The city of Ferguson, Missouri, has been a flashpoint for protests across the US since the killing of Mike Brown, an unarmed black teenager shoot by a white police officer last year. And ironically the state of Missouri had deep roots in racial conflicts. Once a nation segregated and dominated by race and color, America seems to have come a long way from the days of the slave trade. But now led by a black African American President, has America really changed or is it merely a delusional façade? In this documentary, Press TV’s very own Marziye Hashemi has gone to Ferguson, Missouri to look into long-standing racial tensions in the United States.
Narration: On May 5, 1961 American astronaut Alan Shepard piloting the first U.S. manned mission into space. American's looked up to the skies with optimism of discovering new horizons, new possibilities. Well some American's anyway. Because at the same time there of this hope for some, there was despair for many who had a different reality. It was a society of Black and White, stark contrasts of a segregated society. Separate but definitely not equal. What do we aspire for when we brag about conquering space but at the same time want to conquer and rule over others? Who are we when we are proud of going towards the stars but continue to create havoc on earth? No other species on earth except mankind, treat their own the way we do. Until it was decided by the people that it was time for a change. Blacks started to strike and take to the streets to try to bring about the more equal society.
(SINGING AND CHANTING) Freedom, freedom, freedom, freedom
SOUNDBITE [English] Martin Luther King: “We will be able to work together, pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day. We will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, Free at Last, Free at Last, Thank God Almighty, we are Free at Last.”
Narration: Ultimately Dr. King was able to get the Civil Rights Act signed by the president and around 50 years later it would lead to having a Black president in the White house. So, was King’s dream achieved?
Narration: Missouri, a state which was not only a slave state, but was the last one to outlaw slavery. A state of historical significance because though it was a slave state, it bordered free regions, Missouri, a state where St Louis and Ferguson are located. Missouri, like other parts of the country was built on the backs of black slaves, who provided the labor for the new land but who definitely did not share in its opportunities. And speaking of slaves, are you familiar with the story of Dred Scott, who was the symbol of black resistance in the past?
Interesting Dred Scott, you now have a main street in your name. Actually it is near the courthouse where you contested being a slave in 1857. Remember, remember walking up these steps and thinking what would come? Will they decide in your favor? Will you be considered a human being? Will they give you the freedom that God had given you but the White man had taken away? You were going up against a system, a system which believed in the superiority of Whites. But you insisted on your rights, to be free even based on their own laws. But would they be fair. Could they give you the freedom that you deserve? How does it feel Dred Scott to be facing your enemies and to have your fate of freedom being in their hands?
TIME CODE: 06:00_10:00
Voices [English]: “Everyone please rise for the honorable judge to take his seat. This court will come to order. Scott is suing his owner Mr. Sanford to be a free man.
I own Dred Scott. He is my slave. He is a Negro and he has no rights.
Why can’t I be free. I lived in a free state and according to the law, I am not a slave.
We worry every day that maybe our owner will sell one of us and divide our family. I have kids. Why can’t we live like all of you.
But you are not like us. You are a Negro and according to the US Supreme Court, a Negro can’t sue because he is not considering a citizen. You have no rights that a White man has to respect.
(background) I can’t believe this, how can they do this to us”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “Your mom made that?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Deran Havard, Witness of Michael Brown’s killing: “Yea, uh huh, she just made this. He wound up, as you can see the dark spot I think it is right here. You see this is the spot here where his head was lying. The truck was park about right here.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “Okay we know what they are saying. Did you say that Mike put his hands in the air?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Deran Havard, Witness of Michael Brown’s killing: “He had them basically like this.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “He had his hands up?”
TIME CODE: 10:00_15:00
SOUNDBITE [English] Deran Havard, Witness of Michael Brown’s killing: “Right! He had his hands up. After he hit him there is when he turned and looked like …, I’ve been shot. Standing right there, the man had his hands; he didn’t have them all the way in the air but shoulder level, in the air. He didn’t have the all the way up but he was like okay you got me. When he stepped up there and he said get down and because Mike was coming forward, he shot him. He was murdered. The prosecuting attorney gave a description and if you listen to him he was talking more as a defense lawyer not a prosecuting attorney. His father, the prosecutor, was killed by a black man. We knew from Jump Street that that man was not going to be prosecuted. His mother stood right there, where the tape is there and around. She had to watch her son laying in the street, in the heat for 4 and a half hours.”
Narration: He is one of the many eye witnesses who said that the killing of Mike Brown was murder and that Mike had his hands in the air. However, there were no cameras rolling to capture the actual moment when Mike was killed. But cameras were rolling here, though it seems surreal, where another Black man was executed. In the killing of Blacks by police, rarely is anyone indicted for murder. Also in the case of Mike Brown, his killer Darren Wilson was never charged. Brown is dead and Wilson became a millionaire from contributions by some Whites. Some of these same people showed their support for police by putting up signs, I Love Ferguson.
SOUNDBITE [English] Barack Obama, President of US: “You can’t just charge him anyways just because what happened was tragic. That was the decision that was made and I have complete confidence and stand fully behind the decision that was made by the Justice Department on that issue.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Azim Kennedy Holt, Activist: “Make absolutely sure that any president that is ever elected, was not elected by the people. He was picked by the private organizations, the corporations. He has to take care of them. He doesn’t have to take care of you.”
Narration: Though Blacks continue to be targets of police brutality, this does not stop them from trying to organize to fight against this oppression. One such group is this one near Ferguson. They concentrate on resistance and education as the key to their liberation.
SOUNDBITE [English] Yahha, Activist and Artist: “I de-hypnotize the masses that have been put to sleep by constant hypnotic suggestions by the systems’ strategically constructed silent weapons that electro magnetically attracts our eyes and glue them to the television. Ears are tune into radios frequencies permeating, confusing negative energies. Conjuring visions that tell lies to our minds. Seducing commercials that masterfully advertise. Subliminally appealing to the third eye. Grabbing our attention and feeding our desire to buy, buy, buy.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Azim Kennedy Holt, Activist: “My father and his family were the victims of the riots in East St Louis in 1917. Slave name was Katherine. I was named after my grandmother who died getting across the river with her children on a raft. The system helps breed segregation and racism. We cannot be blind and ignorant to racism. It is here. We are not wild animals, but we have been domesticated and bred in such a manner that we don’t have the ability to stand up for what is right. So I don’t see how working within the system is going to bring a change. I think we have to develop a whole new approach.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “You think what? What came to your mind?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Azim Kennedy Holt, Activist: “Fear. I have grandsons. I made it through with my husband and brothers. But I have grandsons. I had daughters. I had asked God to give me daughters. I didn’t want them to face what I saw Black men face. Now I have grandsons. It struck fear. Then it made be angry, angry to do something. I’m looking at the police all the time over my soldier. I don’t feel safe.”
TIME CODE: 15:00_20:00
SOUNDBITE [English] Brittae Grayross, Activist: “Two types of people that I worry about when I’m walking the streets. There is the criminal and the police. With a criminal, I know, I can defend myself, but with the police, I know even if I try to defend myself, I will be killed.”
SOUNDBITE [English] News Report: “That’s when two officers split off to take Cohen into custody. While another 4 continued to struggle with the man in the video shows the officers trying to hold the man down. Then you hear a teaser being fired and then suddenly at least 5 shots at extremely close range.”
SOUNDBITE [English] people: “Whoa, Oh my God.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Brittae Grayross, Activist:“It is so strong the hate, the hate for Black life, for Black men, for Black people.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “So when you saw for example, Mike Brown being killed?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Brittae Grayross, Activist:“I saw myself. I saw myself. Just him laying there in the middle of the streets those 4 and half hours. I saw myself. Dead in the street.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Kiarra Lentsmith, Activist and Painter: “When the Michael Brown incident and Eric Garner and all of that happened. I didn’t expect a reaction. Like, when people were protesting, that’s when I joined in. It was ironic because the night of the indictment there was a man who said do you think he will be indicted. I told him no he is not going to be indicted. If you read a history book, you know he is not going to be indicted and nobody would be going to prison anytime soon. So many people don’t know how a lack of their history affects them. Harriet Tubman trying to free enslaved Africans. She could only help free some. The rest are like I am too scared, I'm not going anywhere. Why don’t you give yourself the best, so you can give it to your children. Okay, the schools are closing down. We have carpenters in our communities. We could just build a school. We have teachers there. We could have them teach at the schools. We have to get to a point where we see the resources and talent that we have and just used them. Because I have been in a lot of groups and all they do is talk, talk, talk about the money. I don’t know how many millions, billions of Black people. Each of them give a dollar. Get together, set out a plan. Say you do this, you do this. It’s done.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Fred Hamptonm, Black Panther Party Chairman, 1969: “So we say, we always say in the Black Panthers Party that they can do anything they want to us. We might not be back. I might be in jail. I may be anywhere. But when I leave you remember I said these last words on my lips. That I am a revolutionary and you are going to have to keep on saying that.”
Narration: Fred Hamptonm was a 21- year-old chairman at the Illinova Black Panthers; the black Panthers party was striving for the independence of blacks and implement many social programs.
SOUNDBITE [English] Fred Hamptonm, Jr, The Son of Fred Hampton: “December 4, 1969, that was 45 years ago. Chicago police came in Illinois phone trucks. They blocked the entire block off. An pull occupants from inside of their homes.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “My name is Akua Njeri, formally known as Deborah Johnson. I am the widow of Chairman Fred Hampton.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “Can you run me through exactly what happened?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “Well on the night of December 3, someone came in to the room and started shaking the Chairman. They said Chairman wake up the pigs are ramping.
The pigs had knocked on the front door. Mark Clark said who is there. The response came back Tommy, Mark Clark said Tommy who, they said Tommy Gun and kicked the door in and just started shooting .
I saw bullets coming from what look like the front of the apartment, from the kitchen area. I could see like sparks going in front of the doorway, like shots. .I could smell cordite from all the gunshots. Our bed was vibrating like this. They kept hollering out, stop shooting, stop shooting, we have a pregnant sister here. At the time I was 8 ½ to 9 months pregnant. My baby would be delivered in 2 weeks.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Fred Hamptonm, Jr, the Son of Fred Hampton: “The pregnant sister was my mother to be, then Deborah Johnson, now AJ. She was 8 ½ months pregnant with me at the time.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “Anybody that has been under gunshots, know that 5 minutes is 5 hours. And I found out later that this whole assassination took 15 minutes.”
TIME CODE: 20:00_25:00
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “I heard the pigs say that he is barely alive. He will barely make it. They started shooting again. I heard a sister scream. They stop shooting. The pigs said he is good and dead now. The pigs were running around laughing. They were really happy saying that Chairman Fred was dead. I never saw Chairman Fred again. I remember saying to myself in my head, you better not stumble, you better not fall, because they will shoot you and say that you were trying to get a gun. So I'm trying to walk and I'm very pregnant. I was coming out and there were 2 lines of pigs that I had to walk through. One of them grab my robe open and they started laughing said what you know we got a broad here and slung me into the kitchen area.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Edward V. Hanrahan, Cook County State’s Attorney: “As soon as Sergeant Daniel Gross and Officer James Davis, who were leading our men, announced their office, occupants of the apartment attacked them with shotgun fire. The officers immediately took cover. The occupants continued firing at our policemen from several rooms in the apartment. Thereafter Sgt Gross, three times, ordered all of his men to cease firing and told the occupants to come up with their hands up. Each time, one of the occupants replied “shoot it out” and continued firing at the police officers.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton:“People came through the apartment because they didn’t believe the reenactment that the State’s attorney Edward Harahan was doing where he talked about his police officers, his brave police who were met with a barrage of gun fire from the vicious Black Panthers and people lines up all around the block to come and see and through the state’s own sticks. They put these sticks in the hole and through the trajectory of the bullets, they could see that 90 percent of them were aimed at the head of where Chairman Fred slept.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Edward V. Hanrahan, Cook County State’s Attorney: “The account that we made public yesterday is a detailed explanation of what happened in that apartment. I stand wholeheartedly behind it as absolutely accurate.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Journalist: “There is one inconsistency and well for example…”
SOUNDBITE [English] Edward V. Hanrahan, Cook County State’s Attorney: “I do not intend to quibble about that account.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Journalist: “Even if It is the truth?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Edward V. Hanrahan, Cook County State’s Attorney: “The account that we gave of the events is the truth.”
SOUNDBITE [English] BobMc Culloch, Prosecutor in Michael Brown Case: “After an exhaustive review of the evidence, the Grand Jury deliberated over two days, making their final decision. They have determined that no probable cause exist to fire any charges against Officer Wilson. Returned a No-True bill on each of the five indictments.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Voice of Police Officer: “You need to get out of the street immediately.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Barack Obama, US President: “For those of you who are watching tonight, understand there is never an excuse for violence particularly when there a lot of people of good will out there who want to work on these issues.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Richard Nixon at Police Academy Graduation: “I am honored to be here, break into your graduation ceremony, to reassure you and all the men in law enforcement throughout the country of the support you have at the very highest levels of government for your work.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “Back then, we called it police brutality but an appropriate term for it is “police terrorism” because as mothers, we don’t know if we send our children to the store, if they are going to come back or not or if they will be shot.”
TIME CODE: 25:00_30:00
Narration: 18 Years old Vonderitt Meyers who went to the store near his home to buy a sandwich, but he would never make it back home as he was shot 8 times by police outside of the store. Police say he was carrying a gun. Eyewitnesses say he had a sandwich in his hand. No one was tried for his murder. Vonderitt’s name was added to the many others who have been recently shot by police. I wanted to talk to Voderitt’s parents, but between police and demonstrate, it was very difficult to do.
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “I am standing here with Mr. and Mrs. Myers who recently loss their 18 year old son. First of all, my condolences for your loss. How many children do you have? That’s your only son. Your only child. I am really sorry to hear that.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Protesters: “We’re gonna shut the “shit” down.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Jerryl Christmas, Myers Family Attorney: “They just killed him. To this day, the police still cannot articulate a reason why they stopped Vonderitt and his friends. There were no reason for him to stop him. There was no reason for them to stop him. Jason Flattery initiated that stop and went on to kill him and blame it on him. Vonderitt was executed, because he was down and unable to move when he was shot in the head. The police department had said that they don’t see the need for charges to be issued. Of course they are going to say that because they are investigating themselves.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Protesters: “I, I believe, I believe that we will win.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “When they trick us into believing, “I am the solution” If you elect me, you will all be free. It’s a bunch of garbage. From the alderman to the president and you know what people say, once we get a Black president, things will be …. Now the highest office in the land, the president when did he addressed the issue of race, I mean for beating up on Black men for not being fathers. When did he address it? Ferguson , Ferguson, when the whole world had to address it.”
Narration: As violence and oppression continue against Blacks, some American's have mobilized to say they won’t stand for this any longer. From Ferguson to Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Baltimore and beyond, Americans are demonstrating. They are blocking streets, having die in and overall taking to the streets and to try to bring what they call police terror to an end.
Others have rallies and meetings trying to educate the masses as to the reality on the ground. At the University of Chicago, activists say they want the US government to be charged with genocide for crimes that it has committed against Black American's.
SOUNDBITE [English] Young Black boy: “American police kill a Black person every 28 hours. American police kill a black person every 28 hours while imprisoning and assassinating our civil rights warriors who fight against these same crimes. The state is responsible for torturing and displacing indigenous people which violate spiritual, physical and sexual assault, along with poisoning all of our ecosystems. Rape is the second highest crime committed by police. Five hundred people tasered to death in the US, over 12 thousand human lives lost to police genocide. We employ this committee to seek redress for these extrajudicial, state sanctioned executions, electrocutions, murders and other crimes documented in our reports. We charge torture. We charge genocide.”
TIME CODE: 30:00_35:00
SOUNDBITE [English] Young Black girl: “My brother and best friend was really battered and heavily damage by the Chicago Police Department. The result of such damage left half of his face unrecognizable. His tongue barely attached to his mouth. 22 stitches, facial fractures, bruised ribs, scrapes all over his body. I'm here to charge torture for my brother. We are here to charge torture and genocide.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Theodore Defen, Victim of Police Brutality: “I suppose they were doing this a while. It has been going on for a while. They were extorting 25 percent of my money. And I said that I wasn’t going for that so they would harassed me. They have raped me in my house and videotaped me.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “You are walking with a walker now?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Theodore Defen, Victim of Police Brutality: “I walk with a walker now because my legs have been beat when I’m sleeping. I have more than a thousand bruise marks on my body. Every time I would try to put something on paper to make a report, they would break into my house, cut my hair and they say this is my imagination. It is a complete system of destroying other people. They try to make people slaves for them. I show. I have picture of it or I showed the doctor and the FBI. They first laughed at me. I told him what they did to me and they said it didn’t happened and that I was crazy. But you can look at my belly and see that it has.”
Narration: This has become a scene in the black community, here is another mother who has lost her child and shows me where her son was killed. Murder, poverty, and despair has become the norm.
SOUNDBITE [English] Marziyh Hashemi, Host: “So you say that he died here.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Mother of a victim: “Yea”
Narration: Another example of this despair is the singer and rapper, Harvey Shaw, who lost his 17- year old brother who was killed by police.
SOUNDBITE [English] Harvey Shaw, Musician: “So right now, like I said we are going through South St Louis. Headed on the Cherokee area, on Cherokee right now and State Street area, where you have plenty much it is a blend of different races. It is also on every single State Street down here, it is also another sect, another gang sect. And you have a lot of Hispanics and African American's here, in this area down here. And about south St Louis, after about 1 o’clock, there is a curfew. And that’s for all the people over there especially for young, Black males. If you out on foot, even if you are at the gas station, they call on those “jump out “boys in those SUV’s or them vans and if you are out there, that’s subject to arrest. And really what they are looking for is warrants. If you don’t have warrants, they probably are going to search you. And if you’ve gotta cigarillo, that’s paraphanelia. Some reason they gonna have to incarcerate you.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Harvey Shaw, Musician: “Well, I got a phone call from my Daddy. That was in 2002. I picked up the phone. And there was something different in his tone and I could just hear it. They got Stanley. What do you mean they got Stanley. Who got Stanley? Police, they killed him. I just remember it felt like somebody just took my whole heart and pushed up against my stomach. And it was like, what you gonna do about it? This is the life that you know you are living in. Now, it has hit your little brother. All I could see what was that big ole’ smile that he had on his face. Never was a negative person. Always was smiling and laughing. Now, he is gone off the face of the earth. That somebody willingly took the life of my brother. That someone was law enforcement. They declared war so publicly and so intensely on the young Black male, across America.”
TIME CODE: 35:00_40:00
SOUNDBITE [English] Harvey Shaw, Musician: “And it was so visible of how they let him just lay in the street. Like we are gonna show you. We are going to let you soak this in, young Black man, that we are here to annihilate you. We are here to destroy you.
A police officer is a 2014, go back in 1714 and he was called an overseer and now he is called an officer. One had a whip, now this one has a gun. The whip would just get you back into chains. And If you talk after that, you get hung, you get castrated. Now, you are just dead. They don’t even want you around because they figure you survived through all that torture and you still out here. We are just gonna kill you now. That’s the picture that’s getting painted. This is not my system. This is not good for my system. This system is not good for anybody’s system created or designed to have any type of love inside of them. This system is designed in a way that you are either going to get aboard the hate train or you are going to get annihilated. And they are making that very clear.”
SOUNDBITE [English] The late Malcolm Shabazz, Grandson of Malcolm X: “I don’t have any fear from any reprisals from the government or anyone else. I do believe that there are those out there who are watching and would take action but I don’t concern myself with them. I just concern myself with them. I just concern myself with doing the work. My grandfather was asked the same question whether he was fearful and he said that he was probably a dead man already. But he said, he had absolutely no fear of anyone or anything, other than Allah.”
Narration: The history of Blacks is filled with resistance groups which tried to liberate themselves. One example of this is the Black Liberation group Move, in 1985, this group based in Philadelphia which was active in organizing its members was surrounded by 600 Federal agents and policemen and was bombed by the US government, in which 11 people, including 5 kids were killed and 66 houses destroyed.
SOUNDBITE [English] Rev. Jermiah Wright, Minister and Activist: “Where government’s lie, God does not lie. Where governments change, God does not change. And I’m through now…but let me leave you with one more thing. Governments fail!”
SOUNDBITE [English] Unknown Woman, Host of a program: “Wonderful man that Reverend Wright.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Barack Obama, US President: “Wright, who is my pastor and he is a wonderful man and I think that that’s an example. He’s the pastor of a large congregation in Chicago. Rev Wright, who is my pastor and I speak about him in a chapter in my book, and that’s the best of what the Black church has to offer.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Rev. Jermiah Wright, Minister and Activist: “And the United States of America’s government, when it came to treating her citizens of Indian descent fairly, she failed. She put them on the reservations. When it came to treating her citizens of Japanese descent fairly, she failed. She put them in internment prison camps. When it came to treating the citizens of African descent fairly, America failed. She put them in chains. The government put them on slave quarters. Put them on auction blocks. Put them in cotton fields. Put them in inferior schools. Put them in substandard housing. Put them in scientific experiments. Put them in the lowest paying jobs. Put them outside the equal protection of the law. Kept them out of their racist bastions of higher education and lock them into positions of hopelessness and helplessness. The government gives them the drugs. Builds bigger prisons, passes a three strike law. And then wants us to sing God Bless America, No, no, no, not God bless American. God damn America. That’s in the Bible for killing innocent people. God damn America for treating your citizens as less than humans. God damn America as long as she tries to act like she is God and she is supreme.”
TIME CODE: 40:00_47:00
SOUNDBITE [English] Barack Obama, US President: “I’ve known Rev Wright for almost 20 years. The person I saw yesterday was not the person I met 20 years ago.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Rev. Jermiah Wright, Minister and Activist: “If Sen Barack Hussein Obama was selected before he was elected. You didn’t select him and he is accountable for those who selected him. Why do you think the banks got a bailout? Why do you think that he -for the IMPAC. They selected him. Now, when you consider that, “change” who selected him and why. To whom is he accountable? We didn’t select you for that. Here is what we selected you for? Here is what we selected you for, to keep in place, The System.
I was teaching in Capetown. I was talking this particularly morning about the differences between western concepts of personality formation and the African view of personality formation. The western view, Camus, artesian, I think before I am, I did it my way. Africans say I am because we are. It’s communal.
If you see God as White, If you see God is up there above, hierarchical. You see God as choosing you above other people, then you see other people hierarchically to be used as things, not equal to you, 3/5 of a man being the constitution of the country. Then your theology determines your anthropology. Then it determines your sociology for your society. You can order the society that Blacks are not persons. So the Dred Scott decision makes perfectly good sense. There are no rights you have. I can put on a black robe in the day and be the Preacher and put the white robe.”
“Nonviolent civil disobedience to bring about change. This is what at the beginning of this month, several black churches in this nation engaged in ‘civil disobedience’. What did they do? They disobeyed the law about the red light industry; they blocked traffic – some of them powerfully for eight minutes. That’s how long it took Eric to die. In the end… they’re making a statement – disobeying the law. You see the difference between that and standing on the sidewalk obeying the police? Is it me or do you see the difference? In sit-ins, we broke the law. The law says you can’t sit here. And black bodies said yes we can! And they sat there. That’s disobeying the law. You walk along the side walk and stop at the red light - That’s not disobeying the law; that’s a peaceful mamby-pamby wimpy way of trying to show solidarity.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Akua Njeri, Widow of Fred Hampton: “The first thing that has to happen is a conscious rising of this when you involved in your own fight of liberation for freedom. So you are liberating feeling, you want to do more and more and I was saying on, I am the all, it is soften as everybody can do whether they are young or old, they can make phone calls and inform people about it , you know people thank the medias in dependent, the media is to reflect interest of state against the interest of people, when you go to the demonstration and then you go and I am watching on TV, I will same demo that I was in it? You are looking that what’s happen in Ferguson, I always look at Fox news you know for laugh or two you know because it is the whole different story that you get them what actually happened.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Grandson of Malcolm:“I think that we should realize that whatever it is that attracts us to any of these great personalities or individuals is like a mirror reflection of something that’s reflected within ourselves. So, we should look within ourselves and decide what ‘we’ will do. Each man is like a grain of salt toward the building block of civilization, so we shouldn’t focus on what everybody else is or isn’t willing to do, but only on what we’re going to do.”
Narration: You have no rights which a White man has to respect were the words spoken regarding the Dred Scott case. How far has the society come to changing that reality? How much are we willing to sacrifice? How much are we willing to give for freedom? Again demonstrations are taking place, people are taking to the street. But will that be enough to bring the ultimate change to the US. The change that will see everyone treated equally; the change that will see Blacks and other minorities, no longer threatened by police and the American legal system. That verdict is still out.