Louis A. McCaII II and four others travelled from Phoenix to the DMV for the 20th Anniversary of the historic Million Man March.
This is his #perspective
Why did you attend the event this year?
I went to see how my experience and the media coverage would vary, only to fine out it would not be covered at all.
I personally like L.F. not because I care anything about The Nation but because I feel like, he, Dame Dash and Kanye West might be the last authentic Black people left on the planet.
My buddy and I wanted to go because we didn't think this would be allowed to go on without a hitch, and if it did there would be a media blackout, the latter of our two assumptions proved to be accurate... Unfortunately.
What would you have defined as a "hitch?"
Random Black people starting a commotion would probably later turn out to be CIA, undercover police or some random misguided youth persuaded to cause a problem. Much like The Invaders in the MLK assassination.
What was the first thing you noticed when you arrived and how many people went in your group?
I didn't think police would be an issue, not with The Nation.
5 of us total....
The whole ride up, my friend DLo Clark, was looking for car loads or buses of Black people driving up.... nothing. When we go to the DMV areas there wasn't an increase in traffic or anything. When we got to the Metro station in VA the day of the function that was the first crowd we noticed. But there was the Marine Corp Marathon going on right next to the mall and the Taste of DC was going on as well....
Many of the train lines were not running, that was odd for DC during a series of functions.
Upon exiting the Smithsonian Station the first thing I notice was the lack of police presence, and the ones we saw were extremely friendly.
The police presence was minimal, and they were all very polite. It was almost like they know the attendees were going to see someone respectable who could control the temperament, and they knew if something flared up the news would want to cover it. It was odd, which is sad to say. They stayed towards the rear because we saw maybe 13 police during all those days.
The other thing you noticed was no media, nothing. Not even Black media interviewing for the blogs. It seemed unusual.
What do you remember about the first Million Man March 20 years ago?
I wasn't there but the presence throughout the nation was overwhelming, long before Internet access was abundant... Spike Lee made a film... It was much more celebrated by the Media and Black people alike... I just remember hearing that they tried to downplay how many attended.
The contrast saddened me more than anything.
Our white next-door neighbor said the white guy who owned this house went back in 1996 and loved it.
What were you hoping to gain by attending if anything?
I didn't expect to learn anything I didn't already know about issues in the Black community and agenda of our government, I went because I wanted to see if Black (I always spell Black in caps because I mean slave descendant) people still stand a chance against a rapidly changing America, an America that has never taken our concerns seriously despite nigga's love of the current administration.
Who did you hear speak and did anyone's message resonate with you or your group at all?
I went to see what it was like to be in large gathering and not feel tensions.... we prevailed there but I believe I came away more pessimistic than before.
Can you elaborate about walking away more pessimistic than when you arrived. So it the event had the opposite result of their intentions on you?
Well, yes and no. The event itself was beautiful. The people were amazingly polite and friendly and at no point did I think the day was not going to go smoothly. I joked and said, "if the National Mall was a gated black community I would buy there in a heartbeat." A friend and Gangsta Disciple who came with said, "I am learning that being polite goes a long way." But the whole time I was there, while our cell signals seemed to be intentionally blocked, I couldn't help but think that I left Atlanta a day prior where no one knew about the march and everyone else was focused on the BET awards. I couldn't help but think that the attendance was probably just shy of DC's entire Black population. There there are millions of Black people who didn't come, didn't know or didn't care.
I thought, "if all Black people didn't show up at work, this would be on the news." It was just sad to go all that way and hear people repeatedly say they thought I may have traveled the farthest of anyone there.
If this is how Black people, and people in general proceed in the age of technology knowing the government doesn't want you to assemble peacefully, own firearms or speak you mind, we are doomed.
BET seems to have more marketing dollars than Louis Farrakhan.
True, but Black people are supposed to have an instinct of self preservation that far exceed entertainment.
Science also said black people couldn't comprehend as much as the white brain due to restricted/limited blood flow. Science is a funny bitch at times.
But science tends to correct its wrongs at times, unlike the Black community - and politicians.
Not true - we don't cut for Bill Cosby any longer. What will you remember most about the trip?
Given the unimpeded opportunity, and given the leadership of someone who our people respect, despite their personal opinions of that person, the Black community can do everything we need to control our own destiny.
As and aside, cell phone jammers work well...I'll never forget that.
What was Minister Louis Farrakhan's call to action for the attendees and America in general?
He wants use to be more respectful to one another, he wants us to buy land as that is the very basis for human sustainability (raw land or a house with significantly more land than home has square footage, useable land), and the "Or Else" part was economic diversion. Stop spending all of our money and frivolous possessions and cut Christmas loose as that is where much out our buying power is given away to other communities.
Finally - Would you go back to another one?
I've been to NY and Vegas on NYE.... midnight things clam up... 6 hours straight?.... Never again.
And yes I would.
I would go to another because in the grand scheme of everything the Black community wastes their money one, this is the least we can do. The even was less about what was said by the speakers and more about one man showing that he can get people to come to him, (white people were there too), and to me, as long as I am living I hope we continue to illustrate that we some of still have that power, despite news coverage or public opinion.
Every one Black person who told me, "I'll be there if I can get off of work made me vomit in my mouth just a little bit"