The face of American extremism is undoubtedly white. But that doesn’t mean only white people can be extremists.
An Atlanta-based Black extremist group known as The Black Hammer Party has been under scrutiny recently after two of their members were charged with felonies relating to an alleged kidnapping and sexual assault in July.
Black Hammer leader Augustus Claudius Romain Jr., 36, known as Gazi Kodzo, and a top lieutenant, 21-year-old Xavier “Keno” Rushin, were both charged with kidnapping, aggravated assault, false imprisonment, and taking part in street gang activity. Romain was also charged with sodomizing another member of the organization.
According to the police, Romain locked recruits in the garage at gunpoint after they refused Romain’s orders to be in bed by 8 p.m.. Romain was also accused of sexually assaulting another victim who was locked in the garage while two other members held guns to the victims’ heads.
According to the AJC, for several months the group has been under investigation by the FBI and the Fayetteville Police Department for possible crimes ranging from weapons offenses and narcotics to kidnapping and human trafficking.
During the trial for the two members charged, Fayetteville Police Street Gang Investigator Diana Snider testified she’d been investigating the organization since they moved their headquarters from Florida to Atlanta. Snider told the court she was also contacted by the FBI, who had also opened up an investigation into the group. According to Snider, the FBI had been monitoring the group’s recruitment activities after the group was suspected of arming homeless men to serve as a security force. The group is also accused of aggressive panhandling near Woodruff Park in downtown Atlanta.
No charges have been brought against the organization, but Snider told the court the investigation is ongoing.
The Black Hammer Party was established in 2019. It is described by the Anti-Defamation League as an anti-colonial movement for Black and indigenous peoples. Their primary ideology is anti-colonialism, although they also promote far-right, antisemitic, and anti-Zionist ideas. Although the ADL didn’t specify how many active members there are, in 2020 there were at least a dozen chapters nationwide, and one in Kenya. The group is often seen armed with guns and tactical vests at rallies and public protests. The organization has also been affiliated with the right-wing hate group the Proud Boys.
Throughout history, Black organizations have always been a target of the FBI. Organizations like “The Black Panther Party” and its members were constantly targeted and harassed by the federal government.
White extremist groups have caused so much more terror within our society.
If you commit crimes whether Black or white, you should be held accountable. But white extremist groups never seem to be held to the same standard and Jan. 6 is a great example of that. White extremists tried to overthrow the government and then got to go home and tell their friends about it, while the Black ones will more than likely end up in jail.
I guess all extremists are not created equal.