and Martin never had that kind of confrontation.’”

    Others, including Clifford Alexander, a Black man and former deputy special counsel to the President, and later Secretary of the Army in the Jimmy Carter administration, as well as Joseph Califano, Mr. Johnson’s top assistant for domestic affairs from 1965-1969, and scholars at the Johnson Presidential Library cite transcripts and audio recordings in which Mr. Johnson appears to be the author of the idea of the Selma marches, encouraging them as a way to generate pressure on Congress to enact voting rights for disenfranchised Blacks.
    State troopers swing billy clubs to break up a civil rights voting march in Selma, Ala., March 7, 1965.

    While this film concentrates on early 1965 and Selma, one of the shocking early scenes shows the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church—less than three weeks after Dr. King’s triumphal March on Washington for Jobs and Justice—in which teenagers Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley were blown to bits by a Ku Klux Klan bomb.

    The film also shows Dr. King receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, but it omits much about the Black community which was the backdrop for Dr. King’s success, and more importantly the bolder, more militant Martin Luther King Jr.—The Real King, so to speak—who emerged during the three years after the Selma victory.

    “There is no movement without the Black church. There is no movement without historically Black institutions. Not just colleges, high schools,” Dr. Greg Carr, chair of the African American Studies Department, at Howard University told The Final Call. “(The Revs. James) Bevel and (Fred) Shuttlesworth came back from Birmingham and said, ‘I’ve been going to the high schools talking to these kids. They’re ready to move.’ That’s when the Children’s March emerged.” Organizers were meeting at 16th Street Baptist Church, he pointed out, which is “Why they bomb(ed) 16th Street…because it was an institution.”
    Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., right, pictured in his first meeting with Elijah Muhammad, left, head of the Nation of Islam Feb. 24, 1966, in Chicago, IL. Dr. King said Elijah Muhammad agreed a movement is needed against slum conditions.

    Those details and others depicting important local leaders were conveniently scrubbed from the film. “The politics of the film, the intent of the politics of the film were clear in the erasure of Stokely Carmichael, total erasure. The diminished capacity that is the role of Diane Nash and other women, the anti-SNCC perspective was just so clear,” Dr. Jared Ball, Associate Professor of Communications at Morgan State University told The Final Call. “John Lewis is a hero (in the movie), not just because of what he did but because he walked away from SNCC.”

    The film, very skillfully diminishes the role of young Black militants who increasingly began to influence Dr. King in and after the events at Selma, in favor of the need for the movement to capitalize on a sense of White conscience and guilt.

    But the reality is that conditions on the ground were changing fast in 1965. The Voting Rights Act was signed into law by LBJ in Washington—with Dr. King at his side—on Aug. 6, 1965. One week later, a continent away, the Watts Riot (rebellion) broke out on Aug. 13, protesting police murders and brutality toward Black people, like the 2014 demonstrations in Ferguson, Mo., and Staten Island, N.Y.

    “That LBJ, is made to look almost heroic (in the movie) in juxtaposition to George Wallace, and could get—in the theater where I saw it—a round of applause, tells you where the film was asking us to go. The emphasis on the inter-racial aspect of the movement was a clear message of, ‘let’s walk away from Black collective national activity, let’s make a point about today,’” said Dr. Ball.

    “If you look at the critique that is all over the place of Whites in these anti-Ferguson, anti-police brutality rallies, the critique is still there. ‘Why are you in these rallies White folks? And what is your intent in marching with us? And how is your presence becoming theater for you, as opposed to a movement for us?’

    “All of those questions—like there is a response in Selma (the movie) to all of that—by saying ‘They’re (Whites are) supposed to be here. There’s a benefit to their inclusion,’ and all of the arguments or debates against that have to be diminished, ridiculed, omitted entirely.’”
    “The problem is, that I did like it,” Dr. Ball said. “I was moved by some of it. I did think it was well made, and some of the acting performances are good, which makes, the negatives have much more of an impact. That’s the problem that we deal with. If it was all whack, it would be easy to critique and dismiss.”
    In this Jan. 18, 1964 fi le photo, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, right, talks with civil rights leaders in his White House offi ce in Washington, D.C. The Black leaders, from left, are, Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP); James Farmer, national director of the Committee on Racial Equality; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference; and Whitney Young, executive director of the Urban League. Photos: AP/Wide World photos

    The “real” Dr. King emerges

    In the months after the Voting Rights Act, Dr. King underwent a radical transformation. The influence of the Nation of Islam was clear. “At one time the Whites in the United States called him a racialist, an extremist, and a Communist,” Nation of Islam National Spokesman Minister Malcolm X said of the mainstream Civil Rights leaders he nicknamed “The Big Six.” “Then the Black Muslims came along and the Whites thanked the Lord for Martin Luther King.”
    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

    The strategy, of which Dr. King and the Civil Rights leadership was so proud, had produced a “victory with no victory,” Minister Malcolm X declared of the successful tactic which produced no tangible results. In the film “Selma,” Dr. King even laments in a jailhouse scene that he may have been fighting to integrate lunch counters at which most Blacks could not even afford to eat.

    The Whites, Minister Malcolm X continued, did not integrate the Civil Rights Movement, they infiltrated it.

    On Feb. 23, 1966 Dr. King visited the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, at his home in Chicago, and may have been further radicalized, but he quickly explained to his anxious White benefactors and to the public, that he was not forging an “alliance” with the Nation of Islam. In 1966 Dr. King’s Chicago organizing campaign was violently rebuffed by racist, White citizen attacks. He left Chicago, unable to claim a victory.

    April 4, 1967 the day when Dr. King explained why he was opposed to the war in Vietnam arrived. “He comes out in this speech and he calls America, his country, ‘the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today.’ That’s a strong indictment. The greatest purveyor of violence in the world today,” radio and television interviewer Tavis Smiley told Pacifica Radio’s Mitch Jesserich in an interview before the release of Selma.
    Police attack marchers as they crossed Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday”. Photos: MGN Online
    “He goes on in that speech to talk about what he calls the ‘Triple threat of racism, poverty, and militarism.

    Racism, poverty, and militarism.’ If you think you know Dr. King and you don’t know of the story of the darkest and most difficult part of his journey—which for him just happened to be the last year, April 4, ‘67 to April 4, ‘68—if you don’t know that story, then you don’t know Dr. King yet.”

    Mr. Smiley is the author, along with David Ritz, of “Death of a King: the Real Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Year”. During that troubled time, up until his assassination, Dr. King had become so unpopular that another author, Clayborne Carson said many of the people who went to his funeral, would not have been seen with him on the day before he died.

    “Clayborne Carson is absolutely right,” Mr. Smiley said. “In the last year of his life, everybody and everything turned against Dr. King.

    “After he gives his speech, the media turns against him. What The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Time magazine had to say about him, you would be embarrassed. So the media turns on him. Then the White House turns on him.” While President Johnson and Dr. King worked together for the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act—perhaps the two most seminal pieces of legislation passed in the entire 20th Century—now King is opposed to LBJ on this war in Vietnam, according to Mr. Smiley.

    “The NAACP and Roy Wilkins turns on Dr. King. Whitney Young and the Urban League publicly turn on Dr. King. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., powerful Congressman, turns on Dr. King, publicly. Ralph Bunche, the only other Black Nobel Peace Prize winner, turns on Dr. King publicly. I can’t even say on the radio—it’s in the text—but I can’t even quote what Thurgood Marshall—The Thurgood Marshall—had to say about Dr. King. It was vicious and ugly.
    Still from the movie “Selma”.
    “And then the Black Press got in on it. It wasn’t just the mainstream, liberal, White press, the Black press started to turn on Dr. King. It’s a story most of us don’t know because we’d rather freeze-frame King at the Lincoln Memorial at the March on Washington.

    “That dream that he talked about in ’63, by the time he gets to ’67, where this book picks up, the last year of his life, he is saying publicly that that dream has become a nightmare. He says to Harry Belafonte and a few others at a gathering one night, ‘…that for all that we have done for integration, I fear that we have integrated into a burning house.’ These are Martin’s words.

    “The one that shocks most people: Martin was murdered on a Thursday night in Memphis. If he had made it back to Atlanta that Sunday to Ebenezer, his church where he was preaching every Sunday, his sermon would have been a shock,” continued Mr. Smiley.

    On April 4, 1968, one year after his anti-Vietnam War speech, “One of the last calls he made from the Lorraine Motel was back to his church, to his secretary, to his father, to let them know what he was going to preach on Sunday. Had he made it back to Atlanta, his Sunday morning sermon was going to be entitled: ‘Why America May Go to Hell.’

    “He didn’t say we were going to hell, but why America may go to hell. Now you tell folks that the ‘I Have A Dream’ man was going to preach a sermon called ‘Why America May Go To Hell,’ they don’t get that. King was always a believer that America could be greater. That’s what his life’s work was all about. But by the time he gets to ’67, ’68, he’s questioning whether or not America really has the will to address these issues that are really just threatening to the lives of too many fellow citizens,” said Mr. Smiley.

    Ironically, the sentiment about the Vietnam War which earned Dr. King such unforgiving scorn is not unlike a prediction nearly 200 years earlier by Thomas Jefferson, one of this country’s Founding Fathers. “I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever,” Mr. Jefferson said.

    In order to get an idea of whom “The Real” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is Dr. Ball has a recommended reading list after having seen Selma. He recommends that people study the history recounted in the film, read Dr. King’s last book “Where Do We Go From Here? Chaos Or Community”, read James Forman’s book “The Making of Black Revolutionaries,” and read everything by or about Kwame Ture/Stokely Carmichael.
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From The Final Call Newspaper

    And a little child shall lead them

    By News | Last updated: Dec 17, 2014 - 11:39:36 AM

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    Demonstrators march on Pennsylvania Avenue toward Capitol Hill in Washington,Dec. 13, during the Justicefor All rally. More than 10,000 protesters converged on Washington in an effort to bring attention to the deaths of unarmed Black men at the hands of police. Civil rights organizations held a march to the Capitol with the families of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, two unarmed Black men who died in incidents with White police officers. Photo: AP/Wide World photos

    The recent protests in Washington, D.C., spearheaded by the Rev. Al Sharpton and his National Action Network, brought again to the surface the tension between mainstream civil rights leaders and Black youth determined to press forward for justice.
    A deep desire and demand for change was ignited by young
     Black women and men standing up against the armed, militaristic
    legions of police equipped with armaments donated
    by the Defense Dept. in Ferguson. Photos: Cartan X Mosely

    Twitter offered a running narrative of the views and analysis of young Black people who have given the Rev. Sharpton and traditional leaders a bigger and more vibrant platform than they have likely had for at least 10 years. Look back at the annual commemorations of the 1963 March on Washington and similar marches and see the small crowds, despite big bucks from labor and other groups, that were not very spirited. In many instances the gatherings may have been well-intentioned but lacked a passion and a legitimate outrage over the targeting, mistreatment and murder of Black people—women, children and men.
    Many times those marches seemed stuck in a time warp and were more like class reunions for those who could remember their heyday and the protests of the civil rights movement. The gatherings too often seemed spirited and fruitless preaching to the choir. None of those gatherings truly captured national attention—even if mainstream media offered a platform for the leaders to be seen. These protests seemed to grow more and more symbolic and more and more disconnected from the masses of Black people and real struggle.

    A deep desire and demand for change was ignited by young Black women and men standing up against the armed, militaristic legions of police equipped with armaments donated by the Defense Dept. in Ferguson, Mo., following the killing of 18-year-old Mike Brown, an unarmed Black youth, by a White police officer. Fearless young people and their true allies—like activist Anthony Shahid, Nation of Islam member James Muhammad, longtime activist Zaki Baruti and others, alongside the so-called thugs with tattoos, the sister girls with everything from fly weaves to braids, and angry older parents who came out into the streets—faced off against the police. They were tear gassed. They failed to retreat. They were besieged with smoke bombs and rubber bullets. They didn’t flinch. They were beaten. They didn’t quit.

    Their anger, their disruption, their refusal to go quietly into the night touched a raw nerve and inspired others. Thousands around the country and countless others around the world have expressed solidarity with the Black struggle. Even during a conference in Algeria, an official from Mozambique told a member of a Black Press delegation: “What is going on bro? I can’t breathe.” He was reciting the last words of Eric Garner, choked to death by New York police officers on a Staten Island street. Since people had seen the Ferguson model and were already in the streets, the Garner killing added fuel to their fire.

    But it was young Black people who put America’s deep racial hatred and even deeper hypocrisy on front street. They slept on the streets in Ferguson. They protected one another. They formed organizations and the world has responded to their leadership. A post-racial president and a racially deluded country have been forced to admit racism exists alongside deadly police brutality and murderous misconduct. Whites have been forced to look in the mirror and ask themselves, “Are we better than our fathers?”

    Non-profits and social justice groups that needed an infusion of energy and ground troops found a place where their facts, figures and research could have real meaning and use. Calls for justice and equality that had become primarily media events or media driven events were growing into a true mass movement. The traditional leaders should have been proud and embraced the children, sheltered them and uplifted them. Sadly that was largely not the case: Civil rights leaders often showed up in Ferguson and made calls from a playbook that has not been effective. They referred to the struggle of young people but didn’t recognize the young leaders. They didn’t embrace these young giants and warriors as a proud parent should and that was a failure.

    The same failure surfaced again during the Millions March in Washington, D.C., along with declarations that “the movement” didn’t start in Ferguson. That may be historically true, but the moment in Ferguson breathed life, money, focus and power into a moribund and aging movement. It put these leaders and their issues back on front street as the media, the president and the power structure tried to find someone to talk to, to explain and to control.

    But this is not the day of control, this is the days of fighting back and boldly declaring Black lives matter and there will be no business as usual. So the protests that started in Ferguson in August came to Wal-Mart and other unapproved spaces in the Nation’s Capitol in December. Young leaders and those who understand them and support them went off the approved routes and off script Dec. 13 because they are determined that there will not be business as usual. How can there be with a 12-year-old shot to death, his hysterical sister in handcuffs and his distraught mother trying to decipher what has befallen her babies?

    The rejection of young people and failure to fully embrace, respect and uplift them reflects Bible scripture and the elders among the children of Israel. A journey that could have taken 40 days took 40 years and the elders died in the wilderness. The elders did not see the Promised Land. This movement will not be stopped, nor deterred. It is on time and it is a blessing, but the old mindset and the old ways just won’t do in these times. It is a shame that so many who claim leadership cannot see a blessing and fulfillment of desires coming through Black children. This is not the time for blind leadership, nor the time for those who wish to stay with Pharaoh. It is time for our Exodus and our children will help lead it.