The Klu Klux Klan (KKK) is one of the most noxious organizations ever created. It is dedicated to a white supremacist ideology, which could not possibly be more at odds with the core of the American dream – that “all men are created equal.” In its modern form, the KKK’s birthplace is Stone Mountain Georgia where, in 1915, William J. Simmons and a group of followers set a cross ablaze and announced the beginning of a campaign of terror against blacks, Jews, Catholics, and foreigners.
Simmons is long dead, but somewhere, in whatever hell holds him, he must be smiling. Only days ago, a group of hundreds of armed men arrived at Stone Mountain spouting messages of hate and threatening violence. And, this time, they were black men.
On Saturday, July 4th, 2020, hundreds of black men, clad in black and carrying semi-automatic weapons marched on Stone Mountain. The leader of the group styled the “Not Fucking Around Coalition” (NFAC), was an individual calling himself “Grandmaster Jay.”
The Grandmaster had this to say to his troops as they prepared to march:
I’m gonna say this one time and I mean it. Fuck Black Lives Matter. We don’t fuck with them. We don’t talk. We don’t sing. We ain’t trying to overcome.
We ain’t tryin’ to hold hand with you no more. We don’t give a fuck about your rainbow. This is for black people. We can’t never have nothing to our damned self. So we gonna have this to our damned self…
If you ain’t never fired your weapon before, this ain’t the time to learn. If shit pop off, get the fuck outta the way and let those of us that trained to do it do our job.Grand Master Jay
Speaking to a reporter later in the day Jay added this in response to a question about the group’s goals.
The solution is very simple. We follow the declaration of liberation, declaring every African American descendent of slavery a political prisoner here in the United States who were affected by the Portuguese slave trade and then after that the United States has a choice either carve us a piece of land out here, we will take Texas, and let us do our own thing or don’t stop us when we exit this body here and go somewhere where they will give us our own land to build our own nation.
We don’t bring songs to a gunfight. We’re an eye for eye organization.Grand Master Jay
The Grandmaster’s true name is John “Jay” Johnson. He is a former rapper, DJ, musician, radio personality, and producer. In speaking to the press Johnson describes himself as former military and highly skilled. How he acquired such skills while spinning records and hosting Hip Hop concerts remains unclear. What is clear is that as chilling as the Grandmaster’s words were during the July 4th event they stopped short of delineating the full agenda of his organization.
The Grandmaster is a member of the Hebrew Israelite movement and preaches its gospel in online YouTube videos. The Hebrew Israelite movement is a twisted inside out version of white supremacist organizations like the KKK. Its ideology, which dates to the 19th century, asserts that African Americans are God’s chosen people. They are the real descendants of the Hebrews of the Bible.
Extremist members of the Hebrew Israelite movement like Johnson believe that Jews are devilish impostors and whites are evil personified, deserving only death or slavery. White supremacist leader Tom Metzger, a former Grand Dragon of the KKK, once remarked of the Hebrew Israelites, “They’re the black counterparts of us.”
Extremist Hebrew Israelites preach that white people are descended from a race of red, hairy beings, known as Edomites. Equally despised are Jews. Then comes a long laundry list of other groups who are hated, Asians, promiscuous black women, abortionists, Africans living in Africa, and gays. Central to the belief of these groups is that we are living in the end times and that a Black Jesus will emerge in the coming days to take all black people to heaven. Where white people will be their slaves.
We built this country on the foundation of the words cited at the beginning of this article, that “all men are created equal.” We have struggled throughout our history to live up to the ideal expressed in that phrase. Without question, we continue to wrestle with that challenge today. We remain imperfect. Likely we always will.
Yet, together we have accomplished incredible things. In the American Civil War almost 400,000 men – the vast majority of whom were white – died fighting to preserve the Union and to end slavery. Ever since, through the Civil Rights movement and until today it has been by coming together as Americans that we have overcome and made ourselves a better, more just nation.
The division into warring tribes based on the color of our skin or our ethnicity is not progress. It does not take us forward. It drags us all down into a pit filled with violence, division, and bloodshed. The KKK has always stood for the destruction of the American dream. Mimicking that evil with some twisted black supremacist movement does not combat white racism in any meaningful fashion. It just stacks evil upon evil.
When Simmons led his band of followers up Stone Mountain he wanted to set loose a tidal wave of hate. He wanted division. Let’s not give it to him.