RIP Khalid Muhammad – Marking 15 years since his death

“Racism is everywhere and it’s institutionalised, we cannot really be racist because racism is prejudice plus power. Nothing I say up here nor anywhere in the world will impact on any white folks in this audience; on your jobs,in politics, in economics, in housing, in the society. We don’t have the power to do that, so we cannot be racist”.

Today marks the 15th year since the death of Khalid Muhammad who made this statement in 1994 on the Phil Donahue show on his definition of racism.

The black activist became prominent and a part of the Nation of Islam as the National Assistant to Louis Farrakhan.  Although, Muhammad was condemned and withdrawn from his seat by Farrakhan after a racially rebellious 1993 speech at Kean College.

In 1963, Malcolm X was also disciplined for a controversial statement on John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Stating that the “Chickens have come home to roost”. Elijah Muhammad ordered a deferral of Malcolm as spokesman for the Nation of Islam.

Muhammad later served as the National Chairman of the New Black Panther Party prior to his death in 2001 from a brain aneurysm. The party is a black political organisation but share no affiliation with the Black Panther Party founded in October 1966 by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale a year after the assassination of Malcolm X. The two were very much influenced by Malcolm’s works.

Racism in the United States contra black people extends from the Civil Rights days to contemporary society  with police brutality and fatality of unarmed black men. In response to this oppression, the Black Lives Matter activist movement was formed in 2013 protesting against the shootings and violence conducted by enforcement officers towards black people.

The movement began after the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the fatal shooting of black teen Trayvon Martin which is coming to the 4th year of his death on 26th February.