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Not only are white supremacists radicalizing in the US, Afro-Americans are also forming militias. The founder of the NFAC, for example, commands hundreds of armed men. „We went back to the 1960s,“ he says. „Under no circumstances do you point your gun at anyone. But point the gun at you, what are you doing?“ Grandmaster Jay calls out to the others from the back of a pickup truck. „You’re killing!“ They yell back. It is such extreme case self-insurance instructions that the NFAC leader gives his warriors, as he calls them. NFAC, that stands for Not Fucking Around Coalition, loosely translated the „We mean business“ coalition. How serious they show with their weapons. „The NFAC is an answer, not the origin. We reflect our environment,“ Grand Master Jay told a team of ntv reporters in early October. Because of racism and perceived oppression of African Americans in the United States, they would have formed a unit. John Fitzgerald Johnson aka Grandmaster Jay is its founder. They distance themselves from the protest movement Black Lives Matter. The leader calls the state of the country pathetic. „We went backwards, back to the 1960s. The US is seconds away from a race war, which whites don’t want to admit,“ says Grandmaster Jay.
This is not an unfounded exaggeration, but is supported by various figures. The sales figures of registered firearms have been increasing since 2019, so far this year one monthly record has been chasing the next. A total of nearly 40 million guns were sold in the United States this year alone. It is not primarily white men, as it used to be; the curve is particularly steep among African Americans. More than 11 million registered firearms went to first-time owners. Even if it contradicts it, the NFAC is a black militia that supports a movement, at least indirectly. More than 400 of its heavily armed members are in the middle of the city of Lafayette in Louisiana, a southern state of the USA. It is allowed here to openly carry one’s weapon. This is another reason why the NFAC conducts its march at this location. The members of the group came from various other states: military veterans, entrepreneurs, from all corners of society, says Grandmaster Jay.
According to estimates, there are hundreds of militias, mostly dominated by whites, in the USA. Many of them move on the right-wing political fringes and campaign for „white supremacy“, a predominance of whites. The racists are convinced that because of their skin color they are superior to other ethnic groups and should dominate them. Under US President Donald Trump, the number of these radical groups had grown by 55 percent to a total of 940 by the end of 2019, the Southern Poverty Law Center found. The NFAC is the counterpart to this. A radical, armed wing on the side of the African American. The militia has been deployed in various states since May, mostly to protest against police violence against African Americans.
Several people have been injured or killed in demonstrations and clashes between gunmen and demonstrators in recent months. Most recently, the police even thwarted a planned kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and arrested 13 people. According to the FBI, the „Wolverine Watchmen“ were planning to overthrow various state governments that the militia believed to be disregarding the US Constitution.
Grandmaster Jay and others swore those present to continue protesting.
There have always been militias in the USA. But for a few years now, a dynamic that is difficult to predict has developed: Growing distrust of the state is expressed in larger armed groups that are penetrating society from the fringes. Universal access to weapons facilitates their radicalization. There are now more than 400 million firearms in circulation in the United States, more than the US population. And what happens now when these armed groups meet? The presidential election on November 3rd will not come out clearly? That is the fear that haunts the country. All previous appearances by the African American NFAC have been peaceful. There were no arrests and no criminal offenses are known from the group. Why does Grandmaster Jay think it is necessary for NFAC members to publicly carry their guns? The law allows, he says: „People shouldn’t focus on who [the gun] is carrying.“ African Americans have been socialized in such a way that the gun in a black’s hand is negative. The weapons were used for self-defense. „They are there because everyone else has them too.“ The fact that private individuals want to arm themselves and take matters into their own hands, give themselves a military-like structure and wander heavily armed through a small town with more than 400 other people: All of this is just one of the symbols for the country’s internal conflicts.