Many people have spoken out about the killing of Black unarmed teenager Michael Brown by white police officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri, but not many have tied to the larger context of the treatment of Black youth in the United States. Minister Louis Farrakhan is one who does. In the days immediately after Brown’s death, people poured into the streets of Ferguson demanding justice for Brown and an end to police killing and brutality. As these issues have become part of a national conversation, data has been analyzed that reveals that a person of color is killed by police every 28 hours.
While some may be motivated to view police killing and brutality in the larger context of how it impacts all Americans, there is a deeper issue of why Black men and youth are more often targeted by police violence that deserves consideration. It is true that all Americans face the potential of police violence and murder, Black men are 21 more times likely to be killed by police than white men, indicating a much greater risk for Black men.
In this video, Louis Farrakhan addresses Michael Brown’s killing and what he feels is a conspiracy against Black youth. Farrakhan is the leader of the Nation of Islam and is considered to be a Black religious and social leader. He is often both praised and criticized for his outspoken nature about controversial political topics. In this address given just over week after Brown’s death, Farrakhan states, “I warn you that something terrible is about to go down, and Ferguson is a sign: A microcosm of the macrocosm. The killing of Michael Brown is one in many – some we know about and some we don’t know about; but every city and town where Black people live, Black men are being shot down by police.”