by Askia MuhammadModerator Askia Muhammad: Greetings. While we’re getting our nametags straight and everyone is getting seated, I have been asked to ask everyone not to stream. We’re streaming this online for everyone. And so if you have your iPhone or Android, whatever, don’t bother to stream. As the modern phenomena is, you look at the picture from upstairs and everybody is holding a camera, so please don’t stream.
I’m Askia Muhammad. I’m the news director of WPFW-FM. That’s the Pacifica station here in Washington. I write a column for the Washington Informer newspaper here. I’m a senior editor of the Final Call newspaper.
I’d like to, as I introduce this distinguished panel, remind you of one of the things I considered so important about this event. The event has collected what I would say are unimpeachable witnesses to something that is an unspoken reality, an unspoken truth. Just bear that in mind: The witnesses are unimpeachable.
There are a couple of things I’d like to commend to your attention. Yesterday, April 9th, was the 150th anniversary of the surrender of the treasonist rebel leader Gen. Robert E. Lee. The army of Northern Virginia surrendered unconditionally to the United States Army led by Ulysses Grant. I’d say treasonous and traitorous because it was 110 years after General Lee’s death before his citizenship in the United States of America, the US of A, was restored. They were in rebellion. They formed an armed uprising against the United States of America, which I think constitutes treason and traitor behavior. I mentioned that because after this surrender unconditionally, it ushered in 100 years of American apartheid, which ended ostensibly with the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the 1960s civil rights movement.
I used the word “apartheid” because a clone—and it was just referred to the United States of America, the US of A, the U of SA—South Africa—really perfected the apartheid regime and brought it into existence. It seemed even up until the presidency of Ronald Reagan that it might endure forever. But as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. reminds us, "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice." South African apartheid was dismantled.
Today, former President Jimmy Carter says what no sitting president can ever say and will say in the cover of his book; the title of his new book, Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid. When this question is raised, “Why are you calling this apartheid?” Well, in some ways, it is an apartheid state, although the population is 50/50. If there were a one-state solution, boy, one person one vote, you’d have a questionable outcome.
Nevertheless, the arc of the moral universe is long. It bends towards justice. This event today is a witness of that, because I think I heard Grant Smith say this similar event was organized a few months ago, and about one-fourth of participants were here. So this is growing. The BDS Movement is growing, and so prepare to understand that you are not alone.
The guests I’m going to introduce—and I guess we’ll have them speak in alphabetical order—again, unimpeachable.