[Publisher’s note: This is the first installment of three parts total]
Brother Jesse (BJ): It’s interesting that we have seen protests where there are Black people who have done and said various chants and have said things against the police, but I have never really seen the police move against those Black people who may have guns. I have seen and we have seen, over this last year in particular, where young people have pulled out their phones in an effort to video tape police misconduct. They have been pepper sprayed, they have been hit with rubber pellets, they have been arrested, they have been harassed, some have been put in jail for extensive periods of time and given no reason as to why they’re being detained. You have people who have been openly threatened on social media by law enforcement to the point where law enforcement is utilizing social media in their “playbook” to go against protesters. So it’s obvious that: Yes, the open carry gun law is in effect in Texas, but I think it shows that they’re more concerned with the weaponry of young people with their phones, which is exposing the corruption; not that it has not been going on, but now it’s not being easily swept under the rug. It can be easily uploaded to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so the open carry of Smartphone, I believe is a bigger threat than an open carry of an AK-47.
EM: Recall Minister Farrakhan’s message on November 29, 2015 when he stated, “We can show you how to use social media”. In what ways does the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan desire us to use social media and what are the benefits of doing so?
BJ: The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has instructed us that we should use social media to raise the level of conversation and consciousness of the masses of the people. He said we should use it for the passing of knowledge, the creation of bonds and brotherly love. Also for the spreading of wisdom that will elevate people one degree higher. He also believes and has taught us and has instructed us that when we engage people in debate and conversation we shouldn’t get down in the gutter with them, we should not attack people personally, but that we should respond with high intelligence and with the best of arguments we’re taught in the Holy Quran. In following those instructions we have found that we have had great success in doing that. The reason the Minister said, as Jay-Z said, “We can show you how to do this son”, is because the Minister has guided a social media army to do all kinds of things without a financial budget that many with millions of dollars have not been able to achieve. You’re talking about a social media movement, under Minister Farrakhan, that has been trending not only nationally but globally on multiple occasions without buying ads, without spreading gossip, without spreading filth and it didn’t have anything to do with a reality show.
Every time he was trending and the Farrakhan Twitter Army has been trending, it was always rooted in the truth. We call it Truth Trafficking. Also, you’re talking about people all around the world that has been introduced to the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan that have not heard him before, and he has proven that his wisdom that has been transmitted via social media has impacted countless people online that it has started movements and conversations. It has even made headlines to the point that mainstream media has taken tweets from Minister Farrakhan and have turned them into shows. So yes he can show you, because when you follow the Farrakhan social media playbook it puts you in the position to maximize the weaponry in your hand.
I believe that we have gotten so caught up in America’s push for individualism and this individualistic mindset that we’re so caught up in our Selfie Olympics, our Facebook rostrums and our own self aggrandizement and praise. We just talk about ourselves and pump products to people, but the Minister is so beautiful that he engages people in questions and answers on Twitter and Facebook. It’s not about “I”, it’s about service. It’s such a beautiful thing, and the man has certainly made an impact on social media that is so historic. So I don’t care if no one else acknowledges it, I am a witness that the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan has changed the course of social media and has impacted young people and people in general all around the world.
EM: Can you speak more about the Farrakhan Twitter Army and how we engage in social media warfare with various campaigns on behalf of Minister Farrakhan, whether to defend him or in doing things on the offense?
BJ: Absolutely, and I’m glad you said the word offense, because the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad teaches us and Minister Farrakhan reminded us that a people cannot win their freedom being on the defense all of the time. They must at some point go on the offense. People say defense wins games, but if you don’t put the ball in the basket or get that football across the goal line, nobody is going to win. So offense is very important. It makes me think about this too – I was reading in the Bible recently where it talks about the gates of hell coming against Peter, which Jesus said, “On this rock I build my church”. He was talking about Peter. And I read in the footnotes of those who translated this, God help them, they tried their best as Minister Farrakhan says (laughs), but they said that it was not that the gates of hell would not come against, but it was to the point at that point in time the disciples the apostles of Christ were on the offense against the gates of hell. So that doesn’t mean they were sitting back waiting for the attack. They were going out and meeting the opposition. Therefore, with social media and your Tweetdecks and the apps, we’re able to see what people are saying against Minister Farrakhan, but even more now we’re in the position to spread our message and control the narrative.
During The Time and What Must Be Done lecture series on YouTube, the Minister had already been on social media for over two years and he did a historic #AskFarrakhan social media townhall meeting in 2012. That went all around the world and set a trend of people who started doing their own Q&A’s on Twitter. No coincidence. From there he said, “It looks like we raised an army out there”. And I said, “Yeah! The Farrakhan Twitter Army”. From there and with The Time And What Must Be Done, for 58 consecutive weeks we were trending nationally and world-wide without the assistance of anyone, without a marketing budget investor, no corporate sponsor, no celebrity endorsement, but just Minister Farrakhan’s weekly one-hour broadcast and our fingers blazing with our open carry Smartphones.
So with us trending like that, Sister Ebony, I was told by a brother who works in Silicon Valley, that the way we have Minister Farrakhan trending 32 consecutive weeks – companies invest over a quarter of a million dollars to get that type of trending and advertising on Twitter. And I thought to myself, “Wow, what is it about the world that Minister Farrakhan inspires us in our minds and hearts that gets our fingers moving like that? It gets us so excited that it becomes a trending topic not just on Twitter but in the hearts and minds of people!”. That’s the key. The Time And What Must Be Done was historic, and there’s so many other examples.
I want to go ahead and fast forward immediately to 10.10.15, the Justice Or Else gathering in D.C. Starting back in April  the Minister announced that we were going back to D.C. and said, “It’s justice…or else!” From that time we set up the Facebook page, the Twitter account and the beauty of it is that we didn’t have to try to get ready or get momentum. We already had momentum through the social media army that Minister Farrakhan raised, so we just plugged it in to the system we had already set up. So here we are going into D.C. months later. Mainstream media is quiet about it. Nobody is talking about it at all in mainstream media. The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan was criss-crossing this country on the Justice Or Else tour, and he had his social media army backing him up. The articles that are reporting are from The Final Call Newspaper. So on 10.10.15 no one really knows what to expect, because this was not sponsored by Coca Cola. It wasn’t sponsored by Microsoft and it definitely wasn’t sponsored by Apple. It wasn’t sponsored by no dang alcohol company and we didn’t have any major celebrity endorsers that were on the road really pushing it hard. Yes, there were many rappers that took pictures with Minister Farrakhan and posted them. There were a couple of artists that posted the hashtag #JusticeOrElse on their Instagram, but we’re talking about consistent promotion, grinding to push people to go to D.C. Man please! It wasn’t there, fully.
So now [in D.C.] we look up, and they [mainstream media] have reported that there were 800,000 to 1.5 million people who attended! The Twitter Army is buzzing that day! We had Minister Farrakhan trending worldwide at 9a.m. when the gathering started and he wasn’t scheduled to come out until 1p.m.! So we were already trending on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram AND Snapchat! We already had social media on lock. Who did that? It was Minister Farrakhan that raised up this social media army, that we were on deck on the Capitol Mall under a tent, but also those who were sprinkled throughout the crowd and those who were watching around the country and the world. It was shown in stats that we reached millions of people with those tweets. So many people viewed worldwide in five different languages, but that social media has such an impact to the point where Minister Farrakhan said this, “Social media has allowed us to catapult over mainstream media”. To the point, Sister Ebony, that on the Justice Or Else tour that Minister Farrakhan locked out mainstream media. They wanted to come in. They got locked out like the Miami Herald. They couldn’t get inside to write an article, so they wrote their article based upon the tweets of the Farrakhan Twitter Army! See! That’s to let people know that the real weapon today is that phone we’ve got in our hands. That’s why I say, humbly, that there’s no such thing as a digital divide, it’s all in how we’re using our digital access. That’s why Farrakhan says, “We can show you how to do this”. We can show you how to utilize your access to generate power to create real change.
EM: Absolutely POWERFUL!
In war or any form of combat, we can observe the state of mind and skill set of the one fighting. We can distinguish the trained from the untrained. The disciplined from the undisciplined. In order to properly engage in any form of warfare, in this case social media warfare, what mindset does one need to be in and what does that look like?
BJ: Well first the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan says that, “We’re at war and if you don’t know that we’re at war, you first need to be raised in consciousness that we’re at war so that you can effectively participate in it”. People can’t engage in a war that they don’t even know is going on. I think sometimes in the midst of us using it [social media] for fun and entertainment and for frivolity, we may not grasp the fact that we’re in the midst of an information warfare. There is a battle, as Minister Farrakhan has said, between God and Satan over the space between our ears. First, you have to be raised in consciousness. Once you are aware that you are at war, you first need to study what are the resources at your hand. You have your Twitter, you have your Facebook, you have your blog, you have your website, you have your Instagram page, your Snapchat. How are you going to decide to engage the minds that you have influence over? It doesn’t matter whether you have five followers or five friends on social media or five million. The question is what are you doing with your sphere of influence? Where are you shepherding your followers to? Where are you leading them to? What are you re-tweeting? What are you re-sharing? What videos are you clicking on that the enemy is tracking you and studying your appetite and your habits online?
We have to ask ourselves this question, because some people like to say that it’s really no big deal, it’s just social media. Really? Why don’t you ask that question to the enemy who is allowing the Library at Congress to document our tweets in D.C.? Why would they do that? Because it’s a part of history. Why is there, with all of these terroristic shootings – I know they like to call them mass shootings, but it’s really domestic terrorism to us – but why is it that before they go to the suspects home or have a press conference they actually start looking at their social media pages? Because they have understood that in this warfare, people give up so much information freely on social media. They know that they probably have a lot of ammo to get their suspect, to take down a criminal or to incriminate people or put trumped up charges on someone. Therefore, if the enemy has recognized that this is a tool of warfare, then we need to wake up and see that this is not a game. It’s been their plan. That’s why many of the activists from Ferguson got leaked reports from different law enforcement agencies on the Federal and local state level that they were actually tracking their Twitter accounts constantly! You see? So why would they take the time to have that in a report that this person tweeted, “This is who you need to look out for”. These are not people that have a gun, they don’t have any weapons of mass destruction, they don’t have any nuclear laboratory and many of them probably couldn’t get a thousand people to show up at an event, but what they’re saying is that because they’ve got several thousand Twitter followers and they’re using it effectively to sway opinion and to sway conversation, they said that’s dangerous! That’s why we have to recognize that this is not a play thing.
We’ve watch them strip Minister Farrakhan of hundreds of thousands Twitter followers. We’ve watched them strip down his Facebook fans count. You know we’ve seen his page get attacked. We’ve seen many in our Twitter Army get locked out, their Twitter account got blocked and had to start new ones. We see now that many people have been re-sharing Minister Farrakhan’s words then all of a sudden their Facebook pages are getting flagged. But you have all these pages spreading pornography, all this foolishness and filth and degradation, they don’t do anything to these pages. However, when people are utilizing these tools right they seem to get attacked.
Don’t you know, Sister Ebony, Minister Farrakhan said from the Honorable Elijah Muhammad that opposition is as vital and necessary as Sun and water! Therefore, when you’re doing right by these tools you should expect opposition. We don’t trip about them coming at us. We welcome it and we accept it. Minister Farrakhan also said, “If you don’t have any opposition in your life then you’re not doing anything of significance”.
Therefore, if you’ve been one of those on social media who have been attacked, harassed, who have been reported, who has been followed at protest, who has been filmed, who has been put on camera, who has been put in jail, just know you’re doing something significant with your social media tools and we encourage you to keep doing that, why? Because information is warfare.
EM: How was/is Justice Or Else an act of war? Describe what you saw during the tour; in various settings and how Minister Farrakhan engaged various mindsets; his critics, us as followers, the Hip Hop artists, clergy, the Indigenous, women, and the general public.
BJ: I love this so much…This young generation. You know the call of Justice Or Else was the call that they flocked to. One of the first acts of war that Justice Or Else did was it cleared the deck of negro, cowardliness, scared to death leaders. When Minister Farrakhan said that [Justice Or Else] publically, people weren’t worried about booking their flights yet or their hotels or how they were going to get there or what t-shirt are we going to print, they weren’t calling to be a part of the strategy committee. Most of them were asking, “What does the ‘or else’ mean?” The young people were like, “We don’t’ have to ask what the ‘or else’ is, let’s just ride and find out”! So the first thing it did was it cleared the deck. It pruned the tree.
Minister Farrakhan said it so beautifully in what we call our green book. You know Ghdafi had a green book; we have a green book as well called The Restrictive Law Of Islam. In that book Minister Farrakhan talks about the pruning of a tree and he said at a certain time the tree has so many branches with leaves that no sunlight is getting down to the roots of the tree. So a skilled gardener knows how to prune a tree just right and you have to cut off the dead branches, the dead leaves. You have to untwine the branches that have gotten stuck together by circumstance and situations and environment. So when you can finally prune the tree, then sunlight can properly shine and hit the root of that tree, which gives birth to new life. Well Justice Or Else pruned the tree. The negro leaders got cut off. They had to be. Why? Because they were blocking the young people from the real Sunlight which is the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, himself. They had to be moved. These different strategies, these different ways, these different platforms that are a falsity and not helping us in our forward motion as a people. The tree had to be pruned, so Justice Or Else showed everybody to be who they really are.
That’s why on the [Justice Or Else] tour Minister Farrakhan didn’t just speak to people at the main rallies. Here’ a man that was speaking sometimes five to six times in one day in one city! It was one city he spoke in eleven times in about four to five days. Then, there was another time when he spoke he had pneumonia, but nobody could seem to stop him from going. He just kept on working. Also some of the most beautiful moments I witnessed on the Justice Or Else tour was when the Minister addressed the Hip Hop community and the youth. I’m here to tell you, he had the young people so animated and captivated by his words and his spirit and his energy and his guidance and his genuine love that they felt. The Hip Hop artists; they were so touched and magnetized by the Minister that one thing that’s different about this tour than other tours that the Minister’s been on, we’ve never seen so many people post so freely that they met with Minister Farrakhan! Usually people do it in the night, in the back door; you didn’t even know they met with him. But now with social media, particularly Instagram, these artists were excited to share with their millions of followers that they met with Farrakhan. What did that do? If I’m a young person that’s into Young Thug, that’s into 2 Chainz, that’s into Eminem, that’s into Birdman, that’s into all these other artists, that’s into Young Jeezy, and I as a young person may not know Farrakhan, but if my favorite artist is saying, “I’m down with Farrakhan”, it makes young people want to find out more about Farrakhan. Ah man that’s warfare! Just via an Instagram picture!
So the tour was amazing and that’s why we coined it the “Divine Grind”, because this generation loves to talk about we’re grinding. However, sometimes, let’s be honest, some of us are like that rat that’s in the cage in that wheel. Yeah, that rat really looks like he’s grinding and running, but he ain’t going nowhere! But Minister Farrakhan, I’ve watched him, his staff, his security E-Team; I’ve watched the daily agenda and his constant forward motion. There’s not a lot of down time. There’s not a lot of lax, side or weak conversations or dealing, because we’re so grounded and serving a man that’s constantly about his work! There’s not a lot of idle time, because everybody is so focused on the Mission at hand.
The tour was serious and it was a blessing to be a part of that, and to watch the result of the tour come into fruition at 10.10.15. You got a chance and we got a chance to see the impact that Minister Farrakhan has on humanity across ALL lines; from the Veterans, to women, Native Americans but the most people we saw on the Mall that day was young people, college students, high school students, middle school students! Who is Farrakhan that without any media promotion, no corporate backing, most of the negro leaders just about all abandoned him? Nobody was side-by-side with him touring. We had our strong brother Pastor Jamal Bryant. We had our sister Tamika Mallory. We had the Carmen Perez. We had the Mysonne, New York Justice League. We had plenty organizations. Sister Yonasda and Brother Abel working, our Native and Indigenous people. Yet, at the end of the day Minister Farrakhan said we have to give the credit to God for that. It was only Him Who could touch the hearts of the people to show up that day at the call of Minister Farrakhan on behalf of his Teacher, the Most Honorable Elijah Muhammad. So that day was amazing to me! And then mainstream media said ,”Wait a minute, how did he do this?” (laughs) We can show you how to do it! (laughs) That’s what he said! It’s just a beautiful thing.
I watched people post their top stories of 2015. These were Black men, news reporters. Then, I chuckled because everybody seems to act like a man didn’t make a call and 800,000 to 1.5 million people showed up in D.C.; people seem to act like that didn’t happen. It doesn’t matter though, why? Because we controlled the narrative leading up to 10.10.15 and by God’s grace we’re still controlling the narrative and that’s why Justice Or Else is not a moment it’s a movement.
Part 2 of 3 forthcoming!