A Black Army Rises to Fight the Racist Right

Graeme Wood in The Atlantic:

John F. Johnson aka Grand Master Jay leading the march of NFAC (Not Fucking Around Coalition) through Louisville, Kentucky to Churchill Downs on Derby Day, on September 5, 2020. Not Fucking Around Coalition is back in Louisville five weeks later, on Derby day, urging police to use force from across the fence, but their plans at the track abruptly ended before the race.

When grandmaster jay walked into Million’s Crab, a seafood joint in suburban Cincinnati, the waitstaff looked alarmed. Million’s Crab is a family restaurant, and on that placid November evening, Jay—the supreme commander of the Not Fucking Around Coalition—was wearing body armor rated to take a pistol round directly to the chest. Dressed from mask to shoes in black, he was four hours late to our meeting, and remorseless. “My time is scarce,” he said, making aggressive eye contact. Indeed, of the two of us, I was the one who felt sheepish, not because I was wasting his time but because it occurred to me that while I waited, I could have warned the servers that my dining companion was often armed and that he might look as if he had just stepped out of The Matrix. He sat across from me, in front of a platter of scallops and shrimp that had been hot when I’d ordered it for him an hour before, when the kitchen was closing. I offered him a plastic bib, which he declined. He wouldn’t eat any food, but he requested a San Pellegrino or, in its absence, filtered tap water.

Grandmaster Jay’s group, the NFAC, is a Black militia whose goals, other than to abjure Fucking Around, are obscure. It has a militarylike structure, fields an army of hundreds of heavily armed men and women, subscribes to esoteric racist doctrines, opposes Black Lives Matter, and follows a leader who thinks we live in a period of apocalyptic tribulation signaled by the movements of celestial bodies. Its modus operandi is to deploy a more fearsome Black militia wherever white militias dare to appear. Eventually, it intends to establish a racially pure country called the United Black Kemetic Nation. (“Kemet,” Jay explained, “is the original name of Egypt, which means ‘land of the Blacks.’”) A patch on Grandmaster Jay’s body armor bore the new nation’s initials, UBKN.

More here.