As part of the coverage on the Trayvon Martin case, NewsOne visited the city of Sanford, where the tragic shooting took place this past Monday. A rally led by Baltimore Pastor Jamal Bryant showcased a unified fight for justice, but according to a leader of a Black militia group, local residents are fed up with the rallies and want true justice.
NewsOne chatted with Prince Na’Jee Shaka Muhammad (pictured) Thursday morning from his base in Atlanta, and the fiery leader of the New Black Liberation Militia spoke passionately about his group’s fight for justice in the name of Trayvon Martin and other young Black persons who lost their lives by way of police and gun violence.
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NewsOne: The New Black Liberation Militia was on the front lines during the rally in Sanford, but there seemed to be differing opinions on what the people came for. Could you tell us about that?
Na’jee Shaka Muhammad: What I saw at the rally was a two-sided thing. On one end, people in the crowd wanted justice, and on the other end, you had the conservative jiggaboo Negroes go to the Justice Department to come to me because the Negroes didn’t want the New Black Panther Party in the crowd. They didn’t want the people chanting “black power” or “power to the people.” So they [police officials] came and got me, because I used to be in the Black Panther Party under Dr. Khalid Muhammad. The police and the rest wanted me to tell them to move behind the stage, but I worked it out so they stayed in the part they were at.
NO: We saw you walk over to the police when there seemed to be a bit of a dustup as Trayvon’s parents, Benjamin Crump, and Rev. Jesse Jackson came over to the stage in Fort Mellon Park. What was said at that point?
NSM: The police didn’t mess with me too much, because I was there, but I guess they figured I was able to speak to them because of my being part of the militia. There was some pushing and shoving going on, but as you saw, nothing else went down and it was peaceful.
NO: Trayvon’s case isn’t the only one that you and the militia have been passionate about. What are you doing to support and fight for the other similar cases in Sanford and across the country?
NSM: The same way we fight all of our fights. Just like we did here in DeKalb [Georgia], and we confronted the police, about seven of us. We had shotguns, AR-15s, bulletproof vests. We go down to Augusta, and we confront the commissioner. This is when I was part of the Panther Party. I asked a question, I said, Sir, are you trying to start a war between the police and the Black community? and he said no. Then I asked him again. We kept meeting and showing up, and in three weeks, he wasn’t the leader of the police anymore. But we respect police authority in our community, as long as they respect us. But that’s what we do and will continue to do.
NSM: People I talked to thought it was nothing but the same old stuff. But I think the people are ready for some radicalism. As Malcolm X once said, it’s time for a worldwide revolution. Brother Malcolm also said “the ballot or the bullet” too. My revolutionary father Dr. Khalil Abdul Muhammad would say, “Bullet or the bullet,” and I say, as the leader of the New Black Liberation Militia, It’s the bullet and the bomb. That’s what’s happening. The youth are going to run this. It’s a sense of rebellion that’s going to take place if this Travyon Martin thing don’t go right.
The New Black Liberation Militia will be staging a citywide rally in Atlanta on April 21 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. The group is also undertaking an armed protest on April 7 in the city of Sanford. To learn more about the Militia and their efforts, go here.