Farrakhan’s ‘Justice or Else!’ movement coming to Atlanta

By Maynard Eaton

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Minister Louis Farrakhan, the controversial and charismatic Nation of Islam leader, defied the naysayers and a traditional media blackout to bring hundreds of thousands, if not a million, to Washington D.C. this past weekend.

It was dubbed a Justice or Else! Rally to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March.

This time, however, it was women, families and a rainbow of minorities that gathered to protest a litany of injustices and societal problems for what organizers repeatedly said was “not a moment but a movement.”

Justice or Else rally

Thousands of people ventured to Washington, D.C. over the weekend for the “Justice or Else!” rally (Photo by Monica Morgan)

Farrakhan’s next stop for his Justice or Else Movement is Atlanta. He has called for 25,000 to march on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC] to protest the use of thiomersal, a controversial mercury-based preservative used in flu vaccines and given to millions of children. Vaccines reportedly account for $25 billion in annual sales.

Farrakhan, arguably America’s most popular and perhaps most powerful black spiritual leader, will be joined at the October 24th demonstration by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and prominent Atlanta religious leader Dr. Gerald Durley. They each allege the vaccines have been engineered to destroy black youth.

“It is a silent killer that disproportionately impacts black children,” said Dr. Durley. “Our major goal is to have congressional hearings on this issue and put the pharmaceutical companies on Front Street.”

This Justice or Else rally was decidedly different from its predecessor 20 years ago primarily due to our new digital age. The massive gathering was largely ignored by the mainstream media, perhaps because of its aggressive and ominous rally call “Justice or Else.”

Louis Farrakhan

Minister Louis Farrakhan addresses the crowds attending rally to commemorate 20th anniversary of the Million Man March (Photo: CSPAN)

This event was fueled by social media that allowed the globe to participate, while preaching to the Millennials and the Hip Hop generation – the original message of unity in Black America.

In the wake of a number of police brutality incidents and the fight to end state violence in this nation, Farrakhan said the “Black Lives Matter” movement “represents future leadership” and urged Baby Boomers to pass the torch of leadership.

“I feel the cry of our ancestors,” Farrakhan said standing on the steps of the Capitol behind a bullet proof glass. “They are happy that a young generation has risen. What good are we if we don’t prepare young people to carry the torch of leadership and to walk in our footsteps? These young people are looking for fierce leadership, but leadership that cannot be bought.”

Political strategist Meredith Lilly, a young Atlanta mover and shaker, found it refreshing and revealing that women from a variety of ethnic groups were “such a huge part” of the rally. “I appreciated the fact that so many women, and particularly influential black women, were in the forefront,” she said.

Meredith Lily

Meredith Lily in Washington, D.C. attending the Justice or Else! rally (Photo: special from Meredith Lily)

Stanley Everage is a 41-year-old owner of an online broadcast operation called NBTV who says he was moved, inspired and enriched by the man he calls “the real leader of our people.”

“I didn’t see Malcolm X, and I didn’t see Martin King. Minister Farrakhan is our Malcolm and Martin,” Everage said. “He is the closest thing we are ever going to get to those two.”

While the only national civil rights leader to join Farrakhan on stage was SCLC President Dr. Charles Steele, scores of Hip Hop icons like Chuck D, Snoop Dog, Young Geezy, Puffy, Common and Russell Simmons were there to embrace him.

“Islam is the religion of Hip Hop,” said Rabb Love, who is 45. “We have evolved from the Christianity mentality. Although he is 82, Farrakhan is loved and respected by the Hip Hop culture because he has the courage and clout to say what he wants to say.”

Joy BeLynda Russaw, a seasoned intellectual, writer and philosopher, said that after Martin Luther King, Jr., “Minister Farrakhan is the greatest activist of my time. He is the modern day library on life. Wise about world issues, gifted on analyzing and problem solving. And certainly a leader on what actions need to be taken.”

Steven Muhammad is a longtime Nation of Islam devotee and influential community activist, who took three busloads of people from Atlanta to Washington for the Justice or Else event.

“Minister Farrakhan has done more to advance black people than Malcolm or Martin did when they were alive,” Muhammad argued. “Malcolm X had a relatively small following, and Dr. King was hated by many black preachers and the white establishment. Most black leaders ran from them. Once they were assassinated, their images were whitewashed.

“The Minister has had a greater impact,” Muhammad continued. “They didn’t make him, and they can’t break him, no matter what they say. Everyone you saw on the Mall on Saturday spent $100 or more to get there. Folks of all ages and hues came to get their marching orders. No other black leader could have done that twice!”

Note to readers: In the interest of full disclosure, Maynard Eaton is the national communications director for the SCLC and managing editor of the SCLC National Magazine.

Maynard Eaton

Maynard Eaton at Justice or Else! rally in Washington, D.C. – 2015 (Photo by Charles Worthen)

The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown & so many others #MillionManMarch Credit: Jasriri X

The mothers of Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sandra Bland, Michael Brown & so many others #MillionManMarch Credit: Jasriri X

Crowds at the 2015 Million Man March (Credit Ananda Leeke)

Crowds at the 2015 Million Man March (Credit Ananda Leeke)

Sign at the 2015 Million Man March (Credit Ananda Leeke)

Sign at the 2015 Million Man March (Credit Ananda Leeke)

Maynard Eaton is an award-winning journalist and media communications professional with a career spanning more than three decades in Atlanta. Eaton, a Columbia University School of Journalism grad, has parlayed his experience as a pioneering 8-time EMMY Award winning television news reporter into positions of National Communications Director for the SCLC, Managing Editor of the SCLC National Magazine, Editor & Host of NEWSMAKERS Live and President of the Eaton Media Group.

12 replies
  1. DaemeonHolmes says:

    It does a disservice to the movement to trash and talk down the movements that preceded it, in silly comparisons. It also is divisive to once again pit Christianity against Islam.
    This issue is a BLACK one, not one for those of any particular faith.
    Disappointing.Report

    Reply
  2. sadfsadf says:

    I’ll add one more – loony. It didn’t occur to the author or editor to at least challenge the conspiracy theory nonsense about vaccines in this piece?Report

    Reply
  3. yourkidding says:

    Islam is a political operation first most and receives a non-profit status from us the taxpayer.  I think the IRS needs to look into this group for practicing polticis.Report

    Reply
  4. dkscully says:

    yourkidding if you truly believe that’s the case, the IRS should look into countless christian church organizations who do not pay taxes but have somehow, in some cases, instituted biblical law across the country.Report

    Reply
  5. yourkidding says:

    dkscully yourkidding  I did look into it and most Christan Churches report their non-profit status and stay out of politics.  This is not the case with this group.  Go try and find their non-profit tax reports.Report

    Reply

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