By Starla Muhammad, Assistant Editor
CHICAGO – “Don’t come to us with this lie that you’re going to retrain the police. No, you train them to do exactly what they’re doing,” said the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, speaking forthrightly during a live two-hour segment on radio station WVON1690 AM.
“You have never been a policeman to serve and protect Black people. Let’s get down to the truth,” the Muslim leader said during a June 11 broadcast on the Cliff Kelley Show.
Caucasians of Irish descent were hired as slave-catchers to apprehend Black slaves and return them to their masters and this became the origin and beginning of the American police department, the Minister explained.
“That’s why the patrol wagon was called the paddy wagon, because the Irish were the top cops. And as top cops you did not treat Black people fairly. You know this,” said Min. Farrakhan.
“What are you going to retrain them with? You can’t train a racist mind that has an attitude that we are animals, that the Black community is a jungle,” said Min. Farrakhan in his first interview at the historic Black-owned radio station in nearly two years.
“In the future, we will ask you to step out of our community because if that’s the way you think, you can’t come in here. We will police our own community, teach and train Black men how to love and respect each other and you should back us up in that because if you can’t train yours, we will train ours and you step back and let us police our own community and we’ll do a better job of it instead of sending murderers in to exact pain and retribution on us for being the children of slaves and being put in a savage state,” the Minister said.
Min. Farrakhan also had a straightforward message to Black police officers.
Three of the six police officers charged in connection with the death of Freddie Gray, an unarmed Black man in Baltimore whose passing sparked unrest, were Black. Baltimore, a predominately Black city with a majority Black police department and where the mayor, police commissioner and state’s attorney are Black, the circumstances when it comes to how Blacks are treated by police, are the same, observed Mr. Kelley. Mr. Kelley asked Min. Farrakhan, how should this be handled by Black people?
“Now if we don’t wish the wrath of God and the wrath of the community to fall on us as Black people who are on the force then we have to speak up against the evil that is happening to our people. And … we have to disengage from being evil and wicked to our own people to prove to White people that ‘we’re with you against the rise of our own people.’ The future is not good for that uniform if that evil continues,” he cautioned.
When Black police are conscious and ashamed of the uniform because that uniform is now the symbol of tyranny and oppression “then what do we do, how do we combat that?” the Minister continued. “Either we leave the force or we work within the force to correct it.”
There are good policemen and women who want to do a good job, said Min. Farrakhan. “But when evil is done to us and the ranking authorities become apologists or lie and do wicked things to hide the criminality of a so-called peace officer, when police unions don’t give a damn about the rightness or wrongness about what is going on but they take the side of the police, then where do we go?”
If Blacks are not given the redress of their grievances within law enforcement departments then what should the people do and how should they act and react? the Minister asked.
“We have witnessed all over the world when they are tired of oppression and tyranny, people don’t give a damn anymore about their lives. They’re ready to lose their life and cause the loss of much life because until we are ready to give up our lives to make lives better for those that come from us and those that will come behind us, then we’re not ready for the freedom and the justice that we seek.”
Tyranny must end and we are at that time, said Min. Farrakhan.