Mar. 11, 2002: Al-Amin jury acquitted itself well with verdict

The jury verdict in the recent trial of H. Rap Brown, aka Jamil Al Amin, should serve as an important reminder to us all. Although “civil rights activists” like Jesse Jackson want you to think otherwise, blacks have minds of their own and can dispense appropriate justice, too.

To bring you up to speed, Al Amin was accused of having shot two Fulton County deputies two years ago, killing one of them as they went to serve him a bench warrant for his arrest. The Imam had been stopped earlier in a stolen automobile and had flashed a police badge and was mistakenly let go. (Let’s leave aside for a moment the implications of that particular exchange.) He was indicted by a grand jury for this misjudgment and ordered to appear in court. But Al Amin never bothered to show up. For this negligence, deputies attempted to serve a warrant on him, and Officer Rickey Kinchen lost his life in the shootout that followed. As you would expect, Al Amin was arrested and put on trial.

The uproar was predictable: Al Amin’s defenders portrayed him as an unfortunate victim of racism. Nobody seemed to take into account that both Officer Kinchen and Officer Aldranon English, who was wounded in the shootout, were black also. His apologists went into overdrive, decrying a justice system they claim is hell bent on bringing him down – as if we spent our waking hours worrying about that sour-faced miscreant.

This brush with the law wasn’t the Imam’s first. He made a living advocating violence as H. Rap Brown, the Minister of Justice for the Black Panthers. His shenanigans eventually earned him a stay in prison and there he converted to Islam but he managed to retain his bad habits and bad attitude from the old days.

Of course, Muslim organizations throughout the country vociferously objected to the arrest and trial of their hero. I would think this crowd would realize how little credibility they have these days and go do something positive for a change, like try to make us believe they give a tinker’s dam about this country or anyone who’s not Muslim, for that matter.

Somehow, Al Amin, who owns a grocery store in Atlanta when he isn’t Imamming, scraped up enough money to hire a stellar defense team, including the flamboyant and pony-tailed Bruce Harvey. His Holiness might consider asking for a refund. He got skunked. Thirteen charges. Thirteen guilty verdicts. Where is Johnny Cochran when you need him?

The jury was composed of nine blacks, two whites and a Hispanic. While striking people from jury trials because of race is illegal, the defense team used 18 of their twenty strikes against whites. Maybe they thought white people can’t be fair when it comes to judging blacks or maybe they assumed that all black people are as shallow-thinking as those on the O. J. Simpson jury. Whatever, the legal beagles erred badly.

That kind of thinking is understandable, however. Folks like Jesse Jackson and the NAACP’s Julian Bond can’t survive unless they perpetuate the myth that blacks can’t think for themselves and have to be told what to do. That myth is as facially biased as anything we hear in society today, but it doesn’t stop the activists from singing the same old song. If they can’t keep racism alive and well, they are out of work.

When the Al Amin trial began, Coretta Scott King issued a statement questioning the “fairness and justice” of the process, but offered no proof to back up her statement. This same woman showed up with her cronies during the trial of former state senator Ralph David Abernathy in 1999 and decided to hold a prayer meeting in front of the jury as they headed for lunch. Her actions were reprehensible and arrogant and didn’t work. Abernathy was sentenced to four years in prison for stealing $13,000 in state funds.

Many whites predicted that because of the overt actions of King and others, Al Amin would walk out a free man, that blacks wouldn’t convict one of their own, no matter what the misdeed, because of the pressure. But the Al Amin jury refused to be intimidated. By their actions, they did more to narrow the gap of misunderstanding and mistrust between blacks and whites than any self-serving corporate diversity program could ever hope to accomplish. The jury deserves our applause. Their verdict was one giant leap for mankind.

Maybe the best news to come out of this trial is that Jesse Jackson might have to retire his megaphone and start looking for a real job. Now wouldn’t that be a kick in the pants!