by Dr. Boyce Watkins
Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has grown tired of seeing black men killing one another in the streets of Chicago. Doing what others should have done long ago, Farrakhan has asked men from the Nation of Islam to march in the streets every Monday, consistently, to make a statement against the violence that is killing so many black men.
Chicago has become a national hotbed of violence, where black youth are killed regularly while walking to school or spending time with friends. In some neighborhoods, teachers are driving the kids to school in order to protect them from daily gunfire.
According to the blog of Jesse Muhammad, the Minister Farrakhan himself set out on a march this past Monday, connecting with the young men that he ran into, spreading a message of peace and prosperity. Mr. Muhammad says on his blog:
A few weeks ago, the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan announced on WVON radio that he would be leading the Fruit of Islam, the men of the Nation of Islam, into the streets. This would serve as a call to stem the crime and violence in the Black community in Chicago and throughout the America. On the evening of July 16, Minister Farrakhan hit the streets of the Windy City. Yes, walked the streets.
The Final Call’s Assistant Editor Ashahed Muhammad was on the grounds covering it. “The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan talked to many of the residents as he walked through areas of Chicago’s Auburn-Gresham neighborhood today. Many young men, like this one (pictured above), heard a strong and encouraging word from the Minister. They felt Minister Farrakhan’s genuine love,” said Ashahed Muhammad in a Facebook post.
The Nation of Islam, thus far, has been the only organization that has shown the capacity and capability to care deeply about the plight of black men in America. They present the kind of fearlessness that is missing in many of our mainstream politicians, who readily allow for the decay of black families so they can get a few more votes from white people. The NOI’s authenticity demands a kind of respect received from even the most hardened men, who appreciate the fact that they are genuine in their concern for the black community.
A friend of mine who works as a doctor in Chicago says that when she does autopsies, she finds that roughly 90% of her homicide victims are black and brown men between the ages of 15 and 30. Our children are dying by the boatload and no one is doing a thing about it. Even those politicians who don’t have the courage to march alongside Minister Farrakhan should at least make resources available to allow the Nation of Islam to use our taxpayer dollars to better serve the community.
It’s time for a new model when it comes to dealing with black-on-black violence, and it might be time to take it to the streets. Keep going Minister Farrakhan, we love and support you for what you’re doing.
Dr. Boyce Watkins is a Finance Professor at Syracuse University and author of the book, “Financial Lovemaking 101: Merging Assets with Your Partner in Ways that Feel Good.” To have Dr. Boyce commentary delivered to your email, please click here.