by Nzinga Muhammad
Whenever a group of people are in opposition to any form of oppression, it is often labeled a “hate group”. From the Civil Rights Movement to the Nation of Islam, black people who dared to protest or resist injustice in this country have been criticized by white individuals and labeled as a hate group. The media has played a huge role in the defaming of black groups and leaders, spreading lies and false narratives to turn the masses of the people against them. It is a tactic that has resulted in the death of many of those who fought for black lives and oppressed peoples in general.
What’s interesting is that the requirement of said hate group who focuses on liberation from racial injustice, is that it is constantly being compared to white racists whose groups have been used to reinforce white supremacy. “Hate Group” when targeted towards black groups, is oftentimes used as code language for “Anti-White People.”
The notion that black people need white approval of our movements and organizations is a weak stance to be on. It says that the liberation message to free us from white supremacy has to be tainted and diluted in order to appeal to those who put us in this condition. The message of freedom, justice, and equality for black people in America (and all over the world) is an explicit tune that many do not want to hear.
The term “hate group” has such a broad spectrum placed on it, that white people have used it as a tool to say that racism can happen to anyone, which is untrue. They say that these black movements think white people are inferior to black people, so that makes them racist.
Racism is not simply believing that someone is superior because of their race. Regardless of what Webster Dictionary says, racism is actually when a group of people collectively have power to enforce their prejudices to afflict and oppress the lives of others based on race. In short, white people cannot experience racism. Prejudice sure, but not racism.
If hating injustice means hating white people, is it implied that white people are the ones responsible for injustice towards people of color? If by “hate group” it is meant that people hate injustice, tyranny, and oppression, then yes by all means they are a hate group.
Black empowerment groups are considered “terrorists” due to black people’s refusal to be silent against white supremacy. When you see people call the Nation of Islam, Black Panthers, or even the recent Black Lives Matter Movement: “The Black KKK”, they are trying to equate our cause to their white domestic terrorism. Which white person have the Nation of Islam targeted and killed? Was a wooden star and crescent ever burned on lawns? I have never seen Black Lives Matter activists orchestrate mass lynchings for white people. The truth is, that white people fear that one day we will rise up and do unto them what they have and continue to do to us.
Real hate groups have used their privilege in white America to oppress others and to uphold their system. The cry for freedom, justice, and equality for black people should not be tarnished with such false label.
(Nzinga Muhammad is based in Rochester, NY. Follow her on Twitter @QueenNzinga13)