The FBI's Intelligence Assessment creating the "Black Identity Extremist " (BIE) classification is a destructive policy designed to neutralize developing Black political leadership and retaliate against Black activists who continue to organize against the very real and racially biased use of force by law enforcement against communities of color. The Rakem Balogun Defense Committee requests your support and concrete action in holding a public Congressional hearing to investigate the Black Identity Extremist classification, the likely illegal surveillance of Black Activists nationally, and to push for the full retraction of the assessment. Our hope is to determine whether or not the FBI has overreached in its mission to identify domestic terror threats through the development of a program that violates constitutionally protected minority political rights through a racially discriminatory policy. Our end objective is to force the FBI to retract the assessment, eliminate the BIE classification outright, and end surveillance of Black activists in the U.S. In 2015, the U.S. was condemned by the United Nations for racial discrimination and police violence against its citizens, but has yet to implement the recommended policies or pass meaningful legislation to eliminate the civil and political rights violations being carried out. Rather, the Trump Administration's Department of Justice allowed the release of a report that has increased the assumed warrantless surveillance of Black activists for legal and non-violent political activity. While primarily white individuals continue to murder innocent citizens in record numbers, our communities are the ones under surveillance and subject to politically motivated arrests and scrutiny as potential terrorists. The assessment and classification are not only words on paper, they are having a tangible, destructive effect on peoples lives. Foreign Policy recently released a report on the arrest of Christopher Daniels, also known as "Rakem Balogun", in Dallas, TX. The FBI conducted surveillance on Mr. Daniels for two years before arresting him for alleged illegal possession of a weapon. The military-style raid on his home and arrest is viewed as the opening salvo under the BIE classification in the U.S. Additionally, Mr. Daniels was denied bail and subjected to pretrial detention based on Facebook posts, which have been deemed protected speech by the ACLU and Human Rights Watch. The movement to eliminate the BIE classification is growing daily, but we need our elected leadership, allied community organizations, and everyday people to help lead the way in our struggle for social and political equity. If we do not stop the Black Identity Extremist program, we are allowing a new reincarnation of COINTELPRO to take root in this nation.
Please contact Stephen Benavides with the Rakem Balogun Defense Committee at 214-859-3970 or through this email to schedule a time to discuss how we can move forward.
Respectfully, Rakem Balogun Defense Committee freerakembalogun.org