by Joshua Lucero
On December 12th, 2017, Christopher Maurice Daniels, former Marine, Black activist and also known as Rakem Balogun was arrested by the FBI. When the FBI led their attack with a surplus of men and equipment, they bust his door down and surrounded Balogun with 50-to-70 armed men.
Most men were armed with kevlar helmets and night vision goggles, AR-15’s and full body armor. Not only were these men armored, but had military hummers with full automatic machine guns mounted. ATF (the Burial of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms), military task force was present, Terrorist task force and local Dallas Police.
Balogun was investigated for Domestic Terrorism and had been recently monitored by the FBI after supposedly supporting the deaths of police officers and the people who were brutally gunned down in Dallas. He was explained to that he was arrested for “unlawful gun possession” at the time of the arrest.
When being stripped away from his home, Rakem Balogun witnessed first hand of what it means to be profiled as a Black Identity Extremist. Rakem Balogun would be arrested and charged with illegal gun possession and being a threat to law enforcement. After five-to-six month, Balogun was released from prison because the US attorney failing to prosecute him.
During this time period in jail for almost half a year, Balogun was faced with injustice and lost his house, as he was unable to provide for his family, all because of a crime he was wrongly accused of.
Balogun openly expressed what his group of activists is intertwined in. He is the co-founder of Guerrilla Mainframe, a group modeled after the Black Panthers based on their contributions to the community in several ways. They pride themselves as a community-based political organization.
Guerrilla Mainframe contributes to food drives, self-defense classes, weapon training, open-carry patrols and educates people through political awareness rallies. Balogun’s group does not conspire against any one people, as this group is mainly present to create a sense of family and unity. When Guerrilla Mainframe feels there is an injustice, those who feel the need will participate in protest.
The FBI first stumbled upon this group in 2015 when they protested against the injustice of police brutality, kick starting the FBI’s surveillance on Balogun and other Black Activists for the next few years.
On August 3rd, 2017, the FBI created the Black Identity Extremist assessment, using a Dallas shooting in 2016 and five other unrelated attacks on police to justify their investigation. According to the FBI, they believe it is likely that this “Terrorist” group will strike once again. Because of police brutality and injustice in law enforcement units nationwide, violent revolts against law enforcement will continue in the future regardless.
The people that will advocate for these “violent revolts” will be Black Activist groups, such as Guerrilla Mainframe. This will justify any action taken by the FBI when sprint on any Black Activist group. Many questions arose from this surveillance and investigation, many with very few answers.
Why are Black Activist groups being targeted for using lethal force and helping communities? Why is this treatment not going toward White Nationalist, Alt-right groups, Neo Nazis and other hate groups who openly express their hate to Black, Mexican, Asian, or any ethnic background that does not identify as white? Why are these White Nationalist groups not being watched more carefully by the FBI?
Ms. Jackson Lee, an American politician who currently is the U.S Representative of the 18th congressional district in Texas, realizes all these injustices. When talking to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Lee needed no introduction, immediately raising questions asking why Black Activists, who only oppose unjust acts, are being attacked.
She followed up with questioning why the same discipline is not being taken against White Nationalist and other hate groups. Sessions, who under his jurisdiction the Black Identity Extremists is pursued, was dumbfounded by the facts that were laid upon him and had little words in response when confronted about other hate groups in which they do little to investigate.
We see this injustice throughout history and continue to see unlawful acts in a society that has created “change.” These new violations against African-Americans have obstructed the rights across all of America, leading to an unequal democracy.
Black Americans are now targeted legally through a federal agency, rather than in the 1900s where discrimination was normal. In today’s society, we are taught that discrimination has stopped, but in reality the social injustices have escalated to a federal point of view. This injustice must stop, but cannot do so without the contribution of others in the community and in American society.