The murder of 9 black members of the Mother Emanuel AME Church by 21-year-old white racist Dylann Roof has prompted unforeseen violence. This past Tuesday, Malik Zulu Shabazz delivered a speech to an audience of hundreds in which he called for the murder of “slave masters.”
Shabazz is known to have played an important role in both the Ferguson and Baltimore uprisings and leads the group Black Lawyers for Justice. He is also an Ex-Chairman for the controversial New Black Panther group. His terrifyingly racist speech, delivered just one block from the site of the church shooting at a rally called “Save the Black Church,” began with the story of Denmark Vesey, one of the founders of the AME Church. Vesey is famous for attempting a slave revolt in 1822. Although it’s probable that Roof didn’t know about Vesey, his killings occurred on the anniversary of the unsuccessful revolt.
Vesey was known to have spoken at the AME church. His plans for the revolt were to capture “Charleston’s arsenals and guard houses, kill the Governor, set fire to the city, and kill every white man they saw.” The plan never came to fruition, thanks to a few nervous slaves who confessed to their owners. Vesey was arrested and the church was burned to the ground. Vesey, along with 35 of his compatriots, was hanged.
I can’t help but wonder if Shabazz realizes that Vesey’s story occurred nearly two centuries ago in a very different America. During his speech, he stated the need to “finish the mission” to kill “slave masters.” Shouting over the applause, Shabazz then said, “We’re out of Denmark Veseys. And we need some new Demark Veseys today.” The rally then devolved into a chant of “black power.”
Speaking of similar threats against America’s white population made by black activist Louis Farrakhan, James Lee Peterson says, “I think it’s going to create a race war like we’ve never seen before. Added to what’s already happening with the races, it will create an environment between the races that we will not be able to overcome.” He urges the President to respond to this incident with outrage. Peterson is the author of the book Scam: How the Black Leadership Exploits Black America.
Shabazz’s call to arms is both infuriating and terrifying to White Americans. Many worry that the speech, although ridiculous, may actually cause a black uprising. His violent words, however, provide a stark contrast to the touching statements made by relatives of the shooting victims. Many of them, as Christians, have forgiven Roof. Although they want to see justice exacted, they urge Roof to seek God and ask for forgiveness.