By Starla Muhammad
CHICAGO – As anticipation, steely determination and focus by activists, organizers and communities around the country intensifies in the preparation and planning for “Justice Or Else!”, the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, supporters of the movement argue the increased racial animus and antagonistic climate particularly toward Black Americans necessitates October’s gathering.
Unlike two decades ago, when nearly two million Black men responded to the call of atonement and reconciliation by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, the purpose of this year’s gathering is different.
On 10.10.15, Blacks, Latinos, Indigenous, Native Americans and other disenfranchised communities will converge on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., united in a universal demand for equal justice and to articulate their grievances before the most powerful nation in the world.
“We don’t have time to play with the principle of justice,” said Minister Louis Farrakhan in remarks to Felisha Monet of Miami’s WEDR 99 JAMZ radio in July during a stop on his whirlwind nationwide Justice Or Else tour.
“Justice is a principle of fair dealing. We have never been dealt fairly since our fathers set the soles of their feet in the Western Hemisphere. Neither have our Indigenous brothers and sisters called Native Americans; they haven’t been dealt with fairly. Neither have the Mexicans and so many others. So justice is what we want,” added the 82-year-old Muslim leader.
“And we’re not playing with the government of the United States of America. We are demanding what God demands of us and there definitely is an ‘Or Else’ from us. But the biggest ‘Or Else’ comes from God himself,” said Min. Farrakhan.
Why ‘another’ march?
Seemingly every day, disturbing viral videos of law enforcement encounters with Black and Brown men, woman and children are circulating online.
Cops in Stockton, Calif. recently came under fire as video of at least nine officers forcefully arresting 16-year-old Emilio Mayfield who according to reports, was simply running late to school and walked in a restricted bus lane. Police allege he uttered profanity when ordered to stop. The unarmed Black boy can be heard crying on video as he is tackled then forced and held to the ground by several officers.