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[Speed]: Welcome to our live webcast, and satellite broadcast, of a town meeting to begin organizing a National Commission Against the New Violence. This evening we're going to be discussing a topic about which everyone in the United States, and frankly, also around the world, is quite concerned: the epidemic of violence, of what we refer to as a ``New Violence,'' that has engulfed the United States. It's an epidemic that everyone is not only concerned about, but about which something needs to be done.
With me today, is a panel here in New York City, at Columbia University, and on the line with us, is the convenor of the National Commission, Lyndon LaRouche. Today's meeting is a response to the call made by Mr. LaRouche, shortly after the verdict in the Amadou Diallo case in New York City, to form a national commission to investigate the New Violence.
So, on our panel today, we have: Jeffrey Steinberg, the co-author of Dope, Inc., and an editor of Executive Intelligence Review; Minister Charles Quinn Muhammad, the former head of the Nation of Islam in Jackson, Mississippi; Sister Esther Quinn Muhammad, who is the former head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Mississippi; and Dr. Kildare Clarke, the assistant medical director of King's County Hospital in Brooklyn, New York. We will also be joined by Matthew Fogg, chief inspector deputy, U.S. Marshal, and founder of the Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement, and also Pennsylvania State Rep. Harold James, the former head of the state Legislative Black Caucus.
So what we're going to do now, without further introduction, is to go to our keynote speaker, Lyndon LaRouche.
This is exemplary of what's going on.
Now, I think that, as people know from what I've said about these matters earlier, that I know essentially what the source of the problem is, but there's much that remains to be investigated, before any final judgment on the problem can be stated. That is, I know what has caused the problem; I know how it is developed; I've studied this matter over a period of some decades, knowing the people who have set this into motion, how it was set into motion. But we don't know always what the effects are. It's like a man who--you know the man is crazy, he drove a car into a restaurant, but you have to investigate the effects, and the side-effects, of that action, even knowing that the man willfully did that.
And the same thing here. People have set into motion something which has fostered a radiating explosion of what we called ``New Violence.'' Typical of this New Violence are two things. One, is the separation of children, the estrangement of children, from their parents. Now, many of us know the factors which were involved in causing this. We have a breakdown over the past three decades or so, of the quality of education in the United States. We have, at the same time, a dependency among the lower 80% of income brackets, in particular, of more incomes per household. The result is, we've produced the phenomenon of latch-key children, more and more, at all levels in society. If parents have a child who is not a latch-key child, the children with whom that child is associated during the day, are usually latch-key children.
We have a crisis in housing, as in parts of New York City, of overcrowding, at great cost. We have this around the country. These conditions are hellholes for children. The schools have become hellholes for children.
Now, you feed into this estrangement, of the child from the parent, the sense of abandonment of the child, and you start at three to five years of age, and you condition this child in certain ways to certain circumstances, and you have an explosion of what used to be called alienation of the children from parents, and society.
Somebody introduces into this situation the chemistry of violence, such as these Samurai-tradition-modelled Nintendo games, on television, and bought through game stores, which teach children how to kill. Now, what you've created, is the effect of a forest fire. You've put into society, you've created a potential among children, estrangement, distance between parents and children, this kind of thing--the use of the 911 number to cause children to turn against their parents, the fostering of these values in the schools by teachers, more and more of them, the wide-scale use of drugs, such as Ritalin, among children, which causes an aggravation of the problem.
Now, you take this child, who feels abandoned, who's estranged; you put this child, at three to six and older, in front of a television set, or in some kind of a game, in which the child plays at shooting people, perpetrating horrible violence. This has calculable effects.
As a result of this, we have the things--such as what happened in Spain: This child, with a boy decapitating his parents, Samurai-style, to see what it would feel like to do it, according to the story in Bildzeitung. You see the Nintendo-type violence at Littleton, which is infamous around the nation. You see similar incidents. A child who had never used a gun before, because they had practiced through a Nintendo game, going out at the age of six, and making skillful headshots the first time he used a gun, in killing people.
In other words, on the one hand, you've created the social potential, the circumstances for this kind of estrangement among children. Now, you come along with games, and drugs, and other things. You create a new subculture among children with these Nintendo-style games. Such as Pokémon, which in many cases, is sold widely throughout the country, and is on television, in the afternoons, by certain television networks and circuits. And we've created a chemistry of violence.
Then, we have the same thing at a different level. We have, in the case of the New York Police Department, we know, as in other police departments, there's a military-style training going on. And police units, who are inadequately trained by normal standards to be policemen, are sent out as killers. They are essentially programmed killers, because they have been trained to shoot and kill, by military-style methods, through Nintendo game-style training. And that's what you get, for example, in the Diallo case, in New York City.
So, we know some of the causes, and some of the effects, but we don't know fully what the extent of the problem is. We don't know what the reverberations are of what's being done. We don't know some of the side effects yet. We've got to find out. And we've also got to motivate people to pay attention to this fact. We've got to tell the President and others, getting guns out of the society, is not going to deal with this problem. If a child burns down the house with his parents in it, you're not going to stop that by banning guns. If a child uses a kitchen knife to kill his parents, or other people, you're not going to stop that by banning guns. The gun-related violence in this country, normally, of the kind we used to have, is actually somewhat less than it was in former times--particularly at the beginning of the 1990s. That kind of violence is on the ebb, at least for the time being. But, in the meantime, a new kind of violence, typified by out-of-control police units, which are operating as deployed zombies--that is, they are brainwashed zombies, sent out in the streets to kill on program, not on the basis of judgment. They are not cops, they're just plain deployed killers. And people try to cover that up; you can't do that.
We have also the core of the New Violence, is, we're taking the present generation of children, now between the ages of 3 and 16, approximately. We're subjecting them, with the aid of drugs, to become programmed killers on impulse, turning these children against their parents. Children killing their parents.
There are precedents for this in history, precedents in the ancient cult of Dionysus. It's come back.
As I say, we know where the sources, we know the people who push society to create these conditions. We do not yet know what the reverberations of the conditions are.
It's like putting a highly mutatable virus into a population. The fellow who circulated that virus with malice, knows what he did. We may detect what he did. But when that virus gets into human beings, and begins to spread from person to person, it undergoes change, and it produces incalculable side-effects, in interaction with other viruses and diseases. Just the same way, we have with this tuberculosis epidemic coming back.
So, on the one hand, we should know, and the entire population should know, what some of the causes of this problem are--a new form of violence, a new kind of violence. We don't yet know what the reverberations are. We've got to pay attention to the causes; we've also got to investigate the reverberations, which have taken off, and may be out of control, of those who set this kind of thing into motion in the first place.
There's a case--it became quite famous, actually--back in 1992, of a hanging, in a jail in Mississippi. As a result of the investigation of that case, some 47 other cases of hangings, in the state of Mississippi, between 1987 to 1992, came to light. And the cause of that coming to light, was the determination of Minister Charles Quinn Muhammad, as well as Sister Esther Muhammad, to get at the bottom of the death of their son.
I'd like to bring Minister Charles Quinn Muhammad to the microphone, to relate that story, and to make his contribution to the formation of our commission.
[Muhammad]: In the name of Allah the Beneficent, the Merciful, we thank Almighty God, Allah, for blessing us, and showing us grace and mercy, by giving us all of his servants. I'd like to greet all of you in the greeting words of peace: We say, As-salaam Aleikum, peace be unto you.
To Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, and the Schiller Institute, and to Mr. Dennis Speed, and all of those who have worked so hard to bring this issue before the world, it is an honor and a privilege to be asked to be a part of this Commission on New Violence.
As we consider what has been said by Mr. LaRouche, as well as some of the panelists here today, we understand that we have a moral obligation to stand, and to express to the society that what is happening in America, is something that we can stop, if we lend our hearts and our minds to do so.
On Aug. 22, 1992, our son, Andre Jones, was stopped at a routine sobriety check, or road block, in Brandon, Mississippi, which is located about 12 miles south of Jackson. Within 19 hours, our son was hung in a Simpson County jail, in Mendenhall, Mississippi. The officials said that he hung himself with his own shoelaces. Of course, we know that our son was taken out of that jail, on that night, and he was hung, and brought back into the jail, and hung up again in a dingy shower stall. And since that time, we have been fighting for justice on behalf of Andre.
But, not just on behalf of Andre alone, but on behalf of your sons, your husbands, your uncles, your relatives. Because we recognized that it is not just Andre who has become a victim of such hideous crime--it has been many others. Our case in Mississippi uncovered that, within a five-year period, from 1987 to 1993, over 48 others had been found in Mississippi jails, hung, black men, white men, black females, white females.
We found out that this is a new form of lynching, that has been revisited to Mississippi. As you know, with the recent profiling of young, black men throughout this country, the story that we're expressing here today, is a story that many of you may have. So, it is only right for us to be a part of this Commission. Later this evening, we would like to share, in detail, some of the aspects of our case that will include many of the characteristics that we are hearing in some of the other issues around the New Violence that is occurring in America.
We recognize that if we don't make a stand, that it will continue to happen. And I say that, because, on Feb. 2, a young man by the name of Michael Chambers, in Desoto, Mississippi, was arrested because of ``domestic disturbance.'' Within less than 24 hours, he was found hung with a bedsheet. So, this has not stopped. And as we travel throughout America, and share our story with the community, a mother stands up in the audience, someone stands up and says, ``This Happened to my son, but I couldn't do anything about it--I didn't know what to do; I was just overwhelmed with the pain of losing my child.'' From Detroit, Michigan to Los Angeles, California, we receive calls from mothers who had lost their child the same way. So, we looked at this, and we said that this is a new form of lynching in America.
So, this is why we're here. My wife is here, my daughter is here, and we're here as a family, because we are the results of the effects of what happens, when you lose a son, or lose a child, in a way that is not right, very unfair, and our son deserves justice as well as the 48 others, and the un-nameless others throughout this country. So, we would like to say again, thank you, Mr. LaRouche, thank you, Schiller Institute, for asking us to be a part of this very important commission.
[Dr. Clarke]: Again, let me thank Mr. LaRouche, a man with temerity, guts, gusto, and credibility, and who understands that there's a major problem among us, when it comes to violence. And, who is willing to take this head-on, and not like some of our clumsier leaders, who are willing to sell their soul to Mephisto, so as to be elected.
Let me look at two quick issues, because I know I just have five minutes when it comes to violence.
Let's look at raising your children. The government would rather tell you that you cannot raise your child the way you think is fair and fit, because it's ``child abuse.'' To me, when someone takes their child, and puts their hand in a bucket of boiling water, yes, that's child abuse. ``I threw him down a flight of stairs''--that's child abuse.
But whether you're a single parent or both parents at home--because, believe me, it doesn't make that much difference--the discipline is what makes the difference. And you take your child and say, ``I'm the parent, you're the child, and when I tell you to study, when I tell you it's bedtime, when I tell you to respect your elders or all those around you, because they're a community which helped to raise you.'' And then the government tells you, you cannot do that, because ``We're going to tell you how to raise the child''; and then, later on, when the child gets into problems, because you could not raise your child, the government is willing to take the child away, put it in jail, and create that industry which I'm talking about, the prison-military-industrial complex--it's a crime....
You want the child to carry on certain functions which are important to you. Because a lot of us, as parents, live our lives through our children also, because they're part of us and it carries on. However, you tell the child, ``Don't do this.'' You said to the child, ``When you go to school, I want you to respect the teacher.'' However, our laws tell us the teacher cannot discipline your child. How schizophrenic that can be!
The teacher is a substitute parent, at different times. The preacher is a substitute parent. The person at the corner store is a substitute parent. They want your child to grow up as a normal child, just like their children. Yet, the government is telling you, ``No, don't do that. You can't do that.'' But, the policeman can be ``the substitute parent'': He can beat him over the head, he can shoot him when he's unarmed. He can lock him up in jail, because he is the jailer: those people who are called the street-level bureaucrats.
My fellow brothers and sisters: The pain of watching economic violence is real. You think about the hungry child, how can he learn? Think about the child who is wondering whether someone is going to come through the window to steal just the little television set he has. Those are the types of violence which are perpetrated against our people. And when I say ``our people,'' I am not separating out black and white, because the color doesn't make a difference. When I'm transfusing somebody with blood, I didn't see it marked ``black blood,'' ``white blood,'' ``red blood.'' When you are dying, I don't take out my stethoscope and say, ``Well, he's white, let him go; he's black, he's from Mississippi, let him go; he is yellow, he's from China, okay let me save him.''
No, I take an oath to save you. It doesn't matter how much money you have or what you have or who you are, or what ethnic background you belong to. My fellow men and women: Violence is real, it's painful, it affects each and every one. The economics of it, the sociological standpoint, the psychological standpoint, the physical standpoint--whether it affects you directly or indirectly--it is dangerous, it is a precedent-setting problem. We must come together, join together, and solve it. If we do not solve it, nobody's going to do it....
No longer do we want to think. You ask someone to add two and two, they run to the computer. Where is our brain? It is there to be used. I want us to use it to help our fellow mankind, because every time we help our fellow mankind, we're helping ourself. It might not seem this way to you, but today, when you are walking, and you pass the next man in the street, and you disregard him, the moment you fall with that heart attack, or whatever, it's that same person you just passed, who you want to come and help you. So, let's not wait until it's too late to do it. Let's begin now.
Let us get government off our backs! There is absolutely no reason for government to be functional, if they cannot carry out these functions which we elect them to do, which is to make sure we are safe, to make sure we are protected, we have food to eat; to make sure we have good health care; to make sure we have good shelter; and to make sure we are educated. And, as I said, a degree does not mean education. There are many other things which go into education.
The extended family: If you go to Africa or some of the Caribbean countries, where the stranger on the street can stop your child and say, ``You're doing something which is wrong,'' and can cane your child, and can send him home with a note to the parent, that, ``I have just disciplined your child.'' And the parent turns around and re-disciplines the child. That's the right discipline. Let us continue that once more.
I have to move on, so I should move on to tell you, let us join in a collective force to stop the violence. Thank you.
[Steinberg]: Thank you. It's a pleasure to be here today. A pleasure to be participating in this nationwide discussion with Lyndon LaRouche on the subject of the New Violence and what we're going to be doing about it.
There are two points that I want to emphasize briefly, and hopefully they'll become the subject of further discussion as the evening proceeds.
Number one: The people who are the authors of this New Violence phenomenon, whether or not they are aware of all of the consequences of what they've unleashed, let us be absolutely clear in the fact that they knew what they were doing. That they set out consciously, intentionally, to destroy the culture of this country, to destroy particularly the moral fabric of our society, the family structure, through which those values were conveyed, and to instead create a new cultural paradigm, based on Eros. Based on the idea that the population can be destroyed, that the individual human soul can be ripped apart, through a combination of drugs, brainwashing, and continuous exposure to the kind of violence that we see in the mass entertainment industry today, and which has now been taken to a new extreme, with the advent of the violent point-and-shoot video-game industry, which was created intentionally to desensitize people in the military and in the police, to the idea of being able to kill another human being.
It's a matter of debate whether there was any merit whatsoever in using these kinds of techniques of mass psychology to train police or soldiers, with the presumption that they would also be given adequate education and a chain-of-command, rules of engagement, and things like that. But there is no debate whatsoever, it is a no-brainer, that to take these technologies, that were created simply as killing simulators, and to turn them into an $11 billion-a-year industry, in which the clientele are our children--there is no doubt whatsoever that this is an evil that can only be described as Satanic.
And this is very much to the heart of the issue of the New Violence. The average child, by the time he reaches five or six years of age, has been an eyewitness to tens of thousands of murders. For the adult, it may very well be that you're capable of distinguishing between a murder that occurs in a theatrical setting on a television screen or in a movie theater, and what happens in real life. But, in the formative brain of a young child, there is no clear distinction between reality and fiction. So, children are being exposed every day, desensitized, to this kind of violence. In fact, they are being told that participating as an observer, and then with these video games, participating as an actual killer, is a form of entertainment to be rewarded. It's fun. It's pleasurable.
You go to the movie theater. You see 300 or 400 murders in one of these slash-and-burn videos, and what do you do? You have a good time with your friends. You eat popcorn and hotdogs. And you're conditioned to believe that somehow or other, this is all socially acceptable, and this is the idea of how to spend your leisure time.
The second point I want to make is that there is no human being that I know of, who is more qualified to lead this fight against the New Violence than Lyndon LaRouche. I know a bit about his personal history. He may be too modest to discuss all these things on this nationwide webcast.
But, the first time that I heard Mr. LaRouche speak, on the campus of Columbia University, was in 1973, when he gave a series of lectures on a very critical paper that he had just recently published, called ``Beyond Psychoanalysis.'' In that presentation, and in that paper, he directly took on some of the people whom we will be naming as the authors of the New Violence: the Frankfurt School. Some of the people involved in what was known at the time as the Cybernetics Group. The people who have scared the pants off at least one senior figure in the computer industry, who says, the people who are running this industry now are monsters, who want to turn this technology into a form of mass brainwashing and social control.
On the basis of my own years of collaboration with Mr. LaRouche, knowing that his initial involvement in the political fight came as the result of seeing that there were people putting forward the hypothesis that human beings are merely animals, who can be trained and programmed, but that there is nothing distinctly human and unique about human beings, that man is not in the living image of God--this is the fight, ultimately, to restore the soul to humanity, and to end the tyranny of this new violence.
So, I'm very proud and honored to be here tonight, as we begin the process of launching this initiative. Not surprisingly, Mr. LaRouche, as always, comes in with a new challenge, even beyond what I expected. This idea of figuring out, what are the consequences.
We know that the people in charge of this, who launched this back 40, 50 years ago, knew that they were attempting to launch a new Dionysian cult, using the technologies of the mass media, to combine pornography and violence, and destroy that which is human in all of us. But have they unleashed something that's even gone beyond their control?
I'll leave it at that and look forward to the
discussion of the evening.
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[Linda Guevara]: I am a Councilwoman here in the City of Huntington Park. My son was also arrested, in August 1998, and you probably saw it on TV because, as a Councilwoman, they like to videotape our children when they're being beaten by the Police Department. My son was beaten so bad I couldn't even recognize his face, and unfortunately, in the city that I am in charge of, we do have a problem with a white supremacy group that has formed in our Police Department. I am standing alone, and fighting the fight, against this New Violence.
I am very much interested in this Commission, that you want to form, and I would like to know, how are you going to start implementing it? And what can I do to help get this commission going, so that we can put an end to all this nonsense that's killing our society today?
[LaRouche]:Well, the first thing is, to address our government, including people around the President, and some people in the Congress, and some other concerned people. I would hope, for example, the formerly active candidate, Bill Bradley, would become involved, as a person of concern. I don't know what his views are on the matter, but I know that he's shown himself to be a person of some compassion, and would therefore be concerned with this sort of thing. That's first.
We must try to address the conscience of some people on this question, we must also stir up a fight of sorts, within the teaching profession. Because it's the complicity of large parts of the teaching profession which allows this to go on, and which promotes this. We must address those who are responsible for giving out Prozac, and Ritalin, to children, and all sorts of things. They don't known what they are doing. They're just doing it.
We must also deal with this as an international phenomenon. For example, the case which my wife spoke about with me today, reported in the German press--in Bildzeitung--of a boy in Spain who decapitated his parents, as a consequence of their resistance to his purchasing a Samurai sword, so he could practice to become a Samurai-like warrior: We have the same thing in Germany. The same thing in France. You have the same thing going on in a different form, in other parts of the Americas. So that people internationally are concerned. This is a global concern--of a new kind of culture, spreading around the world, which is a culture of violence, of New Violence.
Now, in the process, of course, of addressing Presidents, addressing Congresses, and leaders in various parts of the world, the teaching profession, the medical profession, and so forth, and concerned institutions, we also have to get down to the street level. We have to look at this thing as it erupts at every community level in the country.
We heard the report on the violence in Mississippi, this New Violence. This is a phenomenon which has to be investigated in every part of the world. Every part of the United States, on the state level, and so forth.
We have to, in a sense, make this issue an issue--which is more important than most of the issues as they were discussed by the leading candidates in the national Presidential campaign so far.
What they're talking about, in terms of their health care, is simple: Go back to Hill-Burton. You don't need all this gobbledygook, provided we understand how to do it, from the standpoint of the lessons in this country of the Civil War, the lessons of World War|I, the lessons of what we studied of what the French did in France in World War|I, the lessons of World War II. We applied those lessons in the post-war period, and we came up with the Hill-Burton Act, which, as a method, was effective. Why don't they just do that? Stop this debating about how to fund this, how to fund that. Fund it! We knew how to fund it before, we didn't need this gobbledygook.
Why don't we talk about the problems, the real problems, which are hitting hard at families? Why don't we talk about the real housing problem? Let's go into the areas of the poor: Look at the growth of the homeless; look at the quasi-homeless; look at the effect of rising rental costs, and availability of housing, as compared with income, as you go down the ladder in the lower 80% of income brackets.
These are real problems. The violence, the New Violence phenomenon--consider these problems as the tinder. Consider the spread of New Violence by Nintendo-type methods and other methods, as the spark. Somebody's putting a spark in the tinder. We're getting a nucleation of New Violence as a result of combining the tinder of social decay, social disruption, with the spark--the inflammation, of this infection--with the New Violence by way of television and so-forth, the Nintendo games.
These are creating a whole new host of problems. If we do not restore the connection between parents and children, as a viable connection, we do not have a next generation for this nation. A nation which does not defend the family as an institution, which does not maintain the relationship between parent and child, is a nation which has lost the moral fitness to survive. We have many things to do in this country, and internationally, to save this civilization, but all the other things we are going to do, will not work, unless we protect the family as an institution from this kind of problem. It is the New Violence, especially as seen by the violence of children against their parents, as a result of these kinds of conditioning.
The violence by new kinds of police forces, which are no longer the cop on the corner, part of the community, no longer the professional policemen who knows how to prevent violence. For example, let's take the case in New York City, in Brooklyn, in the famous so-called Brooklyn riots, when Abe Beam was mayor. And some of us had some contact with Mayor Beam's office, and the people involved. In that period, when some people were pressuring the mayor to bring in the National Guard, the mayor stood his ground, and didn't do it. And in that day, we had a kind of police force, which knew how to intervene, to prevent the violence that was spreading in these riots, from igniting the whole city, and creating a race riot throughout the city. They stopped it. With all their shortcomings, whatever they were, these were competent policemen. We are not recruiting and training competent policemen, in a competent way.
We don't have the cop on the beat any more. That was removed, years ago. We don't have the police department which is integrated with the community, which is watching what's going on, which steps in when something new is changing that threatens the community, and helps. It doesn't shoot, it works with the community to bring the situation under control.
They are really peace officers, not kill officers. Peace officers who are armed when they need to be, but they are essentially peace officers. And we've taken away the peace officer, and we put the random, Rambo killer, loose on the streets. We brainwash them when we call them ``police.'' Let's get's back the old police officer; let's get governments, not the Mussolini of Manhattan kind of government, of this fellow, Giuliani, which unleashes this kind of thing on us. Not only in New York City, but other parts of the world.
And therefore, this whole problem is key to life on this planet, to many things we must do to save the civilization on this planet now. The worst crisis we've known in centuries is hitting us. But all the other things we do, won't amount to the proverbial hill of beans, unless we intervene to protect the local community, and the parent-child relationship. Thank you.
[James]: First of all, give honor to God; and I'd like to say hello to Lyn. Keep on running for President.
I'm honored to participate in founding the National Commission Against the New Violence. At the same time, all of us have a great responsibility, because the very survival of the United States as a nation may be at stake.
We have only to look at the recent situations in the Balkans, or the Great Lakes region of Africa, or see how quickly a civilized society can collapse into barbarity.
We should not be so arrogant as to think that we in America are exempt from this threat. Just consider the poison of racism that exists in our society. And, society that would act as if African-Americans, or other minorities, are less than human, or have less rights as citizens, is already a very, very sick society.
Just in the past year, I have had to deal with multiple problems as relates to racism in Pennsylvania, as a state legislator. I participated in hearings of the Pennsylvania House Democratic Policy Committee to deal with the problem of racial profiling, also known as DWB--Driving While Black or Brown. Traffic stops by police based on racial profiling have resulted in excessive violence and deaths of innocent people. It is evident throughout the country. We're only about 13% of the population, but yet, we are 70% of the traffic stops.
In March of this year, I called for public hearings to investigate racial disparities in prison sentences, after a study showed that African-Americans routinely receive longer prison sentences than whites, and that African-Americans account for 56% of Pennsylvania's prison population, while we only represent 9% of the population.
I am also supporting a movement to suspend the death penalty in Pennsylvania. Although I lost a sister, and a daughter, to violent death, I still think that the death penalty is biased, and we need to stop it until it can be studied. A recent study showed that the odds of receiving the death penalty in Philadelphia are four times higher, if the defendant is black.
Also, on March 17, State Representatives LeAnna Washington, who heads our Black Elected Officials in Philadelphia, and James Roebuck (who is the new chairman of the Pennsylvania Black Caucus), and myself, along with other civic leaders, have met with the U.S. Attorney in Philadelphia, where we requested that he investigate, civil rights violations and discriminatory practices by the Philadelphia Police Department, in particular their internal affairs unit. We presented evidence that police may have ignored evidence and fabricated reports, in order to gain convictions of innocent people.
And a society that would tolerate this kind of systematic discrimination and dehumanization, is just a few steps from barbarism and genocide. Because it degrades the respect we must have for the sacredness of human life. Atrocities like the Amidou Diallo and Patrick Dorismond killings by police in New York, send a message that it's ``open season'' on young black men, unless we organize ourselves effectively, and make the National Commission into a powerful national movement for justice for all people.
I was particularly shocked to learn, that Mayor--what's his name? Giuliani? Mussolini?--that he tried to justify the Dorismond killing, by releasing Mr. Dorismond's juvenile arrest record to the press. Based on this standard, I am personally included on the Mayor's target list, because I also had a juvenile arrest record.
I have a juvenile arrest record, I was adjudged a juvenile delinquent, and then I became a police officer, retired after 22 years. So, I was a law-breaker, a law enforcement officer, and now I'm a law-maker.
In fact, when I became a Philadelphia police officer in 1965, as I was going to the Academy, they called me out; called me into the bathroom. This was an older guy. He asked me what part of the city I lived in. I told him that I lived in South Philly, and he said, ``We want you to work undercover.'' I said, ``What do you mean?'' He said, ``You know, you look like a juvenile delinquent, and so, uh, we would like you to work undercover.''
So, I said, ``So, what do I have to do?'' He said, ``You'll still get paid and all of that, and don't have to worry about nothing. And you just come, and we want you to hang in one location and watch somebody. And, if you don't like it, you can come back through the Academy.'' So, I said, ``Well, okay. No problem.'' So, I did that for five years.
But I am proud of the fact that, under the leadership of the legendary Alfonso Deal, who was also a police officer, who founded a black police officers organization, called the Guardian Civic League, he fought racism and injustice in the Philadelphia Police Department, and he was my mentor. And later, we were part of a group that organized, in 1972, the National Black Police Association, which elected me National Chairman in 1976.
And during all of these struggles, I continued my education at Temple University, earning a certificate in police science, an associate degree in criminal justice, and a bachelor's degree in sociology. I retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 1987, and was elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 1988. And on April 4, I won the Democratic primary and hope to be elected to my seventh term this November.
Now, did Patrick Dorismond deserve the same chance in life as Harold James? Yes, of course he did. What kind of mentality dares suggest that a juvenile arrest record makes a person into a life unworthy to live?
So, I look forward to working with all of you, to
make the National Commission Against the New Violence into
a movement that can help save the soul of this nation, as
well as the soul of us. Thank you.
Return to list
[Fogg]: Thank you very much. I give honor to God, and I just want to say: ``Lord, may the words in my mouth, and may the meditation in my heart, be accepted in Thy sight. You are my strength and my redeemer.'' Amen.
I give honor to Mr. Lyndon LaRouche, for having the mind to put this type of conference together, for allowing us to come together to face this real problem of violence in America--the ``New Violence,'' we call it. And I want to say to this whole panel, and the staff of this whole project here, it is a very good thing, because you see, as we see here in New York, the problem is out of hand.
But I want to say it's been out of hand for a long time. It's just that it's now beginning to come to the surface. There are a lot of people right now languishing in jails, because, it wasn't a crime what they did, it was just the fact of who they were.
One of reasons why I set up the Congress against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement, was to address the racism that we call, behind the blue wall of silence. And, you see a lot of us behind that blue wall, we understand and see what the real problem is. But for some odd reason, once it gets out to the American public, it's always, ``Well, is it really like that?'' And the only way you can really know is, you have to be on the inside, and those on the inside, the ones who are responsible to serve and protect, are the ones who are supposed to uphold the law of the land. But, you see in my case, and the case of so many law enforcement officers who have called me from all across America, they're saying, ``Fogg, something is wrong, man. And we've got to do something about it. Because I cannot stand up for the injustice any more that I'm seeing taking place here.''
When we came out of the Academy, I went to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, in Glenco, Georgia. And one of the things I noticed, was that all of the training that we had--and we learned how to shoot, when to shoot, no shoot, what type of investigations, and everything you could want to learn in law enforcement, we were trained. And one of things that I noticed as soon as we came out of the Academy, and we reported to our duty stations, the first thing they tell you is, ``Okay, you forget about that there, this is how we do it here.''
And, the problem is this: If you take a stand, and you say, ``Okay, this is how you do it here, but this is wrong, what you're doing.'' Now, you become a whistleblower, you become an outcast.
Someone wrote me on the Internet. There's this big controversy about the Baltimore City Police Department, and their new commissioner. And the problem is this: The Commissioner--and it doesn't matter whether he's black or white, it doesn't matter to me at this point, but the fact is, he's coming from New York. You understand what I'm saying to you? And we've already proven, this culture in New York, the NYPD, has already been proven to be a hostile environment, especially for people of color. It's already been proven. Any time you can bring--and any law enforcement officer will verify this--any time the police will take a man, and bring him inside a police station, inside among the rank and file, and rape him and brutalize him, there is an inherent problem from the top down. I don't care how you look at this.
I've got a report here, it's from the FBI, U.S. Department of Justice, ``Misconduct to Corruption: Avoiding the Impending Crisis.'' And this talks about all the issues in law enforcement, and the impending crisis that's coming. And, believe it or not, this report basically says it like it really is, to a great degree, about the problems of this ``us against them'' mentality in police departments. ``Us,'' meaning us; ``them,'' meaning the public. And what happens is, when most officers come out of the Academies, and come into the law enforcement environment, that's what they tell you: ``Don't worry about all of that stuff, it's us against them now. If you see your partner doing something wrong, you back him up, no matter what. If you see him whuppin' on a citizen unnecessarily, you back him up.''
And this is the culture. So, what I've done, and I've told officers--and I've been one myself--to stand up first. You see, you can't get out here and make noise if you're not willing to stand up.
Dennis mentioned something here about a case that I was involved in. Yes, it's Matthew Fogg v. the U.S. Department of Justice, Janet Reno. And when I started to take on this case, there were those who told me, ``Fogg, just go along to get along. Don't fight the system, it will change in time. Black employees must work hard to prove themselves as managers. Just turn your head when you see injustice against citizens. You can't police everything. It's a `good ole boy' network, and minorities don't fit in the network.'' And these were told to me. Now, you hear me, it says, ``If you testify against the U.S. Marshals on Capitol Hill, they will destroy your career for sure. The U.S. Justice Department is too big, with too many resources. You can't win. Four hundred years of racial oppression is not going to change overnight with your EEO [Equal Employment Opportunity] complaints. Being called a `coon' or `nigger' by white employers is not all that bad. Just continue to arrest those who we direct you to arrest, and don't worry about racial profiling. I love you brother, but if you go forward''--and this is the one that really gets me--``then I can't be seen with you. I've got a family I've got to feed; I've got a livelihood, and I can't take that having them take that away from me. Take their settlement offers, and take care of yourself, because the black Marshals that you are standing up for in the gap are afraid, and care only about themselves.''
And I'm not going to go on and tell you the rest. But the point is this: When you decide to stand up inside, behind that blue wall of silence--Seripcor will tell you about it, and many, many others. My main partner, Steven Zanowic, right from here: You should see the large, black rubber rat they gave this man. It's on my website. The man is holding it up on Capitol Hill, before Congress, he was saying, he's a whistleblower; and when I decided to blow the whistle on what I saw them doing, the injustices they were committing against citizens behind the blue wall, he said, ``They gave me this,'' and he pulled that rat out. And the Congress was so incensed about it. They said, ``How can something like this take place?''
And let me tell you what they did to the officer that gave him the rat: They promoted him to be in charge of our nationwide internal affairs division.
The problem--they say there is a zero-tolerance level. And this is the issue that is coming up in Baltimore, and you have to keep your eyes on Baltimore right now, because there's a big problem there about this police commissioner, Mr. Edward T. Norris. He came out of New York and he's now going to Baltimore. And one of the things I've found in my studies--and I'm an expert on this, now, I've trained and studied this problem to the ``t,'' and it's not about race particularly. There's a whole lot of things involved. Race is one of the issues. This guy is trying to come to Baltimore, and he already has a record from what we've seen in New York, and when the Baltimore citizens stood up against it, now you've got this divide in Baltimore saying, we want this man.
You've got an organization here called PERF, Police Executive Research Forum. And what we're finding is, a lot of these Chiefs of Police and these managers of these police departments, simply leave one location and go to the next. Howard Safir is a perfect example of that, he came from the U.S. Marshals Service.
Now, we've got a legacy--this is a $4 million lawsuit that I've won, against the Justice Department. Judge [Thomas Penfield] Jackson, an ultra-conservative judge, said that due to the endemic atmosphere of racial disharmony and mistrust within the U.S. Marshals Service, the jury obviously inferred that the endemic atmosphere, of racial disharmony and mistrust of the Marshals Service, was suspect. That all explanations were suspect, and that racism was more likely the reason than any other for my, misadventures in the Marshals Service's hierarchy. That's coming from a Federal judge, about a Justice Department law enforcement organization.
The Justice Department is the head. They're the ones who set the pace and the example. If it's rampant within the Justice Department, if it's rampant within the Secret Service, if it's rampant within the FBI, if it's rampant within U.S. Customs, if it's rampant in the Drug Enforcement Administration, all of these organizations, can you imagine what the state and locals are saying? ``We're on the right side. We can do it too.''
It's time to say, enough is enough. And you, the citizens, have got to come to the plate, for us, who are standing up for real justice. For us, who are really putting it on the line. And as they call it, in the line of duty: We are the ones who are behind that blue wall, are saying, ``I'm not taking it any more.'' But they're turning their guns on us.
I was explaining about an arrest that I made in Baltimore City. And they came up with these rules saying, ``We thought it was a gun''--you know how they're saying that, you've heard that before--``We thought it was a knife.'' And you remember a couple of years ago, the U.S. Marshals shot a youth in the back of the leg, and the youth had a candy bar in his hand? The officer said he thought it was a gun, and it was a Milky Way candy bar. Where do we draw the line here? But, it's up to the citizens to come forward and say, ``We're going to back people like Matthew Fogg, and Harold James, and other officers around the country who want to stand up.''
And this forum is just the thing that we need. You see, we need for us to come together on a national basis, and really look at this issue, and we say to these police chiefs, ``We don't want you there.'' We told Baltimore's police chief, Mr. Thomas C. Frazier, ``Your time is up, you have to go, we don't want you here any more.'' Now they want to install another guy who is coming from another department in the same manner.
Albert Einstein, the father of weapons of mass destruction, said, the world is a very dangerous place to live. Not because of the evil people that are in it, but because of those who don't do anything about it. This is the problem. And we cannot allow this to take place.
I had a lady who wrote to me on the Internet, who was incensed about an article that I wrote in the Baltimore Sun-Times bulletin board on the Internet. First, she blasted me. But then I responded to her with love and peace, I didn't come back with the words that she came at me with. But you know, it's amazing how God can turn you around when you're on the right track.
And I wrote back to her, and I said, listen, I'm not here to argue with you and fight with you. Let me give you some facts. And when I got done, she wrote me back, and she said, ``Mr. Fogg, I went to your website, and I looked at your credentials and what you've been through, and I'm sorry.'' And she apologized, and I was surprised, because when you first looked at her language it looked like we were diametrically opposed to each other, and this was hate, and you see a lot of viciousness in this line of work--in law enforcement. But, I told her, if you're talking about a zero-tolerance level, the zero-tolerance has to start behind the badge.
Right now, crime is down. Crime is down on American streets, and that's because the economy is doing better. But it's up behind the badge. We've got to say to crime behind the badge: zero-tolerance level. And that's what this organization is about, that's what I'm about: zero tolerance behind the badge.
When officers are found guilty, what happens to them? I've known a lot of officers who were wrong and guilty. Nothing happens to us. Not if you're guilty, and you're in there and you're playing the game. Now, if you step outside that game, and you say, ``Wait a second here, I put on this badge to serve and protect. Not to be part of a conspiracy because people what to promote their own buddies, and people want to draw a culture or connection here that is designed to weed out certain people.'' Nothing is more horrible than that, to work in a law enforcement agency and that happens to you.
I was assigned to track fugitives. We cornered these fugitives in Baltimore. These were real fugitives; these were not some ``three strikes and you're out'' because you had some marijuana on you. These were serious felons, criminals who had murdered, and had escaped out of prison, like in a James Cagney movie. And we cornered these guys on the streets of Baltimore. And when we took them on, my team--now, we had every right to fill them so full of holes, honestly, it could have been a scream. But the bottom line was this, as I told my team, I said, ``We don't kill unless it's absolutely necessary, we all know what that means. We don't shoot unless it's absolutely necessary.'' When you put that bulletproof vest on, and you put that badge on, you are trained that you're supposed to put your life on the line.
That's what it's about when you take the oath. You're putting your life on the line. So, you have to know whether it's a gun. You can't tell me, I think it was a gun--you know how many people I could have put a hole in, by thinking they had pulled a gun? I had a lady, she was sitting in a closet, and she turned around with a shoe in her hand. She was trying to make us kill her, and none of us fired. She had a black shoe; it looked like a gun.
But I had to look and determine first whether it was a gun. This is not an excuse. You're fighting someone and you say, ``I thought it was a gun,'' and he's got a wallet in his hand--I'm sorry, that is from the top down.
And this is for Mr. Howard Safir; you used to be my old boss: You left a legacy of discrimination in my department, and you brought it up here to New York City. It's like a disease. I say racism and corruption is a disease. And if you don't go in and cut it out, it will come back to haunt you later. So that's how we have to look at this thing. Mr. Safir, you came here and you infected this department. Well, I want to say something to you now, and I think the people realize who you are: ``Your time is up. Your time and everybody's around you.''
We have to cut this cancer out of this department, out of Baltimore, out of New York, out of Los Angeles--which is rampant. We've got to stop looking at the people, and saying zero-tolerance level is against the people. No, zero-tolerance level is against the law enforcement departments. Because if you take it and make that zero, I guarantee you, the people will fall in line. Oh, we're going to enforce the law. We're going to do what we have to do to enforce the law; but we enforce it, with the idea that all men were created equal. And that's what we have to do.
And that's why, when we look at our prisons today, it's 70-80% people of color. If I look at that, I would say, that means people of color are basically criminally minded people. Now how many people here believe that? So, what's the problem? There's something going on. There's something wrong. And I'm saying here, it's time for us to take hold of this.
These guys in Baltimore: We did not fire one shot. This one guy was armed, he had a gun in his pocket. We didn't fire one shot. His partner had a Mach-10 machine-gun on him: We didn't fire one shot. We jumped out, and took these guys off. We could have loaded them up.
But you see, it's not just about killing them. It's about that little boy I might hit down the street, or that little girl I might hit down the street. We've got to understand, that when we serve and protect, it's about the community. It's not about us. It's about protecting the community, and that's what we have to do.
So, I'm saying to you today, if we the people who are called to be here``We the People,'' as they said in the Constitution--it is our job to stand up for justice. And if we see that our officials are in the wrong, we have to be willing to make the sacrifice. You know why? Because too many have paid the ultimate sacrifice for us to be where we are today. Too many have paid it. And I don't care what race you are, if you get in my way when we're going for justice, you've got to go too. The bottom line is, it's about justice, it's about true justice. And my best friends are white, black, red, yellow, and brown. It's not about that. It's about, if you can't treat us all fair, leave the shop, we don't have any room for you.
And what I'm saying is, let's prosecute these people. Let's not let them just walk away and go to another department, put a felony charge on them, and three strikes, you're out.
God bless you.
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